May 1st, 2011
Earlier this weekend Eli Pariser linked to one of the funniest damn things I’ve seen in a while: a brilliant parody of erstwhile Republican Congressmember Jane Corwin’s campaign website. JaneCorwin.ORG (the fake) mimics JaneCorwin.COM (the real deal) down to small details, but where the official site is typical political pablum, the parody blasts the candidate with humor that veers from rude to surreal to unabashedly juvenile.
For instance, while the real site’s splash screen asks people to “Sign up and be the first to receive updates from Jane Corwin” because “Together we can build a bright future that is lit with prosperity and opportunity,” the parody version informs us that “Together we can make delicious soup from the bones of the poor” and invites the reader to “Sign up now to be served by Jane Corwin,” asking for both blood type and taste. Campaign slogan? “Challenging the Status Quo & Protecting Your Tax Dollars” becomes “Protecting the Status Quo & Taking Your Tax Dollars.”
Drilling down, individual pages use the official site’s own imagery but with captions like “Jane Corwin — Standing Beside Fire Trucks for Some Reason,” “A proven millionaire. A real homophobe. The ruler we fear,” and “An Energy Plan that Puts Producers First.” In the site navigation, Volunteer and Contact options become Surrender and Grovel, the Donate page is titled “All your money is Belong to Jane,” and so on down to each line of individual text. Features, too: don’t miss the “campaign’s” Tweets and Facebook friends on the bottom-right of most pages.
All around, JaneCorwin.org is political critique with a graffiti artist’s sensibility, and whether or not it makes a difference in the special election in which Corwin is running, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Few things need the piss taken out of them more than the pretensions of American politics and American politicians.
And as Eli points out in his Facebook comment, this is a perfect example of why a campaign should always buy at least the .com, .net and .org versions of its domain name — some fraction of people will type in the wrong version, and the results may be sub-optimal for the candidate if it’s been snatched-up by an opponent or prankster. Heil Corwin!