Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm Hugh Sansom and I Approved This Message

By the cash register at the Park Slope toy Mecca were three books with very similar subtitles: "An American Story", "An American Life", "An American Journey". Three books -- Barack Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton.

Didn't get Hillary's, but Obama and McCain are trip. Charles Bernstein or Ron Silliman would go to town on these. I'll try to soon. One initial note: Images in McCain are exclusively photographic. Obama has 60s/70s style illustrations in addition to photos. McCain's images are almosts entirely images picking up on his "war hero" mythology.

What a crock. Mythology. Storytelling of the Zth order. Still there's something telling about the style, the titling. "Barack Obama: An American Story". "John McCain: An American Life".

Would make much sense to say "Barack Obama: An American Life" — he's still in the midst of his. Not so McCain. No images suggesting a McCain childhood. Barely anything suggesting he has had a live outside the military.

Above, American history courtesy of "John McCain: An American Life". A book aimed at eight or nine-year olds offers much the same explanation, albeit in simpler language, that is offered to high school students. I suspect that, with appropriate window dressing, most college students would accept this line, too.

Change "communism" for "Islam" or that revolting expression "Islamo-fascism" and you have the line today offered by John McCain, Bernard-Henri Levy, and broad spectrum of 21st Century bigots.

On a personal front, McCain meets Nixon.

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