Sunday, February 1, 2009

From Che To Change: The Commercialization of Barack (No Middle Name) Obama

History has a wonderful sense of humour. Case and point: the commercialization of the revolutionary mass murderer Che Guevarra.

Ever since a Time journalist snapped that photo of mass murderer and executioner Che Guevarra, his face has donned everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs to cigarette lighters. You can buy Che wristwatches, and you can buy Che hats. You can even buy Che Cola.

The lucrative Che industry is, however, seeing a significant challenge to their empire. U.S. president Barack Obama is beginning to look more and more like the world's leading face of kitsch. The latest addition? Orange "you glad for change" cola from the Jones soda company.(*)

Learning from Che's mistakes, Obama was quick to jump on the merchandising bandwagon right off the bat. In a very significant way, his ability and willingness to brand himself with empty slogans and popular musical numbers (take your pick of or Obama Girl) won him the highest office in the United States government.

So we've already seen the ridiculous "Hope" t-shirts on our television programs and university campuses. And, thanks to the Jones soda company, those brave hipsters who support President Obama can enjoy a delicious hope-n-changey beverage while they pat themselves on the back. But what lies ahead for the commercialization of the celebrity president?

I'm pulling for a video game:

Level 1 - defeat the ferocious Hillarybeast using only charm and demagoguery

Level 2 - sidestep the Reverend Wright controversy using ... well, you had better use charm and demagoguery again

Level 3 - obliterate the wily Maverick (suggested weapon: charm and demagoguery. Oh, and subtly remind everybody how old he is)

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