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Friday, August 17, 2012


Is this supposed to be something no one has thought of before? Oh, puh-leese.

Dr. Sardonicus,

From what I've seen, many people aren't thinking about branding of the candidates in relation to the "serious" discussion that's supposed to happen now, so I think it's worthy of some attention.

Sometimes things sounds familiar or obvious because they ring so true,, but if you've got any links to writers who integrate and lay all of this out, do share. I'd like to read more about how others are thinking about the underlying process.

This may only be tangentially related, but have you heard of the book "The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human," by Jonathan Gottschall? It takes the view that storytelling--specifically (it seemed from the article I read,; I haven't read the book) stories of heroes and villains, good guys vs. bad guys. This may seem like a no-brainer (and well covered ground, i.e. Joseph Campbell, etc.), but the author's point seems to be that storytelling has passed out of the realms of entertainment and morality plays for children and into the the real world. And when you think about how often you are starting to hear the word "narrative" pop up all over the place, particularly in the political discussion, I think it's obvious what he's talking about.


Your comment isn't tangential at all; you actually anticipate my follow-up post. This post was already long enough, so I cut a bit for use in a post to go up sometime in the next few days.

I've heard of the Gottschall book, though I hadn't been thinking about it in this context. It's just the kind of thing that interests me.

To the substance of your observation, it does seems that narrative started turning up more in everyday conversation about the time Joseph Campbell did that PBS series. As you point out, it's everywhere now. I see that as a positive development because we are, indeed, story-telling animals, and narratives are critical to me in my work and in all of my connections with people.

In my ctd post, I get into the relation between branding and narrative. Dr. Sardonicus, you might jump in here--before my post goes up--to articulate the connection branding and narrative.


Dr. S.

Along with branding, I think the other aspect that you should examine is how we "un-learn" things. Considering the privilege we confer on so many bad ideas simply because we learned them at a young age (or from a respected figure) and subsequently refuse to abandon them, branding is instrumental in that process.

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