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Nov 02, 2006

Hawking A Metaphor


(revised 3: 19 CET)

On the verge of a seismic shift in Washington, this image makes me very nervous.

It's defensive I know, but I can't get past reading the vultures as Democrats, as if the Brits take the cavalry for jackals.  On top of that, I've got the "don't count your chickens" syndrome, given how often the blue team has been clipped before.

Then I look at those vultures, imagining they've been the ones who've been inside the building, feasting on the place for the past umpteen years.  And then, I dislike the metaphor for the suggestion of carnage.  There's already been way too much blood spilled already.  And who can stomach this darkness and evil vocabulary for even one more day?

Come Wednesday, hopefully the more appropriate metaphor will involve throwing open the windows, letting a decrepit house accept a fresh air.

(image: The Economist - North America Edition. Cover. November 4, 2006)


My take on this is that the vultures are just that, vultures. And the vultures are circling because of what is (soon to be) in the building ie carrion, otherwise known as dead and putrefying flesh.

Please remember: In Europe vultures are on the "Red List", actually seriously protected and estimated as worthwhile to be resettled in the Alps! First and costly programmes have been started, and resulted already in a few goose-vultures, circling in and over the Alp's valleys.
From this point of view and according to the special British black humor....
And what can be said against those, who are ready to clean up the mess?

Vultures have an undeservedly bad reputation. As GeorgeF says, they clean up the mess. India is now learning the hard way how valuable they are as natural sanatation workers. If only the filth in the U.S. would be so easy to clean up.

I would have preferred a cleaning crew advancing toward the Capitol with brooms, mops and pails of laundry water.

margaret: or the silhouette of a chain gang in leg-irons being marched out of the building...

Agreed, the vultures are ominous. But somehow appropriate. There will be a lot of tension between the people who want and shine light on all the misdeeds of the past 6 years, and the other folks who are just glad it's over with and want to move forward in a better way.

I think that a lot of ugly shenanigans are going to come out in the next 6 months- and if you think you've seen ugly, I think it's going to get a lot worse. For a while now, I've been pretty convinced that the folks running the national GOP have been using slush funds and outright blackmail to keep their members in line... sure would be interesting if anyone else has been saving their voicemails. I'd like to subpoena all of the computer records of all the Republican congressmen, especially for the 3 months before the AUMF vote. There are some google searches I'd like to run on that data. And since those dirtbags work for me, on my salary, I think I have a right to know what they've been talking about on my dime.

Impeachment is the least of the junta's worries. In my congress, they're all looking at treason charges and public hangings on the Washington mall. Then let the buzzards take what they will.

What "camp" publishes The Economist again? I find myself so... so... prejudiced against a publication or book when I find out--first thing I look for--who publishes it (see Regnery).

Being older, am I now wiser or just stubborn?

For years, I've compared the major political parties to two fat maggots gnawing on the bloated corpse of American democracy. Perhaps the vultures represent special interests.

I find myself wishing I was one of those vultures. I believe that we the people should be the ones to clean up ALL the living-dead in DC.

I have a visceral disdain of both of the parties that have come to own Washington, along with their many benefactors (the guys with the money), though I harbor a special contempt for this truly corrupt Republican party.

I say, "Go get 'em, vultures. Pick their bones clean!"

The graphic is troubling and I think it's doomsday atmosphere is directed toward the notion of what a Democratic victory could portend. I note the triangle of red in the lower left corner taking the shape of a stairway. The storming of House in a bloody liberal coup? And what to make of the bird edging toward the House, his eye clearly on the prize? While it could be just feathers, he really appears to be sporting an afro.

The vultures are on th left side of page. Lefties, get it?

I've *never* observed vultures with ruffled feathers perched in a tree. (even in a moderate wind)
Fighting over carrion occasionally produces a few disheleved feathers though.
Do these turkey buzzards sense perhaps like 'The Economist' there is slim pickings ahead, and are over primed for a feeding frenzy.
That red shape is a ramp for wheeling out the dead and the dying inhabitants.
True to its whimsical ironic nature at times, maybe 'The Economist' is just gobbling with our sensibilities.

Democrats as craven vultures, they are so weak and vile that they can't even kill what they eat, and subsist instead on carrion and roadkill. The Republicans, then, are represented by the Capitol itself, and enduring image of American ideals. In case we miss the point, there is, in this twilight's last gleaming, a flag still heroically flying. The Republicans as Sam Huston, defending the flag 'till the end, whereas the Democrats skulk and creep about, morbidly waiting and hungering for the death of America itself.

I immediately thought the vultures were supposed to be Democrats. I am not holding my breath that the windows will be opened any time soon especially knowing that 40% of voters on Tuesday will be using electronic voting machines.

I see it as a botched Halloween kind of joke: the cover is as confused as our modern political culture. I don't think the Democrats are the vultures. I think the vultures are vultures, symbols of death, waiting to pick the bones of our dead democracy. The red shadowing suggests a violent death, "a blood-dimmed tide."

As Yeats wrote: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

I find this cover very ambiguous. In the style of The Bag I venture to suppose this: there is going to be a lot of dead meat floating Wednesday, and being a conservative magazine, a new lot to the trough.
Good Luck America! And what is? Good night?

I disagree with your reading of this image. I see the vultures as the right-wing media, the right wing of the Republican party ready to launch themselves and tear apart the remnants of George Bush's political career after the electorate have mortally wounded his Iraq policy. In which case the image is entirely appropriate - these people are bloodthirsty and without morals. The democrats in this picture,unfortunately, are the dead sheep slightly off the frame, given their complete inability to show a consistent (let alone effective) opposition to Bush.

I think the image shows how much the current SCAB (Supreme Court Appointed Bush) Administration has destroyed our image to the world and have destroyed much of what made America different and 'better'.

The vultures are fitting. Anyway, maybe they are in reference to the news media ready to do a 180 degree shift and now savage all the people they only recently fawned over.

@ Mark J. McPherson: From my far away European viewpoint I do not see the Democrats as the vultures. If the Democrats win the elections they have a horrible job to shoulder. They have to continue and divert the policy of the last 6 years, which has led into this mess. And the mess has been made solely by the Bush administration: a war, reasoned by WMD, existing in the Iraq, by the argument, Saddam had sposored al Quaida, and all that had turned out to be wrong - fakes. Remember the "mission accomplished" show, followed by an endless killing of GIs and more over by a frightening bloody civil war.
The vultures are the symbol for all those, who will feed on the remnantes of a totally insane policy.

When the chickens come home to roost they often turn out to be buzzards. These are the buzzards of reality not the Democrats. This is the reality buzzard itself coming for the end of the USA as the world's only superpower. This flock is stalking the death of American empire.

We can choose to join the rest of the world or we will be destroyed. We are already doing a pretty good job of destroying ourselves from within. When you're putting plans for building nuclear weapons on the Web, in Arabic, there's some powerful death wishing going on.

My first reaction when I saw the cover of this magazine was that, "Okay this image isn't so great." The cover of the magazine could have many different meanings, but the vultures really give a bad vibe. I mean I guess it may be good publicity wise because the image would intrigue a lot people so they just might buy the magazine.

I just don't like the cover at all, it gives me a bad feeling and I'm thinking "what are they trying to prove with this image?" It just makes it seem like something bad is going to happen in the election. And then others stated how maybe the vultures represent the Democrats, I think that's going a bit too far for trashing a party. When most people see a vulture they think of vultures eating dead carcasses. I mean what does that tell us when we have a magazine cover using vultures to represent out government.

It makes me feel insecure about our government when I see the cover of the magazine. The vultures make it seem like the white house is going to go down in flames. I don't think using the vultures was a good idea to represent our government, it just puts everything in a negative light.

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