Sunday, August 10, 2008

H-0-p-e? Or h-O-p-e?

I'm inclined to spell it "h O_o? p e".

Any way spell it, Barack Obama's new campaign symbol is just ghastly, and laughably so. I'm sure you've seen it. The 'logic' behind it is to symbolize bringing many different people together like interwoven fingers. (Funny thing about fingers is, they're pretty much all the same.) This is the kind of symbol that just, tries, too, hard. It aches with tender loving campaign care, but only ends up sending out aching waves of overblown, cheesy aestheticism. Perhaps McCain supporters can strike back by perching their hands together on the crown of their heads. McPower for McAmerica in the McFuture!

I tend to avoid political discussion on FCA, but this thing is just screaming for parody. And there is no shortage of spoofs on the Net, if you just check with Google.* I had no idea Obama was being vaunted to such cringe-worthy heights of pseudo-messiahhood. The first things I thought of were, 1. the poster being a mockery of the raising of the Blessed Sacrament in the Mass, and 2. some kind of lewd play on Obama's name (Senator O-Ring, and the like). Whatever the cult status of Obama may be in them yonder States I call home, I think this symbol is just terrible. It actually makes me feel ill. It's so poorly conceived. Or, perhaps, so wonderfully misconceived. It really is just a big void, a floating zero, and that is the wrong message to send if you back Obama.

Further, how does it stand for hope (or, positive progress)? Is an empty circle a symbol I missed? The most disturbing thing about this hopeless "hOpe" symbol is that it equates, again, grotesquely, hope with the very person of Obama. A presidential candidate is never supposed to be a "great person", but to be a great president, a great leader and servant of the country. The presidential office, like the papacy, should be, and is, bigger than any specific individual who may do it honor or dishonor. This kind of (literally) vacuous symbolism only reinforces in the American collective unconscious the long-standing split between civic duty and professional politicking. (Why do so few people vote? Because they suffer from a bone-deep despair about the utility of the citizenry, themselves, in politics.) By coalescing hope into the very name of Obama, citizens are displacing their own share of national hope into the individual duties and privileges of Obama as a professional politician. Something about all your eggs in one basket. "Since WE, lowly we, can't do anything about the country," these O-ringers convey, "we need to put our empty hopes in Obama's empty hands." Think about it: hands raised over the head are an unequivocal symbol of defeat and capitulation.

This Onion video is something like what I mean. Heheh.

I have a few possible monikers ans slogans for this… image.

"The Obamark of the Barack"

"Obawand Cannotbe"

"The Obal Office"

"Hail, O-Baal!"

"Lift High the O-Ring"

"Here's to Barack-gress, not Ba-regress!

Now I think it's just a matter of waiting for his people to call my people.

By the way, if Obama wins, we're going to have to blame him for the arrival of Planet Nibiru in 2012. Only the Obamessiah could generate that kind of interstellar pull.

* (I think I want to avoid saying "Google it" as anything more than a joke.)

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