News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flashback Monday: The Military-Industrial Complex, Reston, and Representational Art, All in One Photograph

Old white dudes.jpg

Sometimes even the most mundane minutiae of daily life can hint at the occult forces that ordinarily hide behind the curtains. In this exciting and clearly unstaged photograph from way back in 1968, we see various middle-aged white men smiling as they hold a framed painting for our perusal. It, of course, is a rendition of our beloved earth-toned community, with a sylvan scene of pristine boaters out for an afternoon jaunt on Lake Anne serving as a highly evocative representation of clean living out in the rapidly-being-tamed suburbs of Virginia. Check it, as the kids today haven't said for decades:

All in all, a lovely, almost pastoral scene, although as part-time semioticians and full-time "web loggers," we'd argue the larger scene around the painting is the one crying out to be "unpacked." Who are these men holding the painting to the camera? Some are representatives of Gulf Reston, the real-estate arm of the oil giant which, at the time of this photo, had full control over Reston after casting Bob Simon aside. The others are from General Electric, who had "commissioned the painting for a calendar," presumably to go alongside equally representative images of happy nuclear power plant workers and missile silo technicians. Behind them is a tableau of maps and plans for Reston -- many of which show much larger buildings than what eventually came to pass. The overall effect is one of a war room, a war room in which members of the Military-Industrial Complex are hungrily carving up the spoils of victory. Pay no attention to the men behind the fancy painting, they seemingly say with their unspoken fixed smiles, and carry on.

Or maybe it's just a cheesy PR shot for a company newsletter. Hard to say.


  1. I'm pretty sure this is a commissioned painting of the Last Known Virgin of Reston...

    ...I'm talking about him, not her, in the painting.

    The young man seen pushing the boat out into Lake Anne was famously referred to by the locals back in the early 1960s at the Accidental Mormon Tourist. He was doing his mission in the area when he chanced upon the Lake Anne resident grandmother of Sandra Fluke. Her name was Floosy Fluke. Floosy's daughter, Hussy Fluck, is pictured in the painting. Poor guy. Hussy Fluke, Reston's best known sexually liberated bra-burners at the time got the best of that poor guy. I understand after multi divorces from other Lake Anne women he evetually went to work for the Nixon White House. Hussy Fluck won a Reston of Reston Award 10 years ago for an innovative RA sponsored program that taught teenage girls how to use natural forms of birth control made from Virginia Native Plants found along the banks of Snake Den Branch. Yeah, unfortunatley the RA destroyed all those plants with its 21st century cutting edge stream re-engineering project that...uh...well...that pretty much destroyed a lot of plants and trees.

    Yeah, there used be virgins in Reston. Sadly, there are no more. There was a rumour some years ago that a virgin existed at South Lakes High School. There was also another rumour at the time that the non-virgin devil worshippers at Langston Hughes Middle School sacrificed Reston's last known South Lakes High School virgin.

  2. Are you sure about that Restonian? These guys very strongly resemble (from left to right) Albert Speer, (a gaunt) Hermann Goering and Josef Goebels.

    Could it be that something is not quite right in Spandau prison?

  3. Yeah-- MDO-- Not so funny as you think.


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