Wednesday, June 24, 2009

JibJab's latest video: "He's Barack Obama" (Superhero President)

The brilliant team at JibJab have unveiled their latest political animation. This one playing on the meme that President Barack Obama is a superhero who has come to save the day. Stylistically its a little different and more advanced than their previous animations (which is saying a lot). You can find a comprehensive "how it was made" feature on their blog including their account of meeting President Obama himself - Behind the Scenes: The Making of “He’s Barack Obama”

VIDEO: JibJab presents 'He's Barack Obama' (The Superhero President)
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superman, barack obama, superhero, hero, saveThe President as superhero meme isn't new, considering the extraordinary burden they have in protecting and uplifting the citizenry. Barack Obama came into office tasked with saving a country that was in the midst of two wars and a collapsing economy, a mission seemingly so monumental it would need superhuman leadership to execute. The amount of hope invested in President Obama plus his promising rhetoric had him painted as either a god or a superhero, often sarcastically by his detractors.

Barack self deprecatingly referenced this meme at the Al Smith dinner
US elections: Barack Obama jokes he is Superman
Speaking during a high-profile political fundraising dinner in New York, the Illinois senator also mocked his own acceptance speech at the Democratic Party's national convention, which he delivered on an elaborately-constructed stage.

"Contrary to the rumours you have heard, I was not born in a manger," Mr Obama said.

"I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth."

One might be mistaken for thinking that all heroic Presidents are righteous and clean cut defenders, not so. In the same way heroes are nuanced and complicated so are Presidents. Australian conservative columnist, Andrew Bolt drew a comparison between heroic vigilante Batman and former President George W Bush. Likening the way Batman was often vilified and under-appreciated because of his controversial and thankless efforts the same way Batman is by the citizens of Gotham City. Whilst both popular, Superman and Batman offer vastly different templates for heroism.
It’s George W. Batman
FINALLY Hollywood makes a film that says President George W Bush was right. But director Christopher Nolan had to disguise it a little, so journalists wouldn’t freak and the film’s more fashionable stars wouldn’t walk. So he hides Bush in a cape. He even sticks a mask on him, with pointy ears for some reason...

Anyway, the citizens hate Batman, especially once they are safe, for disturbing their sense of order, and violating their nice rules for defining their goodness...

And they hate him also as many Europeans hate Bush, for showing that what protects their world are not ultimately the laws they pass, but a violence that intimidates them, because they cannot match it.

Its worth noting Barack Obama's favorite comic superhero is Spiderman.

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