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256 posts categorized "Photoblogging"

November 17, 2009

The truth hurts: Newsweek's Palin cover

Sarahpalin_200908_477x600_7  

Newsweek used this photograph of Sarah Palin as this week's cover shot.

The headline reads, "How do you solve a problem like Sarah? She's bad news for the GOP--and for everybody else, too."

It's a damned good question, and I couldn't think of a better image to make the point.

Palin posed for this picture as part of a photo essay captioned Governor Palin, The Runner, which ran in the August issue of Runner's World. When I saw this image in its original context, I was appalled that a sitting governor would pose for a shot like this; or this stretching shot that puts the visual center of gravity squarely on her crotch.

Maybe Palin didn't realize that the photographer, Brian Adams, was depicting her this way. If so, he totally fucked her over. But I think she was on board with the concept. If Palin had assailed Runner's World for making fun of her, I might now take her complaint about Newsweek seriously. She liked the Runner's World spread, though. She thought it was appropriate. [NB: In an earlier version of this post, I misspelled Brian Adams' name "Bryan Adams." Today, I got an email from a firm called Web Sheriff telling me that they'd take legal action if I didn't apologize to the rock star Bryan Adams and ACI for any injury I might have caused to his reputation. So, I sincerely apologize to Bryan Adams. I wouldn't want my name associated with these ridiculous pictures either.]

There's nothing scandalous about Palin showing some skin, or wearing Spandex. But this cover image is deliberately styled to make the then-governor of Alaska look like a Vargas pinup girl. Unlike the other images in the series, this one references her status as a governor. As she poses like a swimsuit model, she's clutching one icon of political power--the Blackberry--and leaning on another. The theme isn't Sarah Palin, athlete. The theme is Sarah Palin, Sexy Governor. (As in: one of those dime store Halloween costumes: sexy cop, sexy lady bug, sexy sanitation worker...)

Predictably, Palin complained that Newsweek's use of the image was sexist. Yes, the image was plucked from its original context. The whole point was that the picture was appalling it its original context. Newsweek is holding this picture up to the world and asking: Who does this? 

The bottom line is that Palin's a clown. She doesn't get a pass because her chosen clown persona is stereotypically feminine.

She caricatures herself. Day in and day out. Good for Newsweek for pointing and laughing.

The story is about why Sarah Palin is a problem for the GOP. The picture answers the question. She's a problem because she's a freak with no judgment who regularly makes a spectacle of herself.  Obviously, she's a potential problem for America because she's an incompetent leader who supports terrible policies. But that's not Newsweek's question.

Newsweek's question is why she's bad for the GOP. The answer is that she's dragging down her party because it's impossible for adults to take her seriously. Not because she's beautiful or maternal or fit, but rather because she has no decorum, no dignity, and no common sense. I mean look at her, she's working the goofy MILF persona like that's a perfectly normal thing for a governor with presidential aspirations to be doing.

Palin's not even bad news for her party because she's ignorant or radically reactionary. Lots of American politicians are both and they do just fine. Palin has the double whammy of being ignorant and absurd. She's absolutely not ready for prime time. John McCain plucked her from obscurity as a publicity stunt and he lived to rue the day.

The tighter the wingnut base embraces her, the more clownish they reveal themselves to be.

July 09, 2009

Morning Coffee - 9 July 2009

Coffee Street Coffee's on at UN Dispatch.

Reader Victor Manfredi contributed the photo, which he took on his recent trip to Brazil.

June 26, 2009

Christine Beyerstein, RIP

I'm very sorry to report that my grandmother, Christine Beyerstein, passed away yesterday. It's some consolation that she was 95 years old and in excellent health until about a week before her death.

Nana was a very strong woman. Her zest for life was undiminished by adversity.

To say she was a devoted mother and grandmother would be an understatement. She lavished love on her family and friends. My mom likes to say that Nana was the perfect mother-in-law--loving, supportive, and genuinely accepting.

She loved parties and she never showed up without a home-baked treat. I started baking with Nana when I was five. Every time I roll out a pie crust, I'm grateful to have had a 25-year apprenticeship with the master.

I'm always going to remember why Nana was never confirmed in the Lutheran Church. The pastor asked the class to forswear dancing. Christine loved to dance and she wasn't about to give it up to please anyone. In their church, the dance ban was a formality even in those days, but Nana absolutely refused to make a promise she wasn't going to keep. "I'm going to keep dancing, and so are all of you," she told her classmates. So, she failed confirmation--a minor scandal for the daughter of a single mother in a small Alberta town during the Great Depression.

Her quiet but firm refusal happened 80 years ago, but it symbolizes the self-possession and independence of mind that Nana displayed throughout her life.

Christine Beyerstein was a remarkable woman. We're going to miss her tremendously, but we're grateful to have been part of her exemplary life.

June 21, 2009

Leopard claws

BROOKLYN, NY.

A spectator at the Mermaid Parade. Those nails aren't fake and they're not part of a costume, they're her actual fingernails.

Her thumbnails are so long they coil like corkscrews. It's amazing to me that she can handle a phone and a camera.

The nails are decorated with leopard-print polish. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)

Mermaid Parade, 2009: The Claw

BROOKLYN, NY.

More frenetic last-minute prep for yesterday's Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

June 20, 2009

Mermaid Parade, 2009


Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

More pictures of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Mermaid Parade, 2009


Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

BROOKLYN, NY.

More pictures of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Mermaid Parade, 2009


Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

BROOKLYN, NY.

More pictures of the 2009 Mermaid Parade at Coney Island.

Mermaid Parade, 2009


Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

BROOKLYN, NY.

Gearing up for the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island.

Seashell Lady, for the win!

More pictures of the 2009 Mermaid Parade.

Mermaid Parade 2009


Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

BROOKLYN, NY.

I bailed on account of rain, but I got some good shots before the actual parading started.

More pictures of the 2009 Mermaid Parade.