markalause at gmail.com
Wed Dec 24 06:11:41 MST 2008
And the best of the season to you, Gary.
I don't know what the Italians are doing with their Obama figurines,
but my grandmother had the same pictures of John XXIII and JFK. When
I lived in Texas and knew legions of Hispanics, it was quite
predictable to find that same picture of JFK with a picture of MLK.
Iconography is always in the mind of the people adopting the icons,
and I never felt any need to quibble with people over their particular
icons and they usually had good reasons of their own for doing so.
It does make you think, though. On one wall of my office, I have a
succession of pictures of uniformed Civil War soldiers... In addition
to Joseph Weydemeyer, they include
* General Alonzo G. Draper (leader of the 1860 shoe strike),
* General James Baird Weaver (1880 Greenback and 1892 Populist
candidate for president),
* Colonel William B. Greene (Fourierist translator or Proudhon and
member of the First International),
* Colonel William A. Phillips (veteran land reformer, abolitionist and
commander of the Indian Brigade),
* Colonel Dick Hinton (Chartist, abolitionist, founder of the
socialist movement in the US).
I put them up so people would ask about their identity, but almost
nobody does. I never thought about it before, but visitors probably
see only uniformed soldiers on that wall and probably take away
nothing or absolutely wrong ideas about what I value. On the other
hand, they don't seem to recognize the other images in the office
either...Castro, Malcolm X, Gene Debs, etc.
Perhaps we should just hang up mirrors. But would they understand the
importance of the image they see there? Probably not at this point.
Have a good strong coffee for me....
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