S E M I O B A M A
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
At $2.00 for 6 cards and a sticker, it was no great deal--my burrito was only a dollar more--but the cards have zero fat grams and are more friendly to animals.
I had high hopes for the cards.
I imagined a photo of Obama dunking over Dick Cheney; perhaps one of him making a long downfield pass to Joe Biden; I was especially looking forward to the one of Obama and Hillary doing the high-five after that wicked alley-oop ESPN keeps running on the highlight reels.
Instead, I got cards in which there were a lot of ties.
A red tie, a blue tie, more red ties. And blazers. Who puts a guy wearing a tie and a blazer on a trading card? Instead of calling these "trading cards," I propose Topps change the name to "trading favors cards," since that's what most of my scenes seem to be about.
There appear to be 90 different cards in all and 18 stickers. That seems hard to believe. Are there really 90 different images of Mr. Obama talking to other people? Topps gets points for the attempt to make "Pioneer at Harvard Law" edgy with the black and white photo of Obama in the turtleneck and leather jacket. But, those points get taken away by the half-witted "Cool Running Mates" tag.
My goal is not simply to collect all 90 cards but to rank the lamest of 90. Sure, sure, I'll also be happy to write about the "best" Obama cards, but unless Topps includes images from SemiObama, I'm not convinced we're going to learn much.
My nomination for the lamest card from this set is the "Ready for Prime Time" action shot of President Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Could anything be less actiony than two heads of state in suits and ties strolling through an English garden?
Friday, April 3, 2009
Off an on throughout era Obama, we've been talking about Barack Obama as an icon. As we've said here and elsewhere, Obama's ubiquitous image and the places that image appears, makes him more than a celebrity. His visage--and the fact that we can use "visage" rather than face--connotes reverence, hope, and transformation.
Take a look at the objects below: coins, plates--even stained glass. Notice how Obama's face has replaced the traditional icon.
In addition to coins and plates and stained glass, there are even images of Obama as an actual icon (see above).
What this means is that people are locating in Obama's image the emotional and psychological qualities normally reserved for religious figures like saints. To be sure, this helped him win the election. But, the downside is that we have high expectations of saints--even higher for deities. What happens when Mr. Obama cannot answer prayers?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland on Obama's first press conference in Europe as president.