Arnie Online

We are the sum of the information available about us on the Web. For the sake of argument, let's assume this is true. Then let's see how this hypothesis works to explain the Web presence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, gubernatorial hopeful in California. What can we learn about Arnold's character based on his online manifestations?

  1. Arnold's handlers don't give a crap about building a constituency online. The "official" site for Arnold's campaign, at www.joinarnold.com, is a paltry little thing. An amateurishly Photoshopped "feathered edge" image of Arnold and wife Maria Shriver tops a page that announces, "Full Web Site Coming Soon!" The only functional parts of the site allow you to volunteer your time to the campaign, donate money, and click through to Arnold's "entertainment page" at www.schwarzenegger.com. And what's up with the stupid domain name? The smart Wisconsin geek named Stephen L. Arnold who has owned www.arnold.com and www.arnold.us for several years told me via e-mail that he has not yet been approached by any Arnold campaigners with an offer to buy his domains. What the hell, people? Get a real domain name, ferchrissake. And pay Stephen Arnold lots of money for it, too. That's the way all the big guys do it.


  2. Arnold can't tell the difference between entertainment and politics. At the elaborate www.schwarzenegger.com, allegedly an "entertainment" site, news of Arnold's campaign appearances is snuggled up next to the latest information about Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. Like Ronald Reagan, who could never quite figure out if he was president or just playing one on TV, Arnold will never be able to figure out if he's a celluloid cyborg or a human, and neither will we.


  3. Arnold is proud he smoked pot. Arnie once fretted that people might discover the scene in which he smokes a fatty in the documentary Pumping Iron, which features him, stoned and cocky, competing for the Mr. Universe title. But recently he embraced the old movie, helping release a digitally remastered version and selling tons of Pumping Iron merchandise in the "Arnold Store" on www.schwarzenegger.com. He says now that he "did inhale," but that he hasn't done it since those days. Does that mean pot will be part of his campaign to make America healthier?


  4. Arnold's supporters are morons. If you want to plunge deep inside the mind of an Arnold supporter, look no further than the embarrassingly bad Arnold campaign blog at arnoldforgovernor.blogspot.com. Not only is this blogger completely incapable of using the ridiculously simple software provided by Blogspot, but also his links don't take us to anything more exotic than instapundit.com. Even worse is the guy at schwarzeneggergovernor.com, who has posted a big picture of a child grimacing under the words "On October 7, 2003, for the benefit of the Children of California, Gray Davis will be terminated." Isn't it kind of creepy to associate pictures of your cute kid with homicidal ramblings? And his slogan can't be beat: "T3 in 03." Until a few days ago, there was the so-called grassroots Web site run by Team Arnold at www.schwarzeneggergovernor.net. I guess somebody sent these guys a takedown order?


  5. Arnold's detractors are morons. What's truly scary is that the geek community hasn't provided us with any decent parody sites about Arnold's candidacy yet. The domains schwarzeneggersucks.com and arnoldschwarzeneggersucks.com are bought, parked, and empty. Arnoldsucks.com is the property of some crazed Englishman who is obsessed with smearing the name of Arnold Clark, a British guy who sells crappy cars and rips people off. You know what this means, don't you? Somebody is more devoted to disgracing a used-car salesman than you are to disgracing Arnie. For shame.


  6. You can make money by selling political propaganda that includes trademarked images from Arnold's movies. The geniuses at Team Arnold have built a Web site that's a trademark-violation lawsuit waiting to happen! Hooray! At www.arnold-2003.com you can buy Arnie campaign T-shirts that appropriate the iconography and images from Total Recall. (It's a recall election - get it?) The owners of the site, who list a fake New York address with the Whois registry and request that orders for T-shirts be faxed to a Seattle location, say they "are not associated in any way with the Schwarzenegger campaign." They also believe they "did not need permission to use the ideas from Total Recall." Oh really? Maybe the Motion Picture Association of America begs to differ. The site owners say they've had 3,000 T-shirt orders already. Sounds like they're making a profit on somebody else's intellectual property, doesn't it?


Annalee Newitz (suckmyarnold@techsploitation.com) is a surly media nerd who is voting for Georgy Russell, the world's first female geek politician. Her column also appears in Metro, Silicon Valley's weekly newspaper.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.