Obama as Superman; Younge, Chomsky, Pilger etc.

photo courtesy of Liad Baniel

Obama Superman Mural
One of Los Angeles’ most prominent street artists, Mr. Brainwash (a.k.a. Thierry Guetta), has created a mural of Barack Obama as Superman for SCOPE Art Fair Miami 2008. The French-born artist will also be presenting a large-scale, non-commercial installation sponsored by the SCOPE Foundation.

I suppose I should riff intelligently on Laurie Anderson’s “Oh Superman” at this point, but, er, I can’t. Instead, I’ll point to a couple of recent Obama pieces that I’ve read.

The first was by the Guardian’s Gary Younge. Younge is, IMHO, one of the most subtle and incisive commentators on race that we have (not a special field of interest of mine, I’ll admit. The only other name that jumps to the fingertips is Tim Wise. But there are others).

Writing in the October/November Red Pepper he concluded,

“The potential to expand and build a borad progressive front to check and reverse the reactionary excesses of the past eight years has opened up as a result of Obama’s run for office. To achieve their goals, his supporters must not stand still after election day.”

So, as Chomsky wrote recently:-

“What would be the content of the “Obama brand” if the public were to become “participants” rather than mere “spectators in action”? It is an experiment well worth undertaking, and there is good reason to suppose that the results might point the way to a saner and more decent world.”


The latest Doonesbury cartoon (14th December) takes that and runs with it- (be warned- it won’t mean much to those who don’t know the characters…)

We also have John Pilger, who seems to think that people thought Obama was going to bring radical change, and lists the “betrayals” of his appointments, in a piece in the New Statesman/Morning Star.

Finally for now, we have a piece by Richard Waters in the FT on the 9th December, “Obama weighs putting the wisdom of crowds to work”

“According to the adviser to the Obama transition team, the best approach will be to tap into the “edge intelligence” of the network- letting people with specialist knowledge have their say, much as Wikipedia draws on the expertise of volunteers to compile its online encyclopedia.”


After all this, what do I conclude.?Obama is not the Messiah. If we sit on our asses expecting him- or anyone- to Save Us, then we are toast. We are toast anyhow, but couldn’t we at least go down with a little dignity? Just sayin’…

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About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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