Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The 12 Days of Christmas: Barack Obama Shot Glasses, Action Figures, Cocoa Butter, and Bikini Line Bump Remover

The holiday season is upon us. I have some fun X-Mas related pieces forthcoming (volume 2 of my gift giving guide for ign't boys and girls should help with your last minute shopping). In the meantime, I am still out there hustling for the people. Following Obama's election, I asked you to send in your best/worst examples of the commodification of Barack Obama. Given that this is Obama's first Christmas in office, one would think that there would be many Obama bargains to be had. It seems that our local merchants in Chicago have certainly not disappointed. To that point, a recent trip to Walgreens revealed the following reviling O-man goodness (come on, talk about a sentence that is as smooth as wiping one's behind with silk!):

Barack Obama Shot Glasses

Now you too can get your drink on with the first black president of the United States.

This is really poetic. Given that Obama's numbers are going into the tank, perhaps we/him/us need a drink to celebrate the end of the year. Alternatively, we can take a drink to celebrate the fact that the brother is still breathing, safe, and making history in a world where there are all too many nut jobs that would do him harm.

Michelle and Barack Obama Action Figures

Kablamm! Boom! Pow! Sorry, just making my customary action figure noises. What adventures would you have with these fully articulated Obama action figures? Would Obama be a 24esque Shaft meets Matt Damon meets 007 superspy who comes to save Michelle Obama from the foul, lustful, frothing mouthed clutches of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? Will you make a Christmas themed diorama that is a hyper accurate 1/16th scale version of the White House where the Obama action figures host an elaborate gala ball while some Motown Christmas music plays in the background?

Odd (or Perfect) Product Placement Number One: Obama Merchandise and Cocoa Butter

How products are placed on the shelves at retail is neither coincidental nor accidental. Consultants, leveraging decades of data about shopping and consumption patterns, place products in such a way (at eye level for example, or on endcaps) as to promote impulse purchasing (ooh look I just have to have a Snuggy!), complementary purchases (peanut butter and jelly), and a sense of fun and pleasure (don't I feel better from spending the day out and about in the mall. I feel so alive!) from the shopping experience. Ultimately, in the eyes of the Mad Men of the world, we are nothing more than self-perpetuating happiness machines.

What does the placement of Obama related merchandise near the cocoa butter section of aisle 1 suggest? Do black folks love cocoa butter, where while grabbing a bottle of Palmer's said coloured person will also feel the impulse to share in Obama's victory?Is it more about race pride, linked fate, and feeling good about one's blackness? You know that sense of positive energy and connectedness that comes with getting a new haircut, putting on some cocoa butter, and then buying some commemorative Obama merchandise?

Odd (or Perfect) Product Placement Number Two: It's Sexy Time! Bikini Bump Remover Paired with Barack Obama Merchandise?

I am at a loss for this one. Is this some signal to our most prurient desires where tidying up one's girl parts (or boy parts) leads one to buy an Obama sweater, shot glass, or action figure? Is this part of a love ritual? Given that the Obamas are Black Camelot embodied, are regular black and brown folk roleplaying as Michelle and Obama? Is there some romance afoot? And what does the order of one's purchase of these Obama related goods tell us about the sexual magic to follow?

For example: if one buys the bikini zone bump stopper first, then the cocoa butter, then the shot glass and finally the action figures what freakiness is going down that night? I would suggest that said purchases suggest fixing up one's kitty, then lotioning up, putting on the lingerie (most likely from Cacique) filling up the shot glasses with some cognac as a lubricant for the evening's events, and placing the action figures on the end table as totems/fetishes to enhance sexual potency (you know dude is going hard that night and needs some superman strength).

What am I missing? In what order would you suggest these items be used? Do you have any photos to share of local Obama X-Mas madness from you 'hood?

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