Obama merchandise is all the rage and it’s a little disturbing.
The Root: The day after America elected a black man president, a bundle of Washington Post newspapers were going for $400 on eBay. The L.A. Times made a cool 600K in Barack Obama merchandise. The ailing newspaper industry briefly got its swagger back when people realised that they couldn’t frame their computer.
Unfortunately, that is not where Obamaphernalia ends. Right now, as I type this essay, I am wearing Obama socks. Knotted at my neck is an Obama tie. I’m wearing Obama underwear, an Obama sweater, Obama flip flops and Obama cuff links. I’m munching on my Obama ‘Os cereal.
What’s the big deal? We get cozy on the couch watching television under our Jimmy Carter stadium blanket, imbibing tea from our Teddy Roosevelt tea set.
But I have never seen anything like the Obama madness. I mean the Obama cereal promises, “a spoonful of hope in every bowl.” Even the most famous image of Obama, the face cast off into light looking both determined and focused painted in red, white and blue with the words, “Hope” and “Progress” is not immune. Stamped underneath is an image of its creator, the one-time graffiti artist, Shepard Fairey.
Obama is a man, not a demi-god, and having his face on everything from cereal to plates is borderline weird. I don’t blame people for making this stuff since we are a consumer-driven culture, and everyone is looking to make a fast buck. I am more worried about the person who wants to eat a ham sandwich off a Barack Obama dinner plate. That is odd.
If you want to know why our economy sucks, look at anyone who would spend $10 on a 24-karat-gold-plated commemorative Barack Obama coin. That person should be flogged, publicly. I am all for branding, in fact I understand it to be part of marketing 101, but too much ice cream can cause weight gain. We are stuffed full of Obama, and he hasn’t even been sworn into office yet.
Our question: What if Obama is just a so-so president? Or (bite our tounges) a bad president? Then what becomes of all these trinkets? This has been going on since the primaries. When will it end? (Below is a video done by a friend of ours, pre-election (the video not the friendship), when people were hawking his image in Union Square, New York.)