April 24, 2014

On NYT Mag's Obama/Gay Marriage Cover and that "Projectile Bouquet"

In framing Obama as an expectant bridesmaid, does this illo of the President embracing homosexual marriage over deliver? In other words, in capturing Obama lending himself to a new cultural position, is this catchy concept bending Obama’s own sexuality, too? At the expense of sounding too literal, if you cast him as a bridesmaid, he has to either be gay or a woman to justify the premise, no?

And then, talking Obama and projectile-like things that fall from the sky, another allusion drops in. Because public-, media- and political culture has been so drone crazy (Goodbye “I DO,” hello “Incoming!”), need I mention that the most oft-repeated reference to the US drone dark side has to do with the bombing of Muslim weddings?

Thinking on it more, especially given the thrust of the article, perhaps it’s really smart. (The anchor text, if you’re having trouble making it out, reads:

“Inside the tentative, anxious, heavily scripted and occasionally blundering “evolution’ of a president’s view on gay marriage.”

The way that Obama hedges (“Nervous Nellie?”), the way he agonizes over his trajectory, and the way he is such a political moving target (in no case, more visibly than this time) – perhaps the mixed metaphor scores a direct hit.

(photo-illustration: Daan Brand for The New York Times. Obama photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Michael Shaw
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