“because they don’t know what the hell it is”
The Real Reason Yahoo Is Buying Tumblr | John Herrman | Buzzfeed
To Tumblr’s users, Yahoo doesn’t just represent an outside force or a threat of advertising. It represents adults, and everything that word connotes: order, boredom, not “getting it.” Tumblr’s most coveted users aren’t afraid of Yahoo because of its turbulent management over the last ten years, or because of its current leader, or because of what happened to Flickr or Konfabulator or del.icio.us or any number of other beloved services that Yahoo has acquired and let wither on the vine. They’re afraid of Yahoo because they don’t know what the hell it is, or why it has a billion dollars to burn. They’ve never seen Yahoo’s dot com ads, or heard the Yahoo yodel. To them, and even to many people who used the search engine in the past, Yahoo has been reduced to a disembodied purple logo.
Why Did Obama Run for a Second Term?
Pyromaniacs on the Potomac | Robert Reich | Guernica
Barack Obama is allowing the fires to dominate because he has not defined his core agenda. During the 2012 campaign it appeared to be restoring jobs, rebuilding the middle class, and reversing the scourge of widening inequality. Since then, though, the core has evaporated—leaving him and his administration vulnerable to every pyromaniac on the Potomac.
Obama’s appeal has always been that he is a external, definable, representation of his supporter’s hopes. This naturally is component of any figure of popular authority, but Obama’s embodiment was wholly transformative. The problem with this shows itself in execution. He is seldom is the influencer of events, instead actions occur because of his existential presence (Tea Party, Obamacare backlash) or simply because of his established transcendent characteristics.
Throughout the 2012 campaign a core question kept appearing without addiquate resolution. Does he want to have a second term? It struck me that he seemed to be running a campaign because that is what people expected of him.
The natural followup leads us to Reich’s point: what would you do with a second term? Again, events around him seemed to dictate his goals rather than any core agenda he ran on. The initiatives he has chosen to define his last term are Gun Control, Immigration Reform, Full implementation of Health Care Reform. Gun Control came about because of the tragic, yet coincidental, shootings at Sandy Hook. Immigration Reform came out of the immediate reaction to Election Night 2012 and subsequent talking point that demographics had drastically shifted to favor national Democratic tickets. Health Care Reform was saved by the Supreme Court’s ruling and assured upon Obama’s reelection. Victories on these fronts would be important and worthy of history. But they are far from inspiring and seem to cover the dearth of direction the Obama Administration had going into 2013.
The arc of Obama is that he is a mirror to which we all see are greatest hopes or fears. It’s impact proportionally dependent on the value we give it. What Obama faces is a truly insipid second term. His supporters seeing him less and less as their talisman for change. His opponents finding a new demon demanding to be faced.