Monday, May 11, 2009

The message of the $328,000 photo

It seems like a lot for one photograph, but that’s what the Obama White House is admitting to as the sole release from the “Scare Force One” debacle on April 27th.

Here’s the third-of-a-million-dollars picture.

Now, being of a somewhat ‘artistic’ bent myself, I like to think that I have a pretty good eye for visual composition – what draws the eye to a particular focus, balance in telling the visual-story, etc.

When I first saw this picture, my first thought (after: “doesn’t hardly seem worth it”) was that it was just a really bad picture – that it was failing to tell the story.

But maybe not… maybe it was just me trying to see the message that I would have expected to see, and so not being able to see the story actually being told.

Victor Massad at American Thinker has a different take on the image-as-released and, unfortunately, it makes more sense than trying to tease my pro-American expectation out of what’s been placed in front of us.

The Visual Subtext of the Statue of Liberty Fly-by Photo

While fairly short, this one isn’t a “light read” by any means – I encourage you to go forth to AT and grok-in-fullness, but here are a couple of the pieces that leap off the page.

"The figure is an aircraft that serves as Air Force One, representing the Messianic omnipotence of the Obama presidency.

Below it, part of the background -- a small and less relevant thing in comparison to the aircraft -- stands the Statue of Liberty, representing the individual freedoms that Americans have come to treasure and enjoy."

"The message and its purpose could not be clearer: we must reset our priorities.

Now that the democracy is at last headed by this magnificent and elegant man, we must put the federal government and its needs ahead of our paltry individual freedoms.

Of what value, after all, is the property Americans have spent their lifetimes to acquire, or one's right to defend oneself with a firearm, or even the privilege of living in an upwardly mobile society that used to be the envy of the rest of the world, in comparison to the Leader's magnificently powerful icon, glistening like a phoenix in the sun?"

"In psychology, this is referred to as the "perpiheral route to persuasion." It refers to the phenomenon whereby an audience is more affected by symbols in a message than by the logic of the message itself."

"In the case of "Air Farce One" the President's communications people may have reversed their former position to withhold the photo from public release under the logic that the peripheral persuasiveness of the photograph would ultimately prevail over the cognitive reasoning that the thing was a waste of taxpayer money.

And, given this president's success with peripheral persuasion, they may very well be right."

(Indeed, since it seems that The One has no problem panning for laughs on the very topic that had him so 'infuriated' 2 weeks ago)

It is ever-so-rare that I need someone to ‘pop’ me in the back of the head with a: “Duh - It’s right in front of you.”

Thank you, Mr. Massad, for showing us the forest.

- MuscleDaddy


  1. ..One Nation
    Under O (spit)
    With liberty and justice
    For teh One.

  2. Taken in that light, it clears up something that had bugged me. The proportions in the photo seemed off to me. The video from the ground seemed to indicate that the plane was much lower than it appears in that photo.

    However, with this analysis in mind, it is entirely possible that the photo was taken from much closer, and a wide-angle lens was used, to get the backdrop to appear even more minimized.

  3. In other words, Lady Liberty is joining the crowd, along with Obama's dead white grandma, Rev. Wright, ....

    No longer will our motto be E PLURIBUS UNUM, but CONICIO SULUM UNDERBUS.

  4. Monster, I'm loving it. Now, there's a banner for the next Tea Party.


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