If you're an epochal historical figure you are in some sense going to be all things to all people, and it stands to reason that some of those people will be painters, and of those, some quotient will be bad painters. Which is what makes badpaintingsofbarackobama.com not just a hoot but culturally inevitable. It's ultra-minimalist, as online galleries go -- just a bad painting of Obama per page, with a neat little drop shadow added to give the images an extra shot of hilarious self-importance. Some of them actually aren't bad (at least not to my untrained eye -- I don't know a lot about bad painting, but I know it when I see it); some are either goofy (like this one of Obama looking like Mr. Roarke from "Fantasy Island") or disturbing (like this one of Obama looking like The Rock). Some of them are actually sort of moving. Taken individually they're easy to dismiss. But click through the site for a while and something unexpected happens: Your image of Obama begins to lift and separate from the mire and chatter of the 24-hour news cycle, and you begin to see him again as (perhaps) you once did -- the repository of a whole lot of different, and different-looking, hopes.
I could not have asked for a nicer crowd than the ones who turned up for last night’s event at Liverpool One’s Waterstones; now I’m looking forward to today’s lunchtime signing at Birmingham Waterstones, on my way to tomorrow’s Hay Festival event with Adam Rutherford.
Remember the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, the one that says that presidents aren’t supposed to get gifts or payments from foreign governments without Congressional approval?
The campaign to raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees started with author/comedian Sara Benincasa daring Neil Gaiman to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu; Gaiman responded that if she raised the half-mil, he’d not only read the Cheesecake Factory’s (notoriously florid) menu, he’d follow up with a reading of […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]