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April 24, 2008

Your Turn: TIME Mixing It Up


Wish fulfillment?

Dems can never come together?

Giving Hillary statistical boost (up to 50-50)?

Party can’t make the jump over gender/racial divide?

Making a monster?

Center line turns the Obama “O” into “nothing” symbol?


(But irony of ironies: outline of faces do almost form a heart, no?)

The Incredibly Shrinking Democrats (TIME Cover Story)

Tell Me How This Ends? (TIME – Tumulty)

inspired by NBA “There Can Only Be One”
playoff campaign (

(photo credits: left: Callie Shell/Aurora.  Right: Damon Winter for The New York Times/Redux. May 5, 2008.

  • black dog barking

    Time’s subtext couldn’t be clearer: There Can Only Be One is a de facto admission by the magazine: We’ve Got Nothing. Actually, there’s all kinds of newsworthy history-type things to talk about. Unfortunately, they’re uncomfortable stories about burst economic bubbles, a military occupation that costs more every day and has for five years, meetings about the practical details of torture conducted at the very highest levels of government. Only bloggers care about that stuff.

  • lemondloulou

    It’s a disturbing image. But in the end Obama’s eye is less menacing than Hillary’s. Her eye looks totally mad. His eye is warmer, more compassionate, deeper. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Her image is actually more mug-shot like, or photo-booth like.

  • Megan

    I liked the picture. I would love to think that the Democratic party is ready to be the party of both yin and yang.

  • Mad_nVT

    Monster is the best characterization.
    The Monster that sucked the last of the juices from the moribund Democratic Party.
    By the way, how many minutes does it take Obama to put on that face in the morning, and how many minutes does it take Clinton to put on her face in the morning?

  • catfood

    I am reminded of Alex in Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” wearing a false eyelash on just one eye.
    In light of Hillary’s recent remarks regarding obliterating Iran, it seems that like Alex, she also enjoys a bit of the old ultra-violence.

  • Megalomania

    Obama risks alienating newfound GOP fans
    By Robert Novak, might be off topic, but for deeper reasons I feel it needs to be looked at.
    At first, my alienation of Robert Novak in the outing of Valerie Plame was at minimum to be censured as a Journalist, or face felony charges. Because he is guilty of deliberate violations of some basic national security secret laws. However, in time and absolute disregard for law the Neo-con greed have again opened the door and released a very direct action. Here, actually Novak shows and validates the GOP complicity happening in America’s primary election with direct manipulation of the Caucus States especially those that will never vote Democratic. At least Americans know five red states Obama won in the primary have never voted Democratic in over forty years. And for those who think Obama will win in those states are likely filled with the Audacity of Hope. Many know and so does Hillary that those numbers are a direct adjustment by Republican cross overs.
    Guy’s like Chris Mathews like to call this atrocity, Republican mischief? Absolutely discussing when one finds out a whole political arena as Neo-Con’s can “At Will” send legions of loyalist to rallies and add numbers to the basic vote by just raising a hand and declaring to be independent after voting once as a Republican. Let alone funnel money to an electorate of the opposite party to stir the out come and produce poles that are a fraud.
    From my studies there is a whole legion of Republicans via non-profit Institutions Think Tanks, and Special Interest Groups, and Political Blogs across America built over time in gerrymandered into voting schemes that are and have been part of making adjustments to American politics for decades. Republicans’ have been spiking the Democratic nominee game for years. Choking the vote, let alone choking the economy. Please don’t just call me stupid, no, not informed by Mainstream Media for not understanding this over the years. It’s the Internet and those scattered stories that many say are not true but in fact are the worst kind of reality that makes any American furious. The Zeitgeist in corruption beyond belief. Major media is part and core of the confusion in American elitism in politics.
    Anyway, I present Novak’s article in full and agree that the GOP is alienated, but not because of Obama’s misstep, but because of a planed political strategy brilliantly unfolding to be as corrupt and fraudulent in the primary analysis of this voting process is a fraud the American Mainstream Media are delivering via first line Journalist here, with deliberate distortions confuse the analysis just as they did to the run up to the war in Iraq. Obama is a straw man. And for the Republican’s that always has been known. Also, when challenged how easy it is for Obama to loose focus and drive off the road. Even the Kennedy’s are so desperate to play the game they say Obama is like JFK. Totally bullroar.
    But what jumps out at me in this article is when Novak deliberately uses the word “apostate”. Yikes. Here, in wide open national news rage Novak links even those Republican loyalist in a religious context as nonbelievers along with Obama believers. A word as apostates clearly is woven in religious intellectual debate used in Sunday school every week and relations to Islamic radicals. A huge notion with deliberate ties to being bitter and not even inserting thoughts about the Reverend Wright is all very telling where Obama could possibly be so left of center he would compromise or even be complicit with Iran, Iraq, or Islam. Which is clearly stated in his book “Audacity of Hope” defines Islamic theology as internationally traditional. Did you get that “traditional” Well America what happened to that Christian anchored believe? McCain and the media see a sweet victory over Obama.
    The Chicago Sun-Times Commentary page 25 Monday April 21, 2008
    Obama risks alienating newfound GOP fans
    By Robert Novak
    [email protected]
    Washington – Traveling the country the last few months, I have encountered habitual Republican voters so entranced by Barack Obama’s potential to lead the nation that they plan to vote for him in November. Once Hillary Clinton’s defected supporters return to loyalty, Obama Republicans could produce a Democratic presidential land slide. But Obama’s missteps jeopardize their support and imperial his election.
    These apostate Republicans have leaned toward him as an exceptional candidate in the mold of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, a post-partisan leader and a welcome contrast to George W. Bush’s failed presidency. That impression threatened by Obama’s performance the last ten days, climaxed by Wednesday night’s debate with Hillary Clinton.
    Obama’s new resemblance is less to Kennedy or Reagan than to leftist author Thomas frank, whose 2004 book “Whats the Matter With Kansas?’ answer the liberal conundrum: Why do ordinary Americans vote against their own economic interests to support Republicans? Frank explained that”deranged” and “Lunatic” Kansans were led away by Republicans from material concerns to social issues. Obama similarly described small-town Americas turning to guns and the Bible in frustration over government’s failure to take care them- a more genteel version of Frank.
    That raises the question “Whats the matter with Obama?”
    Almost everybody I encounter in politics is familiar with Frank’s best-seller. Democrats are united in embracing his theory but are divided about its rhetoric. While sophisticated Democratic politicians regard the book as condescending to lower-income Americans, grass-roots activists in the party consider it gospel. They tell me Obama should not back away from what got him in trouble: his declaration in San Francisco that “bitter” small-towns in Pennsylvania and elsewhere “cling to guns or religion.”
    Obama and his advisors know better. Though he revealed political inexperience by thinking what he said in San Francisco would stay in San Francisco, he is savvy enough to apologize profusely for “gaffes” and “errors.” But he considers his blunder one of style, not of substance.
    The Trick is for Obama to distance himself from the rhetoric while holding to the theory, as restructured in last week’s debate: “Yes [the American people] are in part frustrated and angry” by “manufactured” issues. Indeed, he said beating” to death” this issue is “not helping that person…trying to figure out how to pay the bills at the end of the month.”
    Clinton’s effort to brand Obama as elitist has failed to move the poles. Nevertheless, Democratic pros feel that the San Francisco incident halted an Obama surge in Pennsylvania that might have won him the state and ended Clinton’s campaign Tuesday. What really worries them, however, is the impact on Independents and Republicans who had been entranced by the young man from Chicago.
    Now they wonder whether the appealing unifier is really a divider.
    Obama is trying to change the subject, but he lost his cool demeanor when ABC news questioners Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos returned to his San Francisco statement in Wednesday’s debate, I never before had seen a candidate criticize the moderator or challenge his premises so often(on at least eight occasions).”Look, let me finish my point here, Charlie,” said Obama, after Gibson had interrupted him after a 126-word answer.
    The other unprecedented element was the deluge of abuse heaped on the two ABC moderators by television critics and political writers. They object to prolonging what amounts to a debate on “Whats wrong with Obama?” Exploring whether Barack Obama is a modified Thomas Frank does not depend on television talking heads or Hillary Clinton. Supporters of John McCain, seeking to reel back the Obama Republicans, will press the issue from now to November.
    Comment at

  • r@d@r

    when Time stoops to appropriating content from “The Highlander” for a cover story – that’s when GEEKS RULE THE EARTH.
    i maintain my longstanding megadittoes for Dylan’s rant against Time in “Don’t Look Back”.

  • dh

    I’d say Time’s inspiration was more Star Trek than Clockwork Orange (speaking of geeks ruling the earth!)

  • Some Guy

    The overall message to me is this Dem primary is divisive. It does mean that each of the two visually absorb the other, losing their definition. It is part of a narrative now that they are taking one another down, which also presumes that the mold into one in a morbid decline.
    But it also is a set of opposites, male-female, black-white. That Obama is on the left, the image reads from him to Clinton, reinforced by the caption that leads you from one eye to the other. This also plays up the tension in the image, confusion over oppositions with a declaration mandating that the tension the image creates be resolved. The image stipulates opposites, merges them, notes the confusion of opposites is untenable and foretells death.
    In terms of the context, I do think it also creates equity when there is not equity. Obama does not have commanding leads in total votes and delegates, but effectively insurmountable ones barring a miracle for Clinton.
    It is visually confusing, as split faces tend to be, and that confusion reflects on Dems being unable to unify themselves, one of the oldest taken-for-granteds in politics.
    In all, it is a very efficient condensation of media narratives and political tropes that has a basic endpoint of political death encoded into it. Whose death? The party, I think, more than either of the candidates.

  • Some Guy

    PS, the B&W with Obama is a visual pun on his biracial identity, whereas the warm sepia tone in Clinton also adds to contrast, aiding the oppositional composition. But most of all, B7W and sepia both connote older or past and so subtly reinforce the political morbidity of the image.

  • another guy

    how about family drama in the lead picture of the time article featuring the clinton family?
    from near to far:
    hillary smiles and looks down (and back?) as she prepares to speak after her pennsylvania victory.
    chelsea smiles and watches her mother as her grandmother (mostly out frame) holds her arm.
    bill smiles, his attention off to the side. (with the profile of a beautiful younger woman watching him, hidden behind hillary’s head.)
    an aide (or secret service member?) looks down with a non-smile.
    heads of a couple of young aides/acolytes watch the family.

  • molly

    What strikes me is the obvious mismatch in style between the two images–BHO in natural daylight (mixed light? from the window?), very stark flash photography for HRC. Is it intentional that this also highlights, if not exaggerates, HRC’s makeup? Authentic versus artificial? Complex versus two-dimensional?
    Then there’s also the body language. BHO leans slightly forward, gazing directly into the camera–a casual, but nonetheless styled portrait. HRC looks somewhat taken aback–a snapshot, maybe? Is this BHO laying claim to HRC’s “Ready on Day One”, while HRC looks like a deer caught in headlights? Is this about one putting “himself” forward, engaging the viewer, while the other puts only her best “face” forward, and cannot even make eye contact?
    Overall impression? I hate it.
    Interesting, though, that the engaged, authentic looking candidate is the one who is posed and controlled, while the artificial and superficial looking candidate is the one who has no control over the image…

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