This photograph published in the Week in Review section of today’s New York Times (as part of an article called “In Peril: The Arab Status Quo”) is has a curious centerpiece. A crowd in Tunisia (composed, as far as I could tell, entirely of men), is gathered demanding the ouster of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. In the foreground is a Tunisia flag. In the middle of the picture, a man is holding the lone sign visible, providing (in English) the main thrust of the demonstration: “Game Over.” Next to the sign is a young man wearing an MSU Spartan hoodie.
It’s not totally clear whether this makes politics a video game or a football match. But either way the message is pretty clear: you have played the game, Mr. President, and lost. But to whom is the message directed, precisely? In a series of political events in which Facebook and Twitter have once again played an important role, the photograph suggests people are well aware they might be photographed, and ready to make the image apt for travel and comprehension.