Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Sidewalk Blogger/Santa Says Hell No to War

The Sidewalk Blogger has outdone herself; having inherited some old Christmas signs, she produced some of the funniest and darkest antiwar propaganda yet. In the tradition of the I.W.W.'s Little Red Book, which provided radical lyrics to be sung to traditional songs, The Sidewalk Blogger subverts the saccharine images of Santa and doe-eyed children with the language of protest and outrage.

Suddenly, Jesus and George W. Bush are conflated, but in ways that might not please the Christian Right.

Next to a large banner publicizing a craft and gift fair (no doubt, to raise money for the public school), Frosty the Snowman invites us to pay out millions per day to an unwinnable war.

Look what Santa has brought this year, children! A report from the NIE that suggests our president wants a war with Iran, even though the evidence suggests that they are not a threat. Mr. President, you shall receive coal in thy stocking.

These images of winter holiday are all the more striking against the backdrop of a semitropical Hawaiian landscape that is both inside and outside the National Imaginary--that fantasy image that we have of ourselves. Hawaii, one of the non-contiguous states, embodies the fantasy of expansion, of American colonial longing--part Gauguin's Tahiti, part Golf Course Heaven, part Dole's Pineapple Shangri-La. (It is, of course, a place with its own multiple histories and peoples, irreducible to such postcards). To place these "traditional" holiday signs in this landscape is to disrupt the very notion of a nation where everything is unified and the same.


Rachel Loden said...

Hear hear.

Sing, choirs of felons. . .

Mr. Jones said...

Need more signs! Need more sidewalk bloggers!

She rocks !!


Philip Metres said...

I agree; this is top o the pops, as far as I'm concerned. When I saw these signs, I couldn't wait to post them on the blog. But what I actually need to do is find some signs...