“WE MOSQUITOED HIM”….A few days ago I wrote about the Mosquito, a device that emits an annoying high-pitched screech designed to disperse loitering kids and teenagers. It’s harmless to adults, who generally can’t hear it. Shortly after I wrote about it, I got this email from a high school teacher:
My high school students use another form of Mosquito. They have a high-pitched ringtone for their cell phones that only the youngest female teachers can hear. 50 year-old men like me have no chance. Just the latest way to cheat.
Turnabout is fair play! Then, a couple of days later, after I wrote about Hillary’s “It’s 3 AM” ad, I got this email from a regular correspondent:
Our dogs, two very calm yellow labs, go absolutely nuts — growling and barking, which is very atypical behavior for them — when the Clinton ad is played, either on TV or the computer (it seems to be the ringing phone they don’t like). The critters have no such reaction to the Obama response ad (ringing) sounds.
Times being what they are, I should take this opportunity to say that I don’t think the Clinton campaign added any high-pitched tones to their ad. Repeat: I suspect no nefarious activity from Hillary Clinton here.
But — wouldn’t it be cool if there were? Modern televisions hooked up to modern cable systems certainly have the capability to produce high-pitched Mosquito-esque tones, and this seems like an area ripe for dirty tricks. Whenever you put up a grainy, black-and-white picture of your opponent, don’t just play ominous background music, play annoying high-pitched screeches too! Your dogs will bark, your baby will start crying, and your kids will suddenly start acting up. Do this often enough and your brain will automatically associate the target of the ad with disruption and clamor. Voters will start to dislike him or her without even knowing why.
It sounds ripe for abuse, doesn’t it? I can’t wait for the first campaign consultant to try this. “We mosquitoed him” will join “We Willie Hortoned him” and “We swift boated him” on the whispered lips of Karl Rove wannabes around the world.