Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
November 5, 2008

And Now We Want It Back


More than the photos from Grant Park or New York or Kenya or anywhere else Tuesday night, Evan Vucci’s shot is what did it for me.
The scene of celebrants outside the White House made it so evident how the building was taken from us — and now we want it back. There are so many nice, simple elements here. There is the flag, mostly obscured but just breaking through. Perceptually (and fittingly), it’s hard to tell if the Obama/Biden sign is on this side of the fence, the other side, or maybe even affixed to the building. Beyond the joy, there is the interchangeable “V” for victory and peace symbol. (The “V,” married to the revelry, is particularly ironic considering how Bush encouraged indulgence while he got his war on.)
In the midst of this horrible economic crisis, catalyzed by the banking crisis, the White House itself is a telling symbol. Who more than Bush cashed in on the obscene mortgage of a house with no intention to ever pay it back?
Personally, I can barely stand the thought of waiting till January to get him out. Is there no possibility of an eviction notice?
(image: Evan Vucci/AP. Washington. November 4th, 2008)
  • Spencer

    “Is there no possibility of an eviction notice?”
    Well, *has* he paid the mortgage?

  • Clem Guttata

    These young ladies, looking more exuberant than inebriated, are such a different vision for our future than Jenna and not-Jenna.

  • Ed Hoover

    I was there the other night, it was quite a scene. I’m sorry I didn’t have my camera on me (although I was still lugging around my work laptop). Even my cell phone’s battery had died, so I didn’t have video or photos from that. But I did get the sense that we were “taking back” the people’s house. There were even chants of “Pack your shit! Pack your shit!”

  • Gasho

    YES. This is a nice shot. People are genuinely happy to ‘have their country back’. But do they, really? Think about it.
    After the revelry shots, I’d like to see the web jam packed with Bush’s ‘unresolved issues lists’. Remember that there’s still a cloud over that white house per Mr. Fitz that’s never lifted. Torture memos. Wiretapping justifications. Missing Presidential Records. Unfulfilled subpoenas. An unjustified war of aggression. Falsifying evidence. White phosphorous (ie. chemical weapons) use in Fallujah. Justice department politization. Voter caging schemes and election machine tampering in Ohio and Florida. CIA black sites and extraordinary rendition. Criminal neglect in the Katrina rescue debacle. Immoral neglect of the global warming issue. Suspension of Habeas Corpus. Unlawful disregard for international treaties [eg. the Geneva Conventions].
    I want to see these all resolved. Then I’ll feel like I’ve got my country back again. Then we’ll deserve the peace/victory salute at the White House. Until then, I am SO glad we’ve turned the corner, but we’re still in pretty crappy shape.

  • g

    He should take another vacation.

  • Joe

    To me, one of the most striking results of the election is the visceral and palpable upwelling of genuine patriotism. I was confused by the emotion I was feeling and witnessing in person and on television until the morning of the 5th when I stopped by the local coffee shop. This coffee shop is in an affluent Dallas neighborhood just blocks from where W and Laura will soon be residing.
    Half of the patrons were wearing patriotic clothing or Obama campaign buttons, hats or t-shirts. That is the moment it struck me that the raw emotion is patriotism. We’ve been liberated from the oppression of hollow jingoism from the past eight years.
    Michael, I would like your opinion / analysis of this phenomenon.
    Side note: Obama received 57% of the vote in Dallas county. A deep blue oasis in an ocean of red.

  • lytom

    Is there something missing in the “joy” of celebration?
    Exuberance, but not accounting? Simply forgetting!?
    What is owned to the people who were and are still being wronged?
    Not a word about justice and what was done and is still being done, in the name of all citizens of the US and with their quiet support, to people of other countries?
    I could go on and on…torture, bombings and use of drones, … all illegal, yet somehow all is forgotten in the joy…
    Will there be a difference? Somehow I feel not much will change.

  • Daryl

    A friend of mine said he was in a store when Bush came on the TV monitor. He said everybody started chanting “Get out! Get out!”.
    People have had it.

  • Duros62

    The only things missing from the photo are pitchforks and torches.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes