As the old saying goes: life imitates art…that makes fun of life.

Yup, that’s how the saying goes.

In 2004 George W. Bush was running for re-election and defending his record for the War on Terror (and inability to capture or kill Osama bin Laden) and what seemed like a low-low point at the time gaffed at a debate that “it is hard work” … y’know, controling all the levers of power in the world, falsely invading countries and wreaking havoc throughout entire sub-continents, … golfing.

That’s tough stuff, man!

So tough that I made a spoof website at the time and attempted to peddle some “it is hard work” buttons. A quick, one-page website with links-as-nav and some copy was cobbled up — proof of concept you can see the website was archived by the Wayback Machine in late October 2004! Their archive is somewhat broken because the images were served from a shared hosting environment, but I still have a local cache of the index:

Forget about the nav or the copy…take note of the button!

Here’s a close-up of what it looked like:

The Bush 43 presidency came and went and even before it was over by 2006 or so I sold fewer than a few dozen buttons and decided the spoof was done. I let the server expire and that was that, another flop idea. That had no connection to modern life. Or so I thought.

Fast-forward ~14 years and FFS Donald Trump is President and Joe Biden is running against him and whether because he’s old as dirt or perhaps one of his operatives saw one of my Bush spoof buttons – I DON’T KNOW! – they’re using button slogans to promote their pro-science/Anti-Trump agenda and NO WAY YES WAY they’re using nearly the same font and layout as me:

I wasn’t looking for these buttons, or anything Biden-related (or Trump-related for that matter). I can only imagine The Algorithm knew to pump me ads of buttons and somewhere I was fed a slider of Joe Biden merch and when I saw the buttons I gasped!

Upon doing a bit of digging in prep for this blog I also stumbled upon this excellent March 2006-era mash-up (back when this was YouTube high art, really) that puts into context “Hard Working George” and his stage performance:

Way to go Sim Sadler – that says more than my stupid buttons ever could!

And now meanwhile George Dubya is making oil paintings – of immigrants! – and the world just feels completely upside-down.

But seriously someone on the Biden campaign is completely messing with my button-making sloganeering!