Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Recent Weird Presidential Art

For all those think it is unseemly to depict President Obama as "The Joker," ala Heath Ledger, it was only last July that Vanity Fair used this as a cover, depicting our last president.

I don't think it raised much of a fuss even from die-hard Bush fans. (On the center and right you sort of get used to this kind of treatment by the media and the Left.) It was considered high art by all the left people.

Somewhat earlier the Village Voice in New York City had this sophisticated characterization to offer its readers:

Move along, folks. Nothing unseemingly here.

So where did the Obama art originate?

On Day Two of the media circus, no one is sure, but researchers have found a Flickr posting of a Chicago engineering student, doing a photoshopped takeoff on a Time magazine cover just two days before Obama's inauguration (four images down). His caption:

"Not necessary indicative of my political views. But I do think hes not all he said he is. You can already sense he's backing off his claims of change."

Quite a bit like the LA posters, isn't it?

Americans have never held their presidents in such high regard as to consider their images sacred, and I believe that's a good thing, all in all. We don't elect kings, archdukes, Gods or even messiahs (despite the campaign rhetoric)! We nominate and elect fallible human beings, some of whom surprise us with good behavior, courage and wisdom, while others disappoint us with hubris, paranoia, concupiscence and/or arrogance. Most presidents are somewhere in between.

The ability of the lowliest American to take his exalted leader down a few pegs, vicariously speaking, is one of the weird aspects of our culture that I think works to our advantage. It's political speech that helps us decide what we really think, pro or con. It allows people to mentally blow off steam while at the same time solidifying their values.

So for all those angry "experts" who are ready to imprison the Obama the Joker artist, I say this:

"Buy your own crayons."

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