Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Art or Photojournalism?

President Obama, pre- and post-Photoshop

When is it justifiable to modify a real-life image?

The Economist photoshopped its most recent cover of President Obama, emphasizing his formidable challenge with BP and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In the original photo, Obama is shown with Commander Thad Allen and the president of Lafourche Parish, Charlotte Randolph, as they briefed him on response efforts. In the Economist‘s cover, however, Obama is shown hunched, alone, seemingly deep in thought about the environmental disaster–to great visual effect.

Issues of copyright infringement aside (we have to assume the Economist editors ok’d the change with Reuters, the copyright owner–unlike Shepard Fairey, whose iconic reproduction of an AP-owned Obama image led to a well-publicized court case), the cover is most definitely more compelling without the pesky bureaucrats in conversation with the President.

Emma Duncan, deputy editor of the magazine, provides this clarification:

Yes, Charlotte Randolph was edited out of the image (Admiral Allen was removed by the crop). We removed her not to make a political point, but because the presence of an unknown woman would have been puzzling to readers…I asked for Ms. Randolph to be removed because I wanted readers to focus on Mr. Obama, not because I wanted to make him look isolated. That wasn’t the point of the story. “The damage beyond the spill” referred to on the cover, and examined in the cover leader, was the damage not to Mr. Obama, but to business in America.

I agree that it’s the right of the magazine staff to crop or modify graphics for the visual impact, the sake of the story. Somehow, though, the fact that this image is so close to the actual photograph seems disingenuous.

If you saw this cover on the newsstand, would you assume it was a mocked-up design or a photograph?

Advertisements

Filed under: art, media, obama, , , , , , , , ,

Effigy of Obama Set on Fire

There’s not much to say about this unfortunate incident in West Allis, Wisconsin.

In the grainy video, patrons of Yesteryears Bar set up an effigy of President Obama and light it, country music playing in the background. Thank goodness someone had the good sense to tape it and post it for the world to see. When the image of Obama finally catches fire, the patrons can be heard whooping it up.

How many steps until we’ve got a mob? And is this simple stupidity, or outward (not so subtle) displays of racism?

Filed under: hate, obama, , , , ,

Obama Calls Out Beck, Limbaugh, Cries of Socialism

Vodpod videos no longer available.

President Obama rationalizes that most Americans don’t believe the hype of his most extreme conservative critics. Is he a socialist? A step away from the next Hitler?

“Well, I think that when you listen to Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, it’s pretty apparent, and it’s troublesome,” the President responded. “But keep in mind that there have been periods in American history where this kind of vitriol comes out. It happens often when you’ve got an economy that is making people more anxious, and people are feeling like there is a lot of change that needs to take place. But that’s not the vast majority of Americans. I think the vast majority of Americans know that we’re trying hard, that I want what’s best for the country.”

It’s nice to hear the President himself play down the excess of the media. Just as most Americans don’t believe in the extremism of the teabaggers and their irrational claims (e.g. more than half of the GOP believes the President is a Muslim), Obama notes that he didn’t believe the fauning, positive hype when he was elected.

Though I agree his delivery can be professorial at times, it’s nice to hear his humility and rational thinking as well.

Filed under: media, obama, , , , , , , , , ,

New GOP Poll Screams Obama-Nation

Republican ire towards Obama has reached a whole new level of hysteria. In a new Harris poll, the numbers reveal that among the GOP:

  • 67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist.
  • 57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim
  • 45 percent of Republicans (25 percent overall) agree with the Birthers in their belief that Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president”
  • 38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
  • Scariest of all, 24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama “may be the Antichrist.”

John Avlon cites these statistics today in The Daily Beast, linking this new level of public hysteria about the President to an intentional campaign of fear and hate. We need only look to recent outbursts from the right (e.g. GOP congressmen yelling “Baby killer!” and “You lie!”) within government spaces predicated on decorum and dialogue–to reinforce the scope of the GOP’s widespread antics.

As Avlon so persuasively notes:

It demonstrates the cost of the campaign of fear and hate that has been pumped up in the service of hyper-partisanship over the past 15 months. We are playing with dynamite by demonizing our president and dividing the United States in the process. What might be good for ratings is bad for the country.

According to the Harris poll, to be realeased in full tomorrow, those with less education are more likely to be duped by conspiracy theories that President Obama was not born in the U.S., is Muslim, or setting the country on a path to socialism. It makes one question how much of these wrong-headed, intententionally perpetuated, theories are driven by racism more than dissent.

Also frightening are Avlon’s notes on what this mean for the future:

The “Hatriot” belief that Obama is a “domestic enemy” as set forth in the Constitution is also widely held—a sign of trouble yet to come. It’s the same claim made by Marine Lance Corporal Kody Brittingham in his letter of intent to assassinate the President Obama.

Brittingham’s assassination attempt, as well as the infamous Twitter death threats by Jay Martin, heighten the importance of calling attention to these very incorrect modes of thought.

I am solidly for affirming the right to civil disobedience and dissent. But how do we address the GOP’s shameful turn from disobedience and dissent to the troubling ideologies of armed rebellion and fear?

Filed under: hate, obama, politics, , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama: “Your Voice has Been Heard”

President Barack Obama addressed the nation after the House passed health care reform last night.

“We didn’t give in to mistrust or cynicism of fear,” the President said, looking directly into the camera. “Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of big things.”

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Good for small businesses, for the current uninsured, for Americans who have been denied health care for pre-existing conditions. The end game of political analyses, ramifications, and Twittering may come quickly, but the positive outcomes will have a long-lasting effect.

As the President says: “This is what change looks like.”

Filed under: health, obama, politics, , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Visitor Map

Locations of Site Visitors

RSS Recent Posts from Towleroad

Polls

RSS Breaking News from The Daily Beast

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Pics from Africa 2010

About Me

https://rsiasoco.wordpress.com/about/

About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

Top Posts

Categories