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October 17, 2008
You can't Hide your Lyin' EyesBy Greyhawk
Sometimes when the Mrs and I are watching a movie, I'll see a familiar looking actor in heavy makeup who I can almost (but not quite) recognize. "Who is that guy?" I'll ask, "I know him, but can't quite...."
"It's [correct name]" she'll reply.
"How could you tell, with all that makeup?" I'll respond, in honest amazement.
"It's the eyes." She answers. "I can always tell by the eyes."
Not everyone shares that talent (obviously me, for instance). Which brings us to this new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia:
On the flip side, this close-up of eyes emphasizes the slogan "America must look evil in the eye and never flinch"
Some might be outraged at the "scare tactic" (after all, America hasn't been hit by a terrorist strike in years...), but over at Talking Points Memo, Greg Sargent has a different visceral response: Ohmygodohmygodohmygod - those are BARACK OBAMA'S EYES!!!!!
Here, for instance, is a new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia that has to be seen to be believed. It hits Dems -- and by extension, Obama -- for wanting to appease terrorists and rogue leaders.And on the site's front page, the link to the story reads:
The last page of a new mailer from the Virginia GOP appears to show a close-up of Barack Obama overlaid with the text:But adds in an update, uh.... ooops:
With a reader's help, we think we may have found the picture the state party started with, and it's not an Obama photo but an Osama bin Laden photo. We'll have both pics here side by side in a moment so you can compare.Yup. It's Obama - not Osama. So, now that he's been busted for pretty much acknowledging that "those darkies all look the same to me", how does Sargent respond? "...note that in the flyer's reproduction, the skin is darker, the words artfully cover up the nose, which is faded, and the beard appears much lighter, so that it's like a facial shadow" and "it seems fair to at least wonder if this is an Osama pic shaded to ambiguously resemble Obama."
Or maybe they just used Osama's eyes to emphasize the "America must look evil in the eye " quote, and a lot of people read way too much into it.
Or maybe Republicans are just evil. Certainly Sargent's response is an improvement over these "before and after" comments from other lefty bloggers.
Raising Kaine ("Virginia's Online Progressive Community") before:
The last image, of a brown-skinned man who looks very much like Barack Obama, with the words "America must look evil in the eye and never flinch" superimposed over his face, is vile. Whether or not it IS Barack Obama - and it's close enough that a lot of people could reasonably conclude that it is - this is basically arguing that anyone with skin darker than baby powder is a potential threat.After:
In short, what we have here is an intentional blurring (or maybe a mashup?), through which "a subconscious connection is made, which is exactly what is intended." Verrrry clever...if you're Jeff Frederick and the RPV, that is. Except it appears to be too clever by half, because we can see right through it. Nice try, though!Which, in turn, is an improvement over Jazz from Hell. Before:
Check out this post on Brad Friedman's site. It's all from a local Republican elections mailer sent out in Virginia. Let me preface this by acknowledging Brad as one of the best and most important bloggers/investigative journos out there.After:
I showed the image to a colleague of mine who also thought it was Obama at first, no doubt overtly influenced by the sepia tint. By his and Brad's--and surely the intended recipients'--erroneous IDs, a subconscious connection is made, which is exactly what is intended.Perhaps the quoted bloggers deserve credit for at least being honest about how the world looks through their eyes.
Posted by Greyhawk / October 17, 2008 10:38 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com