earlier this month to promote season 5 of the popular series house of cards, netflix sent out emails in the style of a political campaign letter. the show’s fictional president, frank underwood (played by kevin spacey), asks viewers to “support” him and his wife claire (played by robin wright). the email looks like this
all my life, i’ve devoted myself to our fine country. protecting your freedoms is my greatest honor. in dark times like these we must keep our eyes open and watch out for each other. as may 30th approaches, i need your loyalty more than ever. can claire and i count on u?
my staff doesn’t believe in propaganda, but we do believe you’ll enjoy this video trailer.
President Francis J. Underwood
concerned is a little less nervous than worried. keep our eyes open means pay attention, be vigilant. watch out for each other means protect or help who needs it. as, in the email, means while. loyalty is somewhere between commitment and devotion. ever means any other time. count on means depend or rely on. staff are the people who work for president underwood.
the email also contains a trailer for the new season full of provocative images.
underwood’s tone is condescending (arrogant) and he sounds deluded (confused, over the top, intoxicated) by the power of being president. this is the transcript of what he says.
the american people don’t know what’s best for them. i do. i know exactly what they need. they’re like little children, claire. we have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths. teach them right from wrong. tell them what to think and how to feel and what to want. they even need help writing their wildest dreams; crafting their worst fears. lucky for them they have me. they have u. underwood 2016. 2020. 2024. 2028. 2032. 2036. one nation. underwood.
sticky indicates an adhesive residue. wipe means wash, clean. filthy is extremely dirty. even is used to emphasize how much the american people need help. craft means design. the 6 years that frank lists are all u.s. presidential election years, giving the idea that frank and/or his wife will be elected in all of them. this would require a change to the u.s. constitution, and contributes to the tyrannical (oppressive, despotic) feeling of the message.
kid has got some seriously sticky fingers.
finally, one nation, underwood is imitating one nation, under god; a well-known line from the pledge of allegiance of the united states, an expression of loyalty to the united states frequently recited at the beginning of government meetings or by kids at the beginning of the school day.
sticky fingers is the name of one of the rolling stones most famous albums.
fans of house of cards are engrossed (fascinated, intrigued) by the ruthless (cruel, harsh) nature of frank underwood’s politics and his matter-of-fact (logical, practical) justifications for his actions. there appear to be plenty (more than enough) of both in the new season.
underwood, under god. same difference.
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