Move Along, Nothing Sforza To See Here

I haven't been paying too close attention to the imagery of the current presidential campaign, but looked at through a Sforzian lens, the McCain campaign stop is mind-bogglingly bad news. The photographs are from McCain's daughter Meghan's campaign blog which, by some meaningless sleight of hand, is considered to not be a part of the campaign.


Though the flags and the banner provide wire service photographers with some generic background shots, a look at their product shows they're free-ranging around just shooting whatever. Not a signature image in the bunch. "Town hall meeting" apparently means "speech in the round, no podium." Which meant that McCain is lost in the not-that-big crowd, a tiny white-haired dot in the wide shot above.

McCain Blogette's backstage photos at a recent campaign stop in a warehouse-like arena in York, PA show some slack roadies and handlers hanging around, which is fine, if a little pathetic. Not exactly a tightly run ship, the Straight Talk Express.


None of which means there aren't interesting/revealing shots. AFP's Paul J. Richards picked up a sweet product shot of McCain's not-famous-enough $520 Ferragamo loafers, for example, but that's not all [via afp/yahoo]:


That rug doesn't just say "McCain 2008" on it; it says, "Paid for by John McCain 2008" on it. Unless the FEC requires disclosure be included on all indoor/outdoor furnishings ["I'm John McCain, and I approved this rug."], I think someone just took a screengrab from a campaign commercial and sent it to the rug printer.


I'm still trying to decide who made this sign, though. It's "M-C-C-A-I-N" spelled out in tap code, a cipher used by prisoners in solitary confinement. It puts the letters into a 5x5 grid [minus the K]. So M is third row, second column, etc. This sign, in other words, says "JOHN MCCAIN, POW." I can't figure out if it was printed by the campaign and handed out, or if this guy just happened to make it himself. [It doesn't have the two-color printing of the official McCain signs, and the blue is slightly off. But would a random guy put at otherwise meaningless star on the top, and the campaign URL?] Whether it's supposed to telegraph McCain's POW bona fides to a knowing audience, or whether it's meant to imply that McCain's POW experience somehow qualifies him for the presidency, the relentless playing of the POW card seems beyond the pale.

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: August 15, 2008.

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