Friday, January 25, 2008

Interpretive Failure

George Bush’s favorite painting, W.H.D. Koerner's A Charge to Keep (above), which Bush used to title his autobiography, seems to have a different meaning than what Bush thinks it does. Bush says he appreciates the painting because the single horseman charges up the hill with determination, never looking back. He also admires the work because he feels that the horseman looks like him. Funny enough, the resemblance doesn’t end there. In reality, as the link above relates, the painting illustrates a Western story at the moment when a thief escapes his captors. The Bush look-a-like is the thief, not the hero. Like they say, it always helps to read the small print.

What a quintessential Bush moment—narcissism and stupidity with a creamy ironic center!

It reminded me of another leader’s favorite painting of himself on horseback, The Flag Bearer by Hubert Lanzinger (below).

Look familiar?

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