MCM Politics

Politics and MCM

So I read quite a few blogs everyday, and I get a kick out of the humor that comes with most of them. The majority of blogs I read are related to design, furniture, technology, etc, and then sometimes I will read a political blog just to see what they have to say about current events. Before I moved to Central Oregon, I worked in the Oregon State Legislature for a representative. My advice to anyone who has any desire to make a career out of politics, just know that all of the stereotypes are true about the back room dealings, with shady power hungry politicians which is why I moved and changed careers to be in the private sector. Having gotten out of that world, it is hard to ignore the politics that are around each day, at work, on tv, on the radio, and now even in my favorite blogs which is why I am writing today.

Now with the recent election of president Obama, I have noticed that of the blogs that did decide to post something regarding the election, they ALL supported Mr. Obama which is wonderful, but if that were reversed what would happen? If every blog that you went to in your daily or weekly blogroll was a totally cool, hip, MCM paradise and was suddenly an advertisement for John McCain or Ron Paul, would you be turned off?

A friend of mine here in Oregon owns an antique store that specializes in Mid Century Modern, and the very first time I went in there, he had allowed campaigners to put huge Bush-Cheney ’04 signs on the side of his building which is close to a major road. I asked him why he would allow those to be put up, to which he replied something like, “Because I support Bush”. He then proceeded to tell me about the horrible things that people say to him when they come in because of the signs, people who are coming in to shop for furniture! They are expecting to see a square-glasses wearing hipster I suppose, but are shocked that someone would actually have a differing viewpoint then them. I suppose this isn’t too interesting because that would happen anywhere nowadays, but my problem with it is that people who love good design and share this common interest in beautiful furniture, somehow think that you have to be liberal to appreciate it. I know that I absolutely hate going into stuffy modern specialty stores where a plastic stool costs more than a car, and I think that the bloggers that I subscribe to do as well. If that is the case, then isnt the condescension of politics is just as bad? I really don’t think that it is OK to ostracize so many cool people because of their political preference.

I think that everyone who reads this blog is unique, and some us way out there which is what makes us interesting. If not to anyone else, we are unique enough for ourselves. Those of you who are either conservative or liberal have your own opinions and your love of good design has little to do with it, that being the case it should have little to do with others as well. If you would please, let me know how you feel. Regardless of your personal political position, do you think that there as an element of elitism when it comes to the world of design, and do you think it matters?

The "Yes We Can" rug. Subtle, but clearly for a specific market.


Maggie said...

Design lovers and MCM addicts are a kind of "tribe", to use Seth Godin's term. When you find that a member of tribe doesn't share one of your basic values, it can be rather shocking.

I think we've all become accustomed to thinking of people in the arts community as inclined toward liberal values -- and design addicts certainly tend towards an interest in the arts.

I know I'm always surprised when I run across an artist/performer/designer who's a Republican. But of course that has nothing to do with their talents or the value of their artistic opinions. It's just kind of unusual.

Tikimama said...

Maggie said it well. I think I just sometimes make the mistake of assuming that people who share a lot of my taste and interests would share my political ideas too.

Believe me, there are plenty of blogs I read - and leave nice comments on - that advertise quite clearly their religious/political beliefs that are not in sync with mine. I kinda just ignore it.

Monica said...

I try to stay away from politics on my blog, I am blog friends with a lot of people who voted for McCain and LOVE quirky different decorating,

and also I cannot say I am a total Liberal either, but I am pretty left.....relion is another subject..... I just bite my tongue on that one!

Monica said...

Religion, did I also say I am not a good typist? :)

Starck Mad said...

FUN! nice blog!

Bethany said...

Wow. I have to say when I started reading this post I thought it was just another design blog post telling me how great Obama is, which isn't wrong. People who have opinions about design are likely to have opinions about politics, and a host of other issues too.

What was refreshing (and slightly shocking) was the recognition that to love design does not require loving liberal policies. There is an elitism in art/design community that makes it difficult for politically conservative artists to be themselves for fear of being ostracized. Although, I suppose that's the plight of any minority within a subculture.

Atomic Livin said...

Love your comments. Yes, it is not the norm to be a conservative, Christian, Republican (gasp!) within the art communities that I am involved. It doesn't bother me to share my views (when asked) and explain WHY I feel the way that I do. After all, if I weren't able to clearly and respectfully express why I hold to my views, I'd be something of a phoney, wouldn't I?!
My only wish is that those who hold to more liberal views would be a bit more "tolerant" of us who are not of the same mind. :)

Robin ~