Monday, May 19, 2008

Obeyma--er, Obama

I tend to avoid political discourse in this blog for 2 reasons. One, I am not the most politically saavy cat on the block and two, people get way too serious about politics (especially non-saavy political cats) and we likes to keep it fun and fresh here at t-15.

However, like most rules, T-15 relishes in breaking them when there is good reason and good reason there is. Obama just picked up a key endorsement from a fine young man from South Carolina. No not John Edwards (although I imagine that was pretty clutch too), rather none other that he who brought us the deliciously disturbing imagery of Obey the giant, Shepard Fairey.

He says this on his site...

I believe with great conviction that Barack Obama should be the next President. I have been paying close attention to him since the Democratic convention in 2004. I feel that he is more a statesman than a politician. He was against the war when it was an unpopular position (and Hillary was for the war at that time), Obama is for energy and environmental conservation. He is for healthcare reform. Check him out for yourself

Interestingly and much in line with his statement above, Fairey has wanted to support Obama through his unique "talents" but he held off until he received blessing from the man himself. The reason for the wait stems from Fairey's concern that his artwork and his interpretation of "use of public space" often bump up against legal grey areas and the last thing he wanted to do is sully the reputation of good ole Biz-rock! Much to his delight, Obama signed off on the venture and was thankful for his endorsement and support. There was an article about it in this weekend's post which outlines the whole thing in much nicer detail than I can here, but I will include the excerpt about the letter...

Fairey rummages around on his desk and produces a letter from Obama himself. "Dear Shepard," the candidate writes. "I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign."

Messages. Images. Effect. Someone understands phenomenology. And the thing about stop signs? "He's kind of endorsing graffiti," Fairey says, "isn't he?"

Cool stuff. Almost dare I say it, Bill Clinton balancing the budget and still being a freak in the bed cool.

And despite the poltical purpose of the art, good ole Shep still sneaks in a little Obey the Giant action with Obama's lapel pin.

Now just because someone you like, likes a candidate, that is no good reason to vote for them.

You should vote for someone YOU relate to, someone who shares your beliefs and champions your values.

So as much as I like Fairey, his endorsement is not enough on it's own.

I need proof that he is a thinking man who can see potential for greatness and execute against it.

Early on, I saw similarities between Barack and The Rock, in terms of the speaking styles, and even to a lesser degree their looks. I know the WWF consitituents will be of great importance this election and I really thought it would be cool if he could somehow co-opt the rock's catch phrase --"Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?" And then I saw this.


If he can pull my ideas out of the ether like that, well say no more. I can dig it.

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