Home > Uncategorized > 7/15/08: New Yorker cartoon draws criticism

7/15/08: New Yorker cartoon draws criticism

And no, it’s not one of those cartoons where animals make reference to high society and jerk off the reader for getting it. Although while we’re on that tangent, Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” did the same thing and it made me want to throttle everybody around me who laughed way too hard every time they wanted to congratulate themselves.

Wait, what were we talking about? OH YEAH. This…

…is the cover of the latest edition of The New Yorker.

There’s been various reactions throughout the “blogosphere” (a term that at this point we might as well retire and replace with the more general “internet”). James Urbaniak wrote an interesting defense of the image in which he correctly points out that the obvious absurdity of the image should be self-explanatory.

Unfortunately this is America (God bless it), and it’s been a surprisingly dull campaign the last month with much focus being on “Obama’s black FIST POUND” and “McCain’s so old that twelve-year-old Bob Dole jokes are suddenly new again.” So of course, pundits need to go on NPR and CNN to explain the concept of irony and satire, while lesser pundits show up on Fox News to ease everybody’s apprehensions and re-assure them that it’s actually a drawing and not a real-life photo.

The way I look at stories (or non-stories) such as this is to put myself in the position of people who make the sort of decisions that create the controversy. If I’m the editor, I’d look at that image and my immediate reaction would be that while I understand it I also know that there’s going to be a lot of people that are either going to take it the wrong way or feign outrage because they either feel the need to expunge some white liberal guilt or are just that bored. Then I’d realize it’s a moot point, because this cover’s going to move a ridiculous number of copies. Then I’d chuckle a little, which would gradually become a loud cackle that would echo through the halls of 4 Times Square. A camera would pan out to reveal high-priced call girls sipping champagne while various suits toss money up in the air with glee usually only seen on the face of a child getting a new bicycle.

That or I’d say “well, this is okay, but how about a drawing of Jesse Jackson wielding an evil grin and a surgical knife?”

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  1. July 15, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Wait wait wait wait wait, James Urbaniak has a Livejournal? I did not know that.

  2. July 15, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    the fact that both candidates are outraged, or at least claim to be, highlights yet another reason I won’t be voting for either of them.

  3. Anonymous
    July 16, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    For the record, I was just that bored.

    But I agree that most intelligent people would get the satire. Unfortunately, it’s the “working class American” (or at least the ignorant asshole demographic therein) vote which eluded Obama in the primaries that’s the cause for all this hullabaloo. I think the Obama campaign believes that they’re just going to see the pictures on the cover and nod their heads sagely to themselves.

    It’s the same reason why Obama shot all those turbo-Christian ads reaffirming his faith. His muslim ties (or lack thereof) stubbornly refuse to fade into the background of this campaign for the less informed voters in the swing states, and I think to some degree he feels the need to publicly fight any association with it. But perhaps showering all this attention on the image is only going to strengthen the connection between these negative stereotypes and himself in the eyes of people who only pay attention to sound byte politics.

    • July 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

      Very well put.

      And I suspect I know who you are, but you just forgot to log in. 😉

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