October 9, 2006

Your Turn: What A Mess


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As a rule, I don’t post “Your Turn’s” on Mondays.

Rebooting the week, I believe people want an image and The BAG‘s take on another news cycle.  However, given what we have to confront, I felt an exception was in order.  Often, sites link here not just for the posts, but for the fine discussion threads.  I had only to look at this cover to know it was time to call in the reinforcements.

Accordingly, I invite you to join and follow my readership in attempting to tame this TIME-ly mess.

As well, I did have some further thoughts on the GOP decline.

In the elephant’s blasphemous about face, I believe Karl Rove’s ability to fundamentally influence and control America’s visual politics has also come to an end.  I hinted as much in yesterday’s post featuring the Fighting Dems, and I’ll have more examples to show and tell this week.

There was a specific image recently, however, in which it struck me Karl’s trunk was about packed.


It was six days ago, in this NYT shot of Bush at a ceremony in which an elementary school was named after him.  (So maybe, we can just skip the Bush Library?) (By the way, did you notice how 43 re-scaled little 41 again a few days later, in becoming attached to an aircraft carrier.)

If the stars-and-stripes have always been a political staple, Rove made it absolutely requisite.  As the logical, geopolitical, then moral standing of the right-wing deteriorated, however, the flag’s metaphorical translation also became confused.  First they were upholding and defending it.  Then, they were wrapping themselves in it and hiding behind it.  And lately, they’ve been (more than symbolically) walking all over it.

This image reads like both a last gasp, and final justice.  In the latter case, the flags pointed at the President could be seeking retribution.  With the Foley scandal hovering, the symbol functions as a protective shield.   In general, though, this hyper-inflationary old glory moment turns the Rove narrative into a manic episode.

Even with its back turned, the right wing has no idea what to do but “stay the course,” which ultimately translates as: amplify the volume and multiply the imagery  — until you finally disappear.

(image 1: Image: Weegee/Getty.  Digitally altered.  TIME Magazine. Oct. 16, 2006. Cover.  image 2: Jim Young/Reuters. October 3, 2006.  Stockton, California.  Via YahooNews.)

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Michael Shaw
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