pulp and pith … current affairs blog

Brand Obama

Posted on: January 27, 2009

The people are clamouring for everything and anything Obama. Ask Isabel Toledo, J. Crew, or the breeders of whatever variety of dog Sasha and Malia choose as their pet.

Those heady days of attending rallies, sleeping in ‘yes we can’ t-shirts, sobbing in parks and being felt up by Inauguration Day police are over, and members of the public are beginning to feel disconnected from the man they now call President.

Endorsing Brand Obama is a way of bringing a touch of Obama magic into our lives. It’s stupid to think that stuff the Obamas have worn, used, or stood in close proximity to will all of a sudden make people as successful, respected and admired as they are. But these are stupid times, and many of us are feeling low, rotten, and vulnerable to acts of irrational impulsiveness.

And so the cash floweth, because owning an Obama object is a simple, uncomplicated way of aligning yourself with the brand, far simpler than speculating over what might happen to prisoners currently held in Guantanamo or waiting to see what will happen when the President’s envoy arrives in the Middle East.

The Obamas have undeniable influence, and so far they have deployed it with care. The carefully planned choices they have made have caused the press to rave about them all the more. However, I’m not sure how the kids will deal with knowing that everything they touch will probably turn into sparkle dust. It must be horrendous to have to think before doing something as straightforward as buying a burger or choosing a pair of shoes to wear.

I guess that this is evidence of the extraordinary feelings that Barack Obama inspires in the American people and those of us who support from abroad. We are all consumers, and our emotions manifest themselves in a desire to lavish money on things associated with them. How depressing.

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