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Sep 04, 2005

The Week America Lost New Orleans: A Presidential Retrospective (#2)

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Katrina Disaster -- Day 2
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Still Tuesday.  George is backstage at the Naval Air Station in San Diego holding a "Presidential guitar" given to him by country music singer, Mark Wills.

By the time I see this shot in the afternoon, I am profoundly aware of the cataclysm on the Gulf Coast.  The image itself has gone viral, rounding the liberal blogosphere as evidence of a President fundamentally out-of-tune with reality.

Filled with horror from the Gulf pictures, I see all kinds of dynamics in the shot.

First, it's hard not to register Bush's care-to-the-wind attitude.  If he's aware of what's transpiring in the South -- even if he's feigning non-chalance -- I expect to see more tension in his body.  Instead, he's just casually looking off.

Second, I am fascinated by the way Bush relates (or fails to relate) to Wills.  Of course, as has been noted many times at the BAG, one must be careful about drawing too many conclusions from any one instant in time.  The interaction between these two men, however, seems indicative of many fundamental problems with Bush.

For instance, it seems Wills (like other Presidential advisors) has instructed Bush on a procedure, and has been thoroughly specific as to how to properly carry it out.  Bush, however, seems to ignore both the adviser and the advice.  In response, Wills (like a Richard Clark, or a Joe Wilson, or a General Shinseki) sees Bush "getting it wrong" and and tries to remediate Bush's handling of things.  (Notice the concentration and precision Wills directs to the execution.) Still, Bush remains oblivious -- even though his hand, in playing a G chord, is set one fret too high.

Third, I'm interested in seeing Bush handle this instrument. Does he know how to play it -- even a little? (Or does it reinforce that "W" is mostly about gesture?) It reminds me of all the puffed up reports summarizing Bush's reading lists. He is constantly portrayed as someone who applies himself intellectually and creatively in an informed way. But if it were really the case, why would the White House constantly need to make a point of it?

Fourth (although probably innocuous), I can't help seeing Bush's left finger as forming a blasphemous sign. But then, isn't it also characteristic of Bush -- as alluded to above -- to resent being corrected or told what to do?

Lastly, I am fascinated by the enchantment of the woman at the far right. Although Bush's ruling (and overruling) nature continues to repeat itself, often to the most tragic of consequences, it's a wonder how people continue to respond with delight.

(musical credit: Al)

(image: Martha Raddatz -- AP/ABC News.  August 30, 2005, 2:56 PM ET.  San Diego, CA. At YahooNews.)

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Comments

Bush strummed while New Orleans drowned.

Bush declared an emergency last Saturday authorizing FEMA to coordinate efforts.

That was a hard day's work right there authorizing that statement. Time to get back into the vacation groove.

Time to play Laughter in the Rain.

Damn, where's that G-chord again?

"This is perspective!"

-Shepard Smith, Geraldo Rivera freak on FOXnews

VIDEO: WMV

Martha Raddatz deserves much cradit for this shot. She's not a photographer by trade, she's an ABC (high rankin') reporter. Had she not taken this photo and released it – nobody would have laid eyes on this event. I'll bet she's going to have access problems at the White House after this. Has anybody else seen another shot from this event?

I have a feeling Wills is reaching to pull the boy king's chord hand back to the third fret. Watch out Mr. Wills! Correcting the boy king in front of a crowd is not good for one's career.

I'm not sure what "cradit" is – give Martha credit.

Off to my first tea of the day. Peace, y'all.

i just noticed that bush has a snake tongue..... or is that a joint?

Completely illusionary look.
The three faces tell it all. One beyond the reach, the other, a "doctor" with concern on his face, trying to guide to reality. The third, completely focused on projection of total illusion of perception.
US is in the hands of a leader, who is clueless to the point of danger to the whole world.

The lady on the right looks like she's laughing at Bush, but the picture only shows half of her face, which seems very symbolic. This conjures up images of the infamous masks representing drama/theater, one smiling, one crying. Like this lady, most of the country finds Bush's ineptitude hilarious on the surface, but the consequences are so sorrowful that half the time--which the MSM always cuts out when the subject is Bush--many Americans find ourselves in tears.

Is it just your selection of photos or are we seeing a lot of photos of Bush out of touch? The WH releases daily photo-ops of the Prez, manly and CIC, using the trappings of his power as backdrop--whether it is clearing brush, riding with Lance Armstrong or fishing on his "ranch", or making announcements in the Rose Garden, strutting with foreign heads of state and other VIPs, and peering out the windows of AF-one? But all the pictures just seem to be surreal, given what is going on as a consequence of his policies.

I am reminded of the videos of Bush in the classroom reading to children after he had been informed of 9/11. He is a profoundly unserious man, but he loves power. And he clearly loves to act the POTUS.

I don't know about the "g" chord and the upraised finger. On the one hand, that IS how you form the chord. On the other hand, it would be characteristic rule-defiance for him, to slip an obscenity past the photographer, heh,heh.

Wills is reaching to grab the guitar before George breaks it. George is standing, there is no strap supporting his new guitar. If he actually tries to strum the sorta G# whatever his left hand fingers his new guitar will fall to the straight to the floor (and make a loud and appropriate sound, a chord we shall call the "GW").

This picture captures the posturing cluelessness of our smallest president in its full radiance and glory.

(BTW, there is a scene in Last Waltz where Eric Clapton's guitar strap breaks as he steps up to play a solo. Jamie Robertson sees the problem, covers, the show goes on. Professionals.)

Fotonique posted a photo of Kerry playing guitar. Whereas Bush seems to have no idea of how to even hold the instrument (his right arm pressing into the body and jacket sleeve resting on the strings will no doubt muffle the notes), Kerry is even playing a classical-style guitar and knows how to hold it (although he's looking at the notes he's playing, which may mean he's inexperienced but at least concerned). Kerry's grip may look awkward, but classical guitar is played with the thumb under the neck as opposed to rock-and-roll guitar, with the player being able to wrap his thumb all the way around the neck for most playing. Classical is a more rigid form of playing, but necessary to make sure the fingers are placed more vertically on the strings. In rock, well, everything just mashes together most of the time so it's not as important to be accurate.

Amazing how much one can learn by watching somebody play an instrument.

Even if I didn't know that New Orleans was drowning at the moment this photo was taken,

I'd still recoil from the image of a man who has no respect for anyone who has skill, knowledge, craft, talent or taste.

What's with the Presidential Seal on the guitar? Is that "G Chord One" or what?

Today I read that the official number of dead had reached the "thousands". And no one (outside this forum) seems to be reacting. Is this the American form of modern-day genocide?

The flooding and the fires, the death and decay, maybe they have something to do with the Apocalypse.

Or , switching allusions, and in a classically cesarean moment, one could say that Bush strums as NewOrleans floods.

Whose he serenading, Prime Minister Kura? (played by Elke Summer, in the family film, "The Double McGuffin" with Ernest Borgnine and George Kennedy and others)

Whose he serenading, Prime Minister Kura? (played by Elke Summer, in the family film, "The Double McGuffin" with Ernest Borgnine and George Kennedy and others)

The pic of Clinton with the cheesy guitar is another unfortunate example for Bush; Clinton obvioulsy does NOT know how to play but does not want to offend and so simply holds the instrument with a goofy look on his face. He is clueless about playing but not clueless as to how this looks. Unlike W.

Gee, for twice what we paid William Jefferson Clinton, we get a guitar player too? Hope he understands, people have them "Matchbox Blues" with tadpoles and minnows all over them, "Up on the river and down by the sea".

Its not a damn G cord, its one fret up. To here to hear the cord:

http://www.goeaston.net/~bcorden/WGuitar.aif

sorry, chord, I'm just upset.

Of Bush and Nero....

One played the lyre while Rome burned....

The other strume dthe guitar while New Orleans dronwed

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