I came across this great photo at BAGnews NOTES, entitled, “Reflecting on the Meltdown”:

The author describes the photo and its meaning this way:

It captures a two-day anti-capitalist rally protesting the Wall Street bailout. Through the use of reflection (in this photo of a restaurant, as well as this one playing the street off against a corporate lobby), Mario [Mario Tama, Getty Photographer] portrays America’s class schism (note the guy in the lime-colored reflective vest overlapped with the guy in the jacket with the wristwatch); America flip-flopping between awareness and denial; and the strange disconnect these days between crisis and ‘business as usual.

This is a wonderfully telling picture, but perhaps in addition to “America flip-flopping between awareness and denial,” one could also interpret the artistic use of reflection as representative of the ever-widening chasm between the social classes in the United States – one that will most likely not be remedied or even addressed in the near future.

This commercial hints at the femininity of a driver who is not driving a Chevy Silverado truck. Discourses of masculinity and femininity are pretty common in advertising, but notice that all the spokesperson (Howie Long, Hall of Fame football player and all-around manly tough guy) has to do is hint at it here:


Here are a couple of pictures that morph the faces of President-Elect Obama and Abraham Lincoln. By now, I doubt people haven’t either seen or imagined such images; the comparison is pretty popular in the media. Indeed, as Time columnist Joe Klein says in this article, Obama “has never been shy about comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln.” The more obvious reasons for such comparisons have to do with his platform of change, negotiation, and most notably, his appointment of “a team of rivals” to high cabinet positions (a notion that, given the very different contexts of their presidencies, holds less water than it should– for instance, Obama is not hurtling toward a civil war).

But another less examined consequence of this type of morphing is that images like these can also unintentionally work as a strategy to produce an essentialized vision of President Obama as untouchable. Perhaps in the end, the more that we (the public) buy into this morphing of the two presidents into one, the less apt we — Democrats, or even Republicans for that matter– are to either criticize or engage in serious policy discussions and debates. In a sense, such comparisons could potentially allow President-Elect Obama to squelch, change, or appropriate differing viewpoints within his own party, and visual representation through the various morphings of Obama-Lincoln we find on the internet and in print– and the instant association we make between the two– could very well keep the American public from seriously disagreeing with his “core vision,” whether from the left or the right.


I used to like whiskey, but after seeing this two-page ad, I feel like I may no longer be manly enough to drink it. My personal high-water mark is somewhere around a sprained ankle or *maybe* a broken finger– nowhere near a sawed-off leg. Besides, the last thing I need is the Man-Police arresting me at my favorite bar for “Drinking-Whiskey-While-Having-A-Low-Pain-Tolerance”…I think the penalty is a stiff fine and 200 hours of Steven Segal movies.

Oh well, I guess it’s vodka cranberries from now on…

NEW: Here’s another 2-page Jim Beam ad, in which the message is clearly that wine is a sissy drink: