What is PoliOptics? It is a combination of politics and visuals; it’s elements include who’s on stage, the background, the choreography, if any, music, lighting, good angles, and sometimes, even food. It is political influence through imagery; in other words, it is packaged political persuasion. This word was created by Joshua King, a presenter in our mass media class, and has evolved since to be a “euphemism for propaganda.” It was created because 80% of what we interpret when learning about politics is through visual effects; therefore, the idea had to be revealed.
I truly enjoyed Mr. King’s presentation on PoliOptics because I had never really looked at politics or anything in the news for that matter in such a way that involved deconstructing pictures, videos and surroundings in a certain way. It also never really occurred to me that these pictures are somewhat staged and not just taken candidly.
The following picture involves an event surrounding President Barack Obama during his term thus far that I will deconstruct “PoliOptically.”
In the following picture, the explanation is as follows: “(Left to right) President Barack Obama and three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy during a ceremony honoring the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)” But without knowing all of this knowledge, some aspects can be assumed or determined. President Obama is standing in front of the White House without a gate behind him symbolizing he is the President of the United States and not an outsider. Although President Obama is standing in front of a car from Nascar, he is still very much dressed up in a white shirt, dress pants, and a tie symbolizing his high status. Ironically, the number on the car is 48, the exact age as President Obama and the number is in bright yellow to very much stand out. The tires state “Eagle,” which is the symbol of our nation and of all the tires they could have chosen, it happened to be Good Year’s, whose symbol is the eagle as well. Everyone is surrounding President Obama and watching him, including one man who is right behind him and photographing him. There is a podium behind the photographer representing that President Obama is either about to give a speech or already has and it happens to be a dark blue, one of the colors of our nation.