We've all seen selfies taken in questionable places. During a school lockdown. In front of a man attempting suicide. At Auschwitz. Now, some people are adding President Obama to the list of people with poor selfie judgment after the leader of the free world posed with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service Tuesday in South Africa. It appears from photos of the incident that Obama was not the instigator (that distinction goes to Thorning-Schmidt). But he seems to have participated happily, though First Lady Michelle Obama seemed unimpressed by the whole spectacle. The photo has earned the world leaders a place among other funeral selfie-takers who are featured in the Tumblr "Selfies at Funerals." Read more >>
The cartoon by Steve Bell from The Guardian shows a selection of 'world leaders' taking selfies of themselves at Mandela's memorial service. From left to right they are, Ed Milliband (Leader of the British Labour Party), Sir John Major (ex-UK Prime Minister), George W. Bush (former U.S. President), Tony Blair (ex-UK Prime Minister), David Cameron (current UK Prime Minister), Barack Obama, Bono (don't ask), George Brown (ex-UK Prime Minister), Prince Charles, and Bill Clinton (former U.S. President).
The cartoonist seems to be saying that our so-called world leaders are just a bunch of shallow, preening poseurs. Even in death, Mandela could teach them all a lesson about human dignity.
Selfie was Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013 and was defined thus: a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.