July 10, 2012

Drudge goes black-and-white with Rahm, Brad Pitt, Uncle Sam, and Obama.

Look. Only Pitt and Rahm are photographs. Obama — like Uncle Sam — is done with artwork. Pretty bad artwork. It looks like a bad drawing, and I'm guessing it was done by computer-processing of a photo. It's funny the way the photographiness of a photo shows through when a drawing is made. Something more timeless and grand is found when the artist draws from life. Of course, there's the usual risk that it won't look like the person. But that's why you need a good artist. Or stick with a regular photo-photo.

Unless you're looking for an odd effect. Perhaps Drudge is trying to say that Obama is drained of life. It might have something to do with the big drained-of-color idea, which does unify the 4 images. There's another processed photo further down on the page: Hugo Chavez. His image has been subjected to posterization — where all shades of gray have been eliminated.

Ah! I said it: shades of grey. Is Drudge hinting that these men have some kind of Christian Grey sadistic power over us? Speaking of photoprocessing, there was this article in the Daily Mail yesterday, imagining Christian Grey as a composite — depicted in shades of gray — of various famous guys, including Brad Pitt (but not Rahm, Uncle Sam, Obama, and Chavez).



Also on the Drudge page, in column 1, under Brad Pitt, is Vladimir Putin. Putin and Pitt are both wearing sunglasses. The Pitt image pushes "Brad Pitt's mom in fear after slamming Obama..." and the Putin image goes to "West is on decline." Chavez is positioned under Uncle Sam, and both of those images include hands — Sam pointing at us (over a warning about taxes and Obama) and Chavez with his hand to his forehead in the position Drudge showed Obama 3 days ago. Obama had his hand like that along with the headline "Barack and Bones: I've Been Eating," and today's Chavez image goes along with an assertion that Chavez is "totally free" of cancer (a likely lie).

The main story, about Rahm ("the Godfather") is about the murder rate spiking in Chicago.  Rahm's picture is centered over Uncle Sam and Hugo Chavez, and Rahm's hand is holding his chin in a manner that implies thinking and judgment especially given the intensity of his eyes, looking off to his right. Uncle Sam's eyes are also intense, staring right at us in that accusatory way. As noted above, Pitt and Putin have their eyes covered with sunglasses — shades (Shades of Grey?!). So what might we say about Obama's eyes? I'd say they look up slightly, conveying vague confusion or dreaminess.

Obama tops the third column, which has no other faces, but 2 other images: of solar flares ("getting stronger") and of NYC ("Bloomberg asks developers to test tiny apartments...").  The Obama image has "$0$" under it, which links to a story about how Romney raised much more money than Obama in June ($106 million, compared to $71 million).

What does it all mean?  The easy explanation is that black-and-white imposes unity over the diverse images, and the similarities and differences are mostly by chance, aided by a bit of conscious design (putting the sunglasses pictures in one column and the hands pictures in another). Black-and-white was a big move by Drudge, but it too is likely meaningless. Just another way to get attention. Maybe he thought going black-and-white with the Rahm picture made him look more like a gangster (even though the "Godfather" movies are in color), and that led to the idea of making the whole page black-and-white, just to get the webfolk thinking, making stuff up.

But the only interesting lead I thought of is "50 Shades of Grey." Maybe Drudge is trying to say that government and crime are whipping us into submission. Government and crime... and solar flares. Wear sunglasses!

87 comments:

Patrick said...

Sometimes a Drudge is just a Drudge.

Bob Ellison said...

You spelled "grey" two ways, Professor.

Jay said...

I love the NYT piece:

Several top Obama donors said privately that Mr. Obama’s attacks on Mr. Romney’s private equity career, the president’s handling of White House relations with business leaders and his criticisms of tax rates for the wealthy had made it harder for some of his allies to raise money on Mr. Obama’s behalf from the financial sector and other industries.

“He will not have the same level of support from the business community as last time — either in endorsements, money or support,” said one Obama backer who declined to be identified because of his relationship with the campaign. “That’s clear.”


Obama is going to win the net tax consumer, AFSCME, and "Obama money" vote for sure...

Joaquin said...

It doesn't mean anything. Drudge just wanted something different for today, and now everyone is looking for 'meaning'

Ann Althouse said...

"You spelled "grey" two ways, Professor."

"Gray" is the long-term spelling on this blog and the normal spelling used by Americans.

"Grey" is the title of the book, the name of the character -- Christian Grey -- the British spelling, and the spelling used by Americans who have been over influenced by the British and that damned book.

So... I meant to do that.

Ann Althouse said...

(Actually, I had to correct one "grey" to "gray." After I started talking about the book, the book-spelling influenced me.)

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe Drudge's b&w is related to: "2 Minutes Silence for Slipknot's Paul Gray - Sonisphere Knebworth 10 July 2011" - a year ago today.

Scott said...

This is way too subtle for me.

chickelit said...

Does Matt carry any drudges against anyone?

Tobias said...

I noticed Drudge last night and hoped it would be Althouse fodder.

I thought the connection was more about old propaganda posters and the limits of printing than about the color. However, color lithography has a strong history with those types of posters, so the lack of color seems deliberate.

edutcher said...

Maybe Drudge is trying to illustrate how stark our choices are.

And the photo of Tippytoes; yeah, he's the new Meyer Lansky.

Except he doesn't have to push a button; all the people that are getting whacked are dead because of what he hasn't done.

So like his capo.

Pogo said...

'Black and white' is racist.

'Racist' is racist.

Everything is racist!

Down with everything!

BarryD said...

I thought the picture of Obama looks better than Obama himself.

"Drudge just wanted something different for today, and now everyone is looking for 'meaning'"

Exactly.

Man: I think it was, "Blessed are the cheesemakers"!
Gregory's wife: What's so special about the cheesemakers?
Gregory: Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

jacksonjay said...

The Professor must not be teaching this summer!

Lem said...

This is way too subtle for me.

Here here..

Dante said...

Maybe it's a comment on decline, back to the days of black and white TV.

You have Putin, return of the Bear, "West is on Decline". You have another vaguely defined communist, Hugo Chavez. "Tiny apartments," in black and white.

And who is our leader? Every image is powerful, except the one of dear leader Obama.

Joan said...

Just out of curiosity, how long has Drudge had WHite House Black Market as an advertiser? They had the most prominent ads I saw, but I'm not sure if everyone sees the same ads.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
I meant to do that

Surfed said...

What is it about Wisconsin chicks? They waaayyyy over think things. My gf in Lake Geneva (where I am residing for the summer) has the same propensity. Is it something in the water?

MadisonMan said...

The Professor must not be teaching this summer!

Law students spend the summer drinking. No time for class.

Or classes.

Evan said...

Pitt and Obama are both looking at Uncle Sam as if to say "what are you going to do?"

Uncle Same is looking at us asking the same question

Putin and Chavez are both looking to see what we will do about it

Rahm is just thinking about dancing on his tippy toes

edutcher said...

Dante said...

Maybe it's a comment on decline, back to the days of black and white TV.

Black and white TV was the good old days, '49 - 65.

No decline, America ascendant.

I remember someone writing, "The world was better in black and white". Maybe Drudge wants us to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear and the attitudes we had then.

Penny said...

I feel certain the black and white is a Drudge "whim".

Quite like the red, white and blue "whim" he had on the 4th of July.

Cedarford said...

One of Drudges big themes in recent times is "Chicagoland", the spiritual home of the Black Messiah and his Chicago cabal - cast (correctly) as a dangerous place with black thugs running amok.

Drudge also has reported on flash mobs and racial attacks by blacks in other states and cities that the liberal and progressive Jewish run media organs suppressed.

Althouse is right to comment on the importance of the pictures Drudge runs....they are well understood by Drudge to carry an obvious or a subliminal message at a glance to many of his viewers - and appear to be selected with a lot of thought.

ndspinelli said...

Surfed, There are two basic groups, simplifiers and complicators. Most simplifiers are men, most complicators are women. Althouse is a narcissistic complicator which means she can't even see that she is complicating. It's just something we must endure to get to the decreasing number of gems.

MadisonMan said...

200!!!!

Crap.

(puts right hand up)

I promise to stay on topic all day.

The color ads do pop when the rest is b/w. So I think that's why he did it, as a favor to his advertisers.

Surfed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

@ndspinelli - roger that.

Will Cate said...

It made me think of how movie-makers will still film in black-and-white when they want to make an "artistic" statement. It used to be a limitation of the the medium a century ago; nowadays it's done so that a director can prove he or she can master the subtleties of shadows and light to the greatest effect.

It also might be intended to think of the current day in a manner similar to the Great Depression, which we tend to remember visually through B/W newspaper photos and newsreels.

But I agree that it probably doesn't mean anything -- its meaning is in its meaninglessness. Just a clever way to get people to talk about Drudge.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Surfed said...

And another thing: I keep up with this blog on a daily basis during my work year but less so during the summer months when I travel, etc. I have noticed Ms. Althouse's antipathy to the 'Grey' trilogy in the past. I even seem to recall a certain slagging the novel recieved for it's style of writing, etc. That being said, whenever I infrequently log back into Althouse world there is some reference to the novels, either glancing or narrowed and in the crosshairs. Admittedly, I have used the novel to great effect in my own personal life these last 6 months or so. It seems to have (for want of a better phrase) hit a nerve. So my question is this; to what effect have these novels affected Althouse that they are constantly (if not on an everyday basis)referred to? Is this a question best posed to Meade?

glenn said...

Actually anybody who uses B&W images is a racist. So There.

David said...

Damn!

Smilin' Jack said...

Good grief. This post needed a "Read more >>" break after, like, the second word.

William said...

Ptolemy is to astronomy what Marx is to economics what Althouse is to Drudge. Scholarly exegesis doesn't have to be right in order to be convincing.

tiger said...

It doesn't mean anything.

traditionalguy said...

Beautifully written and a pleasure to read, and so early in the morning.

Althouse is getting to be the best written stuff on the internets. It is thoughtful and unhindered by an audience claque's demands for bias confirmation.

Have a nice day.

m stone said...

Whatever spinelli said.

shiloh said...

traditionalguy is challenging edutcher for Althouse's #1 sycophant.

Have a nice day.

>

And yes, it probably doesn't mean anything ...

Rose said...

LOL - I saw the black and white and came straight here. Althouse has to have something on this. What's it mean? I'm going with stripping the color out of the equation, star-bellied sneetches style.

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
[Hugo Chavez] image has been subjected to posterization — where all shades of gray have been eliminated.

I believe you're misusing the term here. The Chavez image used by Drudge is an example of the lithographic effect, probably produced in Photoshop executing the Theshold command on a foreground layer and then applying a Gaussian blur filter.

Posterization is an effect which reduces a panchromatic image to a daughter image with a flat colorspace of just three or four tones, thus replicating the look of the 3-pass color printing process used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in cheap mass-market publications such as posters and handbills.

Here's a pose of Chavez with posterization and litho effects applied.

In high school I used to spend endless hours in the darkroom listening to the Who or Jethro Tull while experimenting with the litho effect, using tremendous amounts of expensive Kodalith film in the process. Just about any girl I found attractive got subjected to the the litho effect in hope that my "artistry" might get me into her pants. Didn't work even once, sad to say.

My technique involved using Kodalith sheet film, typically the 3x5 stock, exposed using the enlarger. After developing I had a litho negative. Then using a second Kodalith sheet and a contact exposure I made a litho positive, which could then be used to produce a conventional print. By the time I was 17 I had exhausted my interest in that particular branch photography, and I haven't revisited it until now.

Rusty said...

(In my best Eric Idle in drag)

Oh. Look! There's parrot on the dictator!

Bob Ellison said...

Well, that's pretty good, but you wrote "...imagining Christian Gray as a composite...".

So, no.

traditionalguy said...

The Rifleman is on cable TV in re-runs in black and white. Chuck Connor calm and collected uses his wrist and his Winchester lever action to shoot 10 30-30 rifle shots into a bad guy in 3 seconds, and the bad guy then simple slumps down with no blood or wounds showing. Those were the days.

traditionalguy said...

Hi Shiloh...I am so glad that you are back. Everyone missed your wit and your slashing criticisms.

But think carefully with me: A sycophant sucks up and says everything the powerful person does is excellent. But not acknowledging another person's true skills would be the worse mistake to make.

Diplomacy requires making an effort to see the good in others. Look harder.

shiloh said...

traditionalguy

I was being sarcastic as edutcher has Althouse's sycophant trophy locked up, not a close call.

And yes, Althouse does make some good points when she's not pretending to be a self-righteous ideologue or embarrassing herself by swooning over mittens.

Indeed, I was here long enough to figure out her game, a very quick study. Political blogs are not rocket science!

As mentioned last night, she wins regardless of the outcome in Nov. as she will continue to cater to her 90/10 conservative audience regardless.

The yin and yang of conservative/liberal blogs.

take care

edutcher said...

tg, from one syncophant to another, "The Rifleman"'s been on AMC for several years on Saturday mornings.

You can see more shows in glorious black&white on the Encore channels.

PS I wonder what it cost to rent the sockpuppet?

chickelit said...

re: "syncophant"

Are these in the same genus as alliephants?

Alex said...

Anyways we're all going to Cheesecake Factory tonight to gorge ourselves silly, anyone want some?

chickelit said...

Shilho writes cum granum invidia.

jeff said...

If only Chuck Connors had used his words, rather than shooting up the no doubt misunderstood differently-good guys. Perhaps then the old west could have been as safe and as pleasant as Chicago. Or DC. We will never know. Missed opportunities.

ken in sc said...

My first girlfriend was Linda Grey. I don't know how she spelled it. Her father was a barber who gave me my first haircut in 1949; in Parish Alabama. I still remember her. She was pretty.

Coketown said...

Chavez, Obama, his brother, and Emmanuel are all staring at something over the reader's left shoulder. I turned around to see for myself but it was just a coffee maker. Uncle Sam and Putin are both staring at the reader. The reader has a choice: liberty or tyranny? Can we please choose something in between?

MadisonMan said...

My first girlfriend was Linda Grey

And now she's on Dallas!

madAsHell said...

If you count carefully, you will see that Chuck squeezed 11 rounds out of that 10 round rifle.
...and people Chuck Norris is tough dude.

David R. Graham said...

"Maybe Drudge is trying to say that government and crime are whipping us into submission."

Yup. That's what's on everyone's mind, some relishing, some abhorring. So that's the news Matt aggregates, that whipping into submission is the main thing occurring and that everyone knows that it is. He's not really trying to say that, I think; he's trying to reflect ("news") what's on all persons' minds: totalitarian gray, meaninglessness gray, depression gray, gloating gray.

Life is struggle. Even government and crime must struggle to pay for their perfume.

David R. Graham said...

The Rifleman's rifle.

Somewhat related, the mare's leg.

Ann Althouse said...

"Whatever spinelli said."

It was a classic misogynistic remark, but I won't explain why because I don't want to stress out your self-professedly simple minds.

Rusty said...

chickelit said...
Shilho writes cum granum invidia.



With a grain(bit) of envy?

dishonorablejapes said...

I thought I stumbled on something and emailed the Blogfather a screenshot about it and he referenced the Althouse, and I see you've already taken up the cause.

There's something to it. He's known for clever juxtapositions and I can't recall an all "black and white" day. Can anyone else?

I'm personally leaning towards an interpretation of "This is your future, it's in pretty stark terms." Choose one and you've chosen them all. Because they are the same idealogically. Not so much Pitt but what's occuring to the mother, but Letterman talking about Romney putting Cooper back in the closet.

Ann Althouse said...

"Admittedly, I have used the novel to great effect in my own personal life these last 6 months or so. It seems to have (for want of a better phrase) hit a nerve. So my question is this; to what effect have these novels affected Althouse that they are constantly (if not on an everyday basis)referred to? Is this a question best posed to Meade?"

I don't read many novels, and I don't read any novels that are not on a fairly high literary level. So, genre romance and porn aren't in my Kindle.

I am interested in the culture however and in sexuality, so I'll talk about what it might mean that so many women are reading a novel that depicts sado-masochism. In fact, Meade and I just had big conversation about that. I wondered whether women's fascination with this kind of fiction indicated that something is missing in present-day sexual relationships. Meade expressed the view that this is what women over the ages have in fact found titillating. I didn't disagree, so it's not as though we were opposed. I think it's a good issue, worth discussing, so feel free to carry on with that.

Roger J. said...

Any efforts to explain the female mind would be greatly appreciated. when it comes to men, IMO, its simple: men generally think with their small head rather than their large head. Women? who knows. Makes life interesting.

Chip Ahoy said...

It always has meaning. Deep esoteric meaning. It's positively Kabbalah-istic. Cabalatastic. Photo choice and placement are part of his reindeer game editorializing without speaking overtly.

Oddly, and this is little known, if you play Drudge backwards you get the exact same thing in reverse. With all the people pointing in the opposite direction.

It's come to this. The issues are black and white. Now everything looks worse -- Paul Simon.

edutcher said...

madAsHell said...

If you count carefully, you will see that Chuck squeezed 11 rounds out of that 10 round rifle.

IIRC, the Winchester held 14 rounds.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Darth Vader in black and white now on Drudge: The Tea Party is racist.

This seems right to me. Always empathetic and concerned about race, Tea Party members/fans are too slow (cowardly?) to call hateful bigots like Al Sharpton racist only because he is black.

In Living Color knows racism abounds in affirmative action programs and makes people laugh about this fact, because In Living Color's cast and crew, along with their audience, investors, and anyone associated (or not per J. Robert's logic) with the show is a filthy racist pig.

ndspinelli said...

I've long said you can always tell when an attorney is in full bullshit mode when they start using Latin terms. When a feminist, quasi-attorney uses "misogynistic" she's out of ammo but still trying to shoot from the hip.

When Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's record of consecutive games he did it the righteous, blue collar way. He could have just played an inning or two to keep the streak alive. But, Cal knew the Hall of Famer Gehrig didn't do that, and didn't end his streak until ALS had begun ravaging his body. Over 99% of the 2131 consecutive games in Ripken's streak he played THE ENTIRE GAME. Phoning it in was not an option.

What probably nobody but myself and Althouse here knows is that the first comment in this thread was made by me, it was DELETED. It was a 4 word question, "Still phoning it in?" That's the back story here. Obviously, I'm not the only one who thought that.

The rapport I have w/ women here, and elsewhere is proof positive I actually love women. I give kudos to Althouse when she helps toughen women up, BECAUSE THEY NEED IT, in large part. I abhor pc, Althouse can't shake that feminist, elitist, university cloak she wears. It's certainly not a "Good Republican cloth coat"!

Quaestor said...

Ann Althouse wrote:
It was a classic misogynistic remark, but I won't explain why because I don't want to stress out your self-professedly simple minds.

Don't bother, we get it.

But you were being classic yourself, were you not? ndspinelli wasn't professing a simple mind, and you know it.

Simplicity is the essence of beauty. Modern science strives for the hidden beautiful truth, which when revealed proves to be simple, not complicated. Einstein was the great Simplifier, yet you wouldn't call him simple minded. Or would you?

traditionalguy said...

Do women find nipple clamps "titilating?"

Many stories about English men seemed to like for a Mistress to whip them. I figured it was a need for humiliation to free them from an aristocrat's arrogance syndrome that was blocking them from experiencing normal human emotions. I remember stories about Prince Charles who seemed to like Camilla because she humiliated his Royal ass like his bad governess, unlike Princess Di who just wanted a normal man.

So maybe the empowered women aristocrats of today are also in need of humiliation to reconnect with their human emotions.

Apparently growing up emotionally past age 10 is a real accomplishment for some folks.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Those taught fighting fire with fire is not an intelligent reaction ought to consider how firefighters fighting wildfires burn areas around the fire to prevent excess fuel for the fire.

Fighting fire with fire works, and I believe in the power of sonar therefore have little concern over the gouging out of my or my enemies eyes when it comes to that.

veni vidi vici said...

Isn't the first thing that comes to mind that it's about race? The whole Rahm Emanuel controversy is the fact that there's an epic black-on-black gang war raging in the streets of Chicago. Since that was the headline, and Pitt's thing, Obama's brother's thing, and Obama's thing are all about race in some or another manner of racial thuggishness, seems to be pretty obvious.

Now, he's updated the headline to some idiotic group calling Romney too white to speak to the NAACP. Pretty much sums up the b&w theme at drudgereport.com this morning.

drudge doesn't care about some goofy book for middle-aged women to get moist over.

Roger J. said...

veni vidi vici: moist is good--obviates the need for foreplay :)

Quaestor said...

I've long said you can always tell when an attorney is in full bullshit mode when they start using Latin terms.

It's Greek, actually. What I found objectionable was "most simplifiers are men, most complicators are women." I read this as men=smart, women=stupid. Undoubtedly "complicators" are barking up the stupid tree. We've known that since William of Occam at least, but there's little support for the male/female dichotomy you've proposed.

Auntie Ann said...

He knew he was putting up the Romney/NAACP story later in the day, so he went all black-and-white in prep.

Rabel said...

Auntie Ann gets it right.

ndspinelli said...

Quaestor, First of all, I love Billy Mumy. I stand corrected on the Greek origin. I have no scientific data on the male/female breakdown, simply my observations. And, I am a professional observor of human behavior. Further, in no way was I implying intelligence differences, just the way males/females deal w/ problems.

We can assume Althouse doesn't subscribe to the Einstein School of Physics, Rube Goldberg is obviously more her cup of tea.

Jimmy James said...

Perhaps it has to do with the first B&W transatlantic imagoes transmitted via satellite by Telstar: Fifty years ago today!

Quaestor said...

The lawyer's byword: When the facts are on your side argue the facts. When the law is on your side argue the law. When in doubt obfuscate.

Perhaps Ann is being more lawyerly than womanly here?

Quaestor said...

Perhaps it has to do with the first B&W transatlantic images transmitted via satellite by Telstar: Fifty years ago today!

Now that's thinking with facts. Something even law professors need to be reminded of from time to time.

Quaestor said...

I love Billy Mumy.

He's here to wish the bad people into the cornfield. I hope to but him to bed with a nice glass of warm milk come November.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

This story, up on Drudge now, is beyond the pale. I have to stop myself from feeling sorry for Obama for having these bigots in his camp. Why don't any leaders speak out against this?

DC is swamp in need of draining.

ndspinelli said...

phx, What's hour point?

Darrell said...

Lucas McCain fires 12 shots (shown) from the 11-round rile in the opening sequence. A thirteenth round is heard on the soundtrack to match the score. The visual sequence ends with him reloading from his shirt pocket. Fans know that his rifle was chambered 44-40 Winchester, not .30-30, which was mentioned regularly when he bought ammo. The rifle is a modified Winchester 1892 while the series is set in the 1880s. Lucas must have gotten a prototype.

But do carry on.

egoist said...

Drudge's site has been hacked by somebody selling color pixels at the scrapyard to support their 50 shades of grey fetish.

Ken Green said...

This will probably be too subtle, but I think Drudge is trying to say that the upcoming election is a clear choice between black and white, both in terms of the person, and in terms of the principles at stake.

Rick said...

Solar flares.
Guys with sunglasses.
Guy shielding his eyes.
Mayor under fire.
City in the sun.
Uncle Sam with star on hat.
President sending out SOS.

What do I win?

Ali Carikcioglu said...

Drudge was not funny anymrore he might be racist