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January 29, 2013

Hillary, Biden and the Early Picture on the ‘16 African-American Vote

Obama Clinton CBS Interview

Clinton Obama interview 60 Minutes 1.png

James Wade White House

Looking at two key scenes from the White House this week, including Dwayne Wade and LeBron James posing with “America’s first black President,” you could say that 2016 racial politics is already in the air. If the Democrats are looking for someone for African-Americans and other minority groups to get excited about, it’s going to be an interesting challenge for Biden.

Biden Onion Pontiac

… Of course the Onion’s “Diamond Joe” character, which has been wildly popular, is a complete fabrication. And his politics are clearly more progressive than Clinton’s. But then, caricatures — like the rust belt, beer belly, Trans Am guy — have to be coming from somewhere, if just from those Scranton roots.

Biden Ohio diner

Which is not to say that Biden hasn’t done his own great job reinforcing some stereotypes himself.

(photo 1 & 2: CBS photo 3: Dwayne Wade/Instagram . photo 4: The Onion  photo 5: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

  • Scarabus

    For me, this series of images is … well, troubling. Rats! Scratch that. “Troubling” has become a Republican code word, laden with snide insinuation. What I mean is that the choices and juxtapositions (of sources as well as images) mess with my mind.

    I first learned about Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of “montage” when (@40 years ago) I read a set of his books, Film Form and Film Sense. My recollection is that he suggests the juxtaposition of two images creates a third reality in the viewer’s mind. E.g., I used to show my students a shot of a woman swimming, then a shot of a crocodile swimming in the opposite direction. Created reality? They’re swimming in the same place at the same time, and the woman is in imminent danger.

    These juxtapositions are complicated by the fact that the images themselves are combined with “where, when, who” information. A complex mix of visual and verbal information.

    Out of a gazillion screen snaps, why the first two? What “third reality” is created? Three and four? Same question. A Photoshopped composite juxtaposed with an equally implausible (“Is it real, or is it Memorex?) sequel.

    Might not be TMI, Michael, but it’s definitely a heck of a lot of ambiguous “I”.

    • Michael Shaw

      Thanks for sketching this out. Certainly there are plenty of crocodiles up above.

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