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October 9, 2009

Your Turn: Snapshot From Oslo

Obama Nobel News.jpg

(Click for larger size)

My first pass is that the “hey, grab a camera” quality of the image, with the Nobel Chair holding a bent print-out of Obama “catching too much glare,” plays to those who would take the decision too skeptically or take the Nobel committee to task. But maybe I’m just being defensive in light of a bold, activist move and major investment in Obama’s potential. (…And then, maybe the image is-what-it-is for being impromptu.)

It’s also worth taking a look back, by the way, at the scale of this. (It’s pretty rare that The BAG runs a photo that large.) Also, there are these kinds of reminders (out of years and volumes of images) how disdainful Dubya was of international diplomacy and how much he cheapened the exercise.

I’m interested in your take on the photo, in its parts (and what it might say about the “culture” of the Nobel) and the whole.

(image: Jon-Michael Josefsen, Scanpix via A.P. caption: Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, holds a picture of US President Barack Obama, in Oslo, Norway, Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, after the announcement of Obama as winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The citation for the award, in part says, The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. )

  • Tena

    Well my take on it is colored by the fact that I’m extremely proud – I’m proud of Obama, I’m proud of America. So my take is that the photographer said: “Wait, why don’t you hold that photo of Obama for this shot?” And that’s all there is to it.
    Sorry I am not going deeper but I don’t see earthshaking ramifications from this Nobel Prize, like so many are trying to do. I’m just goddamned proud, after going through 8 years of utter hell, that this country is once again seen the way Americans always want to see it themselves. No American should do anything but celebrate this.

  • bystander

    My take? Thorbjoern Jagland hopes he’s found a pony.

  • jeff

    Makes me think of this:
    American children of Japanese, German and Italian heritage pledging allegiance to the flag, 1942
    People love American values. And they recognize when we live up to them, even after a lapse.

  • nordemend

    two active major wars, one of which he has escalated; the commander in chief of, what, 250 000 active armed forces and mercenaries on the ground and billions upon billions of toxic dollars spewing forth from the barrels of the war machine, and he gets the nobel _peace prize? that’s sick.
    -
    technically, it’s a strong photo, despite the somewhat washed out quality:
    tons of rule-of-thirds;
    corner, paintings, couch and shoulder lines leading one’s eye into each face;
    the odd aura-like affect from the flash and the carpet pattern . (for some reason i _love the color of that frame left carpet under obama’s photo);
    it kinda looks like a cardboard cutout, holding a photo. reminds me of the rio – michelle cutout, and the nobel guy and the obama double have a similar expression… like car salesmen? http://www.bagnewsnotes.com/2009/10/rio-ugly.html
    i’m curious about the large painting on the wall. it’s well lit by the flash, and has just about the best color saturation in the whole photo.
    whomever that is, is like the third person in the room, but their judgement of the proceedings is hidden from us;
    it feels like the photographer and subject had some communication about how to hold the photo at an angle to minimize glare. i bet this was not the first picture.

  • http://curtspang.blogspot.com crabby

    Proud he isn’t Bush, now that is prize-worthy.
    Pride is really the word you are looking for?

  • http://curtspang.blogspot.com crabby

    If you say it real fast it doesn’t sound ignorant. Exactly how have we lived up to American ideas, via OBAMA. 1 example please.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115724f02ff970b Serr8d

    I think Thor is saying “I’ve got mine.”
    We are, collectively, LAUGHING! Because, we see this as a trap. The IOC always rewards good progressive behaviors (Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson); Obama’s caught in a wicked trap; he’ll have to do whatever it takes to live up to this prematurely presented award. No matter what sort of damage it might do to this country.
    If he goes too far in his proggtard ways, he’ll lose at the ballot box(es).
    And we know just how much this award is worth (Arafat, Carter, Gore).

  • desertwind

    (this is a silly comment, but it’s all I got)…. Actually Bag, FWIW, I saw another shot taken at this time and the held Obama-photo was in one of those plastic pocket 3-ring-binder-notebook insert page thingies.

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