Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vulnerable electoral poster

Nicolas Sarkozy was not particularly prudent in his choice of this calm marine backdrop for his electoral poster, released yesterday.

Really, that vast stretch of calm empty water is an invitation to viewers to imagine ways and means of filling it in. The celebrated Jewish philosopher Baruch Spinoza [1632-1677] claimed that "Nature abhors a vacuum". In his poster, Sarko has offered us a huge vacuum of water and sky which we all, naturally, start to abhor.

As soon as I saw the poster, yesterday, I started playing around with various possible parodies, and several marine themes jostled in my imagination. I thought about trying to incorporate this delightful image into Sarko's poster, but this composition of an iceberg and a fragile vessel above the ocean depths is narrow and deep, whereas Sarkozy's poster is wide and shallow. So, I abandoned the ship and gave up trying.

For those of us who don't like Sarko, and see his possible reelection as a catastrophe, the first image that springs into mind, to occupy the emptiness in his poster, is the great hull of the Titanic sliding gracefully into the icy waters of the Atlantic.

This theme is reinforced by the recent stupid wreck of the Costa Concordia on the rocky coast of the Mediterranean island of Giglio.

We soon learned that Sarko's photo of the empty sea was in fact a public-domain image of the Aegean. Now, Sarkozy surely regretted the divulgation of this trivial element of information, because the calm waters of Greece are not exactly an ideal symbol, these days, for a European political candidate.

Before the day was out, we heard that France's largest yacht, belonging to the media magnate Stéphane Courbit, had in fact just sunk in the waters of Greece.

And people started to wonder immediately if this were not the same luxurious yacht on which the newly-elected Sarkozy and his current wife had disappeared for a short vacation in the Mediterranean during the days that followed his victory in 2007.

No, it was the same kind of rich owner, and the same bling-bling lifestyle, but not the same boat.

Consequently, this morning, I was delighted to find that a host of excellent parodies had been created during the 24 hours that followed Sarko's presentation of his poster. Click here to see some of them. And here are some others (in which the humor often requires an acquaintance with all kinds of Sarkozian happenings):

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