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April 24, 2006

Your Turn: Activist Background

Livingwithwarcover

Do you think — even for a second — I could have passed on the cover of the new Neil Young “anti-war” album?

Like every graphic that lands here, I’m curious about the semiotics.  Given its brown paper proximity to the subject matter, however, The BAG recuses itself in favor of your interpretation.

Also: The LAT Neil Young Interview;  Living With War blog; and a nice post by Mark Bolas.

(design credits: …still looking!)

  • itwasnt me

    Gosh, BAG, you were ahead of the curve! As a graphic designer, my attention went first to the typeface used – military stencil. I think the stencil would look more military on a crate-type background, but think the “bag” conveys efficiently enough the rough-and-ready nature of wrapping stuff up for shipment. Also more subliminally, it echoes the brown of desert khaki and the feeling of rough, wrinkled clothing.

  • itwasnt me

    (PS) I would have broken the somewhat rigid rectitude of the background by running the folds of the bag at an angle, thus conveying unbalance, less order. The lines of the bag, crossing over and “cancelling out” the lettering would have caused subliminal dissonance and drawn the eye more.

  • lytom

    There is no pretty wrapping to war. The album has no colors of patriotism for war. It is a unique cover.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    Yes, colorless, red-white-blue less when Support The Troops actually means Support The Civilian Leadership, when the Decider decides the continued failure of the Civilian Leadership is in the vital best interests of the nation.
    Brown paper is also the plain wrapper, the choice besides plastic at the grocery store. Brown paper is the bulk offering, what everyone needs, in quantity.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Brown paper bag = what the troops have for body armor?

  • tommy

    what changed neil’s mind? he was an advocate of the patriot act.

  • ghost

    War – what the “liberal” media avoided talking about up until recently. War protests – what the “liberal” media completely ignored or under-reported. The album cover seems to be aimed at you, the citizen, to get off your butt and make a brown paper sign, get involved, write a letter to the editor. Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever, we should all be Americans first and foremost.

  • mugatea

    Where were the pop stars during the last election?

  • jt from BC

    One glance and immediately *stencilled* in my mind is the message. Its persuasiveness and strength is projected by its graphic simplicity and the complexities of the subject.
    Black & death + Brown & sand = Iraq = “QED” ? Neat & tidy stencilled Men, Machines, Munitions, nary an untidy IED amongst the lot!
    How many IED’s are on the Album ?

  • Asta

    Tommy wants to know what changed Neil’s mind.
    I’ll add to that with, “What changed Merle Haggard’s mind”, if you haven’t heard his new release bashing Bush.
    Message to George: When you lose Merle Haggard, you lose America.

  • Bob Barsanti

    Does anyone else see the very faint outlines of either singing or chanting faces? I see a relatively clear mouth in the top right.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/SOS_independent/ SOS_independent

    My first instinct when I see a brown paper bag is food. Whether we like it or not, war feeds our society in many indirect ways, including but not limited to the military industrial complex. War feeds–and sometimes kills–the soldiers who enlist. If there were no war, many people would be out of a paycheck. So we live with it, and we just paid more taxes which will go to wage more war. We are willfully “LIVING WITH WAR”. The military lettering just makes it official.

  • jt from BC

    SOS_independent, “If there were no war, many people would be out of a paycheck”
    Are you suggesting that war is the most advantageous economic model?
    on Melman; “He would show how talented scientific and engineering skills were sucked into this permanent war economy *to the detriment of civilian jobs and economic development* as if people’s well-being mattered. “To eliminate hunger in America = $4-5 billion = C-5A aircraft program ” he would say, referring to Lockheed Martin’s chronically bungled, defective and costly contract.
    http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1220-28.htm

  • Katherine Hunter

    this reminds me of Be Here Now published in the 60’s by Richard Alpert of acid fame / he became Ram Dass / the book was on brown paper with stenciled text / change a lot of lives back then / i am giving away my age / smile / i was born in 1933 / Bag News is a most fascinating blog / gets my vote

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    This image reminds me of the entire baby boom generation relationship towards politics—Disengaged and resigned. It’s like the title to a self-help book. As if the real tragedy is that we have to put up with war not the war itself. Does Neil young really live with war? Do most Americans? Is the only tragedy in war the psyche trauma inflicted on the wealthy people at home enjoying the benefits a far flung conflicts? By all accounts people in this generation may be able to scrape through the last years of their life in some semblance of luxury the real inconveniences and catastrophe will be for those just being born now. It seems to say “we’ll get by”—”or no use rocking the boat so late in the game”—
    It’s incredibly annoying.

  • http://www.bonewhistlegraphics.com johnsnakecusak

    Im staring at this pic, I think Barzanti’s right! I think this is one of those fool the eye 3d things,, If you throw your eyes out of focus and stare at it, there are skulls all over it and dead bodies piled up!
    At first I thought it was just the message of something dirty sent in a brown paper wrapper, but, Im thinking now that there is a definite subliminal thing going on here, and that its a reference to the dead from this war being hidden on their return to the states.

  • http://www.bonewhistlegraphics.com johnsnakecusak

    My website is an official link to listen to Neil Young’s
    Complete New Album Free.
    Listen to it at
    http://www.bonewhistlegraphics.com

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