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Former Real-World Star, Current Republican Wisc. Rep. Releases Bizarre Selfie Ad


Despite the ubiquity of the internet, there are still thin veins of virality where to some one thing may seem extremely popular but to society-at-large it just seems weird. One person who learned that lesson the hard way is Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, running for reelection in Wisconsin’s seventh district. Duffy’s campaign released a parody video that Mediaite.com called “the most bizarre thing to come out of Congress” since a stenographer went on a religious rant in October 2013.

The video is done in homage to the viral hit “#Selfie (Club Mix)” by the Chainsmokers. On some social networks—mostly Vine, the seven-second video-sharing phone app, parodies of the song abound. Typically someone will be “about” to do something, varying from going to the store to (comedic) robberies and beat-downs, and will lip sync to the song’s declarative “But first, let me take a selfie.” What typically follows then is a series of self-portraits synced to the beat of the song.

Duffy’s is no different. Duffy opens the video filming himself and says, “Okay, I’m on my way to a Town Hall, but first let me take selfie.” Then what follows is 34 seconds of what has to be every picture he’s taken with another member of Congress or someone in the media since 2010. For those unaware of the trend, it seems as if Duffy has gone mad.

Duffy was a cast member of The Real World in 1997 and worked as a prosecutor after graduating from Law School. Where this ad fails signifies much of the GOP’s problem relating to younger voters especially via social media.

Part of the inherent silliness of the other videos in this meme is the lip-syncing the “But first…” line. Yet, there is probably “somethin’ that seems gay” about a man lip-syncing to a woman’s voice, and that lack of commitment to the bit is what makes it seem like an “old person” desperately trying to be hip.

As far as Republicans go, Duffy is actually a moderate, which when doubled with being an incumbent in a very unpopular Congress, means his primary race against John Scheiss—whose website says “Tyranny has many faces, freedom only one,” so take from that what you will—could be very tricky.

Photo via screengrab

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.