You know those posters of Obama looking like the Joker from Batman with the word "socialism" underneath? The creator of that creepy image has emerged, and it's not some "real" American from a red state. Far from it.
According to the LA Times, the perpetrator is a 20-year-old University of
Illinois student named Firas Alkhateeb who made the image during his winter break from school using PhotoShop, naturally:
Alkhateeb had been tinkering with the program to improve the looks of photos he had taken on his clunky Kodak camera. The Joker project was his grandest undertaking yet. Using a tutorial he'd found online about how to "Jokerize" portraits, he downloaded the October 23 Time Magazine cover of Obama and began digitally painting over it.
Four or five hours later, he happily had his product.
Alkhateeb says that he then posted the image to his Flickr page where it sat largely unnoticed for a couple of months. Then an unknown individual found the photo, removed all of the references to Time, added the word "socialism" across the bottom of the image and posted it all over the streets of Los Angeles. The original image was found on Alkhateeb's Flickr by the LA Times after they were tipped off to it by a reader, but he closed the account after they contacted him because he wanted to "lay low" in the "very, very liberal" city from which Barack Obama's political career was sprung.
"After Obama was elected, you had all of these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ," Alkhateeb said. "From my perspective, there wasn't much substance to him."
"I abstained from voting in November," he wrote in an e-mail. "Living in Illinois, my vote means close to nothing as there was no chance Obama would not win the state." If he had to choose a politician to support, Alkhateeb said, it would be Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
So yeah, good luck wrapping your brain around this one.