A few weeks ago, Mike Gravel pulled an Andy Warhol (or, if you prefer, John Cage) and released campaign videos that seemed more like failed submissions to MoMA than actual political ads. One featured Gravel staring intently and silently into the camera for a little more than a minute, then tossing a big rock into a pond and walking away along the shore, and the reaction was pretty much universal: “What???” No less than Mother Jones says the ads “looked like they were made by two dudes who got hopped up on acid, read a bunch of Foucault, and decided to make a crazy dreamscape campaign video.” I studied a lot of wacky modern art and theater in college, and my reaction was pretty much the same—a combination of “hilarious!” and “huh?” See for yourself:
Now, Gravel has decided to explain the ads, and he’s complaining that many pundits didn’t understand their meaning. Yeah, OK, but my question is: Outside of Gravel and the two filmmakers, did anyone? The ripples! It’s about the ripples!