Catch Osama, Not Fish

Wouldn’t Rahm Emmanuel’s wisecrack look great as a button or a bumper sticker? Great. You design one, and I’ll get them made up.

I have no talent for graphic design. Absolutely none whatsoever.

Mostly, that’s a disability I can live with. But sometimes, it’s a bummer.

It’s a bummer, for example, when Rahm Emmanuel comes up with a great snarky press release that suggests a great snarky bumper sticker or lapel button:

    Catch Osama,

    Not Fish

and I realize that I don’t know how to design that bumper sticker or button so as to remind those who see it that George W. Bush is the target.

If any reader is, or knows, someone with the appropriate talent, I’d be happy to pay for getting a couple of thousand of the things made up.


On reflection, I see that the above is obviously backwards. What we want is either:

1) The Bush-holding-up-the-fish-he’s-just-caught photo that was Photoshopped to show him standing in the flooded streets of New Orleans; or

2) A what-me-worry sketch of Bush, with or without fish; or

3) The graphics from the Bush-Cheney bumper sticker

with the text:

    Catch fish,

    Not Osama

I can’t figure out whether adding “Re-elect Bush” or “Bush in ’08” would help drive the point home, or merely gild the lily.

Your thoughts?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

12 thoughts on “Catch Osama, Not Fish”

  1. while the designers are working on Mark's slogan, could they also take a shot at the "change one letter at a time to go from one word to another" sequence that I'd like to see in circulation:

  2. Its not that hard. Think bold contrasting colors and a simple graphic. I think for this one, a charactacher of bush saying "My best day was when I caught a fish"
    EG, I once did a design for fun that I was tempted to have printed up and handed out for people to stick on other people's SUVs, but decide that would be vandalism…

  3. I sent an email in response.
    But, I could see the use of the fish symbol used by the Conservative Christians with a circle and line over it, followed by a pic of Osama in a net.

  4. There is a faked picture that's been around for a while of Mr. Bush holding up a fish, with a flooded-out street scene behind him. His father is there as well.
    The picture could be used as a whole, but it would probably be better if you extracted the image of Bush and the fish. I'd work with a neutral background to emphasize the Bush figure — and to draw attention to the words. They should be in stop-sign red.

  5. What the hey, I'll offer a bit more advice.
    Skip the additional text and the re-write."Catch Osama/Not fish" is killer snark. The alternatives don't begin to compare.
    To restate in words adapted to the meanest understanding, which is what you want for a button: Bush ain't doing what he's supposed to do… and here's the picture that proves it.

  6. Mark:
    I think your first instinct was correct:
    "Catch Osama,
    not fish"
    is spot on, and really says it all. You're over-thinking it.

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