The Howard Howl, Dean Scream, or barbaric yawp

(Note: Originally published on my MovableType Blog. Moved here for consolidation)

Yesterday, I had breakfast with Britt Blaser ( and Doc Searls (

On the train in, I noticed the USA Today article, “Dean scream gaining cult-like status on Web” (

I thought a little about this on the train, and started thinking about my comments about this. Years ago, Primal Scream therapy was a popular fad. We were encouraged to express our excitement, disappointment, joy, anger. Of course those of us from New England never really bought into it. We’re a little to restrained to go in for stuff like that.

But I think there is something important going on here. I started composing my thoughts in my mind:

Are you tired of politicians creating the largest tax hike on our children through the government running up massive deficits and calling it a ‘tax cut’?
Try a Howard Howl.

Are you grieved that over 500 loyal Americas have died in Iraq because of ‘misinformation’?
Try a Dean Scream

Do you want to issue a wakeup call to an American populous that has stopped caring enough to vote?
Try a ‘barbaric yawp’

On my way from the train station a guy came up to me. He was a member of Local 3. He spoke with a heavy New York accent. He saw my Dean button and wanted to comment. He said he wasn't sure who he supported, but that he thought that people who were criticizing Gov. Dean were completely off base. Gov. Dean showed the sort of passion that we need in leaders. He was pretty disappointed that many of our leaders don't show any passion for making this a better country. His parting comment to me was:

"Never apologize for being passionate."

Doc, Britt and I talked a bit about Whitman and the Dean Scream. We talked about some of the great mixes of the Dean Scream that are appearing online.

I gather and share as many Dean videos as I can find online and when I got home, I found an email asking for a copy of the video of the Dean Scream. My gut sense was that it was from a Freeper. I responded:

Unfortunately, I don't have a video of the 'Dean Iowa Outburst'. If you find a copy, let me know.

However, I fail to see the big deal about it. I've been to many pep rallies in my day, and that one was pretty tame.

I can only wonder what the press of the day would have said about Thomas Paine, John Adams, or Paul Revere. For that matter, I cannot help but contrast it to the way a good coach cheers on his team in any major sport.

Personally, I find people making a big deal out of it not only clueless, but also unpatriotic.

Today, someone pointed me to the MSNBC question of the day: ‘Late night punch line: Has Howard Dean become a joke? (

My response to MSNBC:

Has Howard Dean become a joke?

No, the media has become the joke. A media that fails to understand a pep rally; a media fails to understand passion; a media that fails to look at the issues of the day such as record budget deficits and the continuing quagmire in Iraq.

My daughter has a T-shirt that reads, if you aren't appalled, you haven't been paying attention. It appears as if much of the mainstream media isn't paying attention.

As a final comment, in an email to Doc Searls, I suggested, “I would not be surprised to see the "barbaric yawp" being turned into the "I Paid for This Microphone!" moment of this campaign.”

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