It is not very often that I have the opportunity to get political in one of my blogs, but after having seen what I saw today, I felt it was appropriate. Let me start off by saying that I am not here to preach my politics to you, even though you would all do well to agree with my political perspective (that was a joke); but I did feel very strongly about the subject I will be discussing which is why I will not refrain from voicing my political opinion. Additionally, I hope that in this case you voice your opinion on the subject matter as well, even if it does not concur with mine.
Living in the United States and being born in another country, you learn to value the importance of your "inalienable rights." The right to vote, the freedom to choose who you want to marry, and what (if any) church you want to go to are all rights that we have as Americans; rights which many people all over the world do not have the privilege to exercise. Of all the rights we have been endowed with by our political system, maintaining the freedom to speak what we think is one of our greatest blessings. For the most part, our voices are not restricted, and the idea is that if we are not hurting anyone, we can virtually say what we think, feel and believe. That right to speak freely is a choice and I feel at times that there are people that, for the sake of being seemingly controversial, speak their minds too freely. Remember "sticks and stones," and all that?
It seems that ever since President Obama a his recent cameo appearance in the issue of Amazing Spider-Man #583, we have seen the President all over comic books. He appeared in the Marvel issue as himself, as well as in Devil's Due's alternate interpretation of the President; "Barack The Barbarian." While the majority of these titles really seem to be done in good humor, the most recent interpretation of Obama has not.
The image of Barack Obama's face manipulated to look like Heath Ledger's Joker above a "Socialism" caption looks more like a nasty joke and political statement and less like good wholesome fun. I am not surprised at the statement, considering Obama's recent health care conversation. However, were we living in a Socialist political system, there's a good chance that this particular picture would not have hit main stream.
This is a prime example of the way in which an image can speak volumes. Take the characterization of the Joker in The Dark Knight film. He is a mass murderer, insane, psychotic; I could go on. There is no doubt in my mind that Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker was phenomenal. Ledger's interpretation of the character captured all the attributes of the "Joker" that make him seem so scary. That is why by taking that image of the Joker's character and associating it with our current President is such a heavy statement. What is this individual trying to say? That Obama is psychotic? That he is a mass murderer? Not only is the image associating the Joker's character attributes to our current President; it is also putting the issue of a socialist political system in a negative light.
This is when I will open the floor and ask you what you guys think. How does the image make you feel? What are your thoughts on the political and characteristic interpretation and association that this image relays?