The inter-tubes are all abuzz over the news that some leftish entertainment network had the audacity to include an image of former President George W. Bush's likeness poised atop a pike. I am sure that Vlad the Impaler is having a modest chuckle over this episode.
I must admit to having twin responses to this story. One response was "oh no" expressed with modest bit of appreciation for this mischievousness involved. The other was "oh no" with a more serious and negative emotion attached. Is it possible to have such divergent responses simultaneously? I did.
Observations about the lack of outrage emanating from the media over this incident when compared to the (thus far theoretic) notion of an entertainment company doing the same thing to the likeness of Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton, or John Kennedy are accurate, cogent, and appropriate. Our leftish dominated media reserves such moments of outrage solely for those occasions when their oxen are being gored.
The discovery of this singular act of poor taste and crass partisan ship was revealed on the audio commentary portion of the DVD. A screen shot of the frame where Mr. Bush's likeness appears does not overtly suggest that his countenance, although the resemblance is obvious once it is pointed out.
Despite reports from some theoretically professional quarters, [coughCNNcough] this was not discovered by an astute viewer, but instead was more closely examined upon hearing the aforementioned comments. A small lesson here...folks, sometimes it is better not to tell all you know!
From the audio commentary:
“The last head on the left is George Bush,” the producers say in the audio commentary. “George Bush’s head appears in a couple beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. It’s just, we had to use what heads we had around.”
After a modest amount of complaining, the producers offered:
“We use a lot of prosthetic body parts on the show: heads, arms, etc. We can’t afford to have these all made from scratch, especially in scenes where we need a lot of them, so we rent them in bulk. After the scene was already shot, someone pointed out that one of the heads looked like George W. Bush.”
And this is where I get offended. Precisely how stupid do they think I am?
Given that their program has precisely nothing to do with U.S. national politics, how did they come to be in possession of Mr. Bush's likeness? What other visages do they have in inventory? Is their inventory of faux heads an assortment of known faces, or is it a collection of the nondescript with a Presidential profile added just to spice things up?
I'm willing to bet that the real story is that Mr. Bush's likeness was needed for some other production; for good or for ill. When that show ended, someone saw the head and thought "I've got to save that for something special", and not in a good way. When this program came along, they saw an opportunity to exercise a bit of codology and went for it.
Understanding that this is an entertainment oriented [and therefore more skewed politically to the left] environment, they saw no harm in letting others in on the gag. One reasonably suspects that this modest bit of tomfoolery actually enhanced their reputation at the time. Not so much now.
They were acting from within an environment that is known to accept that sort of behavior. They were safe.
Was it a choice? Hell yes.
Was it a political statement? Hell yes.
The producers and anyone else responsible need to man-up and accept responsibility for their actions that further coarsen our political discourse. Of course, making a couple of heads roll would probably help as well.