The lights go brighter for a moment before dimming, the music starts thumping, a thrill ripples through us all, and four models appear on the far end of the catwalk. Your correspondent has never been so aware of the dramatic tension between camera, focal length, object and field. The contemporary, globalizing fashion show, of course, is a media practice, which requires the collaboration and participation of so many players to create this sense of the new, the now, the it, which one can either be with, or else clueless about.
All is expectation while the model is still walking towards you, but nothing prepares you for the odd way in which she walks right on past, going on vogue the cameras, which crackle like crickets in the darkness. Notwithstanding a couple of thousand years since the natyashastra defined abhinaya, the art of communicating emotion through facial expressions, the model is a blank slate and cipher. Perhaps it all makes sense, for the point is the clothes she is wearing, not the character she is playing. If her expression means anything at all it means I have something very important to tell you, but it's slung from my hips.
The lights come on, and just like that, we're done.
Political figures as glamorous as Obama are rare. But glamorous policy proposals are not.
The pleasure and inspiration may be real, but glamour always contains an illusion. The image is not entirely false, but it is misleading.
Kenneth R. Harney:
The implicit assumption of these arguments about strategy is that there is, somewhere out there, a workable strategy. That there is some way to navigate our political system such that you enact wise legislation solving pressing problems. But that's an increasingly uncertain assumption, I think.