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Putting a face on politics
To mask or not to mask?
If you do, are you making a political statement?
I’m not savvy enough to know. I’ve been busy counting cows and pouring vanilla on all my bandanas to repel buffalo gnats. Mexican vanilla from a big bottle.
But I’ve had this thought:
Somebody should be marketing Trump and Biden masks so that wearers can proclaim their choices.
If I had time I would design a “two-faced” bandana just for fun. Printed diagonally on the bandana would be a life-size split image portrait – Donald Trump on the left and Joe Biden on the right. To use the bandana as a facemask, the wearer could fold it in half so as to align the bottom half of the portrait with his or her face, meaning the bandana face would be visible from the nose down. Biden would end up on the left side of the person’s face and Trump would end up on the right. Great idea, don’t you think?
Has anyone beat me to it?
No split-image bandanas. For once I may have had an original idea.
That said, political bandanas per se are nothing new. A famous George Washington bandana from the Revolutionary War makes a bold political statement. Printed illegally in Philadelphia (England didn’t want anybody in the colonies to print anything on textiles), the bandana shows Washington, sword in hand, mounted on a slightly rearing steed. The inscription encircling him reads “George Washington, Esq., Foundator and Protector of America’s Liberty and Independency.”
FYI, “foundator” seems to be Middle English or Scottish for “founder.” Alternate archaic spelling is “foundatour.” You’re welcome.
Meanwhile, I could simply print and market diagonal face motif bandanas showing each candidate, meaning people could mask up either as Biden or Trump.
ANOTHER GOOGLE PAUSE.
Too late. Somebody’s already selling a Trump bandana mask featuring the lower half of his face. But I couldn’t find one that displays the lower half of Biden’s face. I’m thinking it might be because his face is not all that distinctive. Would you recognize just the lower half of Joe Biden’s face?
Yep, he’s a caricaturist’s nightmare. Nothing to emphasize. I’d say he’s worse than Gerald Ford in that regard. I remember someone bemoaning the ordinariness of Ford’s appearance when he was appointed president, saying he looked like the stereotypical “first person to see the monster” in those movies that show a face shot of an ordinary fear-struck person (typically a man because men are better at looking ordinary than women) to represent the panicked populace.
So, that brings us back to the split-image bandana. Who would buy it?
Somebody who’s on the fence? Maybe, but that’s a limited market.
The other potential wearer might be someone who likes to gauge people’s reaction to all things bizarre.
Even so, would anybody recognize the left half? Paired with Trump, the lower half of Biden’s visage might be mistaken for Pence, despite Biden’s wider grin.
Sigh. I think maybe I’ll go back to counting cows.