September 21, 2012 by Ish
The Obama re-election campaign has decided to get truly creepy, and not in the same unfortunate acronym way that Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (C.Re.E.P.) did. Nope, they’ve decided to double-down on their iconography and loyalty oaths. For example, they’ve started selling that thing I’ve put up above.
It’s called Our Stripes, and the blue field of
57 50 stars representing the 57 50 individual States of our republic have been replaced by the “rising sun” Obama logo; The thirteen stripes representing the colonies that risked all and sacrificed much for independence, are now nine*. The resemblance of the red stripes to the smears of blood has been noted by others.
Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johanson, and the Obama for America campaign want us to pledge allegiance to our President… and that’s not the hyperbole of one right-wing nut like me, the website actually instructs you to “Choose one of your reasons for voting and write it on your hand, then pledge to vote[,]” and then share it via social networking. This isn’t a new development, back in `08-`09 many folks were all too eager to get their loyalty oaths on record, but at least that bit of creepiness had the plausible deniability of being (a) from an outside group, (b) being nominally about doing public service or volunteer work, and (c) coming about after the election. This is a pledge to vote for Obama and to shame your social networking friends list into doing the same.
Then there is the repeated use of Barack Obama’s face in a manner all to reminiscent of the giant posters of Mao in China, Stalin in the USSR, or Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four. We’ve all seen the red, beige, and blue “Hope” or “Change” posters from graffiti-vandal-turned-artist Shepard Fairey. But people are actually getting tattoos of this guy permanently etched into their flesh (although Madonna’s cry for attention was apparently a fake**). Madonna’s commitment to Obama is less temporary when it came to selling Obama merchandise during her 2008 concert tour.
But many of Obama’s followers — which I think is a more apt word than “supporters” — have decided to go for a less colorful and more subdued image of their dear leader’s mug. I personally love the below image, with one follower in a t-shirt clearly inspired by the (in)famous Che Guevara t-shirt and the other carrying her copy of
Quotations from Chairman Mao, er, I mean The Audacity of Hope.
Continuing the Che Guevara plagiarism, Obama’s followers seem to love slapping his face on murals, statues, or as paintings. They’ve written songs about him, dedicated poetry to him, and even adapted his two autobiographies into children’s books.
* Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia are the only four States of the founding thirteen that didn’t vote for Obama in 2008… 13-4=9. I’d call that a bit paranoid conspiracy, but the artists behind so much of this Obama iconography put such detail into everything else they do, this might not be a coincidence.
** A display of loyalty by a liberal Democrat that is only temporary? Wonder if that’s some kind of a metaphor.