Bush to Saddam: We will--hey, get that camera out of my face!
Have you noticed this? The new trope in Iraq news coverage is to show Bush in extreme closeup, with his chin and the top of his head cropped off, as if the cameraman is running directly into Bush's nose just as he's delivering some stern ultimatum.
It's not just Bush, though: I've seen this technique used with Cheney, Powell and Ashcroft, among others.
It seems that the marketing team that engineers the Iraq media coverage has decided that the middle of the face is the sweet spot for arousing anti-Iraq fervor. There's branding at work here: some ad wizard obviously decided "Whever people see a guy on the street with no chin or forehead, I want them to think AMERICA KICKS BUTT!"
Perhaps it has been decided that the current American leaders' foreheads and chins are not their most resolved-looking features, and their mouths and eyes are where it's at, inspiration-wise. It's definitely true that Bush doesn't have the high, intelligent forehead beloved of phrenologists; and he does his real emoting with that endearing mouth-twist and eye-wrinkle of his that make him look so much like a wizened, lovable old shrunken head. But I'll tell you something: I don't like getting up close and personal with Bush.
The problem for me is that when I'm forced to zoom uncomfortably close to Bush, I feel like I'm falling into his limpid eyes, like in one of those hackneyed camera zooms that take you into a guy's eye, and then blurs, and then you're in the guy's fantasy life. With Cheney or Ashcroft, there would be nothing disconcerting about that; if you've seen one oil slick or Panzar unit rolling through Washington you've seen them all. But I always feel that behind Bush's eyes is an airless, alien, pellucid world, and I just don't want to have to stare into that every time Bush gives a press conference about how we will use nukular weapons on the tyrant.
But my real fear now is what's to come. With tight head shots already whipping us into a frenzy, what will be done midway through the war, when morale needs a boost? Zoom in even closer? I fear disaster:
I'd like to close by giving a shout out to Floridians who voted for Nader: Hey, dudes! By following your conscience and voting for an outsider with integrity and fresh ideas, you fucking ruined the world. Thanks!