Eye of the Zombie

I’m nearly impossible to offend, so the outrage over this image in a Loudon County, VA GOP email pretty much escaped me. Oh: Barack Obama as a zombie with a hole in his head? Hm. I guess that’s offensive. The fact that the blog which posted it has gone down, groaning under the weight of traffic from liberals who want to be pissed off at something, indicates that it went viral.
republican-obama-zombie-email The only thing that makes me wonder about the Loudon Republicans is that this is a fairly obscure image of Obama. Google “Obama zombie” and you can find this version of the HOPE image. In this parody, it’s not clear what sort of violence turned Obama into a zombie. A tumble down some icey Georgetown steps after a fundraiser? A shovel blow to the head? Another zombie? It’s not a gunshot wound. The face is fairly distorted, but it’s obviously Obama.
You can grab that, or you can grab this image from 2010. To me, it’s a less interesting, sloppier image. In the first parody, Obama’s collar is sloppy and his coat is ratty in a believable way. What’s happening to his clothes in this image? The blood coming from the wound is dripping without any regard to the contours of his head. Also, why is his facial expression so calm? In the case of Common Decency v. Loudon GOP, I find the defendent not guilty on the charge of being truly offensive, but guilty of bad artistic judgment.