Notes from
Valle Medina and Benjamin Reynolds

View work at PAL/AC/E


03/06/2013, by

The Sorry Jacket™

The following is an excerpt of a longer text published in Fulcrum (Issue No. 69). We contributed to the issue with Javier Arbona of Demilit.


A recent internal memo meant for heads of executive departments and agencies revealed the documentation of a “Sorry Jacket” at the request of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The proposal was first mentioned by Clinton in February 2011 following the diplomatic cables leak—Cablegate—that began in February 2010. The request called for an “apology tour jacket” to replace the constant verbal admission for any embarrassment caused following the leaks, and should be worn by all members of the US Foreign Service partaking in the tour of states where diplomatic relations had been tarnished or in some cases severed.

The call for the jacket spells the end of the US as “the reluctant sheriff”, but also its recasting in the role of the overeager participant; and while it might not be the end of a state-centred realism, the leaks have spread a diplomacy where acting upon generalisations and pseudo-psychoanalysis have made way for new forms of protocol and behaviour. This is a result of new paradigms in communication: concerning namely its fragility and pervasiveness.

Continue reading over at Fulcrum…

The front and rear of the jacket.

Left: The word “Sorry” in the languages of the World. Right: Tour Dates

Left: Personalised name and role within US Government. Right: The number of gold stars = number of countries visited.

Left: The official seals of the Departments of Homeland Security and (right) the State.

Thanks to Jack Self from Fulcrum and Javier Arbona for his contribution.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Design: PA/LA/CE