Bag’s Take-Away:
Ann Romney wears a $1000 T-shirt to tell the world her hubby is a regular guy just like them!
Certainly, a lot was made four years ago about Michelle Obama as the first dresser, and her astute sense of how to present herself in times of economic distress. That doesn’t mean that she hasn’t been opulent, too. It does mean, however, that she and the President have been sensitive, and smart, about symbolism and setting a tone. 
Conversely, given the impression Mitt is just a little out of touch with the 99%, the Romney campaign has had a marvelous opportunity over the past few weeks to help refashion itself, creating more dimensionality and humanity around Ann Romney, wife and mother. The opportunity has been that much more opportune given the chance to also ground Mitt’s aside in Detroit about how many Cadillacs Ann happens to own. 
All these factors made this scene from CBS‘s This Morning, otherwise petty, more than just chicken feed. 
Stated bluntly: if you use your wife to humanize you and to help relate to the average American, you might want to remind her before sitting down for coffee with the nation NOT to wear her $990 Madison Avenue,  Reed Krakoff-designed t-shirt, one so colorfully missing from the closets of 99% of your countrymen (or women). Since this is a tenet of Campaigning 101, it takes very little movement to conclude that the Romneys, like birds of a feather, just don’t get it.
Read More at What’s in a T-Shirt
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 Best Photo Blogs — also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bag’s Take-Away:

Ann Romney wears a $1000 T-shirt to tell the world her hubby is a regular guy just like them!

Certainly, a lot was made four years ago about Michelle Obama as the first dresser, and her astute sense of how to present herself in times of economic distress. That doesn’t mean that she hasn’t been opulent, too. It does mean, however, that she and the President have been sensitive, and smart, about symbolism and setting a tone.

Conversely, given the impression Mitt is just a little out of touch with the 99%, the Romney campaign has had a marvelous opportunity over the past few weeks to help refashion itself, creating more dimensionality and humanity around Ann Romney, wife and mother. The opportunity has been that much more opportune given the chance to also ground Mitt’s aside in Detroit about how many Cadillacs Ann happens to own.

All these factors made this scene from CBS‘s This Morning, otherwise petty, more than just chicken feed.

Stated bluntly: if you use your wife to humanize you and to help relate to the average American, you might want to remind her before sitting down for coffee with the nation NOT to wear her $990 Madison Avenue, Reed Krakoff-designed t-shirt, one so colorfully missing from the closets of 99% of your countrymen (or women). Since this is a tenet of Campaigning 101, it takes very little movement to conclude that the Romneys, like birds of a feather, just don’t get it.

Read More at What’s in a T-Shirt

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 Best Photo Blogs — also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bag’s Take-Away:
André Liohn of Prospekt won the  2011 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for a set of twelve photos taken during the Libyan Civil War. 
We’ve seen endless and excellent photographs from that conflict — after all, some of the world’s best photographers were there. But these shots really stand out as Liohn catches people and government in their death throes.
One thing that particularly caught my eye: in most of the twelve photos hands play a prominent role, whether it’s a rebel’s hand in latex gloves (as in this photo), hands raised in dying, a severed finger (is that what it is? Resolution isn’t good enough), hands shushing others before an ambush, hands praying in farewell, or hands flashing the V for victory sign over a pro-Ghadafi soldier’s corpse. Can’t be a coincidence, can’t truly be planned, it stands out as a glimpse into the photographer as well as his subjects. 
As for this photo, the hands do the talking….mouths in the photo are shut, pro-government hands bandaged. In the midst of the gore and fear, it’s a disembodied hand doing the talking. People seem to be listening. 
See the full gallery of winnersat the Overseas Press Club
via  Time Magazine Lightbox
(credit:  André Liohn/Prospekt  caption: April 24, 2011. Wounded pro-Gaddafi soldiers being arrested in Misrata, Libya.)
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Bag’s Take-Away:

André Liohn of Prospekt won the 2011 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for a set of twelve photos taken during the Libyan Civil War.

We’ve seen endless and excellent photographs from that conflict — after all, some of the world’s best photographers were there. But these shots really stand out as Liohn catches people and government in their death throes.

One thing that particularly caught my eye: in most of the twelve photos hands play a prominent role, whether it’s a rebel’s hand in latex gloves (as in this photo), hands raised in dying, a severed finger (is that what it is? Resolution isn’t good enough), hands shushing others before an ambush, hands praying in farewell, or hands flashing the V for victory sign over a pro-Ghadafi soldier’s corpse. Can’t be a coincidence, can’t truly be planned, it stands out as a glimpse into the photographer as well as his subjects.

As for this photo, the hands do the talking….mouths in the photo are shut, pro-government hands bandaged. In the midst of the gore and fear, it’s a disembodied hand doing the talking. People seem to be listening.

See the full gallery of winnersat the Overseas Press Club

via Time Magazine Lightbox

(credit: André Liohn/Prospekt caption: April 24, 2011. Wounded pro-Gaddafi soldiers being arrested in Misrata, Libya.)

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Good news, ladies. Tired of being on the front lines in the War on Women? Newsweek just announced that what women really want to do is “surrender.”
For those of you who thought that professional women might be fantasizing about earning the same salaries as their male counterparts, grabbing the reins at more Fortune 500 companies, achieving gender parity in Congress, or sitting at (rather than under) the desk in the Oval Office, think again. Newsweek leased its prime real estate to (post)feminist gadfly Katie Roiphe, who presents the (alleged) feminine fetish for sadomasochistic domination as feminism’s inconvenient truth.
Predictably, the blogosphere has taken Roiphe to task. Should we assume—based on her article—that this is punishment Roiphe (secretly) likes? If so, is Newsweek editor Tina Brown also “asking for it”? And what about the anonymous woman gracing Newsweek’s “link bait-y” cover?
The “working woman” getting so much attention as Newsweek’s eye candy looks more like a working girl (high class—of course). Her financial privilege is suggested by her carefully coiffed hair (note the salon quality backcombing), her elegant bone structure (a sign of good breeding), and the exaggerated bow on her silky onyx blindfold (S&M gear goes haute couture). Although she favors a power color for her lips, her open mouth and the vaguely contorted posture of her body (which leads the viewer to imagine her hands tied behind her back) signals a supposed desire to relinquish that power. Her naked body intimates that this persona is more authentic than her workday self. She is the elemental woman—stripped of pretense and relieved of power.
Ironically, the pesky power from which Newsweek thinks today’s working women needs to be unburdened is the real fantasy. Women still lag in salary, representation, and political credibility. But stereotypes about women (as citizens, voters, and workers) are often enforced visually, which is why the S&M aesthetic is used to sell everything from shoes to suits to booze; it’s even a go-to meme in politics, deployed to try to convince people to vote, go vegan, and stop patronizing circuses. Roiphe and Newsweek would have us believe that this “trend” represents a complicated and conflicted new feminism, but really it’s just the same old patriarchy at work. To be sure, women can be (and often are) participants in and perpetrators of patriarchy (I’m looking at you, Tina Brown).
If Newsweek wants to contribute to cultural understanding of the challenges “working women” face, they should focus on the real battles women wage every day for physical safety, economic security, political representation, and personal autonomy. That’s the war in which women cannot afford to surrender.
—Karrin Anderson
(photo credit: not attributed online)
Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed
—————
Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Good news, ladies. Tired of being on the front lines in the War on Women? Newsweek just announced that what women really want to do is “surrender.”

For those of you who thought that professional women might be fantasizing about earning the same salaries as their male counterparts, grabbing the reins at more Fortune 500 companies, achieving gender parity in Congress, or sitting at (rather than under) the desk in the Oval Office, think again. Newsweek leased its prime real estate to (post)feminist gadfly Katie Roiphe, who presents the (alleged) feminine fetish for sadomasochistic domination as feminism’s inconvenient truth.

Predictably, the blogosphere has taken Roiphe to task. Should we assume—based on her article—that this is punishment Roiphe (secretly) likes? If so, is Newsweek editor Tina Brown also “asking for it”? And what about the anonymous woman gracing Newsweek’s “link bait-y” cover?

The “working woman” getting so much attention as Newsweek’s eye candy looks more like a working girl (high class—of course). Her financial privilege is suggested by her carefully coiffed hair (note the salon quality backcombing), her elegant bone structure (a sign of good breeding), and the exaggerated bow on her silky onyx blindfold (S&M gear goes haute couture). Although she favors a power color for her lips, her open mouth and the vaguely contorted posture of her body (which leads the viewer to imagine her hands tied behind her back) signals a supposed desire to relinquish that power. Her naked body intimates that this persona is more authentic than her workday self. She is the elemental woman—stripped of pretense and relieved of power.

Ironically, the pesky power from which Newsweek thinks today’s working women needs to be unburdened is the real fantasy. Women still lag in salary, representation, and political credibility. But stereotypes about women (as citizens, voters, and workers) are often enforced visually, which is why the S&M aesthetic is used to sell everything from shoes to suits to booze; it’s even a go-to meme in politics, deployed to try to convince people to vote, go vegan, and stop patronizing circuses. Roiphe and Newsweek would have us believe that this “trend” represents a complicated and conflicted new feminism, but really it’s just the same old patriarchy at work. To be sure, women can be (and often are) participants in and perpetrators of patriarchy (I’m looking at you, Tina Brown).

If Newsweek wants to contribute to cultural understanding of the challenges “working women” face, they should focus on the real battles women wage every day for physical safety, economic security, political representation, and personal autonomy. That’s the war in which women cannot afford to surrender.

—Karrin Anderson

(photo credit: not attributed online)

Visit BagNewsNotes: Today’s Media Images Analyzed

—————

Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Tags #Bondage    #Culture    #Equal Pay    #Equal Rights    #Feminism    #News    #Newsweek    #Photography    #Reproductive Rights    #S&M    #Tina Brown    #Long Reads   

Bag’s Take-Away:

TEXTS FROM HILLARY came and went, but it really didn’t end because the meme lives on. In the last few days, for example, the Tumblr electricity was captured and relayed through the wire photo from Cartegena above. But if Hillary’s the epitome of cool right now, the question is, why?

Well, for one reason, Hillary’s all that because she’s the biggest A-tier politician, public figure, and cultural celebrity in this PR-driven, me-me-me culture right now who could care less about the attention. She’s everywhere because she doesn’t seem ego-invested. (Otherwise, this wouldn’t be funny).

Remember the utopian vision of the Obama campaign and the early days of the Administration — that Washington would lay down the switchblades and embark on a new “post-partisan” era? The dream might have been blown to bits in an instant, except that, after one of the most epic political brawls in history, fueled by race, gender and a previous Presidential legacy, Hillary kept faith with it.

And, how many ways has the State Department gig played a role in the Tumblr phenomenon?

First off, the Secretary of State position is a solemn one and Hillary, mindful of the propriety, has managed to keep her head down (in contrast to all the pols in town who relate to his or her position as a personal vehicle). Second, whereas Condi floundered in the job for years with hardly anything non-self promotional to show for it, Hillary has helped heal America’s neocon-induced international alienation (and the Gaddafi and bin Laden erasures haven’t hurt her either). Third, a more procedural point but a significant one: holding the State Department job means Hillary cannot do any electioneering. The fact that she’s been depoliticized, especially in an election year, has put her a quantum leap above the fray.

And then, the fact she insists she’s not running for president again (and who in our narcissistic culture with similar assets wouldn’t start to salivate over the brass ring?) is again très cool.

Finally, let’s not overlook the gender dimension. As females are being rolled like bowling balls in the direction of every possible oncoming bus, how rare is it to find a woman in the political sphere (keep your pants on, Weiner) who can’t be f-cked with?

(credit: photo 1 AFP caption: Just hours after attending Saturday’s official dinner for the heads of state and government attending a 34-nation Latin American summit in the Colombian tourist resort of Cartagena, Clinton, pictured here on April 15, was seen partying in a nearby nightclub. Pictures of Clinton’s happy moment went viral, the second time in a week that her fun side has become an instant hit on the Internet. photo 2: original photo Diana Walker for Time.)

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Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.

Bag’s Take-Away:

The above photos are from Raw File’s photo essay, Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America.

The first (and most obvious) take on these photos is that, contrary to the title, they are compromised: we generally aren’t allowed to see the faces of juvenile inmates or offenders.

It’s fitting when you think about it, drawing attention to everything but the face: the sheer numbers of children detained, the conditions they live in, what prison feels like are all part and parcel of a growing trend toward incarceration in this country. And whether it’s a slight 12-year-old boy in a Mississippi facility facing “North or Nothing” graffiti or a young girl whose beautiful blonde hair obscures her face, you realize that when a society generalizes crime and corrections, the faces are unseen to begin with. The kids are really not more than statistics out of their homes and in the state’s care. It doesn’t matter than the child himself is longer than the toddler-sized bunk bed he sleeps in or that the girl sits in a cell only slightly wider than she is, their individual stories can only be guessed at while our societal solution for their problems is painfully obvious.

via Wired Magazine’s Raw File

Read More thoughts on Ross’ essay at BagNews: Juvenile Incarceration from the Inside

(credit: Richard Ross Top photo caption: The Caldwell Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center detains children between the ages of 11 and 17 years old. When Ross visited, six girls were in detention for offenses that included runaway/curfew violations, lewd and lascivious conduct, molestation abuse, controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine, burglary and possession of marijuana. Bottom photo caption: A 12-year-old in his cell at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The window has been boarded up from the outside. The facility is operated by Mississippi Security Police, a private company. In 1982, a fire killed 27 prisoners and an ensuing lawsuit against the authorities forced them to reduce their population to maintain an 8:1 inmate to staff ratio.)

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Topping LIFE.com’s 2011 list of Best Photo Blogs, follow us at: BagNewsNotes; BAG Twitter; BAG Facebook; Bag by Email.