Monday, March 30, 2009

The Real Obama Stimulus Package: A Face that Launched a Thousand Ships has Sold Many More Doo Rags, Wave Caps, Cheap T-shirts, and Bad Wigs

I was visiting my old neighborhood last weekend. During that time, I got my hair cut at Obama's barbershop, enjoyed eating some Joy Yee's, and bemoaned how the chess players have overrun the local Border's bookstore. During my journey I stumbled upon the following window display and had to preserve said images for posterity.

I must ask: Where's Waldo? Or more appropriately, how many random and misplaced objects can you find in these two pictures? My personal favorite would have to be either the "tummy belt" or the yellow plastic ghetto crocs. I can also imagine a brother or sister buying the inscents for an evening love session whereupon he/she returns home and announces, "baby, when I light these love sticks I am gonna put the Obama on you!"

It seems that Barack Obama is a cottage industry. Without the aid of taxpayer monies, his image has served as an urban renewal program and stimulus package for corner bodegas, street festivals, and petit entrepreneurs in cities across America. America loves its heroes. America loves to hate its villains. We also love to make a dollar in any way possible.

More Barack Obama Stimulus in Action

What is more disturbing, the pigs sitting next to Obama's picture (perhaps this store owner was bemoaning the pork in the stimulus package? Damn! my wit is so sharp today that I may just cut myself--for those who are counting that is two Oscar Wildelike wordplay moments in one day) or the bright pink wig next to the Obama family portrait?

What is the best or worst use of Obama's image that you have seen? What products should we expect him to "endorse" in the near future? Is this commercialization run amok or just another (positive) example of brothers and sisters getting their hustle on? (well, likely not brothers or sisters, as we know that black Americans own dismally few businesses in their own neighborhoods).

***Since we all have cell phones with cameras, let's indulge our inner photographer. Because so much museum space is dedicated to "high" culture, I think it would be fun to host an online exhibit of the worst, most amusing, and downright ridiculous uses of Obama (and his family's) image to sell wholly unrelated goods and services. To that end: if you are so inclined, please email your photos to us at and we will present them in a post entitled "A Photo Homage to Barack Obama as 21st Century Ambassador and Salesman."***

Bonus number 1: Dr. King, Mandela, Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and Ali would have used Apple computers and not PC's--

Bonus number 2: Never forget that Dr. King died so that you could eat McDonald's and become morbidly obese--


RiPPa said...

Obama sells cars here in Memphis.

verge said...

I'd say "commercialization run amok" sadly. I love that Think Different video. Dope blog.