Get Out the Vote…With Ringtones?


As if cell phone ringtones weren’t annoying, ubiquitous and pervasive enough, now ringtones have gone all political on us.

Ringtones08.com says you should, “Let your cell phone do the talking. Exercise your freedom of speech and ring!” Come on, now. Not to sound like a curmudgeon or anything, but if folks need a ringtone to get fired up about an endless war or your First Amendment rights, we’ve got bigger problems to address.

That said, I couldn’t help but notice that “Klaus Flouride” created some of the tones. Is that the same Klaus Flouride that played bass guitar for the 80s punk band the Dead Kennedys? WTF? The “GeorgeAllenMacaca” ring tone mixes a hip hop beat with a quote from Allen ‘s famous “macaca moment” speech. The “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” ring mashes a quote from George Bush about former FEMA director Michael Brown with the Arlo Guthrie song, “The Train They Call the City of New Orleans.”

But the ring tones are pretty janky. For better ring tones and a better laugh, check out Obama ringtones on the Daily Show.

My advice? Switch your phone to vibrate and move on. Also try checking out our latest issue, which just hit newsstands, where we ask a whole mess of politicos and digerati, are we entering a new era of digital democracy complete with Hillary ringtones, or just being conned by a bunch of smooth-talking geeks?

We also spell out the latest on cell-phone activism and the political power of text messaging.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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