Here is a lesson in ironic juxtaposition: A freeze-frame of President Bush delivering his State of the Union address, with the closed captioning scrolling the words “THE EVIL DEMOCRACY.”
Ironies abound in this photograph (which I found on the Flickr Bush cluster).
First, obviously, Bush is (purely accidently, purely coincidentally) linked to the idea of an evil democracy. Now, of course, I do not believe that America is evil. I don’t even believe that President Bush is evil. Misguided, maybe, but not evil.
The second irony is the word “democracy”–which is one thing the U.S.A. (symbolized by Bush) is not. It’s barely even the republic it formally declares itself to be.
The most subtle irony is the source of the caption. “THE EVIL” and “DEMOCRACY” come from two different lines of text, maybe even two different sentences. In Bush’s original speech the adjective “evil” does not qualify “democracy.” Because remember, DEMOCRACY = GOOD (except in the case of Saudi Arabia, where Dysfunctional + Misogynistic + Monarchy = GOOD as well).
But, with some clever cropping, we have a postmodern critique of President Bush and his foreign policies, a kind of Max Headroom for the new millennium.