My post from last week included examples of surrogates (Nora Ephron; Jon Krakauer) but did not include a working definition of the term. I’ll expand on that.
A common definition of “surrogate” relates to a substitute; a person who takes the place of another. In our anti-Republican culture, the definition becomes slightly more specific. It involves primarily those who ply the written word, and they use subterfuge.
There are two forms of surrogate activity: concealment and redirection.
Redirection is where this blog places its focus. You are watching a movie (“Julie and Julia”) and find that you are being taught about the obnoxious behavior of Republicans. You read a book (“Where Men Win Glory”), and find that you are being lectured on the incompetence of Republicans.
This is where the work of surrogates goes under-reported, and this is where I hang out.
When the action of the surrogates is more flagrant, there is often genuine outrage. The Left Coast Rebel has posted examples of people who work the Internet and printed media as “Sockpuppets” and “Trolls.” Much of it has an anti-Republican focus, and people seem to generally agree that, in the battle of ideas, this behavior is inappropriate.
What is worth watching is whether there is an organized effort behind the surrogate activity. Is it being directed from a central source, or is it just a collection of random acts? Is a JournoList being used, or is it just happenstance?
If there is central coordination involved, we’ve got a story that goes beyond the idea of our culture exhibiting a particular political twist. We’ve got something that looks strikingly like “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”