Thursday, May 11, 2006

Michael Arcuri is on MySpace

Yesterday, I wrote about my consideration of the potential for the sites MySpace and TagWorld for political outreach. Some people's reaction was that, as someone in my mid-30s, I shouldn't try to stick a toe in those places online. They say I'm just too old.

This morning, I found out, to my surprise, Michael Arcuri is already on MySpace. It turns out that he committed suicide three years ago.

Right now, those of us who are sitting comfortably in our post-youth could stick to the old ways of communicating. We could do what's already been done. We could stay with the now-stable-and-staid format of conventional web page and email. The Republicans will do the same thing, and so it will all cancel itself out.

While we stand still, sites like MySpace and TagWorld will surge to new heights of popularity, but we, as mature adults, will say that the Democratic campaign for the 24th District seat in the House of Representatives just doesn't need that much attention.

And then, when someone searches for Michael Arcuri in the busy world of MySpace, they won't find a way to send a donation or volunteer for the Arcuri for Congress campaign. Instead, they'll find a touching memorial to a young man who killed himself three years ago.

There seem to be a large number of people involved in the political campaigns who are terribly afraid of new ways of communicating that they don't understand. They'd rather stick with the tried and true and predictable.

I say that approach will get us a predictable result: A Republican Representative for another quarter century.

We Democrats are underdogs. We have a good chance at winning this race, but we don't have the advantage. If the Democrats are going to win, they're going to have to be energetic and imaginative, because we cannot beat the Republicans with a paint-by-numbers approach.

So, am I too old to be on MySpace or TagWorld? There's one way to find out - try it. At least I'll be showing up, which is half of the struggle. I certainly don't think that the political moment will go to the political party who has the largest number of people who feel like they're too old to get up and do something.


Anonymous said...

Fine, you don't like Mike Arcuri, the candidate, and seek to mock him. But there is absolutely no reason to use the tragedy of this other Mike Arcuri to do so.

How about a bit of decency, please?

24 Independent said...

It's not my point to mock anybody.

I'm merely pointing out that right now, the name Michael Arcuri is better represented on MySpace by someone who committed suicide three years ago than by someone who is alive now and running for Congress.

I don't think that's a sign of communications success.

Let the dead be dead, and if their friends want to memorialize them on MySpace, I don't have a problem with that.

This other Michael Arcuri gave up his life three years ago. I think that a politician who is not only alive, but running for high public office, ought to have more media prominence than a dead man.

Maybe I'm making my point in stark terms, but I don't think it matters to the dead man. He's dead.

I'm more concerned with what the living and breathing Michael Arcuri is thinking about putting his name out in public. If he wants to be our nominee for Congress, his campaign needs to show more initiative.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's all that offended Jon. We have grown to expect bad taste from you.

24 Independent said...

Glad to hear it. I don't think a blog should be a place where matters of taste trump discussion of the issues.

To that point: I'm not seeing either of you anonymous commenters writing anything on the substance.

I'd rather be in bad taste than be vapid.

Anonymous said...

You are shameless. How do you think the parents of this poor kid would feel if they knew you were using their son's tragedy to score political points? Is there any level to which you won't stoop?

Richard Saunders said...

In Jon's Defense:

Mid-Thirties can be a troublesome age for some men. It can be hard to come to terms with the cold hard fact that you are aging.

Jon may have not yet realized that he's not one of the young, cool, liberal dudes that he identifies with. Hence his dalliance on sites that are usually frequented by much younger individuals.

The first pangs of an oncoming mid-life crisis can be traumatic for some men and Jon certainly should be allowed the time and space that is necessary for him to come to terms with being middle-aged.

Norway said...

Although I've tried to turn this forum back to its original purpose, it seems I've failed. There's no real point in going on. No one wants to talk about issues, tell me what they like about Arcuri, or address anything of substance. Farewell, all. See you in November as we all greet our new Congressman, Boehlert-anointed-and-appointed Ray Meier.

24 Independent said...

The problem is not that I wrote about the guy who committed suicide. The problem his parents must face is that their son killed himself.

Don't like what I'm saying?

Well, go ahead and look online and you'll see my larger point:

Michael Arcuri is failing to use the media. It isn't just MySpace. It isn't just the Internet.

Not only does the other Michael Arcuri, the guy who committed suicide three years ago, have more recent coverage, but this article in which I discuss the relationship between the two Michael Arcuris will gain more attention than what Michael Arcuri the candidate is doing today... if Arcuri is doing anything at all.

Just take a look at Arcuri's web site. Take a look at the newspaper coverage. What has Arcuri done lately? Not much.

So, you all can come on here and get angry at me, and lob snide comments about me wanting to date 19 year-old girls, but who are you really angry at?

If you're an Arcuri supporter, you ought to be angry at him. He's brought in almost one hundred thousand dollars that is to be used in the primary campaign, and what's he doing with it? Where is the effort to communicate with voters? Where are the new ideas?

I think you're angry at the essential point I'm making in this article: That Arcuri's silence is making it possible for a little pipsqueak like me to have a more conspicuous presence in relation to this campaign than Arcuri himself does.

You're right to be angry about that, but it's not my problem for speaking. It's Arcuri's problem for failing to dominate. From the start, Arcuri has been a soft and meek voice, and often not a voice at all.

Every time I bring this issue up, I get pushback from Arcuri supporters who say that it doesn't matter that Michael Arcuri isn't speaking up much for his own campaign. Then, paradoxically, these people get angry for me about speaking when Arcuri won't speak.

My message to those people is this: Don't like what I'm saying? Okay, then go talk to Arcuri, and get him to do some of the talking. If Arcuri were doing his job, my voice would fade into the background, and you wouldn't have to come here and complain.

Curious said...

Arcuri, sadly, believes his own spin, which is "Everyone knows Mike." Well, NO ONE knows Mike outside of Utica, and he hasn't made the effort to know us. I got one (quite bad) letter from the campaign two months ago, but only because I'm on my local committee. So you're right to be concerned about coverage, message, and all that. I can't even get anyone in Utica to tell me who this guy really is. The assumption is that I'll vote for him because he's a Democrat. However, every Dem in the district could vote for him, and he STILL wouldn't have the numbers to win. His campaign HAS to do better, or Norway's right, it's Congressman Meier for the next two years at least (and you know how hard it is to get rid of an incumbent in NYS). Are you listening, all you lamebrains who think this is about liberals or 34-year-olds or underwear??? Wake UP!

Anonymous said...

You missed the point of my giving you a hard time about the underwair girl. I have been a MySpace user for over a year now and the last thing I look for on MySpace is politics or politicians.

That's why I think that the Arcuri MySpace spot or your TagWorld spot is not really going to have an impact on the 24th Congressional Race. Your heart is in the right place, you just need to start using your head.

Anonymous said...

Curious you are correct. In fact, I'm on the state committee and haven't heard a word from Mike Arcuri. Sadly, his odds of winning seem to diminish every day.

Biggus Dickus said...

Please expend as much effort as possible on "outreach" programs using Myspace. I, for one, think every Democratic candidate in the race for the 24th should be spending as much money and time as possible trying to get 18-24 year olds into the voting booth.

Rock Da Vote!!!11!!!LOLLerskates!!11!!

Your friend forever,
Biggus Dickus

P.S.- Seriously, if you try to peer-to-peer politics when you're not a peer you'll come off as fake and condescending. Trying to use Myspace is old and tired. Forming clans in FPS LAN games and MMORPGs like WOW is the new hotness.

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy FTW!!11!!

maimun said...

24, as someone with a brother who committed suicide,I find this posting of yours to be a great example of heartless behavior.

That you would take a person's memorial to the friend she misses, especially under such sad circumstances, and attempt to use it for your own political collateral is not a Democratic quality. If "Liberals" have gone that far, you've only joined the RNC holding their convention in NYC last year.

This post is your latest offering that makes me keep my thoughts on my own site. But as a sister of a suicide victim, as a counselor, as someone who feels, I couldn't keep silent tonight.

24 Independent said...


I'd like to point out that YOU just used your brother's memory to score political points.

Do you think I don't have experience with suicide?

I have just as much experience with suicide as you do Maimun, and I can tell you that the person I know was not a suicide "victim". The person I know made a choice that wrecked the lives of people around him, and continues to hurt people decades later - including me. He abandoned his wife and kids when they needed him most, and they sufffered long after his suffering stopped.

But you know as well as I do that the point here is not suicide. The point is Michael Arcuri. That's what I wrote about. Michael Arcuri, the political candidate, who got less press yesterday than a man who was dead three years ago - and a web space that I referred to as "a touching memorial".

YOU work with Michael Arcuri's camapign, so I understand that you're upset when I point out that your candidate's is doing an inadequate job of communicating his message.

That's embarassing, I understand.

The fact is, Maimun, if I wanted to release the personal details of my experience of suicide here, I could go toe to toe with you.

But that would be a purposeful distraction from the subject.

I know that Bob Hyde is actually trying to spin this as another anti-Jonathan-Cook post on his blog. That's rich to me - writing a blog post citing someone's suicide to criticize me for writing a blog post citing someone's suicide.

Curious said...

24 Dem--Bob Hyde has gone off the deep end to the point where he thinks I'm you (being apparently incapable of imagining that anyone else might disagree with him). I have communicated to the Arcuri campaign that he is not doing their candidate any favors and that they should consider distancing themselves from him. We'll see if that has any effect. And he never WAS able to explain to me what he liked about Mike Arcuri, which is even more of a handicap to that campaign than his general berserk tone. I hope a sensible Arcuri blog starts up soon, so we can actually learn something about the guy before we're forced to pull the lever.