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July 22, 2007

Bush: Like Watching Traffic

The WH visual analysis of the week goes to Nahum Barnea at ynet. 

Barnea deconstructs 43’s “major” recommitment-to-the-Middle East speech on Monday — one that nobody saw, heard, cared about or believed.  My only complaint?  No pictures.

I couldn’t document the sign-off scene that Barnea describes, of Bush standing at the window in Cross Hall, but the shot leading the NYT story was pretty good — showcasing a miniature and thoroughly-isolated Bush as if on display in a museum.  The emphasis on the floor seemed to highlight the speech as a crass gesture motivated by some vain hope to salvage Bush’s historical reflection.

What I liked even more, however, was the White House video, with more hints of breakdown.  In the clip I captured, thankfully without sound, you first see a technician memorializing himself in this Bush hail mary.  Even better, however, is the view of the start-stop-and start-again Washington traffic out of the window.  Besides providing something more interesting to focus on, the visual give-away (to me, at least) was: more business as usual.

(screen grab:

  • ptm

    The camera angle was as telling as the poorly implemented gestures. They could only get a corner of the flag when the flag should have been looming large in Shrubs presence. This was a home video at its worst. Why should be be surprised.

  • ummabdulla

    The photo in the NY Times isn’t the same speech, is it? It’s Bush as emperor… the gold chairs, the polished floor that looks like no one would dare walk on it, the columns and busts… and Bush standing there, just his head showing, talking to no one…

  • Cactus

    Looks like he’s wearing his concerned chimp expression. Maybe the WH doesn’t pay videographers as much as they do photographers, but gone are the halo of lights encircling his head, the stack of american flags propping up the background. In fact, this flag slowly slips off the left edge of the frame. Behind him is some flag with a crest and a head, I think. But the light is on the blue drape in the background, which has no significance at all, other than to highlight the window and traffic outside. Compare this to what we are used to seeing: The W surrounded by all the trappings. But not here. Tres bizarre!
    The NYT photo is even more weird. The W and his flag are floating on a sea of glass surrounded by empty imperial gold chairs, marble heads on stands and columns and arches leading nowhere. What metaphors for this administration. The question must be asked: Does this man know he is no longer talking to anyone but himself?

  • John Lucaites

    I think you are right Cactus. He looks to be almost like a King at his Court … but where are the courtiers? In some ways, he strikes me as a realist version of the cartoon character Lil’ Bush.

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