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Sight Gag: Save Us from the Commies!


Photo Credit: John Lucaites

Our primary goal with this blog is to talk about the ways in which photojournalism contributes to a vital democratic public culture. Much of the time that means we are focusing on what purport to be more or less serious matters. But as John Stewart and Stephen Colbert often remind us, democracy needs irony, parody, and pure silliness as much as it needs serious contemplation. For our part, we will dedicate our Sunday posts to putting some of that silliness on display in what we call “sight gags,” democracy’s nod to the carnivalesque. Sometimes we will post pictures we’ve taken, or that have been contributed by others, or that we just happen to stumble across as we navigate our very visual public culture. And we won’t just be limited to photography, as a robust democratic visual culture consists of much more. We typically will not comment beyond offering an identifying label, leaving the images to “speak” for themselves as much as possible. Of course we invite you to comment … and to send us images that you think capture the carnival of contemporary democratic public culture.


Sight Gag: Save Us from the Commies!


3 Responses

  1. Stuart Noble says

    The font and layout of sign are reminiscent of 1950’s advertisements. Doubtful that its targeted at young people (under 40). Plus, the $5.00 brochure fee with “everything” for free on the www. Where was this taken? What was the neighborhood? It looks like the house in the background is long overdue for some repairs and a paint job?

  2. Lucaites says

    Stuart — The picture was taken in a small town–very blue collar–in Southern Indiana about two years ago. It is somewhat economically depressed and the sign was on a relatively major thoroughfare into/out of the town.

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