Obama Joker

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Sarvis
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Obama Joker

Postby Sarvis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:30 am

So, as I head out to strike out, starting with the bartender chick... I can't help but be bugged by this poster:

Image

I really don't get it.

Ok, I understand that they are saying Obama is a socialist.

The problem is, the Joker isn't. If he's anything he's an Anarchist, which is the complete opposite of a Socialist.

Ok, so they want to portray Obama is evil.. and that's fine (for propaganda, anyway) but then why pick one of the most popular villains of all time? To put this in nerd terms, it would be like getting associated with Sephiroth... it probably HELPS his popularity.

So can anyone actually explain the logic here? Wait... logic? Republicans... logic. Maybe I have my answer...
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby avak » Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:07 am

If you ask me, this is racial. I don't play that card often because it is so overused, but this seems blatant.

The image is angry. Slit throat, black eyes, whiteface...

Its not the Joker, its an effigy.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Sarvis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:09 am

slit throat? i'm not sure about the racist thing either. the people making it would have to understand how blackface was racist, and... well... not really sure they would.

I guess I can see them as trying to say obama is crazy like the joker, but that still stretches the socialism part...
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Corth » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:18 am

The poster resonated with me - I thought it was quite clever.

The Joker is haphazard.. anarchistic, etc. He acts randomly and capriciously and has a particular disdain for societal norms. As a character, what makes the Joker interesting is the duality of his happy posturing contrasted against the loathing that he feels towards the world.

I sense a similar duality with Obama. To the public and press he comes off above the fray. He claims a desire to move past the petty squables of previous generations. Underneath it all, though, is a hidden agenda of promoting an old scourge - socialism. It does not matter to Obama that his values conflict with the vast majority of Americans. He has utter disdain for those values.

Finally, it was a nifty touch subverting the famous 'hope' poster, by putting the contrasting message underneath. The fact that it has gotten so much attention speaks for the power of the message.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Sarvis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:22 am

Corth wrote:The poster resonated with me - I thought it was quite clever.

The Joker is haphazard.. anarchistic, .
*snip*
Underneath it all, though, is a hidden agenda of promoting an old scourge - socialism


You may see where I got confused, there.

. It does not matter to Obama that his values conflict with the vast majority of Americans. He has utter disdain for those values.


You get to speak for the "vast majority" of Americans, now? And utter disdain? He has his particular ideas, which got him elected by the way, but that doesn't mean he has disdain for differing viewpoints.

Finally, it was a nifty touch subverting the famous 'hope' poster, by putting the contrasting message underneath. The fact that it has gotten so much attention speaks for the power of the message.


Which poster, now? As far as I'm aware this came from a Time Magazine cover... but still, putting Socialism under a guise who, as you claim, is Anarchistic, doesn't quite gel for me.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Disoputlip » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:47 am

I don't see why you need a rational agument about the poster. It is made by some marketing people to address some primal fear that you right now see in america.

The poster is not made to those that want a rational debate, the audience is not you.

Sometimes I wonder why posters like that work at all, there are tons of posters like that in the middle east showing america as evil, and they are also often made during wars. There is no doubt that they are effective for some that don't have rational arguments.

I just hope that when the same stupid posters are made of Bush, you don't look at that and say that was good, but instead try and ignore it, and rationalize why he began wars etc.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Sarvis » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:14 am

Disoputlip wrote:I don't see why you need a rational agument about the poster. It is made by some marketing people to address some primal fear that you right now see in america.

The poster is not made to those that want a rational debate, the audience is not you.

Sometimes I wonder why posters like that work at all, there are tons of posters like that in the middle east showing america as evil, and they are also often made during wars. There is no doubt that they are effective for some that don't have rational arguments.

I just hope that when the same stupid posters are made of Bush, you don't look at that and say that was good, but instead try and ignore it, and rationalize why he began wars etc.


I'm way too tired to really look into it right now, but I suspect most propaganda is more... well, consistent in it's message. As in it doesn't automatically contradict itself... I understand that it's supposed to be sensational and not necessarily logical, but even as propaganda it seems like BAD propaganda.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Ashiwi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:31 pm

Disoputlip wrote:I just hope that when the same stupid posters are made of Bush, you don't look at that and say that was good, but instead try and ignore it, and rationalize why he began wars etc.



http://politicalhumor.about.com/library ... joker2.htm


Not quite the same, but it's been done.

People don't like change. The very idea makes some people do everything they can to undermine people, policies, processes, up to and including creating nonsensical visual expressions that have a visceral impact with little actual logical substance.

The joker as portrayed by Heath Ledger is a dark and brutal psychopath who couches his acts of violence in sadistic humor. He is symbolic of those who are brutalized and come out damaged on the other side, inflicting their form of damage on the world around them while masked as something that we might find acceptable were it not so wounded that the hurt leaks out visibly.

It's possible that there is no racial connotation in the piece, but it's difficult for me to imagine the artist didn't understand the underlying symbolism of placing Obama in this particularly disturbing form of whiteface.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Corth » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:19 pm

Sarvis,

I don't think the purpose of the poster is to suggest that Obama is literally like the joker. Obama is certainly no anarchist. I think the main purpose is to contrast the duality of the Joker against the duality of Obama. The Joker who is happy on the outside but full of hate on the inside. Obama, who is a postmodern politician on the outside - publically trying to move past the old debates, but on the inside is representative of a very old movement, socialism. It reflects a common position that behind Obama's appealing exterior, there is a frightening and even somewhat evil agenda.

Moreover, as others have suggested, its a very effective propaganda piece. Its not necessarily designed to make a literal point. It resonates with certain people and is effective for what it is intended to accomplish.
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth



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Re: Obama Joker

Postby avak » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:51 pm

I'll assert that it is an intentionally violent image. Look at the "joker" poster of Bush that Ash linked...no overtones of violence...the message of 'mad scientist' is a lot stronger.

Corth, you argue inconsistent points...on one hand the joker image is meant to invoke random and haphazard chaos...but then you insist that Obama is driving a very concerted, specific agenda. I mention that not to argue against your logic, but to point out how weak of a tool the joker is in regard to Obama's policy. Which therefore lends a lot of credence to the argument that it is intentionally violent and racial.

edit: your last post, Corth, clarifies your position much better, but I still maintain my assertion.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby kiryan » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:25 am

I just thought it was hillarious that it was a huge story that Obama was portrayed as the Joker and yet I didn't read or hear anything about the Bush one. It was fine because they hated Bush, but can't do that to the Messiah.

We are all equal, but Obama and the other minorities are more equal.
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Sarvis » Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:44 am

kiryan wrote:I just thought it was hillarious that it was a huge story that Obama was portrayed as the Joker and yet I didn't read or hear anything about the Bush one. It was fine because they hated Bush, but can't do that to the Messiah.

We are all equal, but Obama and the other minorities are more equal.


Really I suspect the Bush Joker one was just less popular, I never saw it anywhere until now. Chimpy McFlightsuit seemed FAR more representative of Bush, and Darth Cheney worked so well for Cheney it's not even funny. Both of those came up all the time. I'm sure Republicans were properly outraged that their messiah was portrayed so, don't worry.

But yes, popular people will be defended while unpopular people will be villified. Kind of how life works, and has nothing to do with politics. If Obama screws our country up half as badly as Bush did, he'll end up being far MORE vilified due to our higher initial hopes. Bush failed when no one expected him to succeed anyway, but if Obama fails after all this buildup?

But sure, go ahead and try to play the race card. Because this is clearly all about race, not about a failed president versus a popular one. :roll:
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Re: Obama Joker

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:06 am

Image

Image

Yeah, Obama as a fictional character is much worse. My favorite part was when someone shouted racism.
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