Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Obama Posters

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Nicole Lee says that these posters are all over San Francisco now.

Obama Poster by Nicole Lee at Flickr

I haven’t seen any in Utah. My first instinct was they looked just like the Big Brother Is Watching You posters in the movie of 1984.


I can’t believe that the Obama supporters really wanted to invoke the 1984 imagery and liken him to Big Brother, do they? Where did those posters come from? Were they put up by the Republicans? I can’t imagine there are enough Republicans in San Francisco to organize something like that.

Were they put up by the Hillary faction? Is THIS how she intends to win?

What the heck is going on?

Update 05-23-08: GREAT comments on this, so read them if you are interested in these posters. AND because I started writing about political things, the random ads that are showing up are promoting John McCain. I DO NOT SUPPORT JOHN MCCAIN, so don’t believe those ads. He’s just paying to put them up on any site that mentions any of the candidates.



  1. Wow. That is really strange (if on purpose, seems malicious; if coincidental, someone’s PR is half-asleep). Hillary’s emphasis of the race issue leaves such a sour taste in my mouth.

    Comment by What About Mom? — 5/22/2008 @ 9:20 am

  2. It’s true, they’re all over.

    And yes, Republicans are behind it: http://blogs.citypages.com/gop/2008/01/obey_obama.php

    Although, the original Shepard Fairey “Progress” poster (http://obeygiant.com/post/obama – not a parody and was “endorsed” by the Obama campaign) was already associated with Stalin/Mao propaganda styles. In fairness, some Obama supporters (especially young ones) might not make the Orwellian connection – I’m 31 and didn’t notice the similarity until someone pointed it out.

    Comment by Jere — 5/22/2008 @ 10:36 am

  3. I’ve been seeing this pop up quite a bit around the net. The confusion seems to revolve around the loose connections between Barack Obama, Andre the Giant, George Orwell, and a street artist named Shepard Fairey. I know, it’s a bit confusing. Here’s the timeline as best as I understand it. Sometime in the late 80s or early 90s (maybe timeline wasn’t the best word), Shepard started putting up posters he had designed that featured a picture of Andre the Giant and the phrase “Andre the Giant Has a Posse”. Evidently Andre did indeed have a posse of lawyers who contacted Shepard and threatened to sue. In response Shepard created the poster you see above with a stylized version of Andre’s face and the words OBEY written beneath. That poster has nothing to do with Orwell or the movie 1984. After that Shepard started using the stylized face and tagline OBEY as his signature for other unrelated posters. At some point he created a poster using the face from the 1984 Big Brother posters. On that same poster was the Andre face and words OBEY just as they appeared on almost everything else he did. So there is your very loose connection between Shepard and Orwell. Just recently Shepard did a campaign poster for Obama (not the one you see above) featuring Obama and the word PROGRESS written beneath. That poster also has the Andre face as a signature. The OBEY tagline is missing and I’ll venture to assume that is because it didn’t fit the message of the poster. Unfortunately that little Andre face has managed to get wrapped up with all sorts of negative thoughts for people who only subconsciously even know where they’ve seen it before. As for the poster above, I’m guessing that a fellow street artist fan of Shepard is doing a bit of an homage without even realizing there is some kind of collective unconscious linking of Andre the Giant and Fascist regimes. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Obama is a Manchurian candidate who will use giants to enforce Islamic law, thereby inspiring Steve Jobs to create an epic commercial for the iTablet and finally realize the true potential of touch based computing!

    Comment by Daniel Vest — 5/22/2008 @ 1:43 pm

  4. Hi Laura, Those posters are fairly common in the bay area. They were created by a nutjob (IMHO) named Shepard Fairey. His website is http://obeygiant.com/ He has been acknowledged and endorsed by Obama, but I don’t think the campaign paid for them as far as I know. Steve

    Comment by Steve Bryson — 5/22/2008 @ 8:32 pm

  5. They’re pretty popular! You’re the first dumb ass I’ve heard of who thought they were anti-Obama.

    Comment by Eddie — 5/23/2008 @ 12:23 am

  6. Daniel Vest, “As for the poster above, I’m guessing that a fellow street artist fan of Shepard is doing a bit of an homage ….” The guy that was sticking them up told us Shepard had made them, BUT, this dude was not the sharpest tool stumbling around the Haight that afternoon, so, caveat emptor. Steve

    Comment by Steve Bryson — 5/23/2008 @ 9:21 pm

  7. Fairey didn’t make them and these aren’t the ones from the Haight. It’s funny to listen to old people speculate about youth culture, ignorant to the fact that they really aren’t hip and don’t understand these things anymore.

    Comment by Eddie — 5/26/2008 @ 3:48 pm

  8. Eddie,

    So, all wise one, inform us. EXACTLY where did Nicole Lee take that picture? Who made it? Is it pro-Obama or negative?

    Just so you know, we old people aren’t trying to be “hip.” We’re a little busy being useful.


    Comment by Laura Moncur — 5/27/2008 @ 8:53 am

  9. Laura, Well you’re obviously not too busy to blog and kill time on the internet. Additionally, considering the fact that what I do is initiating dialogues about politics and issues I would hardly say that YOU are the one being useful. you can check this.


    no hard feelings E

    Comment by Eddie — 5/27/2008 @ 10:25 am

  10. Blogging is my full time job, Eddie. I’m not killing time on the Internet. I’m MAKING it.

    Comment by Laura Moncur — 5/27/2008 @ 11:24 am

  11. See how frustrating it can be when people don’t understand what you do? I think I’ve made my point here. Cheers E

    Comment by Eddie — 5/27/2008 @ 12:57 pm

  12. why does everything have to be democrats vs. republicans? Did it ever occur to you that perhapse anarchists have been putting those posters up? As an anarchist myself I do not trust any politician. The government is powerful enough to take away our rights and I have no doubt that Obama will enjoy controling America “land of the free.” Its only the illusion of freedom such as the slogans in Gorge Orewell’s novel.


    most anarchists try to display their aggression towards the governemnt through art.

    art keeps fascism away.

    but America has been slowly turning into a fascist country little by little and now that Obama is president or I should say now that the “messiah” is king everyone will think that they are in good hands giving Obama that big brother feel. This is very bad, with the population being numb in the brain the governemnt can do what ever they want. Remember: “ignorance is strength”

    Comment by John Kiss — 2/14/2009 @ 10:58 pm

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