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Sep 20, 2008

Luster, Really?

Ted Stevens

This is how completely insane things are.

The NYT runs an update on Ted Stevens about how his trial is taking place concurrently with his senate campaign and the national election.  The image above leads the story, titled "Alaska Star May Add Luster To Tarnished Senator."

So, what are we investing our good time and energy on here?

We're looking at three people applauding a propaganda exercise for a fabricated "war on terror" held last August by a failed and largely disavowed President at an Alaska Air Force base -- military audiences being the only kind that continue to kowtow to him.

Simultaneously, the sleazy Senator from Alaska -- seemingly backed by the U.S. military, and outfitted like a pseudo-officer and patriotic billboard -- with a flag patch on his shoulder, and an American eagle patch and what looks like a stitched flag or simply a flag pin over his heart -- is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the unelected but somehow official First Dude of the state, a sort of poor man's Schwarzenegger of the tundra.

Foremost, however -- as indicated by the title of the article -- we have the Senator (who dutifully brings home the pork in exchange for "political derivatives") supposedly borrowing retrospective luster from someone who, by virtue of a cynical and manipulative political maneuver, has become a manufactured overnight mega-star in the GOP's veepstakes version of American Idol.

With Iraq a barely pacified Frankenstein, Afghanistan and Pakistan teetering, the Middle East a tinderbox, and the public about to be stuck holding the bag for an economy ripped off and now ripped to shreds courtesy of a long-running collusion between the political establishment and a finance industry on steroids, this picture does nothing but convey the now fundamental element of American politics -- which is varnish.

And that clapping?  It's the height of mockery.

(image: Gerald Herbert/Associated Press. caption: Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband, Todd, between them, joined Senator Ted Stevens in August at an appearance by President Bush)


Never mind the article--that's NOT an image Palin wants out there right now. It predates her veep selection, doesn't it? Now she's ducking Stevens like the plague, and this hangs him around her neck. As for that title, it also reads Senator May Tarnish Alaska Star, if you squint real hard and read between the lines.


Waves of dark Lynchian irony roll off that image. We could be looking at on outtake from Twin Peaks. Notice the scattered attention foci. And the range of emotional response to the program; some completely serious, others relaxed and loose. Governor Palin appears to have donned the Campaign Toothy Smile, probably a subconscious reflex reaction to the camera. Senator Stevens looks distracted by personal problems, perhaps another chink in his pending court case just popped into mind. The senator is old enough to know that while a tissue of lies is a perfectly manageable campaign strategy it has serious flaws when deployed as a criminal defense.

Great photograph. There's the sexy Sarah standing near yet another decrepit politician, separated by her husband, who seems to be the only one in the front row looking at the camera. At least with one of his eyes.

Linked to my home page as

ALASKA PHOTO OP -- with devastating commentary


Best, S

Apropos of this shot and the 9 / 11 ceremony at Ground Zero, I was wondering where Michelle Obama was when Barack showed up with Mccain to toss flowers on the site. Cindy was there. Where was Michelle? THe absence was notable.

Sarah's just making a subliminal comment about the FD

I know we are not supposed to ask a question of a woman that we would not ask a man, but I can not help wondering, watching these two parents on the campaign trail...where is the infant Trig? Who is bonding with the child during it's first months of life, either Father or Mother? Are they taking the newly born Trig from whistle stop to whistle stop, on the plane, off the plane? Just why are we not supposed to wonder about how they care for and treat their own children?

Where was Michelle?

Home with her two young children.

The clapping is related to that mindless clapping you always see at the end of every "inspirational" movie nowadays where there's a scene where everyone in the movie claps for no reason at all but just to acknowledge that the story is coming to a close. I'd clap for an end to the Palin-First Dude- Ted Stevens story, as well!

Can't tell for sure about the Gov., but Todd appears to be without wedding ring. Significant, or no?

Lovely cross on the Gov's right lapel, though.

I am reminded of Patches Ohoolahan from the movie Dodgeball.

Uncle Ted in his jacket and zombie expression evokes images of North Korea's Kim Jong-il (but without the big hair).

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