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April 16, 2009

If You Give A White House Parodist A Cookie…


I thought Christopher Morris (and Maybe Christopher, himself, thought he) was moving away from political satire with the extinguishing of Bush and the Republicans.

Well, he’s back. And, what makes this a significant picture, and even marks it as an event — given Christopher’s stature as perhaps America’s pre-eminent visual Presidential parodist/documentarian — is the evidence that the Obamas — in terms of ironic constraint — have finally been liberated.

Of course, I welcome your read, and your read on the read.

(image: Christopher Morris/VII for TIME via The White House Photo Blog. April 2009. caption: A Secrect Service agent stands guard as President Obama reads a book to a group of children during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll)

  • Ed Webb

    Isn’t the point that the Bush/Cheney crew were beyond parody, or at least always-on, unwitting self-parodists? Now there is a serious administration again, there is room for creativity on the part of professional observers and commentators. Great image.

  • merl


  • mcc

    See, “If you give a mouse a cookie” is actually a parable about the welfare state.

  • JayDenver

    I like how the tie “almost” matches the color scheme of the sign. Not to mention the body language and facial expression (or lack thereof) of the agent. Marvelous to the Max!

  • Rima

    I’m sorry – I don’t get it.

  • Blue Shark

    I’m with Rima … N/T

  • bystander

    For this image to make sense, I had to read the caption that went with the image, and recognize that some of his previous work; eg, on the auto workers, was quite serious. The shots of the autoworkers really is a fine array.
    I wish I could enjoy the parody of the secret service agent standing guard at a sign announcing the reading of a children’s book. I guess it’s nice that someone has been released to parody the Obamas and/or I wish I was able to enjoy parody of the Obamas.
    After reading a number of the torture memos which Obama and the DOJ deigned to release today, I find my sense of humor has evaporated. The thin – or, not so thin – immunity Obama has offered to those who conducted the torture literally makes me ill.
    Sorry. Just not in the mood.

  • jtfromBC

    The president read “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, which he called “one of my favorite books.” He stood in front of the seated children, slowly rotating the book, so that everyone could see the pictures. At the end of the story he asked, “are there any wild things here? I just want to make sure,” and issued a soft wild thing-like growl along with the cheering of the crowd.
    Next, Mrs. Obama and her mother took turns reading “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” by Laura Joffe Numeroff . The first daughters turned the pages of an oversized copy of the book to show the illustrations.
    More about, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
    More about, Where the Wild Things Are
    Francis Spufford suggests that the book is “one of the very few picture books to make an entirely deliberate, and beautiful, use of the psychoanalytic story of anger”
    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 3:36
    However clever the parody and delightful these stories are, I share bystanders mood.

  • thebewilderness

    He appears to me to be having some difficulty keeping a straight face.

  • lytom

    A funeral site.
    Eyes see Now Reading sign as Hypocrisy.
    What comes to mind are the secret files, released yet hidden by the blue color!
    The reading how waterboarding is really not drowning, so it is not torture. Are we not being read to? What is frightening is that the nightmare is not yet over. It has just started. With some improvement many will still admire the style and the play of Obama in residence, but read the big picture. Empire is strong and well to keep on shedding blood… business as usual.

  • acm

    man, this post mystifies me. I can’t tell what is serious here and what is parody, or even what you’re asking about. and I’m a regular reader! :( is the guy in the picture not real Secret Service? do you just find the photo humorous and thus label it “satire”? and what on earth does your comment about the Obamas being “liberated” even mean?
    totally scratching my head.

  • DanM

    I don’t get it, either.
    It strikes me as an “in” joke. I’m not “in.”

  • Karen H.

    In light of some of the images that came from the “Tea Bag” protests and the news of the rise in extremism, the killjoy aspects of guarding the fun and innocence seems to defy parody as well as demand that in these times, you will have fun.

  • ely

    i’m with scratching heads, i don’t get the photo or the description you wrote.

  • pickets’charge


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