The Look Of Rage
Back in February 1994, the height of my Black Nationalism days, I remember Time Magazine came out with an article about Minister Louis Farrakhan called “Ministry of Rage”. I was livid yet pleased. How dare Time Magazine called the man that I used to idolized a man of rage? I thought then “Yeah he has righteous rage against those that look at we black folks as less than human” (remember these are my past views so don’t get weird on me). But I loved the picture of him. Although Time labeled the headline “Ministry of Rage”, I thought he look damn cool. Bow tie and cool spectacles. I was very pleased with that picture.
Fast forward to August 2011 and Newsweek’s article about Michele Bachmann entitled “The Queen of Rage”. First and foremost, Michele Bachmann’s hardly a queen of rage. She’s not even a princess or duchess of rage. “Queen of Controversy” sounds better to me. But let’s look at the photo. Personally, the photo is just bad. Minister Louis Farrakhan has much more a claim to rage (righteous or not) than Michele Bachmann and yet he looks cool with the effect and all on the Time magazine cover. Yet Bachmann looks wild-eyed and borderline crazy. I’m no artist but if I’m going to call someone the “Queen of Rage”, I’m going to stylize it up a bit. Bachmann, to a sizable bunch, is an attractive woman. I would have highlighted that, put a crown on her head, and showed her leading her “raging subjects”. Hmm. Maybe I’ll make her “raging subjects” look like rolled scrolls symbolizing the constitution (which she talks much about).
Wait a second! What am I doing? I don’t have a positive or negative view of Michele Bachmann. So I’m looking at this from a strictly style perspective. But this is 2011. And Newsweek Editor-In-Chief Tina Brown doesn’t fool me one bit. She wanted Michele Bachmann to look kind of “unhinged”. Because she has an agenda. And agendas are running rampant throughout the Left and the Right. But I do agree with with fellow TMV colleague Taylor Marsh that this isn’t sexist but a cheap shot. While the photo is bad, I don’t see the sexism in it. But I’m no fool twice. With the way female politicians are photographed and photo-shopped in unflattering and downright sexist ways, I can appreciate the concern. But while the photo is getting much play, I think the headline “Queen of Rage” should get the focus. A female politician who is galvanizing support for her campaign by riding her supporters’ anger at Washington is not a “Queen of Rage”. She’s a campaigning politician and a leader to her supporters. No more, no less.
Merriam-Webster defines rage as “violent and uncontrolled anger”. Let’s get downright stone serious now: is Michele Bachmann the “Queen of Violent and Uncontrolled Anger”? As NFL football star Chad Ochocinco says: