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August 10, 2011

About The Iconic London Riots Photo

Woman jumping from building london riots

Why that picture taken in London on Tuesday during the riots is going to win a lot of awards:

1. It captures the sense so many of us are feeling lately that (real-life horror movie meets damsel in distress) the world has gone to hell.

2. As a variation on #1: who can’t relate right now to the sense of free fall? (I mean, all of you out there making less than $200k.)

3. Simultaneously plays the fear and the hope card. If the situation mostly evokes utter despair, aren’t we’re all still gullible to the pitch that somebody’s gonna catch us? (I’m thinking of 2008 “hope” theme, as well as Washington’s current supply-side economics death-spiral.)

4.  Echoing the world wide recession, mortgage meltdown and chaos in the financial markets, there is also a Depression-era Wall Street “jumpers” vibe to this.

(photo: Amy Weston/Wenn)

  • jonst

    Mindless violence, that leads to setting fire to your own house. That is what I see. Mindless violence–bullshit wars–perpetrated from above by savage morons who scramble to pass for human beings. Mindless violence from below by savage morons who make war on their own neighbors and neighborhoods. And psychological/intellectual violence, spewed in all directions, attempting to justify the mindless violence as ‘protest’ or ‘national security’ or what have you. And in both cases….I suspect, as is often the case, with savage morons, profit is the not so hidden agenda. Be it govt contracts….or flat screen tvs.

  • Zatopa

    I can’t help but think certain conservatives are going to eat up the little green sign at the top. In real life, it may just designate the building as a drugstore, but the picture jumps so completely to the iconic that it’s going to have to represent something else. Is the damsel in distress going to be read as fleeing the burning building of all that’s “green” … environmentalism and Islam conveniently sharing that color?

  • Pastafarian

    I’ve been amazed by how many people are recasting this mass outbreak of soccer hooliganism as “revolution.”

    Can someone illuminate me as to how the leaping figure is a “damsel” (absent any textual interpretation to that effect)? 

    What I saw was an epicene figure jumping off of something (out of a window? off the cornice?) for some reason (fire in the background? they had just dropped a Molotov cocktail in the window?)

    In the late 1960s, in the Rust Belt town where I lived, similar hooligans used race as an excuse to burn their neighbors’ houses and businesses down. Hopefully by now the hooligans won’t get a pass for their behavior. Still…well, see my first sentence. 

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