History and Hollywood, Mashed-up

The conclusion pulls into focus the interplay of aspirations about democratizing media and realities of democratizing the United States as they coalesce on race and the presidency by focusing on the viral video Barackula: The Musical (2008) and theatrical feature Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). In them, US presidents or future-presidents are represented as vampire hunters and enduring icons of US exceptionalism. Amateur and astroturfed grassroots internet memes demonize the first and only nonwhite president of the United States by employing the animalistic and dehumanizing iconography of Nosferatu, thus signaling afterlives of race in self-authorized acts of racism that can now be distributed via social media to larger audiences than classical Hollywood ever dared imagine.

Barakula: The Musical
(USA 2008; dir. Mike Lawson)

Anti-Obama memes

Politicians-as-blood-sucking-vampires meme