barack obama and my ironic timing

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

barack obama and my ironic timing

lately, there’s been a couple things i’ve done that have had sort of ironic timing (like the ad i designed a few days ago that featured matt jones as a spokesperson of sorts…). a couple weeks ago, i began writing a draft of a blog that i just didn’t have time to finish. the idea—which you will see—is to show several magazine covers that barack obama has graced in recent months. naturally, on the day that i get ready to finish writing the blog, the huge new yorker cover controversy hit the news.

if you haven’t seen the latest new yorker cover, here it is. naturally, there’s been quite the negative response. unfortunately, people have missed the point. the new yorker isn’t suggesting—like many people who like to forward emails to all 437 of their friends every other day—that obama (and his wife) are actually muslim terrorists. it’s satire, people. they’re playing off the idea that there are still ridiculous people out there who actually believe that. basically, it’s the same reason that a lot of people were offended by borat. it’s not something that glorifies or perpetuates a bigotry, but rather, does quite the opposite. by showing it in such a ridiculous way, it points out the fact that these bigotries are simply absurd.

as you can see, the irony was thick as i was getting ready to post the barack obama magazine cover blog.

with all that said, the original blog concept was that, as evidenced by many recent magazine covers, barack obama is such an interesting character and historical study because he has transcended politics and become a cultural icon. it’s not in some kind of tabloid or cult-of-celebrity kind of way. rather, it has been as a counter-cultural and counter-political cultural standout who has infiltrated the entertainment world, the sports world and even the fashion world. from day one of his candidacy, i have been drawn not only to his political values, but also, quite frankly, by his radiant charisma and cultural transcendence.

the publishing world has taken note much like myself. he has graced the cover of a diverse number of magazines, and as someone who is a part of the publishing world, i thought i would share some of these stunning and creative covers.

**sidenote: again, as someone who is in the publishing world, i will make special note of the most recent rolling stone cover (far left). first of all, this is the second time in less than a year that rolling stone has featured him on the cover (which is a huge thing if you understand cover shot/story selection), but most amazing, this particular cover has no copy. the captivating shot of obama stands alone, unimpeded by a bunch of busy blurbs or obsessive copy. incredible.

rollingstone_2  rollingstone_1  esquire  newsweek_bw  time1  time2