May 16, 2017

I am surprised/not surprised to see the uncomplicated promotion in The Washington Post of positioning a photograph of the top of the head of Sean Spicer to make it appear that he is hiding in shrubbery.

This meme — a sort of comic protest art — developed after Spicer was seen standing between 2 tall hedges and talking to reporters, giving something of an impression that he was hiding in the bushes. Now, there's a website — linked in WaPo — where you can download the photograph...
“Presenting the ‘Garden Spicer,'” Kadonaga said in her Facebook post Thursday. “Now you too can have the White House press secretary in — or rather, “among”* — the bushes in your yard. And hey, if you’re concerned that when exposed to the outdoors, the image will run … no worries, that’s exactly what Sean Spicer does, so it’s totally authentic!”...

Since then, Spicer’s face has been popping up in gardens around the world — in the District of Columbia, California, even New Zealand. Spicer has been spotted hiding in household planters, in shrubs outside the Watergate Hotel, and even in Mother’s Day bouquets of flowers....
This seems to be one of those times when people think that because their heart is in the right place — here, hating Trump — that whatever they do will work as they intended — such as, here, giving the good people who hate Trump an outlet to express and experience their contempt for Trump. But they don't think it through. They don't think of the other values — values they as good people also treasure — that come into play. Specifically, in this case, environmentalism and feminism.

1. Environmentalism. If you leave these paper-on-cardboard things in bushes, you are littering. But perhaps you only put the head there long enough to take a photo to upload to social media. There is still the more spiritual level of environmentalism, the appropriation of plant life for human purposes that have nothing to do with the plant's meaning unto itself. It's one thing to locate a shrub so that its natural beauty is close to you where you can see and admire it, quite another to impose on the plant's inherent dignity, to use it as a symbol of human surreptitiousness and guilt.

2. Feminism. You have forgotten the fear of violence that limits the freedom of women to move freely in this world! Creating the impression of a man hiding in the bushes is akin to chalking swastikas on the sidewalk or hanging nooses on trees. Worse, really, because passersby might from a distance think an attacker really is right there, ready to strike. Let's remember the "Sleepwalker" statue that caused such a disturbance at Wellesley college in 2014:
The sculpture is out in the open where it can be seen from a distance and it really does look like a strange man stumbling about in his underwear.



Whether you're afraid of "him" or simply think he has a problem... you're drawn into a real emotional response before you realize it is art.... But — ha ha — it's only a statue. You're silly. You were afraid of a statue. So it's an unsettling prank. Why? Is that good art? It has appropriated your peace of mind, your comfort in a public space, for what?
Safety in public spaces is a feminist issue. And forgetting that whenever you have some other purpose in mind is a feminist problem.

16 comments:

Once written, twice... said...

When Trump said last year that he could murder someone in the middle of 5th Avenue during broad daylight and his followers woundn't care, he was referring specifically to Ann Althouse.

MadisonMan said...

At some point, Trump will actually do something that is dangerous to the Country -- and not just dangerous to the ruling elite. And you know what? When the Press Reports it, I won't believe it at first because all the Press is doing right now is Unsourced Journalism to generate clicks and maintain the exhausting outrage of the Hillary-loving left. Eesh.

I'm reminded of the Althouse/Bob Wright Bloggingheads in which Bob Wright complained that the Press Support of Hillary was so out-in-the-open and ham-fisted that it would backfire on them. And here we are.

This Spicer in the bushes thing is just one more example of the phoniness of the Press. It's like something Jon Stewart/Colbert/John Oliver would do to generate laughs in a partisan taping of his show.

wildswan said...

Just picture a Hillary figure hiding among the trees, doing a her Yeti impersonation, next time you walk in the park.

Or Bill.

Fernandinande said...

Foreigner Kadonaga looks like a victim of trans-something.

Gahrie said...

Feminism. You have forgotten the largely irrational fear of violence that limits the freedom of women to move freely in this world!

FTFY.

DanTheMan said...

>>Safety in public spaces is a feminist issue.

Yes. They need men with guns to protect them.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Is this all they have? A cut out picture of Spicer's head on a stick?

rhhardin said...

We've got to keep men out of parks.

rhhardin said...

Downside for women: men after women.

Upside for women: men after women.

Hagar said...

I feel about Once written, twice ... about like Kellyann Conway feels about the Morning Joe crew.

Bill R said...

It is amazing to me how obsessed with hatred these people are. The time and mental energy they put into this stuff is just astonishing.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I just thank God we still have solid Media outlets giving us Hard News--real solid, dependable stuff, the kind of thing you just can't find on any ol' clickbait-y website.

Journalism, ladies and gentlemen.

Michael said...

See your previous post on perpetual adolescence. We have reached the point where adolescence extends to around 45. So much of what now passes for humor, protest, politics, culture, etc., is just teenage brattiness. This is expected in actual teenagers, but it is something you are supposed to grow out of.

Professional lady said...

Bill R, I agree with you. It must be exhausting.

Eric Ivers said...

Thanks, Anne.
This is hilarious. It's always fun to use people's own tactics against them.

civil truth said...

Cute parody reversal there, Anne, though definitely a bit stretched.

But while you're in the process of stretching, I'm surprised you overlooked another great sin: the sin of cultural appropriation that is being committed as well, this time against alternatively-technologied societies of forest dwellers whose lifestyles are being mocked and belittled by being reduced to cardboard cutouts of a cis-heterosexual white male, inserted and tamed to caricatures safe for western colonialist society.

The transgressions and outrages of life are almost limitless if one is determined to find offense. Not a very rewarding way to live, though.