April 11, 2011

Laura Bush: Just About Generic

Well, the NYT Mag interview accompanying the photos is a little cranky for Laura Bush, but the photos are as vacuous as ever.

People tend to look at photos like these and see Laura as an empty shell. However, I always saw it as guardedness, so what you see is a thoroughly scrubbed and generic Lady’s Home Journal-style surface. (Funny that the house is so transparent when Laura gives up next to nothing.)

Here’s how profound Laura Bush has the generic thing down… Although the NYT Mag is expert at assigning art photographers to a political photo shoot to come away with the most deadpan images possible, the Bush’s neutralize any attempt to exaggerate how vanilla they are. Really, you’re not going to beat them at their own game.

Again, isn’t that the most composed side table/night stand you could possible imagine? Again, there’s no way to distinguish if a decorator put the books and the flowers and the clock just so, or it’s like that all the time. Thing is, it hardly matters.

The intrigue, though, is the “secret door” that opens to the girls part of the house so Laura, if and when the girls have children, can hear the babies.  Now that kind of admission (like the crankiness in the interview, by the way) starts to blow the cover — not only that Laura would be that expectant, but that she’s got built-in secrets.


(photos: Stefan Ruiz for The New York Times caption 1: caption: Laura Bush, the former first lady and author of “Spoken From the Heart,” readjusts to normal(ish) life in Crawford, Tex.) caption 2. The Bushes’ dog Miss Beazley.caption 3: The Bushes’ master bedroom.)

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Michael Shaw
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