Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is this Cartoon Funny?


(well, I think so anyway.)


Brian Dunbar said...

It is amusing.

But the publisher used as their excuse 'we're lampooning the way your average right-wing anti-Obama voter - this is the way THEY see him' .. which would be tres amusing if true.

Speaking only for myself (I guess I'm not very right-wing but what can you do) I could give a rip about the issues the publisher thinks I care about. So .. as a reflection of what I'm supposed to think .. it filled with Fail.

On the other hand - since the publisher is seemingly clueless about what the folks out here in Red American (I hate that term) really think, substituting a sort o stereotype for realit .. it's amusing at that remove.

Rufus said...

See I saw it as just making fun of that 5% lunatic fringe that really does believe this stuff. I didn't see it as making fun of Obama, like his people weirdly seem to. And I definitely didn't see it as making fun of middle America. I also haven't read about the publisher's excuse.

I just think it's funny to take the most extreme conspiracy theories and make them true. I think I'd have also laughed at a cartoon of Al Gore melting the polar ice caps with a hair dryer, or JFK being assassinated by an alien. But that's just me.

You'd have to agree that the extremes are getting way too much attention though. I mean, I know about what you think because I read your blog. But, the press seems to focus on the conspiracy nuts, and not at all on the average Wisconsin voter. So, I saw it as making fun of that. I can see what you mean about it maybe making fun of the "red states". But I just see it as making fun of the extremes.

And I definitely think that Obama needs to just laugh about it. It's just not as offensive as people seem to think it is. Also, cartoons are, by definition, not serious discussion. That's what you reserve for dissertations and eulogies.

Rufus said...

The other thing about the whole red state/blue state dichotomy is that it's completely artificial. I get that you're probably voting for McCain and I'm probably voting for Obama- but, I guarantee that if we all hung out: you, me and Claire, the von Winkels, Patrick the Pagan Republican, Ira the Gallic techno-educational wizard, Hiromi the biker Texan ex-pat, etc. etc.: we would all agree about 95% of everything. People are the same just about everywhere you go. You'd be amazed at how many small-town midwesterners I've met who reminded me 100% of certain hipster Manhattanites I know. There are some really weird people out there, but I have to agree with P.J. O'Rourke that there are only about twenty different people in the world and you went to high school with all of them.

The Pagan Temple said...

The really funny thing about this cartoon is that, the far right, while taking it seriously, are far from offended by it. In fact, one site (I think it's "rightwing.com" or something like that) lauded the New Yorker for their "perceptive" cartoon. It's like they shot up with heroin but missed their veins and put it straight in their sense of irony. They're being made fun of. Don't they get it?

The ones most offended by it are the far left, who more than anything seem offended that the New Yorker would dare to denigrate their little personality cult they have going on with Obama. Yet, they are the ones who should most appreciate the joke.

Most of these extremists, left and right, are by and large the kind of people that in a bygone era you could pay a quarter to poke them with sticks through their cages and laugh at their reactions. Now, politicians pander for their votes.

McCain is the worse of all. He was on the news yesterday complaining about the cartoon, but it looked to me like it was all he could do to keep from bursting out laughing the whole time he was talking.

To hear the coverage on this story, you would think no one in this country has a sense of humor. Aside form the publisher of the New Yorker explaining it-much like Johnny Carson used to try to salvage a failed joke with an "explanation"-you would think not one person in the country gets it, or understands or appreciates the humor. Otherwise, why aren't some of them represented in the coverage? This is one reason people get so disgusted with the media.

Rufus said...

Yeah, I definitely see what you guys are saying about the media. You have to remember though that I'm still in France and hearing about this largely through the net. So, I'm seeing the right wing sites, where they seem to think that finally someone understands where they're coming from, and the left wing sites where they seem to be competing for the Humorless Liberal award! I definitely think that some blog writers could stand to have the connection between cartoons and non-serious discourse explained to them.

As for the personality cult, this is part of the reason I think Obama will lose. The election is becoming a mandate on Barack Obama, because parts of the left are so in love with him, the media is apparently covering him like 3/4ths of the time, and the republicans are doing their usual chip-chip-chip thing at his image. It's become this sort of thing where you have to support him 100% to vote for him, or otherwise go with the 'safe bet' and vote McCain.

For me, I'm about 50% in support of McCain and 70% in support of Obama, so I'll probably vote for Obama. But I'm not expecting him to win, and if he does win, I'm not expecting him to be the bright and morning star.

You know, it's like I like Obama for culture, foreign relations, and defense; and am not thrilled about his economic plans and high self-regard. But, as opposed to McCain- whose economic proposals just underwhelm me- I get the feeling that Obama would be fine with getting good economists and doing what they tell him too. Also, I look at the campaign as a business, and so far, Obama has run his buisiness much better than McCain has. His management style has been to hire good people and take a hands-off approach until there's a problem. Sure, there have been problems. But, it's hard to argue that his campaign hasn't been one of the most successful in years. It's also been really innovative. He's got this huge network of supporters and had already raised more money than any other candidate in American history before he'd even beat Hillary. McCain, by contrast, claims to still not know how to get online! That, to me, is weird.

But, the Obama people need to lighten the hell up about stuff like this. If he loses, it's not going to be because a majority of Americans are tricked by cartoons.

Brian Dunbar said...

You'd have to agree that the extremes are getting way too much attention though.

Oh yes - but the cost of being heard has dropped so .. I blame Gutenberg, frankly.

And I definitely think that Obama needs to just laugh about it.

Clearly, yes. I think someone gave him bad advice on that one.

The other thing about the whole red state/blue state dichotomy is that it's completely artificial