2.16.2010

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Rep. Michele Bachmann


The illustrious Minnesota congresswoman participates in my Signifier, signed autograph project, joining the likes of Paul Wellstone, Noam Chomsky, Yoko Ono and 70 others in signing my name.

6 comments:

Hrag said...

Don't you feel dirty?

Erica said...

I'm so happy and confused I could cry.

Paul Schmelzer said...

I kinda do, Hrag, but I admit Erica's reaction fits, too.

mr Bill said...

My own political notions and distastes aside, I am curious about what process goes on within those who sign - you know: Is it ego? Is it willingness to participate in the meaning of the project? Vanity? Altruism? Smidges of all of the above, plus more? I wonder how this could be drawn out? While I can appreciate Hrag's comment; I would also gently nettle and say, "Shall we be as two-dimensional in viewing others as they seem to be?" A little like Erica, I am noting the con-fusions that can occur...

Paul Schmelzer said...

Great questions, Mr. Bill. I tend to think that the majority of people signing "get" and appreciate the concept of the project. Perhaps they're skeptical of the celebrity machine, too, which makes them warm to the project (Given the thrust of his life's work, I can't imagine the late Studs Terkel, who signed, considered himself some elite celebrity). Also, it's been hard to get megastars to participate (maybe their handlers put the kibosh on my request before they ever see it), so maybe slightly less famous people either have a bit more humility or sense of humor about their own role in the fame game, or -- conversely -- maybe they're more flattered by the request? Not sure.

When I send my requests via mail -- probably three-quarters of the time -- I slant the letter to the person; i.e. with Bachmann, I mentioned that people like Pat Buchanan and Jesse Ventura have signed, but when addressing artists or progressive politicians, I'll namedrop people like Yoko Ono or Paul Wellstone. So perhaps Bachmann thought we're on the same team -- "he's one of us" -- politically speaking, and agreed on those grounds?

One line in my letter: "While my focus is celebrity, I’m only seeking signatures from people who have influenced my values and my own sense of self." What I don't say is whether the celebrity in question influenced me through their positive or negative example!

Ted Sherarts said...

Gays, lesbians, and abortion rights people would be hardpressed to have a balanced view about Bachmann.