Obama Joker 09

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iratasan
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Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:49 pm

this poster is bollocks. the hype around it is ridiculous. amazing how much attention you can get with such a cheap shot.
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gridlock
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Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:39 pm

yo..... you can even find a right winger or two in san francisco I guess even a fox news fan might have photoshop and a color printer. The AM radio listener who made this poster definitely is confused. The joker represents chaos and anarchy. Putting Obama in white face is Rush type humor and Obama is definitely not a socialist. The word Socialism is their new replacement word for Liberal. The right wing is so begging, this is the best they can do? Aren't they the real Nationalist Socialists.............chea
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AceO
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Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:37 pm

This was in todays Chicago Tribune.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/ ... 6819.story

Talking to the Chicago college student who may be behind Obama-as-Joker poster
UIC student's Joker artwork is spun into one serious caper


Alkhateeb says he didn't produce the "socialism" posters that blanketed Southern California and stirred controversy. (AFP/Getty photo by Robyn Beck / August 7, 2009

August 19, 2009
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Here's what Firas Alkhateeb of Portage Park did on his summer vacation: He became the center of a media typhoon. He was held responsible for a potent piece of artistic appropriation. He was discussed seriously by art critics in the Washington Post and pundits on CNN, defended by the right on Fox News and dubbed racist by the left in LA Weekly. The Los Angeles Times wondered if he had created an "act of cultural terrorism," even as others rushed to use his art on T-shirts, clocks, action figures. He was both praised and criticized by Shepard Fairey, the artist best known for those ubiquitous Barack Obama "Hope" posters. Meanwhile, Alkhateeb's own art became somewhat ubiquitous across Los Angeles and surrounding towns, disseminating outward, and surfacing on mailboxes and telephone poles as far away as Florida, Minnesota and Hawaii.

A busy summer, considering Alkhateeb found out about all this only two weeks ago.

See, earlier this summer someone began blanketing Southern California with posters portraying Obama as the Joker from "The Dark Knight" -- a portrait identical to an October 2008 cover of Time magazine but caked with pasty white makeup, and darkened ominously around the eyes, then smeared with Heath Ledger's long gruesome lipstick grin. Beneath the image, the poster read simply: "socialism." It got noticed. And discussed.

But the question no one could answer was: Who did it?

Early Monday evening, the Los Angeles Times outed Alkhateeb, a 20-year-old senior history major at the University of Illinois at Chicago, as the creator of the Joker-Obama image; it had been tipped off that the image was on Alkhateeb's Flickr page. That work (indeed a digitally altered scan from Time magazine) has since been taken down. Alkhateeb admitted he created the Joker-Obama; he said he created the portrait last winter when he was home from UIC on break, "sitting around with nothing to do," tinkering with Adobe Photoshop. He points out that anyone with Photoshop could have created something similar.

Herein lies the twist.

Alkhateeb says he created the Joker-Obama -- the makeup, the lipstick, everything but the "socialism" caption. And the postering of Los Angeles. He says he's been working in Chicago all summer, heading for his senior year. He says, despite reservations, he actually likes Obama, and that he's "rooting for him." He says the Joker-Obama portrait on the posters was lifted from the appropriated Time magazine cover on his Flickr page and reappropriated for the posters put up across Los Angeles. He says he wishes he wasn't connected. His first reaction was that someone else had a similar idea. And possibly somebody did -- without anyone claiming the "socialism" posters, the possibility exists. But, no, he says, he looked closely at the artwork on those posters and compared it: The same Photoshop mistakes that he felt he made last winter appear in the posters.

"I'm still shocked," he said. He posted the image on Flickr in mid-January, and, for seven months, he forgot about it.

He explains all this, sitting forward in a chair in his family's living room, his mother and sister listening with wry smiles, trying not to laugh. "I didn't know anything about the posters or even that someone had used the image I created until I started getting e-mail from people," he said. "Then I saw the poster, and I saw it was everywhere, and that all these news stations were arguing about it, and I said out loud, 'Oh, no -- that's mine!' " This was early August. Alkhateeb rushed from his bedroom into the kitchen and told his mother what happened. He said she gave him an exhausted look, like "Firas -- what did you do!?!"

His 16-year-old sister, Huda, was sleeping over at a friend's house when he made the connection. She said, "In the morning, I knew something was up because my mother and my brother came to pick me up, which was strange. I get in the car and he goes, 'I'm famous.' As soon as he said it, I knew he did something totally stupid -- 'What stupid thing did you get yourself into, Firas?' "

His mother, Sanaa Alqudsi, was angry.

"I am a fan of Obama," she said. "All I am thinking is, 'Why are you making him look that way in a picture? Why do a picture that could be taken so badly?' Obama is not a bad guy!"

The family sat in their modest second-floor apartment Tuesday morning, Huda with a hoodie pulled up, Sanaa in her hijab, presenting a visiting reporter with a tray of fresh grapes and peaches. Alkhateeb, whose parents are Palestinian, spent his first 13 years in San Francisco, moved to Lombard, graduated from Glenbard East High School, then moved to Chicago two years ago.

"My first inclination was to lay low, to be honest," he says. "Obama is a pretty popular guy, though I've heard his numbers are dropping. I didn't want to put myself out there. And in his hometown. I wasn't going to say anything. I was reading a million things written online, and it was all easy to ignore, then that word 'racist' popped up. Then LA Weekly said the only thing missing from this racist picture was the noose. At that point I felt like, OK, I should say something. I never meant anything in a hurtful way."

His friends knew. Saquib Shasi said, "We all thought it was more funny than anything. I mean, he was messing around and he built a political bomb. There was a lot of 'Firas! You got to come out of the closet, Firas!' "

Indeed, in his family's home, he comes off like what he is -- a college student, soft-spoken, unsure of his political views, but certainly full of them. He said the Joker-Obama was intended, to some extent, as a corrective to artist Fairey's more admiring view of Obama. "I don't hold allegiances to politicians or issues," he said. "I just thought everyone was going overboard with him, and I guess it was just my way of keeping a little ground beneath me and remembering that history is full of presidents who first seem great. But I do like him." But in general, Alkhateeb says he is liberal on foreign policy and more conservative on domestic issues.

He also doesn't consider himself an artist -- he wants to be a history teacher.

But Anthony Falzone, the executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School, and the defending attorney for Fairey in his own appropriation controversy against The Associated Press (which says Fairey unfairly used one of its photos for his "Hope" posters), said Alkhateeb's image is "pretty brilliant, because people have attached so many meanings to it -- which is a hallmark to great art. It says different things to different people. And to recontextualize it as guerrilla art, and for it to be the Joker, whose targets were political in the movie -- it's pretty ingenious no matter how you feel about it."

Which leaves us with: Who is the joker who took Alkhateeb's appropriation of the Joker?

"I would like to know," Alkhateeb said, fixing his eyes across the room at the computer. "If it's a street-art campaign, I somehow doubt it'll be manufactured by the GOP. It's another guy or organization. I just wish I knew which."

Mark Milan of the Los Angeles Times contributed to this report. cborrelli@tribune.com


Alkhateeb says he didn't produce the "socialism" posters that blanketed Southern California and stirred controversy. Robyn Beck/Getty-AFP Photo
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venush13
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Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:24 pm

I saw this on the news recently. The tea baggers are using it in their protests.

ah, here we go: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/17/ ... .teaparty/
aritelescope wrote:They're holding the posters in our teary faces and pointing and laughing at us while they count their money.
ryan_1969 wrote:i heart phish.
iratasan
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Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:58 pm

sigh.
pjtaper
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Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:36 pm

venush13 wrote:I saw this on the news recently. The tea baggers are using it in their protests.

ah, here we go: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/17/ ... .teaparty/
I saw ladies with tea bags taped to the sides of their glasses... drymounting hilarious, I've got a tea bag for them
forwardselection
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Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:45 am

I don't get it.
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ottomatik71
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Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:59 am

forwardselection wrote:I don't get it.
ask your mother to explain.
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baxterpop
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Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:48 am

Actually I am pretty sure the guy who did it is a moderate democrat, not a "right winger", unbelievable how much attention this got.
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comountaingolf
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Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:58 am

baxterpop wrote:Actually I am pretty sure the guy who did it is a moderate democrat, not a "right winger", unbelievable how much attention this got.
The guy who created the image is a moderate... the guys that added the Socialist tag and pasted 'em up around the nation are the nut-job right wingers :wink:
Jim Carr wrote:The fans are standing up to them! The security guards are standing up to them! The peanut vendors are standing up to them!
> THC X 9 <
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gridlock
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Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:50 am

yo........moderate are right wingers!!!!..........chea!!
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aahnutz
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Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:29 pm

This image is being used in an RNC fundraising Powerpoint presentation.

Image

Read about it here ---> Memo Reveals GOP Plan to Exploit Fear of Obama
The information contained in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Expressobeans.com (EB) and shall not be held to limit the rights of EB under the Fair Use Doctrine or any other federal, state, or local law which may be applicable.
iratasan
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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:01 am

clint eastwood is a republican and rules. nuff said.
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hirschy75
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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:29 am

Hahaa gotta love the race card...

Because he's black its racist? He could be whiter than jerry seinfeld and it would still be true

Seriously though, he's not a democrat... he's a socialist through and through and people love to :notworthy:
reminder: ink on paper
iratasan
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Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:34 am

there are no living socialists.
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