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48 posts categorized "Visual aids"

November 17, 2009

The truth hurts: Newsweek's Palin cover


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.

March 17, 2009

Sign of the Times: Enjoy Subprime Lending


Snapped on Greene Street in SoHo yesterday.

August 01, 2008

Get Your War On (video)

Via Raw Story.

July 16, 2008

Help a progressive geek kick a creationist's ass in Kansas


Sean Tevis is a progressive geek running for the Kansas House against an  anti-abortion, anti-evolution, pro-censorship, pro-surveillance, anti-gay incumbent. Help him win.
(BoingBoing appears to have overwhelmed his server, so maybe try again later on.)

July 10, 2008

Plumber's crack is a crime in Flint, Michigan

BaggypantsThis is a handy identification guide for police officers enforcing Flint, Michigan's baggy pants ban.

On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: "This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression."

The crime, he says, is disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, both misdemeanors punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.

[Flint Police Chief David] Dicks, 41, broke down his interpretation of the laws as such: Pants pulled completely below the buttocks with underwear showing is disorderly conduct; saggy pants with skin of the buttocks showing is indecent exposure, and saggy pants, not completely below the buttocks, with underwear exposed results in a warning.--[Free Press]


July 07, 2008

Woman arrested at McCain event for "McCain=Bush" sign

A 61-year-old librarian was ejected from an ostensibly public McCain campaign event at the Denver Center of Performing Arts in Denver, CO on June 7 because she was brandishing a deadly memetic weapon: a hand-lettered sign that read "McCain=Bush."

Carol Kreck was standing outside the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on city property. Ms. Kreck objected that she was standing on city property. She was lead away by a police office and ticketed for trespassing.

Carol Kreck, QED.

As ThinkProgress notes: "McCain has apparently taken a page from the Bush playbook. In 2005, the White House had three activists expelled from a Denver public forum with President Bush because it was the administration’s policy “to exclude potentially disruptive guests from Bush’s appearances nationwide.”"

Update: A commenter asks how I know Kreck was arrested. About 1:03 into the video, she asks whether she is being arrested. The police officer escorting her answers "yes."

April 01, 2008

Semper en Obscurus

The creepy, colorful uniform patches of secret Pentagon programs: a slideshow. [NYT]

I wonder what kind of patches they'll give the Special Ops bloggers.

June 10, 2007

"Pro-life" e-Cards


Post-abortion greetings from the head Heather. She cares about you, really.

The above is one of the many online greetings available from The Pro-Life ECard center where you can "show your love and concern by sending a FREE e-card to a mother or father who has lost a baby to abortion."

March 25, 2007

Un-Sunday Sermonette

What the other side is up to: A helpful guide, complete with PowerPoint, to melodies that do and don't praise God.

HT: Amanda.

March 09, 2007

My second Salon story: Interview with "Wounded Marine" photographer

My interview with Nina Berman is on the cover of the Saturday edition of Salon.

Berman is the photographer who took the famous picture of wounded Marine Sgt. Ty Ziegel on his wedding day.

Renee and Ty's mom were able to stay with Ty while he was recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas because of the generosity of Fisher House, a charity that gives the families of soldiers a place to stay while their loved ones are recovering.

As Nina Berman points out in the interview, medical technology is saving more catastrophically wounded soldiers than in any previous conflict. Many of these troops need long series of operations. They are sent to facilities like Brooke Army that may be far away from their home towns. The government might pay for a family to come out for a week, but that's it.

Fisher House gives families the opportunity to stay close to their loved ones for weeks or months. Ty says that he wouldn't have survived his 19 surgeries at Brooke Army if Renee and his mom hadn't been there to support him. Click here to support the work of this remarkable charity.