Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barack Obama's Lonely Hearts Club Band

I hope The Nation hasn't printed too many of these wood-framed posters of their Obama inaugural-issue cover. Artist "John Mavroudis imagines President Barack Obama's inauguration populated by many of those who made that historic moment possible." You can almost hear a gospel choir there, can't you, humming "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"? Funny, I don't see Ronald Reagan -- Obama's a fan, you'll remember -- or Bill Clinton, or Joe Lieberman, or George W. Bush for that matter. But the thing is, I don't think this memento has the sentimental appeal it would have had even six months ago.

Sure, there are still some devout Obamamaniacs around, but at $85 a pop, framed in real wood and sealed under 1/8-inch "plexi" to preserve it? With the economy like it is, and Obama having spent his first eleven months in office trampling gleefully on the hopes of most of those who voted for him? Right after Obama delivered the coup de grace with his plans for Afghanistan? The ad even appears with the same online issue as Robert Scheer's article "Dear Barack, Spare Me Your E-Mails." (Also appearing: John Nichols's praise of Obama's Nobel Acceptance speech as "an exceptionally well-reasoned and appropriately humble address", also "important and, dare we say, hopeful." Others have been less impressed -- see Whatever It Is I'm Against It's graceful kneecapping.)

"The perfect holiday gift," the ad calls the poster. Sorry, only as a joke, and it's too expensive for that unless you're a banking or finance or insurance CEO.