Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Potemkin Command Center

John Aravosis likens BP's spate of faked photos of its command centers on its official website to Capricorn One. But I'm thinking more along the lines of the so-called Potemkin Villages allegedly built by Grigory Potyomkin in 1787 to fool Catherine the Great as to Russia's conquests.

A more modern-day example of the kind of chicanery that we're now seeing with BP can be found in the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, where people who had fallen out of favor with the paranoid Stalin would suddenly be airbrushed out.

At around the same time, Chairman Mao was doing the same thing to his disappeared political enemies- disappearing them again.

In the age of Adobe Photoshop and digital manipulation, you'd think that BP's own revisionist history would be a little more sophisticated than the inept airbrushing and crude artist reconstructions of Chairman Mao and General Secretary Stalin. Yet look at the two examples shown below of the kind of ineptitude shown by BP in the Photoshopped pictures below (which they blamed on their photographer). Click on the images for a more expanded view and look closely at what doesn't belong (John Aravosis did a more thorough and exhaustive analysis. Click on the permalink to ABlog at the top to see his analysis).

This one doesn't require such a discerning eye. Note the guy on the right with what looks like either the world's worst toupee or a chipmunk that suddenly decided to die on his head.

In the picture above you see people in the command center with images, once again, Photoshopped behind the workers. This one was taken of the "top kill" effort about a month ago.

If you but go to BP's official website and look at their travelogue photographs, you'll never know what you'll find.

This unbelievably inept Photoshopping job is of the Discoverer Enterprise and Helix Q4000 flaring. This is supposed to represent a normal function aboard any rig, otherwise known as "sky dumping". But even looking at the large thumbnail I noticed that something didn't look kosher. Look at the two flares, especially in the blown-up version.

Kinda looks like a flame decal that you'd just stick on your car, doesn't it? Considering the risible incompetence of this particular Photoshopping job, I'm actually amazed that the amateur who did this remembered to try to load the reflection of the flares on the water.

One of the most enduring mysteries of the Obama administration will be why they're allowing BP to continue taking point in the response. They're dumping sand on top of tar rather than cleaning it up. They have an unofficial policy called "Ponies and balloons" and showing fake cleanup efforts for the benefit of elected officials. Now they're Photoshopping pictures to make BP look busier than they actually are.

So remind me again why BP is still in control of this disaster?


At July 24, 2010 at 8:06 PM, Blogger Stan B. said...

Their digital manipulation reflects their work "ethic" as a whole- cheap, incompetent, fraudulent.

At July 24, 2010 at 8:42 PM, Anonymous mandt said...

"allegedly built by Grigory Potyomkin" They were in fact real and part of a pioneering effort to settle large tracts of south western Russia. You might enjoy this read on Potempkin by Simon Sebag Montefiore

At July 25, 2010 at 11:18 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

mandt: Personally, I believe they existed. But there's really no proof that I know that these Potemkin villages actually existed. Historians are still divided on the issue.

At July 26, 2010 at 4:46 PM, Anonymous Comrade Rutherford said...

"you'd think that BP's own revisionist history would be a little more sophisticated "

Why? BP is clearly aware that no media outlet would even bother to look that closely at the images.

And BP is also aware that even if a media outlet noticed the crappy PS job, that no one would dare breath a word of it.

BP knows they can count on American media to assist them with the brazen lying, just like Bush did, and now Obama.


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