The Arizona Desert Lamp

The audacity of hopejacking

Posted in Campus, Politics by Connor Mendenhall on 5 March 2009

Since November, the excellent FP Passport has followed the global growth of “hopejacking,” or the “use of exaggerated or completely invented associations with president-elect Barack Obama.” But there’s no need to be president of France to hop on the hope-mobile–there’s a fair bit of hopejacking going on on our own campus. At least three of this year’s candidates are aping the Obama aesthetic:

Atjian hopejack

Senate frontrunner Eduardo Atjian II does the best job preserving the clean, bold look of Shepard Fairey’s poster, but the chilly one-eyed stare and face shrouded in darkness give the image an ominous edge. It’s less “looking off into the future,” more “peering from the telescreen,” but then again, maybe that’s to be expected.

Bral hopejack

Although Jason Bral’s choice of the Obamicon image generator means he’s got the color scheme down pat, the hopeful gaze remains elusive. “The future” seems to be somewhere between straight-on and twenty degrees to the right.

Jones hopejack

Nick Jones’s poster may be the least derivative, but the coloration and ruminative stare marks it as another Obama homage. He comes closest to looking off into the future–but it sure doesn’t look like he’s seeing the happy days of Obama’s America. Instead, he seems to scry our untamed post-Stimupocalypse Mad Max existence, a time when we will wrap ourselves in scarves and woolen sweaters to stave away the bitter cold of the collapse of capitalism and once again don our old-timey hats. Come to think of it, I’ve seen a similar look of concern somewhere before.

Candidates: don’t let these three have all the fun! First one to commission a nude unicorn equestrian portrait wins my vote.


5 Responses

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  1. Kyle Sandell said, on 5 March 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Mr. Mendenhall, I must protest to the highest degree. I created the above mentioned Nick Jones poster; it is far from derived from anything related to President Obama or his campaign.

    It was in fact based, quite closely, on a 1940’s Alabama candidate’s poster by a similar name to Mr. Jones: Bob Jones. You can see it here: The smooth gradient was simply easier than aging only the edges… and I must reiterate that the poster is in NO WAY whatsoever derived from President Obama or his campaign. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.

    I think you know me well enough to understand that I, of all people, would not be a “hopejacker.”

    And I’ll see what I can do about the unicorn.

  2. Connor Mendenhall said, on 5 March 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Well, boy howdy, you’re right (and that’s definitely a more interesting homage). But I think you know me well enough to understand that I, of all people, would not pass up a joke about Thunderdome and old-timey hats.

  3. Laura Donovan said, on 5 March 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Atjian totally took the Obama slogan. It’s absurd and very, very arrogant.

  4. Dave said, on 5 March 2009 at 4:58 pm


  5. Kyle Sandell said, on 5 March 2009 at 5:03 pm

    But of course…

    Perhaps Nick Jones will soon find himself leather-clad and defending us from a group of marauders who want to take our money.

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