99designs held a competition to design Julian Assange's next hairstyle. One's first reaction is a kind of exhausted disinterest. But the results' technical and artistic quality are quite astounding.
The winner, by Dezinerly, reflects both the creator's ability and the baroque sensibilities of the shoop community at large. For starters, there is the intrinsic Joseph Ducreux-esque humor. But in Dezinerly's victory lies a subtle convergence of Mr. Assange's perceived self-opinion and the Washingtonian aspect that so perfectly expresses it. In this lies the moiety of the world, the greater crack in which Wikileaks' promise lurks.
The runner-up is, in contrast, a crude "put his face on a woman" job, and it hardly even seems the best in that genre (see sixth-placed Britany's entry). The joke is instead in the contexual humor: creator Timbolino's other executions are technically superior, but lack the joie de vivre and absurdity of his winning entry. We are all complicated, are we not?
Widow1's third placed result is quite remarkable in that it is precisely the haircut that Mr. Assange should adopt. A choppy and well-manicured version of his standard offering, the combination of extra length and fashionable dishevelment screams "rock star" and even "Cloud Strife" in a way that carries an automatic payload of snark. And yet there is a certain ineluctable power in the hairstyle: were it to occur and remain in place, it would both soften Mr. Assange's alienating appearance and sex up his dossier. Lest we forget, this is how they sold David Bowie to Reagan's America.
With fourth-placed Sedrik's entry, we embark on a journey to a place where postmodern significance dances like a hampster atop fractal layers of culture, apathy and short-circuited Generation Y ingenuity. The technique is masterful and the humor so demented that it alights on levels anyone can enjoy. But the most resounding thought, the true immanentization of its ironies, is found in knowing that someone, someone is fapping to this picture right now.