There's an intimacy in this that so resonates with me. I mean, it's impossible to imagine that I wouldn't be charmed by the subject matter alone — a President I greatly admire, plus two NBA players. But this moment is especially great, because I love Derrick Rose's game and I will always appreciate that he OD'd on candy before the 2008 NCAA Final with Kansas. And I admire Joakim Noah's gritty post play and his serious media game. And I love that there's genuine emotion in this shot. It has got a little bit of stagey-ness, but it also feels, like I said, intimate, like the photographer took this photo and emailed it to me, and said: "You'd appreciate this."
I really geek out out on glimpses of the marked-up copy of other writers, so I was pretty fascinated to see a page of a Presidential speech-in-progress. If you click through to the zoomed-in page, you'll see that all of Obama's notes are all copy-edits; there are no developmental "what I'm trying to say here"-style edits. Not sure what that means, but I thought it was interesting. The Flickr caption indicates that the photo was taken "in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in preparation for the president's address to a joint session of Congress." Cool.
David Remnick's excellent biography of Muhammad Ali, King of the World contains a truly stunning scene that sprung to mind during last week's inauguration. Before Ali's first big bout, a meeting with Sonny Liston, the press didn't know what to make of Ali's confidence and bombast. A reporter asked: "Cassius, all these things you're saying about Liston, do you really mean them? Do you really think you're going to beat this guy?"
Ali: I'm Christopher Columbus … I believe I'll win. I've never been in there with him, but I believe the world is round and they all believe the world is flat. Maybe I'll fall off the world at the horizon but I believe the world is round.1
I feel like there's a thread that runs directly from this statement to last Tuesday's inauguration, and it made me want to dig deeper into Ali, the myth-maker. So last night I watched a 1964 documentary, made by photographer William Klein, called Muhammad Ali: The Greatest; it's included in a recent Criterion Collection release called The Delirious Fictions of William Klein, which is cheap‑o on Amazon right now, actually.
They call it the White House, but that's a temporary condition.
Last June, Mara organized a bake sale to raise money for Barack Obama. It was a typically chilly summer day in San Francisco, but we made a fistful of cash, AND we got our picture taken by a passerby who happened to be a professional photojournalist. His name is Joshua Lott, and he posted it on a blog called The Stumping Grounds, which features one photo per day from one of the many photojournalists covering the campaign. Ours was posted on June 24th.