Like Putty in Your Hands


The act of rendering and manipulating the image of another - often in ridiculous and derisive ways - is an act of protest. Using political figures as amenable objects is a satisfying way of assuming control over a subject whose policies directly affect our lives and sense of nationhood. A traditional stomping grounds for editorial cartoonists, political criticism through caricature is something that newspaper readers have enjoyed vicariously for years. But not anymore. Now, with Subservient President, you assume the role of Commander-in-Chief and George W. Bush is your boy toy. Modeled after Burger King's Subservient Chicken, the site lets visitors type in commands that an animated Dubya responds to. Not all commands will work - 'sing' doesn't make anything happen, but 'drink' and 'dance' sure do. Sometimes he just shrugs or scratches his head, and other times he prompts the user by typing messages like 'ask me about my foreign policy' or 'I took a new oath of office' on his own computer. Click on the FAQ link and you can read about how the site works and enjoy some very funny political commentary at the same time. Jeanne Randolf would be proud. - Peggy MacKinnon