Click here or on the cartoon above.
Credit: Ann Telnaes/Washington Post.
The “Sight Gag” is our weekly nod to the ironic and carnivalesque in a vibrant democratic public culture. 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.
I am mystified by this cartoon. It isn’t unique in its use of the Abu Ghraib figure, of course. This particular image seems to be developing as a visual template/ideograph for suffering and hypocrisy in much the same way as the Iwo Jima figure is used by cartoonists to denote collective effort and committment to some ideal (as Carol Winkler and I have outlined). But there is no external context here that provides an analogy for the image. From the date posted I imagine that the cartoon might reference current administration responses to past practices, but still–no visual or verbal reference. Telnaes does rather spare work, but if this posting was intended as an example of the appropriation of the Abu Ghraib figure, I wonder why such a mysterious one, or am I totally missing something here?
Janis: Did you click on the image? Doing so should provide the visual/verbal reference you are seeking as the figure “sheds the veil” and the voice of Obama speaks. Or are you looking for something else?