Friday, April 18, 2008



If Kate and others have their shorts in a frantic twist over Time Magazine’s latest cover controversy, why didn’t they blow a gasket over this image?

Raising the Flag

But back to the matter at hand. To make their point about the serious nature of the challenge facing America (and the world) in combating the effects of global warming, the editors at Time decided to use the iconic photo from the Battle of Iwo Jima (inspiration for the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial) and do a little Photoshopping. More specifically, they replaced the flag with a tree. Apparently, their goal was to make the comparison that the fight against global warming is similar to the titanic struggle of WWII. It seems some veterans are upset about this:

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran said. “Whoever did it is going to hell. That’s a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor.” Mates also said making the comparison of World War II to global warming was erroneous and disrespectful.“The second world war we knew was there,” Mates said. “There’s a big discussion. Some say there is global warming, some say there isn’t. And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious.”

Not surprisingly, I’m agnostic on the matter. Utilizing iconic images to make a point is nothing new and at the risk of pointing out the obvious, there’s more than a little irony to be found in the notion that somehow disgracing an “icon” is “sacrilegious” when you really think about it.

Update: If nothing else, this has certainly elicited some rather amusing reactions from the perpetually frenzied denizens of Wingnuttia. Five Feet of Bowel Obstruction™ is quick off the mark with the first comment at SDA: “Urge to kill... rising...” I really can’t be bothered to document the rest, but will guarantee there’s much mordant hilarity to be had if you’ve got the stomach for it. Do feel free to share.