Among the hundreds of comments posted on the Whispers site were those comparing it to a gang gesture, a Nazi salute, or worse. "This is how Sieg Heil got started. And, no I'm not saying Obama is Hitler. I just think people should be careful about slipping into a personality cult for a charismatic leader," wrote Jake of Tennessee.
Jake has a point and Rick Husong, creator of the Obamanation, was pretty depressed until he heard of someone wearing a T-shirt sporting his artwork on Venice Beach. That turned his world around.
[Now I have to ask, isn't it possible that somewhere in this world, to include Venice Beach, you could find someone to wear just about anything?]
Husong took this as a sign. A positive sign. And as he looked into in more detail, he chose to interpret other signs as positive as well:
In fact, despite the tsunami of criticism, the artwork has been downloaded 7,700 times and his site has been hit 214,000 times since the first Whisper went live. "I would call that a raving success," he says, adding that he plans to make his Big-O the "peace sign of our generation."
I'd call it a raving oddity that people just had to see to believe (the hits) and was probably downloaded 7,000 of the 7,700 times to be photoshopped.
But hey, no negativity - his is all about hopey-changitude:
"Our symbol 'O' is about much more than Barack Obama. It's a symbol of unity, hope, solidarity, and an end to the divisiveness that has plagued this country for too long. It is the peace sign of our generation; a sign for those who are tired of the fear, the hatred, the greed, and the ignorance. There will be resistance, democracy requires it, but we believe that the good in the American people will persevere.
"Barack Obama is a very exciting catalyst. At first we were bothered by the negative and vulgar comments made. When someone attacks something you hold dear, it hurts, but as we continued to read all the comments, we realized just how silly and frankly unimaginative most of them were. Many didn't even take the time to read the article. People came out against the peace emblem in the sixties, making accusations that it was an anti-Christian symbol, an inverted crucifix, a satanic symbol, and a Communist sign. But like our 'O,' the goodness inherent in the peace symbol persevered, and today it is the international symbol for peace. The hand sign for peace was first a British form of giving someone the bird, then it became a war cry for victory. Today it is a symbol of peace & love. Once again goodness persevered. We too will persevere. Bring your hands together over your head to make a large 'O' and join us in our fight to take America back. Vote for Barack Obama."
It's not about Obama, but really, it is about Obama, except when it is about whatever we decide it is about, but whatever it is about, it is always about peace, love, change and hope ... or something like that.
Ummm. My suggestion? Put wings on the "O" and everyone will know immediately what it really connotes.