'Merle suspected something,' a photo from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool


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Keep it classist!


Holy classist stereotyping, Boing Boing ! Let’s all guffaw at those poor white people who presumably live in a trailer (though Airstreams are mighty expensive new, now) who are what university degreed folk might describe as"trashy", probably from the southern US (ie Merle, wearing overalls, plaid sleeveless shirt and a baseball cap), plus a heavy chick wearing a cheap bustier upside down, cause she’s that dumb, making a face, with curlers in her hair and blue eyeshadow. Plus drinkin’ and smokin’.

What this isn’t: John Waters,c. Pink Flamingos, embracing and subverting these stereotypes.

Is there some humour or sharp social commentary that I am missing in this image ?


I don’t think you’re missing a thing. I see it the same way.


Well, now I feel silly. we’re wearing out corsets upside-down now while we drink our beer? I better get on this right away.

But seriously, I had no idea we could post ANYTHING at ALL in the Flickr pool.

The visual melding of clunky photo shopping, uncomfortable characterizations, and odd product placements pleads for the question… “Are we all not so different?”. The artist uses advanced confusing lighting techniques and a whimsical meta stereotyping to complete the emotional de-balancing within the viewer.


I don’t see the humor, but…
The pictures (Merle and Mathilda series) appear to be of the photographer and possibly his wife… From his old blog, Xavier Thoughts, he appears to be quite a gun enthusiast and from the South. He’s a registered nurse, so there might be a bit of makin’ fun of the poor ignorant neighbors, but it seems more like he is just creating a caricature of what folks might think Southerners are like to amuse himself.


Whew. It’s people making fun of their own stereotype. For a minute there I was afraid I would have to go all outrage.


I wouldn’t let it stop you. Others didn’t.

I think it’s probably done tongue in cheek and Xeni is the last person I would think of posting deliberately offensive material. I have to say though, the photographer’s sense of humor needs some work.


NSFW (if your boss shares my denim fetish)

What’s missing is the context. Would you feel the same about the image if it was a self portrait done by the gal who lives in the Airstream pictured v.s. a photo taken by a super wealthy frat boy to advertise their hillbilly pimps and ho’s party using homeless people to model in provided costumes ?

I don’t know who the photographer is. I don’t know what the image is for. With no other information except that it was posted in BB’s photostream I can’t tell that it is people making fun of their own stereotype.

If they are aiming at parody, it is not being communicated very successfully. Not as a photograph, a photoshop project or satire.

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The photographer’s name is Xavier J. Peg. Xeni tells us this in the first sentence of the post: the post about which you’re complaining and that you thus tacitly claim to have read.

A quick click to his Flickr stream reveals a large number of similar images, with him and his friends in various costumes and situations, many of them similar in tone and style to the above, not least in their quite obviously conscious sendup of various aspects of Southern (or whatever descriptor you prefer) identities.

So much for missing contexts, the condescension of elite college folks, and wealthy frat boys and their hillbilly pimps. But please do continue, yours is a fascinating gloss to the image: wholly inaccurate and quite unnecessary, but fun in its way, like all harmless silly things.

So, not knowing the context, the response could be “Hmm, whatever. I’m not quite getting what I’m supposed to be getting out of this…” or “MORAL OUTRAGE!!! Must rail against perceived slight against class/ethnicity/whatever!!!”.

Something something… reserving judgement until you have enough information to make a rational analysis of the situation, or ya know, you could just immediately jump to conclusions that allow you to feel justified in having a “holier than thou” outburst. (yeah, I get that that’s half of what goes on here at BB, but you’d be pissed if someone did it to you.)[but then you’d get to express outrage at being misjudged, so there’s that…]

You forgot to mention “exploitation of the homeless” by said frat boys. Man, why should SatinSatan even try if you’re just going to gloss over key components of his entirely imaginary pseudo history justifying the outrage.

I’m just not hip to the times; my first reaction was “Damn that woman has a proper hourglass figure!”


O I’m a tricksy dialectician, that I am, always ready to make the better cause seem the worse, the worse the better. StainSatan wouldn’t have stood a chance if only you hadn’t meddled but now it’s all NEVER FORGET around here and I’m royally boned by your steely-eyed unsparing look into my nefarious nefariousness.

I’m not going to jump into this whole class/culture-war debate, but I am thankful that this photo made me realize I was wearing my boxer shorts backwards.


Dude, it’s way too meta-sarcasm-y in here! I gotta go grab a scooby snack!

Maybe I slept through something, but the name Xavier J.Peg means nothing to me except for the intro. A gold star for you, timothy krause, for being interested enough in this work to use Google ! I hope you will support the artist and buy some of his or her work so you may admire it in your home.

Questions about context, content, intent are basic and very important in Introduction to Art and/or Sociology 101 theory. Who is this picture for ? Who is in the photograph ? Who made this picture ? Do you feel these questions are unreasonable ? Does that make this photograph art ? Is it satire ? Can you explain why you consider an image like this to be a “harmless silly thing” ? Are you a southern trailer dweller, just having a laugh at yourself ? Are you laughing with them, or at them ?