Monday, July 14, 2008

Failing at Irony and Alienating Your Allies: The Liberal Dude's Guide to Satire

So I open my blog reader and the Huffington Post. What do I have the pleasure to find?

Oh Christ, who's the genius behind this?

I know this might be rocket science to liberal dudez who think things like rape are funny, but this really tasteless and poor excuse for satire is not inducing anything but my gag reflex. You know you fail at irony when your art work is indecipherable from the message of those you intend to mock. While I was sleeping, someone decided that mocking the Republicans by depicting the Obamas with racist stereotypes was effective and funny. I can imagine a bunch of balding upper-class white dudes giving each other congratulatory back slaps around some editor's desk at The New Yorker, engaging in mutual masturbation inflation of their over large egos as their wit goes to press.

You know what's really funny? Mocking Nazis by walking around in public, in places where there may or may not be Jews, and acting and dressing in such a manner completely identical to Nazis. So what if you offend a few Jews along the way? Your completely nonsensical message must be conveyed in the manner you see fit, even if you offend a demographic that would otherwise be allies. I might be white, but even I know that the picturing of an afro-sporting woman in military fatigues is probably a dig at her deviant blackness and her radical opposition to white culture. Also, if you think drawing racist depictions of prominent political figures is funny, you might be racist.

The purpose of satire is to shock and inflame your opposition. If your illustration could be used as a poster for the far right and you are offending your political allies, then it's about time someone fired you.

Then again, I am not really surprised. Anyone remember this? :

That was a "liberal" blog, the DailyKos, really failing to understand the nuances of irony.

Heads up to white dudez: if you think the appropriate manner to object to bigots on the right is to be a leftist racist, on the name of "humor", kindly get the fuck out of my political party.

(Cross-posted)

8 comments:

Amelia said...

You make a great point when you say, "If your illustration could be used as a poster for the far right and you are offending your political allies, then it's about time someone fired you."

So true.

Michael said...

If it weren't for the fact that a substantial portion of the Republican base thinks that Obama really is a SECRET MUSLIM TERRORIST, this could be actually worthwhile satire. Unfortunately, it's just a reminder of how completely out of touch some of the media is and how ignorant so much of the right is.

Jen said...

Thanks. I was taken back. Don't they have public relations people that should be catching this?

The Great American said...

michael,

I'm a member of the base of the GOP and you couldn't be more wrong. let me ask you this: If any high and mighty liberal would know this is satire, then why such a heavy response by the Obama camp? Or are they just too simple minded, apparently unlike yourself? The GOP base doesn't think that Obama is a terrorist, we just happen to realize that an Obama presidency with Obama policies could fu** up our country just as bad as any terrorist attack could.

Jen said...

Look, I really don't want to denigrate into a liberal verses conservative debate. My point is that drawing a blatantly racist piece of "satire" without thinking about how it might offend any member of the audience, is downright ignorant and (dare I say it?) racist. Racism isn't just a product of malice. More than anything, it's a product of entitlement and ignorance. The illustrator here either did not think about how the black community might perceive his message, or he did not care. That, by my definition, is racism, and it can be just as dangerous as the malicious kind of racism.

Great American, this also was not any sort of endorsement of either candidate. If someone decided to level sexist attacks against Cindy McCain, I would be offended, even though I strongly object to her and her husband's political policies.

Regardless, the point really is not whether or not there is a significant portion of the population that thinks Obama is a terrorist, the point is that a portrayal of him and his wife in a racist fashion is wrong. Even if every single person in America knew that this is satire, it is still wrong.

The Great American said...

Jen,

I absolutely agree with you 100% (shocking, eh). I think this was done in very poor taste using very poor judgement. I was just responding to the other fella's comment. But again, this is just magazine cover is out of line.

Jen said...

I'll not begrudge you the opportunity of defending your political party, just wanted to make it clear that issues such as these should transcend the bounds of right verses left.

Amelia said...

Just found this article:
http://www.slate.com/id/2195317/
?GT1=38001

The space is to make sure it shows up.