The "anti-" campaign

anti campaign

It's not who you're for; it's who you're against

Regrettably the presidential campaign this year is much more about being against somebody than being for somebody. Most election years there is a time at the beginning of the campaign, at least, when candidates promote themselves positively before turning to the task of tearing down the opponent as the campaign draws to a close. This year the positive window was remarkably short; it's not all that clear, indeed, that it even existed.

Supporters of George W Bush seem driven more by a visceral dislike of John Kerry than by conviction that Bush has done a good job. (For a dissenting view, see Dana Milbank's Washington Post article, 12-Oct-04.) Support for John Kerry came from the belief that he was "electable" — that he could beat Bush.

Both candidates have painted themselves into untenable corners. Bush insists that he was absolutely right in everything he has done — and everything's just hunky-dory. In the last debate he did concede that he made a mistake in one or two of his appointments, but on the big issues like War, the Economy, and the Common Good he would do everything exactly the same. In the other corner Kerry insists that he has been totally consistent in his positions on everything — Iraq, No Child Left Behind, etc. Any damned fool can see that they're both wrong.

This morning's harvest of pictures from the internet produced an abundance of partisan pictorial commentary that fits right into the "tear down your opponent" tenor of the campaign. People have become very skillful at editing images, and this bumper crop contained some very humorous, very high-quality, very pointed and critical images. (The only question I have is, What part of "alt.binaries.erotica...." don't these people get?)

go to slideshow
Slideshow of partisan pictorial commentary

I've created a slideshow of some of the best, leaving out the most blatently hateful, distasteful, and unimaginative ones. Most reflect an anti-Bush, anti-war sentiment, but Kerry is not immune from being mocked. Let's face it, poking fun at Bush and his cronies is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Behind the slideshow. I've never been very satisfied with my slideshows. Yes, they worked, but they didn't have all the features that I really wanted. I wanted:

  • Run automatically or under viewer control
  • Include captions for the pictures or not
  • Be kind to people with slow internet connections (Most slideshow scripts download all the pictures first before they begin, which makes for a painful wait if there are more than a few small pictures.)
  • Not require me to number my pictures and captions in two separate lists and remember whether to use single or double quotation marks in each list
Slideshow javascript
by Patrick Fitzgerald

Lately I came across slideshow javascript by Patrick Fitzgerald that could do all the things I wanted and more. After considerable head-scratching and several martinis I finally built a new template for slideshows that suits me. (But frankly, Patrick, you're a much better script writer than tutorial writer!!)