Monthly Archives: December 2008

Before there was Barack Obama: The hidden history in little black and white photos


“There is a silence that cannot speak,
There is a silence that will not speak,
Beneath the grass, the talking dreams,
And beneath the dreams is a sensate sea
The speech that frees comes forth
From that amniotic deep.”
The story of Barack Obama is a gripping saga started by an wide-eyed young woman and finished by parents who bucked history by daring to batten the hatches and living fully in the moment. But the heuristic irony of it  is that it is a story told in aging pictures, most of them in black  and white.

Stanley Ann Dunham - the spark that ignited it all: Fresh faced and pugnacious in her own way. Portrait of a go-getter as a young girl, she was described at various points in her life as fearless, credulous, idealistict, sensitive, passionate, independent and reckless even ..... The credulous idealism in her was buttressed by a certain earthy, can-do realism that somehow made things work. (Courtesy Obama for America)

In The Beginning, Was A Girl Named Stan: The story of Barack Obama is a saga that starts with a wide-eyed young woman from  Kansas named Stanley, and ends with the first “black” President in the American White House.  In between are the towering and overarching  figures of Madelyn and Stanley Dunham – two white  grandparents  who after the fact,  bucked  pride and prejudice by throwing caution to the wind and following in the halting steps of their young daughter.  In 1961 this meant accepting the marriage of their daughter to a Kenyan student whose skin was blacker than Djimon Hounsou’s noggin. And after the fact it also meant accepting the mixed-race child that would soon follow, and raising him as if he was their own. In daring to live their life as it unfolded, the Dunhams forged a newer meme for race relations that will reverberate  long after Barack Obama is gone. In this sense the difference is not so much in what they did, but the retro visibility of it and its potential for catalyzing the public consciousness even further.

The heuristic irony of this story is that it  is  told in pictures most of which are etched  in black and white.  Among the photos that pop up when you Google Barack Obama, is an intriguing one that  shows  Ann Stanley (Barack’s  then mother to be), Stanley Dunham  and Madelyn Dunham lounging on a couch at home, blissfully unaware of  the history gestating around them.

Madelyn “The Rock” Who Loved Barack Two days before the Christmas of 2008,   President-Elect,  Barack Obama, scattered the ashes of  his maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham,  whom he lovingly referred to as  “Toot”.  The woman who  Barack had described as the cornerstone “of our family” had died of cancer  in her Honolulu high-rise apartment, two days before Barack had been elected the first black President of the United States. (The synchronicity of two days is kind of interesting here.)

Stanley Ann, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham in the 1950s. Courtesy - Obama For America

Portrait of Obamas Mom As A Young Girl (From Left): Stanley Ann and her own parents Stanley and Madelyn Dunham lounging at home long with no idea of what was coming down the pike. ( Courtesy: Obama For America)

Madelyn, described by  Barack  as “the rock of our family,”  is less of a mystery because of  the  many  obituaries that have been written about her following her death on November 2,  from cancer. A product of stern Methodist upbringing in the Midwest, Madelyn grew into a studious young woman who enjoyed big band music  on the side.  Earlier reports describe Madelyn as hard-working and reserved.  Later in life she is described as hardworking, “fiercely  independent and opinionated”. Madelyn who had retired from the Bank of Hawaii in 1986, had been one of the first women vice-presidents of a local bank in 1970. Wikipedia quotes acquaintances who described her as a “tough boss” who could make you “sink or swim”, but  had a “soft spot for those willing to work hard.” She had a love  for university education.

Like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Stanley Dunham, the other half of Madelyn, was a strong, burly fella who could throw a good  punch when he needed it. A Wikipedia entry relates a story of how he punched out his high school principal and got himself expelled from school.   Unlike Madelyn, Stanley  hailed from a troubled blue collar background.  His mother had committed suicide  when he was 8 years old.  Stanley and his brother had been raised by their maternal grandmother. Throughout all this he somehow found a way to rise above his circumstances and develop a tender side that would later nurture and protect a daughter and a grandson who broke the molds of his own upbringing. Stanley Dunham blossomed into  something of a larger than life character described by people as  “gregarious, friendly, impetuous, challenging and loud”. Adds a Wikipedia entry: ” He  was a furniture  salesman “who could charm the legs off a couch.”

Madelyn fell for said charms and the alchemy that would forge them into a family, and in time include  their daughter Ann, began to assert itself.  Stanley Ann had a knack for venturing into waters that were often deeper than her ability to negotiate them, to put it mildly. And without a father like Stanley, the Dunham family history may have taken turns that might have made the  Obama story highly unlikely ….. at least in the form that we have come to know it.  Stanley Dunham made things possible by being  protective of his daughter  while giving her room to express her rambunctious individuality.

“Greater love hath no man ….”

From this vantage point it would appear  that it was his personal resilience and earthy gregariousness, not to mention his ability to live in the moment that created part of  the bridge over which Barack Obama would walk towards his own destiny; a fact which would then  make Stanley Dunham the hidden ubermenschen of  the Obama story.

Stanley Dunham’s gregarioussness  combined with his  acceptance of a baby girl, at a time he was expecting a boy,  must have paved the way for his acceptance of  the surprises the little girl would have for him down the road;  namely an African  boyfriend and the mixed-race child that would be born of that marriage.  Students of Obama’s family history should not overlook this aspect.  The love and acceptance Barack Obama got from his grandparents were  not a given;  given the the reality of race relations in the 60s and the character quirks that may have made some white people unable to adapt to the idiosyncrasies and vicissitudes of a changing racial landscape. (Up to 1967, 16 States still had anti-miscegenation laws or prohibition against marrying outside one’s race. Obama was born on August 4, 1961.)

Stanley, Barack and Madelyn Toot Dunham in an undated photo. Note the ease with which Stanley relates to Barack in terms of body language.

Baracks "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" - His maternal grandparents, Stanley Dunham on left and Madelyn Dunham on right. The subtle profundities of body English on full display: Stanley, the polyester-clad grand-daddy - burly, strong and loud, was clearly the other rock in Obamas life.

Stanley Ann: Barack Obama’s mother,  Stanley Ann was named after her father Stanley who had been expecting a boy.  When you look at her  in pictures, you see that she has her father’s  jaw-line.  But from what we  now know,   Ann Dunham inherited more than her father’s jawline.  Described as fearless, reckless and a dreamer, Ann turned out to be a bit of a steam-roller, especially later on in her life.  So in certain ways God may have answered Stanley Dunham’s not-so-silent prayers by giving him an irrepressible go-getter with a tomboyish abandon for novelty and adventure. You can see it in Stanley Ann’s chubby little face (first picture): that flash in the eye portending a streak  that  would tax her ability to iron out the kinks of her whimsies.  It may have  been a make-believe story, a role-playing scenario or,  as it turned out much later on in her life,  a  Lennonesque “imagine-all-the-people” view of world.  Such is the story of redeeming quirks often overlooked in children playing in the mud.

“When I think about my mother,” Obama told Amanda Ripley of Time Magazine, “I think that there was a certain combination of being very grounded in who she was, what she believed in, but also a certain recklessness.  I think she was always searching for something. She wasn’t comfortable seeing her life confined to a certain box.”

“Hers was a mind in full tilt,” writes  Susan Blake,  a  classmate and former city council woman from Mercer Island. In the oft quoted article “Family Portraits” by Chicago Tribune writers Tim Jones, Kirsten Schanberg and Laurie Goering, the authors see in Barack the future Senator and President of the United States a trinity of blending influences:

“Over time, the distinctive and often clashing qualities of Madelyn, Stanley and Stanley Ann have been merged, smoothed, polished and put on display in the politician who is their grandson and son. Obama’s voice volume is lower than his excitable grandfather’s. The overt skepticism of his mother and grandmother has been papered over, and Stanley Ann’s aversion to attention is gone. The candidate who vows to help bridge America‘s racial,religious and cultural divides has shed his mother’s rejection of organized religion, calling his embrace ‘a vessel for my beliefs’.

“He lost his grandfather’s impetuosity but kept the sales skills, attracting enough big money and broad support to reshape the race for president.

“In a recent interview, Obama called his mother “the dominant figure in my formative years . . . The values she taught me continue to be my touchstone when it comes to how I go about the world of politics.”(Family Portraits: Strong Personalities Shaped a Future Senator, Chicago Tribune)


Obama’s mother  died of ovarian and uterine cancer on Nov. 7, 1995.    S he was  52. Although Obama helped the family scatter her ashes over the Pacific ocean he, to this day, regrets not being at his mother’s side when she died.

Nature as “God Gone Astray In The Flesh”*:  Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was no Mister Johnson, the colonial Pied Piper of Joyce Cary‘s imagination.  Obama is the  Kenyan student  Stanley Ann Dunham  met and married at the University of Hawaii. Without discounting  nurture,  it is hard to argue against him being the possible enigmatic  ingredient behind Barack’s quick-silver intelligence and the easy cock-suredness that was so readily on display during the presidential campaign.  We neglect the impact of genes at our own peril even though in this particular case it is hard to untangle the  the DNA strands.  Reason? Barack the child had a lot  going for him already between his mother, and maternal grandparents.  Be that as it may,  certain things are hard to dismiss, given what we know of  Barack Obama Sr’s personality “rap sheet”:

Barack Obama Sr.

Scholarly gad-about town - Economist, Barack Obama Sr: The intrigue, the charisma and the oratory. He was no "Mister Johnson".

1.  He  “Had this magnetic personality,” recalls Neil Abercrombie, a member of Congress from Hawaii who was friends with Obama Sr. in college. “Everything was oratory from him, even the most commonplace observation.”  Is this the secret behind Barack’s soaring oratory or an E.S.L. quirk combined by the need to impress?

2.  He was a bright student who completed his economics degree at the University of Hawaii with a  G.P.A.  good enough to get him into  Harvard.

3.  Obama senior was one gregarious dude who quickly drew a crowd of friends at the university.

Everything in Barack Obama’s family tree thus points to some kind of genetic trifecta when it comes the source of his charisma; the most obvious  suspects being  his father, his maternal grandparents and his mother.  His smile however belongs to one person. Nancy Peluso who was a friend of his mother says that when Barack smiles,  he lights up like his mother.

The Obama Perplex (Next in the Obama story): As much a Obama likes the bright lights and the limelight, there is a part of him that stands at the back of the room with signature remove; an existence behind a veil beyond which a few have ventured. It creates that near-but-far feeling that drives some people nuts. But the question of why people want to figure him out is not always pedestrian …. not always …… with good intentions. The people who crave closeness as a means to figuring you out may sometimes the same people who want to pick your pocket.

(* “God gone astray in the flesh” is an idiosyncratic but congruent allusion to the power of genetic expression as an analog of language. The quote is from  Paul Valery as mentioned  by Frantz Fanon in his book “Black Skins, White Masks”.  Yes, God does indeed go astray in the flesh many, many times. Original Reference: “Mastery of a language affords remarkable power. Paul Valéry knew this, for he called language, ‘the god gone astray in the flesh'” )

copyright© 2008 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

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Recommended Reading:

This story is not even close  to being completed.  As I continue to work on it, time allowing,  you can read up on Stanley Ann Dunham in the quoted Time Magazine article by Amanda Ripley entitled  “The Story of Barack Obama’s Mother.” And for a tale that offers an intriguing peek into  Obama behind the scenes of election 2008, read up on Newsweek’s opus,  Barack Obama: How He Did It (Newsweek Politics –  Campaign 2008).

Object of desire: The Fender Stratocaster 1950s Reissue


1950s Fender Stratocaster. The jingle that put the jangle into rock and roll.

Virtual chrome without the fins: 1950s Fender Stratocaster. The jingle that put the jangle into rock and roll.

The signs of the times: Rich and poor pawning their stuff to pay bills


Times are hard but business is up for pawn shop dealers across the country. A Reuters report  says that Americans of all classes are pawning and selling their stuff to pay the bills. With the end of the economic recession not in sight, the report should make people ponder the nature of this crisis, their  lifestyles  and the meaning of money.

The color of money is blacker than the blackest hole, if you really wanna know.

The color of money is blacker than a black hole. Now you see it, now you don't.

Sue Zeidler and Tim Gaynor say that “Pawn shop owners see strong business across the country, even in unexpected locales like Beverly Hills, the mecca of luxury living and shopping.”

What this portends is the re-enactment of an age old drama: the filthy rich getting  richer and the poor getting poorer –  the  old soil in which parasitic capitalism thrives.

“Now you can say that I’ve grown bitter but of this you may be sure
The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor”
Leonard Cohen, The Tower of   Song.

The day a nutjob preacher from New York bested David Alan Grier of Chocolate News fame


The nutjob is the Reverend James David Manning, a former toiletry and auto marketing executive turned professional curmedgeon, if not a hatchet man from the fever swamps of Harlem trash. And the David Alan Grier mentioned in the heading is the notable alum from In Living Color who is rocking Comedy Central with Chocolate News, a show described by Grier as what Tavis Smiley would sound like if he was funny. (More on this comedy hat-trick in later posts.)
If truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, then the two videos featured in this blog show that bulging-veins demagoguery can sometimes be funnier than scripted comedy.The video in which Reverend Manning calls “Oh-bama” a “long-legged Mack Daddy” would be ready for prime time, Saturday Night Live style, were it not for its egregious trashing of the bounds of acceptable comedy.

The things he says about Obama’s mother are unrepeatable for reasons that go beyond “PC” sensibilities. Reverend Manning ain’t no Archie Bunker and his comments (beyond what is transcripted in this blog) lack the artistic license of “All In The Family” Bunkerisms.



If Sarah Palin “wrote” her own punchlines for Tina Fey’s get up on Saturday Night Live, then Reverend Manning bested the Alaskan Governor (in the transcripted portion) by a New York mile. The congregation which had a hard time keeping a straight face through it all, seems to confirm this impression. Watch the altar boys standing in behind the Reverend struggle to maintain their composure.



“Oh-bama is a Mack Daddy.
He pimps white women and black women.
He got started. You didn’t notice him
until he brought out those big-chested white women,
with their tight tee-shirts and their short pants.
That is what a pimp does. Oh come on!
You don’t get your campaign started
with a big chested white woman.
She must be a 54D. Double-D.(Audience snicker)
And a pair of white … and a pair of shorts on.
That is what started his campaign.
He put his name on two big 54Ds.(Audience laughter)
Oh-bama! That is where you first saw his name.
That is the first place I saw it – on two big ol’ tits.” (Audience laughter)
Reverend James D. Manning.

The comedy abruptly ends as suddenly as it began with the pastor veering off into a harangue about Obama’s mother and President Bill Clinton. By the end of it, Rev. Manning is firmly ensconced within the lunatic fringe of certifiably senile sexagenarians. For the record,  he believes that Oprah Winfrey is the Anti-christ. And remarks made on his eponymous Manning Report, expose him as nothing but a political hatchet man masquerading as a man of the cloth.  © Cyberaxis – Dendroaspips Polylepis, 2008.

And just for the sheer voyeurism of it, compare the two vids with Alan Keyes here.  He is gonna be an interesting character to watch along with Rev. Manning in the next 4 years.

Reflections on wax, polish and an apple from Fujisaki, Japan


I will not eat a polished apple from a grocery store because I know that someone somewhere  is making me pay for all that shine. I will not eat a polished apple from a grocery store because it looks like plastic. I don’t like the waxy shine the on apples in stores like Safeway because it just looks toxic. There is something wrong  (or so it seems to me)  if the shine on my apple looks  the same as that on a machine-waxed floor.

This creation is what you are most likely to encounter in your local chain supermarket.

The price of a shine: This pasty creation is what you are most likely to encounter in your local chain supermarket.

No, my apple of choice is a grimy looking creation from Fuji, and one that I find in funky ethnic markets that dot the down-town of my neck of the hood. I like them because they look real; as in apples that have just been plucked from a tree. Fuji apples are my favorite because they are crunchy and juicy and sure don’t look like plastic – which leads me to believe that the apple the Serpent gave to Eve must have been a pasty wax job from Safeway, Lucky’s or Nob Bill. Why, well because it just looks too blinged out and dressed up when it warn’t even Sunday.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t trust this uber masquerade, even if some establishment scientists swear that it’s harmless coating made from natural stuff.

Apple oh grimy! The mighty Fuji apple of my dreams.

Apple oh grimy! The mighty Fuji of my Edenic dreams.

Jimi Hendrix’s Red House and Eric Johnson as muse for the shredder generation


Austin City Limits Performance & DVD: The break that turned Eric Johnson into a contemporary guitar legend. This was shred with an accessible patina.

Austin City Limits Performance & DVD: The break that turned Eric Johnson into a contemporary guitar legend. This was shred with an accessible sensibility, and the audience ate it up.

Eric Johnson can perhaps be described as the lone survivor of the hair bands/shredder conflagration of the mid 80’s; an era which saw the rise and fall of guitar pimps like Yngwie Malmsteen. Of the swaggering bunch Eric Johnson, also known as E.J., was perhaps the more restrained traditionalist – a guitar geek of sorts who fretted about his tone and hewed to a more resonant and accessible melodicism. Yes, Eric wore his hair long and donned puffy shirts and brocaded jackets along with everyone else –  but while he did that, he remained grounded musically even as he answered the  siren call of instrumental rock,  a genre that had within its excesses, the seeds of its own destruction.  (“Cliffs of Dover” remains one of the most  sterile  sound-scapes  of the genre despite the many accolades it has  garnered. But to be fair, the  live  performance of this song, along with a few others at Eric Johnson’s Austin City Limits show,  still packs the wallop  that live music packs. The reverb/delay  ridden tone and  soaring operatic melodies make the performance all very engaging, but without the visuals and real or simulated verisimilitude, it is basically elevator music;  and one that  would not feel out of place on the Weather Channel. )

But we digress, because Eric Johnson as a guitar player cannot and will not be defined by “Cliffs of Dover.” And the reason has all to do with the fact that Eric Johnson is too transcendent a musical figure to be defined by an airy instrumental ballad. That  fact is also the secret behind Eric Johnson’s longevity and continuing relevance at  a time most of his compadres are clinging to the flotsam of a bloviated decade.  E. J. continues to be relevant because, even as  ran with the shredder pack, he continued to be rooted in the terra firma of his native Texas and elements of  the music of legends like Eric Clapton, Chet Atkins, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Wes Montgomery, Jerry Reed, and Django Reinhardt. If these mercurial influences lent uncommon substance to E.J.’s music, his meticulous attention to tone gave him an edge that was lacking in his more blustery contemporaries.

There Is A Red House For Me Yonder Babe …

This edge shows up in the featured G3 cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House.”  The occasion was the North American leg of Joe Satriani’s G3 Guitar Tour in 1996.  The song  squares off Eric Johnson with two of the baddest mofo’s of the ’90s, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani.  Eric Johnson, without Malmesteen-esque fuss or muss obliterates them. Johnson stands out both in terms of his vocals, riffing and soloing. The feral howl of his Gibson ES 335 guitar comes close to defining the holy grail of blues tone – which is something of a tall order given the high bar Stevie Ray Vaughn set. From short punchy phrases to quick pentatonic runs, Eric Johnson puts on a show for the shredder generation on how the blues  should be played. (The French have a phrase for it.  Savoire faire.  Qui, qui monsieur.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPEishEW2yI

I do not mean to diss Vai or Satriani in this, but their guitar tone falls far short of the gold standard for this kind of tune. Without stuffing a live ghost in both the guitar and amp, it is hard to make an Ibanez howl and growl the way an  ES 335 can.   But that having been said  I cannot get over how well this song turned out overall,  from the “Wailing Wall” groove to the bluesy  solos and and conversational back and forth  with E.J.  as the grandmaster. ( In Biblical parlance he is like “the good shepherd” who leads the sheep to where the water flows.  For sheer perspective, compare this performance to  another G3 take of the same song with Yngwie Malmsteen presiding: A totally different approach with a regrettably  different result.)  And as if to not be outdone,  the bass player in this performance ups the ante and  flips his line at 6.20″ for 4 solid measures before climaxing  with everyone at about 6.50″.   If that is not drop-dead-tension-and-release virtuosity, then I don’t know what is.

El Capitan: Johnson’s  helicopter pilot headphones on stage are a bit over the top, but that is E.J. for you. Notice how  he blows through a song that is certifiably a blues  “torch” classic without as much  as a single guitar face. (Compare this with Gary Moore’s virtuoso performance of the same song live at  Wembley Stadium on YouTube. ) Amazing huh! Besides it  being an achievement  in and of itself, it perhaps affords us an intriguing  peek into the mind and meticulous  method behind Johnson’s sound. In this particular clip it  extends to his vocals which come in carefully measured cadences that are as on key and as pitch perfect as Johnson’s guitar voice. This is the paradoxical secret behind  Eric Johnson; and one that he has struggled with, especially  in the latter part of his career.

He freely talks about clean power and dirty power and  how he can tell the difference between a guitar signal put through a battery powered stomp box and one put through an A.C. powered one. Go figure.

Eric Johnson, formerly of puffy shirts and brocaded jackets, tearing up with his Gibson ES 335.

Eric Johnson with the Holy Grail of rock and blues tone: Gibson’s ES 335 guitar.

The interview that Eric Johnson gave to Guitar Player in August of 2005 is a telling peek into the evolving mind of a  fretboard technician. The interview done at the cusp of  the “Bloom” album tour  is a must read for any Eric Johnson aficianado.  Telling quotes:

Letting on his trade secrets to Jimmy Leslie of Guitar Player

Eric Johnson: Letting on his trade secrets to Jimmy Leslie of Guitar Player

“How can one learn to approach the fretboard the way you do? I try to instantly recognize each and every note on the fretboard. You can start very methodically, and work your way up each string. Once note recognition is as second nature as breathing, you’ve created a launchpad. I’m now learning to read chord charts, but I’m really a beginner as far as the actual “book” theory of guitar, so I try to develop my ear theory. I try to recognize intervals, because the more I learn them, the more I hear how they relate and where there is cohesion.

“Even at your ability level, you keep using the word “try.” Do you still work harder than people might think? Definitely. Some people might think that my inherent ability put me at the top of the ladder. No. Inherently, I’m not a particularly good player. I’ve groveled my way up by learning things, and practicing them a lot. I still practice two to three hours a day, although I’m trying to practice things that are fun for me to play, such as classical music or developing songs. I work on technique inadvertently as I’m working on music.

“How did you move past your influences and nail the essence of your unique voice? For me, it was about becoming aware of particular musical qualities, assimilating them, and combining them. For example, I would really hone in on one aspect of Jeff Beck’s playing, such as his inventive use of semitones. I also noticed how the tone of the steel guitar really jumps out, so I studied the way steel guitar players pick up and away from the [guitar] body. I might try to play semitones like Beck, but I’ll try to pick them like a steel guitarist, and, all of a sudden, it’s a new thing.

“What are a few things that everybody can do to improve their tone? I’m trying to put less emphasis on gear, because I think tone has more to do with touch. The most important thing is dampening anywhere you’re not playing. Dampening can be done underneath your fretting fingers or thumb, or with the outside of your strumming-hand palm or thumb. Also, the way your finger makes contact with the frets makes a big difference. You need to learn the sweet spots on your guitar, like a violin player would approach his or her instrument. And then there’s the way you pick. I tend to pick up and away from the guitar in order to make the notes pop out.

“Why are you willing to go to such great lengths to achieve your tone? To me, tone is the fundamental thing. If the sound is not alluring, then I’m not interested in playing the guitar. I’m trying to find a sound on the electric guitar that has the elegance of a violin, a saxophone, or an acoustic piano. It’s a challenge when you’re fighting variables such as electricity and tubes. My personal quest has been trying to improve my tone so it can serve as a vehicle for changing the music I love.”  (Jimmy Leslie,  ‘Obsessive Perfectionist, Eric Johnson Is Trying To Go With The Flow,’ Guitar Player Magazine, August of 2005)

While you are at it, check out the section about  Eric Johnson’s rig too.

Appendices:

Official Eric Johnson webpage

Eric Johnson Facebook Facebook fansite

Wholesome Blast from the Past: Eric Johnson with the fusion group, Electromagnets

An Archival Gem – Jimi Hendrix’s Red House, Live in Stockholm, January 9, 1969

MSN’s Butterfly As Chunky Charlie: The Microsoft ad campaign that fizzled for lack of imaginative schizzle


The Microsoft Network  as a whimsical butterfly, must rank as one of the most incongruous marketing campaigns to play itself out on TV. First launched in 2000 as a silent mascot of Microsoft Network, the lepidopteran was brought back in 2004 as a lingual character in a series of ads that were supposed to be endearing and humorous. But all it did was leave a lot of adults scratching their heads and wondering what the point of this droll mascot was all about. If the subliminal message was that the Microsoft was as unimaginative about its ads as it was with its buggy software, then it succeeded immensely.

 MSN Butterfly as Chunk-Charlie took the nectar when it came to campaigns  most likely to fizzle for lack of imaginative schizzle.

MSN Butterfly as Chunk-Charlie took the nectar when it came to campaigns most likely to fizzle for lack of imaginative schizzle. The mascot was animated by different actors, but all to the same effect.

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