Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel’s new campaign ad:

For those to whom I would typically provide a transcript, there isn’t one to be had. No voiceover, no background music with informative lyrics, nothing.

The ad comes via Darryl at Brandflakes for Breakfast, who asks, “Is it weird just to be weird? Is there a deeper message?” to which I can only reply yes. Mike Gravel: Still in Decent Health.



Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

40 responses to “Okay…

  1. Allie

    This is the oddest thing I’ve ever seen.

  2. William K. Wolfrum

    He’s got the “creepy” vote locked up. Vote Mike Gavel or he’ll just keep staring blankly at you.


  3. Phydeaux Speaks

    Two words:

    Alaskan Thunderfuck.

    Plus, there’s another video entitled “Fire” – seven minutes of a campfire burning….

  4. Jeff


  5. Constant Comment

    He bitches about not having enough time on debates and then puts out an ad that says nothing. Alrighty then. Future fundraisers may prove to be a bit difficult…

  6. Jeff

    Sorry, Mikey, but somehow I don’t think that the euphamism “Throw your hat in the ring” is ever going to be replaced by “Chuck your big friggin’ rock in the pond”

  7. Jeff

    I think he may be going for the mummenschanz demographic.

  8. As a way to get Mike Gravel’s face and name all over the internets, it might just be fairly effective. There are going to be lots of people posting “Hey, check out this bizarre-o campaign ad!” At this point in the game, he needs national exposure and name recognition more than anything else.

    But yeah, it’s weird shit. I like it, but I like anything with crows.

  9. Perhaps this is just Gravel’s way of saying he’ll stare down his opponents with a steely eyed glare and leave his mark on the temporal waters of the Washington swamp.

    Or maybe he just wanted to teach his pet rock how to swim.

  10. William K. Wolfrum

    Two words:

    Alaskan Thunderfuck.

    In my “Get to Know Bill” post about living in Alaska, I totally forgot to mention that. Of course, it makes you kind of forgetful. And prone to make horrifically bad creative decisions, as well,it seems.


  11. “I think he may be going for the mummenschanz demographic.

    Howling with laughter!!

  12. NonyNony

    Is there a deeper message?

    Yes. “Mike Gravel: Not Enough Funds To Hire A Cameraman”.

    BTW – Mike Gravel – almost as crazy as Ron Paul, not as much presence. His top thing on his website – “Replace the income tax with a National Sales Tax.” Total nutjob.

    (His ad must have been somewhat good, though. I went to the website to see if there was an explanation for why it was so creepy. There wasn’t.)

  13. Actually, I think he may be making a symbolic statement about the ripple effect of change: Throw the “rock of change” vertically into a lake that symbolizes America, and watch the horizontal ripples of change spread.

    Did that sound as much like pulling sh*t out my ass as it sounded like to me?

  14. “This moment of silence for our hearing impaired viewers.”

    He’s plainly a performance artists. Five bucks says he has a bathtub full of brightly colored machine parts.

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  16. Misty

    Just weird, man. Weird.

  17. Message:
    Get to know my face, because it won’t be around long.
    I’m going to make a little splash, then I’ll have to move on.
    The End.

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  19. Random Guy

    I think you hit it right on the head. I didn’t know this guy before this ad. You can better belive that from now on, whenever I hear his name, I gonna say to myself, “oh ya, that’s that guy with the crazy ad. I wonder if he sounds as crazy as that ad was?” and then I will listen to him.

  20. Mike now has the all important mime vote locked up…

    Where he goes now is UP!

  21. NG

    I think the video is brilliant.

  22. Pingback: The Daily Background » Blog Archive » See Gravel. See Gravel throw Rock.

  23. I actually love it. It’s SO odd.

    And its not all fake smaltzy and verbose. And you know what we’re talking about it. And Jon Stewart talked about it. And I’ve seen most of the other blogs I read talking about it.

    And so I looked up some stuff about Gravel and while I haven’t had a chance to do that much I still found out he said “We are all human beings and one of the things that should motivate us, most of all, is love.

    …Love between a man and a woman is beautiful, love between a woman and a woman is beautiful, love between a man and a man is love…is beautiful too. What this world need is a lot more than what we presently have.” So it seems to be doing what its meant to do.

    And it does make him stand out from the other candidates as being non conventional. I dunno. I think its interesting.

  24. KarateMonkey

    For some reason it makes me think of Professor Farnsworth.

    “Did everything go funny there, or did I just stroke off for a second?”

  25. Time-Machine

    I was totally waiting for something to jump out of the bushes or a zombie horde to start rampaging in the background or something. That would have made it the best campaign ad ever.

  26. Funny, I got a completely different take from that one.

    Weren’t we once told that “if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all”?

    Looks to me like Gravel is disappointed with the rest of the field.

  27. katecontinued

    What is the surprise?

    A candidate who doesn’t tell us anything – despite our pleas . . .
    A candidate whose actions are meaningless, if not antagonistic – please, we need a rock, so he tosses it away . . .
    A candidate who turns his back and walks away

    Business as usual (And, oh yes, give the media corporations a gazillion dollars to do it).

  28. Futuremuse

    I find it a fascinating departure from the dross we’re usually assaulted with on television. It was different, original and, certainly, a conversation-starter.

    Personally, I took it as meaning “What you see is what you get” and, like Off Colfax said, “If you can’t say anything nice…”. Maybe, he’s also silent because he’s waiting to hear what WE have to say instead of blathering on with the typical lies of a potential presidential candidate.

    Throwing the rock in the water also suggested a couple of things, like the “throw your hat in” metaphor along with the ripples of change.

    Is he walking away at the end, or is he off to get something meaningful done?

    The lack of music or dialogue provides such a stark canvass, all we can do is attempt to interpret his actions. Weird? Only by contrast to what we’re used to seeing. But, certainly, it’s provocative.

    I like and appreciate that at the very least he didn’t attempt to insult my intelligence.

    Btw… hi. Just popped out of lurkdom.

  29. Painini

    Gravel by name … rock-ing by nature?

  30. You know what? I LIKE it. No, I LOVE it. It’s very Woody Allen-esque. The man almost has my vote already.

    I see most of you didn’t get it. NG did.

    I think he’s staring at you (the electorate) because he can’t believe how stupid you all are. Then he goes and throws a rock in the pond to express his desire to throw away the last 8, 10, 12, maybe 27 years since Reagan, and start anew. I sensed a thorough disgust to which I can relate.

    I would like to help him with his next ad, now that I think about it.

  31. That was the most brilliant fucking ad ever. I was MESMERIZED. If he’s got a cult, I think I have to join is. I was just staring at his eyes and he was staring at mine…and the rock!! The rock! And then he just walked away. Down that winding path. What does it mean?

    I dunno, but I watched it. I watched every second of it, utterly mesmerized. Brilliant.

  32. Look, political ads are always bullshit. ALWAYS. Condescending, mealy-mouthed bullshit. This, however, is not. It’s absolutely fucking brilliant. Face recognition, conversation starter, and a thirty-second undistracted-from web site plug.

    Sorry, Dennis, but my (so-far-still-meaningless) Oregon primary vote is Mike’s to lose.

  33. By the way, I can’t wait to see the lolmike print ad campaign.

    I has prezidential azpirationz.

    Oh noes! Dey is taken my prezidential azpirationz!!!

  34. Annnnd I just noticed the national sales tax idea. Damn, that’s a stupid idea.

    Shortest candidate love affair ever.

    Earth to Gravel: Regressive taxes without extensive social reform are a right-wing platform!

  35. Melissa McEwan

    Also, there’s still this little matter: “Gravel apparently appeared as a speaker at the June 2003 conference of a Holocaust-deniers’ publication. Every report on this I found leads back to the same source, which certainly implies that he was not there in any capacity other than as a Holocaust denier himself. I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows any more details about this.”

    I’m neither suggesting nor presuming anything. I’d just like to know more about it.

  36. Ahhh, so he might be one of those. 😦

    I think I’ve had enough of denial from politicians. Starting with those who deny evolution.

  37. From wikipedia:

    “He [Willis Carto of the Denialist Barnes Review] liked the idea of the National Initiative. I figured it was an opportunity to discuss it. Whether it is the far right, far left, whatever, I’ll make my pitch to them. They gave me a free subscription to American Free Press. They still send it to me today. I flip through it sometimes. It has some extreme views, and a lot of the ads in it are even more extreme and make me want to upchuck. Anyways, sometime later, Carto contacted me to speak at that Barnes Review Conference. I had never heard of the Barnes Review, didn’t know anything about it or what they stood for. I was just coming to give a presentation about the National Initiative. I was there maybe 30 minutes. I could tell from the people in the room (mainly some very old men) that they were pretty extreme. I gave my speech, answered some questions and left. I never saw the agenda for the day or listened to any of the other presentations.”

    So, yeah.

  38. And by, “yeah”, I mean, it sounds believable. He also called the deniers “nutty as loons” – but of course this is still after he “got caught.”

    There’s precedent for his “I’ll speak to absolutely anyone no matter what” in the form of Margaret Sanger, FWIW.

  39. chachabowl

    I always wondered what a David Lynch campaign spot would look like.

  40. It initially reminded me of the “I looked in Pootie Poot’s eyes and saw his soul” quote, and I still think it’s brilliant. It’s so far the ONLY campaign commercial that I’ve watched all the way through.

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