Wednesday’s fun photo, courtesy of my wife (click to enlarge):
Now, I don’t think the nesting dolls vendor in Riga, Latvia, intended to make any political statement with this display (nor, really, do I), but such an arrangement in, say, an L.A. storefront would send America’s armchair semioticians into convulsions. Stalin, Saddam, Osama… the president of the United States?!? Blasphemy! (To the members of the president’s own party, anyway. And I’m sure this table included Dubya a few years ago.) And to sell tchotchkes with the likenesses of mass murderers [no, no, of course he doesn't mean Obama and Berlusconi - Ed.]… unthinkable!
It might do Americans some good to recognize that our sensitivities, hangups, and sacred cows are not everyone else’s, and, conversely, that which we shrug off or laugh at may be deeply offensive to others. It’s a big, weird world out there (and in here).