While the Twin Cities twit-driven media is now agog about the Kurt Bills Twilight Zone trailer for the 48 Hour Film Festival, the broader story is that both Bills and his chieft primary challenger, David Carlson, are cut from the same cloth of Hollywood wannabes.
While sharing a political culture that loathes Hollywood and big corporate news media, they both aspire to starring roles in the beast. Envy? Stupidity? Projection? Those aren't mutually exclusive answers.
City Pages' Aaron Rupar writes in What the hell is GOP US Senate candidate Kurt Bills thinking with his campaign film trailer? [VIDEO]:
Kurt Bills is the first Senate candidate ever to sponsor and appear in a short film for the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project.
That's great and all, but if the trailer is any indication, then Bills' Staring at the Future film promises to be absolutely, horrifyingly awful. Produced by Vaughn Juares, the trailer introduces the story of somebody named Riley Thomas, a young man who in the video appears to sit across a table from a grotesque future version of himself.
The piece is certainly generating more buzz than the addition of two vehicles to Bills' fleet of repainted school buses (how Wellstone ever managed to pull off a victory in 1990 with only one seems to have escaped the Bills campaign strategists).
But conservative Muslim-shouter John Gilmore (who's quoted in the City Pages Blotter post) and all others flogging this one shouldn't take comfort in David Carlson, the other new kid in the primary. Bluestem noted in His kickstarter drive for reality show stalled, Republican David Carlson files for U.S. Senate:
Earlier this year, budding private security executive David Carlson launched a Kickstarter campaign for a reality television show, American PSD, but the campaign closed after it failed to reach its goal.
Largely, it's an anti-Ron Paul reaction. While Carlson has taken down one statement about his candidacy, another on Facebook Why I'm running for the Republican nomination for United States Senate from Minnesota lays out his position as the Not-Bills...
Carlson's business partner in Blue Diamond Strategies is Republican operative Abdul-Rahman Magba-Kamara, whose Linkedin profile lists his experience as Field Staff at MN House Republican Campaign Committee, Field Staff at Seifert for Governor and Chairman at Minnesota College Republicans. A.K. Kamara on Facebook, he lists climate change denier group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow as his employer in addition to Blue Diamond Strategies. In short, a made man of the anti-Emmer faction of the MNGOP; Gilmore carries a card as well.
Celebrity is no stranger to Minnesota politics: witness Governor Ventura and Senator Franken. Both Ventura and Franken, however, earned their chops in the entertainment world before seeking office.
Bills and Carlson have managed to skip all the intermediate steps, collapsing career aspirations and political campaigns into the small, small screen of Youtube and the micro-Variety of twitter feeds. The small scale of both men's personae on the iPhone--and the rise of John Gilmore as the Twin Cities' media Republican go-to guy on twitter are indeed emblematic of today's Republican Party of Minnesota.
A double feature of the two guys who are on the top of the statewide Republican primary ticket in Minnesota:
Photo: Republican Party of Minnesota spokester Rod Sterling.