In an era of tell-all memoirs, ubiquitous paparazzi, and reality-show exhibitionism, glamour may seem absent from Hollywood. But Barack Obama demonstrates that its magic still exists.
The pleasure and inspiration may be real, but glamour always contains an illusion. The image is not entirely false, but it is misleading.
Magnificence, like spectacle, produces awe; glamour, by contrast, stokes desire.
The Apple tablet is the Barack Obama of technology. It's whatever you want it to be, until you actually get it.
The Economist on Obama, from November 2008:
He has to start deciding whom to disappoint.
After having slept with her (Ms. iPad), I am having morning-after regrets. Sweet and cute but shallow and vapid.
Sarah Palin is the slick corporate VP who is all image and no substance, and they love that about her because they have convinced themselves that if they do away with substance it will free them from the problems that substantial people attempt to address.
Giving up being liked is the ultimate public sacrifice.
Glamour not only makes things look better than they really are. It also tends to edit out human complexity -- including, in the political realm, the complexity of disagreements, of clashing values, of diverse wants, of technological, economic, and moral tradeoffs.
Political figures as glamorous as Obama are rare. But glamorous policy proposals are not.
The most interesting, under-discussed, and potentially revolutionary aspect of the law is that it doesn't pretend to have the answers.
That's the one truly scary thing about health reform: far from being a government takeover, it counts on local communities and clinicians for success.
Moe: Think hard, and come up with a slogan that appeals to all the lazy slobs out there.
Homer: [moans] Can't someone else do it?
Moe: "Can't someone else do it?", that's perfect!
Homer: It is?
Moe: Yeah! Now get out there and spread that message to the people!
Let's not kid ourselves. We're not going to find some wonderful thing that's going to deliver large positive results at modest costs. It's not going to happen.
We wanted the best, but it turned out as always.