Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Monday, January 26, 2004

You Say Goodbye, I Say Halo

Watching Willy Wonka this past weekend, I giggled again at the opening shot of the reporter in the German tavern (about to congratulate Augustus for finding a Golden Ticket), positioned in front of a mounted moose head so it looks like the antlers are sticking out of his (the reporter's) own head. Nowadays, however, what used to be seen as a funny optical illusion has turned somewhat serious, as official photographers seem to be deliberately snapping politicians with what's come to be known as a "halo effect." The most egregious examples are of George W. Bush, who believes God talks to him anyway so I guess the cameras-that-be figure they should subliminably and clumsily reinforce that idea in the public mind. But other world leaders have been similarly caught (although frankly I think it's a bit of a stretch to regard all of these as halo shots), so we may have ourselves a trend. I'm glad there are sites out there collecting this stuff.