From the items-that-could-become -columns file:
One of the most remarkable — but ultimately, I think, dangerous — results of Obama’s victory is the way he has become an instant pop culture icon. The resonances of the famous agitprop image by Shepard Fairey underscore both the promise and the danger of the way Obama is being portrayed, part Warholian icon, part dictator. It doesn’t leave the man much room to maneouvre, with little margin for error. Where does he go from here? Take the left fork, and he risks becoming the leader of a personality cult. Take the right, and he’s just another pretty, empty vessel of the sort popular culture throws up every now and then.
It’s not an either/or thing, obviously. People wil eventually calm down, and his presidency will become normalized. And he might just manage to find the sweet spot of governance, keeping his overly-fanatic base reasonably happy while bringing the skeptical or openly hostile along with a combination of good policy and his seemingly limitless powers of persuasion.
Anyway, while I understand the excitement over his victory, I’m not sure that relentlessly casting him in works of religious/fascistic propaganda art does the man any favours. Time will tell, as always. Meanwhile, for all you cultural studies grad students out there casting about for a thesis topic, here you are.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.