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Tag Archives: william h taft

Hummer og kanari

Valg Schmalg

Tammy Baldwin har blitt valgt som USAs første lesbiske senator. Big deal. De trenger jo minst en til før det blir noe moro for oss gutta. Men jammen har det gått fort fremover siden denne annonsen sto i Cass City Chronichle for 100 år siden, nærmere bestemt 1 november 1912.

Dette bildet er to år eldre, fra Black Friday i 1910. 19 november var dette, og kvinnen som kollapser foran The Houses of Parliament i London her heter Ada Wright. Tore W.Tvedt ville antagelig tolke bildet slik at den stakkars kvinnen har fått dånedimpen, og politiet kommer stormende til for å hjelpe. Men det var ikke slik det var. Dette var det som skjedde:

The subversive power of press photography was even more strikingly demonstrated in 1910, when more than 500 suffragettes marched on Westminster. The police showed such brutality in turning them back that the day became known as ‘Black Friday’. In the road outside Canon Row police station, recalled one eye-witness, the police picked out a suffragette named Ada Wright:

‘She was treated in the most violent way. They knocked her down two or three times. When she came to, another lady and myself helped her on to her feet, and then two policemen dragged her up and she fell on her back on the ground’.

At this point a bystander stepped forward to remonstrate with the two policemen, and as Ada Wright lay on the ground with this man shielding her from further violence, a number of press photographers, including Victor Console of London News Agency Photos, recorded the whole scene. Console’s photograph was quickly printed and submitted to the Daily Mirror, where the art editor immediately recognised its visual potential.

Console’s photograph was chosen for the front cover of the next day’s Daily Mirror, and the art editor also submitted a print to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for his comments on the incident. The Commissioner attempted to convince the paper’s representative that, since one of the onlookers was smiling, it seemed likely that Ada Wright ‘had simply sunk to the ground exhausted with struggling against the police’, but privately he was more worried by so controversial an image, and later that evening an attempt was made to prevent its publication.

Not only did the Daily Mirror receive an official instruction to suppress the whole edition, but when it was discovered that production was already underway, thanks to the paper’s early deadline, a desperate attempt was made to buy up all the copies that had so far been produced. This astonishing manoeuvre failed completely, and the inclusion of Console’s photograph in all 750,000 copies of the Daily Mirror that were circulated the next day helped to turn criticism away from the suffragettes and towards the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill.

Men dette var jo i Storbritannia. I dag er det vel USA det gjelder. Obama får tillit i fire nye år, og når han nå slipper å tenke på gjenvalg kan han tillate seg å bli feit og lat. Mine kilder i Det Hvite Hus antyder at Barack Obamas to eneste ambisjoner for de kommende årene er å utfordre gamle gode William H. Taft. Planen er å spise seg opp slik at han slår Taft som tyngste president noensinne. Taft uttalte i 1913 at too much flesh is bad for any man. It affects a man both physically and mentally, dette etter at han hadde gått av som president, og gått kraftig ned i vekt. Det er interessant å ta en titt på Tafts vekthistorie:

 Taft gir altså jojoslankingen et ansikt her, på sitt tyngste veide han 155 kilo og måtte få installert et nytt og større badekar i Det Hvite Hus. Men ikke lenge etter at han gikk av som president hadde han klart å spise seg ned til 123 kilo. Dette er det altså Obama skal bruke de neste fire årene på å klare å slå. Det vil utvilsomt sette varige spor etter seg i amerikansk historie.

Barack Obama har også ambisjoner om å bli den andre presidenten i amerikansk historie til å ri på en vannbøffel, også her var etter alt å dømme Taft først ute.

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