We sometimes think they don't have a brain, but ....

Full title: The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush.
From the Publishers Weekly: "...Lim investigates what he sees as a particularly American phenomenon whereby most presidents have preferred to appear less, not more intellectually inclined than they actually were." Politics aside, it sounds like an interesting discussion, but the cover just creeps me out.

I mean, they say that clothes make the man, right? (Personally, I think if that were true, those of us who are still single and looking for Mr. Right could settle for Mr. Could-Be and just buy him the proper clothing. Trust me, doesn't work!) In this case, clothes are the man. Yikes. Ok, I get it, presidents don't want to appear like egg-heads that might make the average citizen feel dumb. Or something. But headless? And apparently neckless as well? That's just creepy. Apparently the White House has an amazing laundry facility. They can starch your shirt to the point where it can hold up a jacket, tie and collar, without you even in it. This could be why so many presidents seem so uncomfortable all the time. I suspect they use the same formula for the underwear as well.


capewood said...

No head or neck, but hands?

xenobiologista said...

"...the cover just creeps me out."

That's probably the intention. The trend for people to regard "dumb" as "good" in the world's most powerful country is pretty creepy.

Keri said...

Oh man, I'm really smacking my forehead right now, because there's a word for that image, and I can't think of it. It's a type of metaphor.

Metonymy? maybe? where a thing closely related/part of something else stands in for that something else - the most common example is using "the crown" to refer to the monarchy.

So we get a suit behind the presidential seal to represent the presidency, and the lack of head means we can't pin it to a specific president.

BUT. Despite the arguably clever use of the concept, it still sucks. Looks like a cheap photoshop job done for a spam ad on the 'net.

BikerPuppy said...

Keri -- thanks! New word!! Yes, we often use "the White House" to refer to the Prez, but now we can just use a suit!