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October 30, 2009

Obama’s Future

Obama Dover.jpg

I was fascinated by this shot taken in Thursday’s early hours at Dover as Obama met the caskets of soldiers and U.S. personnel killed this week in Afghanistan. Why it pulled me in particularly is because of the futurist theme in the Obama fare lately, if not all along.

(These shots — 1, 2 — are from the past two weeks.)

In my mind, the photo captures Obama’s promise as weighted against the commitments and threats (strategic, as well as political) of Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be easy to turn the photo into some kind of sci-fi novelty if it weren’t for the solemnity of the moment (and I recommend the whole slide show at TPM for context).

Still, I feel the photo takes flight over a dramatic question, one we won’t be able to speak to until years down the road. That is: Did Obama really catapult America into the future or did he ultimately become a byproduct of the war machine?

  • thirdeye pushpin

    I have seen the death machine and the death machine is US

  • thirdeye pushpin

    but I do want to add that one could imagine spock walking down that type of spaceship plank…

  • DennisQ

    I wish that some of the solemn regard these people have for the dead went into preventing these deaths in the first place. It’s all well and good to welcome their bodies back to the United States, but where is the thought that should have gone into thinking the commitment through?
    This is the end result of willy-nilly Support The Troops rhetoric. Fat lot of good it does these dead Americans. Patriotism shouldn’t be soft and sentimental; it ought to be skeptical and uncompromising. These are qualities lacking in our political leadership. Saluting the dead is not an appropriate substitute.

  • TPO

    I was thinking more along the lines of The Day The Earth Stood Still.

  • Kevin

    It looks like he’s unknowingly about to be consumed.

  • Stan B.

    What every Obama apologist needs to listen to and acknowledge…

  • Megan

    So very Star Wars and blowing-up-the-Death-Star.

  • NS

    he looks SO human… a small, mortal, organic biped… walking out of this massive, metallic machine. the machine is a juggernaut with the power of flight; it has no emotions, no basic needs for shelter, clothing, food, etc. the contrast is startling.
    this president more than any other i can think of, arguably more than any public figure in recent memory, is a (THE?) representative of humanity. by virtue both of his race and the mythic rhetoric of his campaign, he has taken on a powerful symbolic role; this is passive in the former case (black people and The Other in general traditionally being cast as symbols or representative objects in the creation of identity/narrative by the majority – paradoxically, something of a dehumanizing process) and active in the latter (he SAID he was a force for Hope, Peace, etc). but either way, fair or unfair, true or false underneath it all – that’s the part he plays.

  • Jannie

    Yes, he’s about to disappear into the monster’s maw.

  • g

    Funny, I was just watching TV and saw a re-run of “Airforce One” and the scene on the cargo ramp……

  • Anooshirvan

    This is another photo of Obama that I found on an Iranian Web site. The reason? This kind of picture is extremely interesting to the Iranians who have always seen “power shots” of the American presidents.,fa-IR,BaztabOnline,Content,NewsDetail,Key,28639.aspx

  • Sergei Andropov

    What I find really interesting is the picture before this one, and the interplay between the two. It’s like Obama’s war council — on one side, mostly, but not entirely, military; on the other, mostly, but not entirely, civilian. In the end, though, Obama is alone.

  • Chris Schmidgall

    He was caught in the tractor beam and is now disembarking the Millennium Falcon in the belly of the Death Star. I can only hope he’s a rebel disguised as an Imperial soldier, intent on locating & shutting down the beam’s irresistable pull.
    In case you’ve not seen it, here’s Derrick Jensen’s alternate Star Wars script:

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