Re: Seriously awful cartoon

1

I don't know if I'm offended, exactly, but I do feel kind of contaminated.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 2:43 PM
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Yow, sorry for stepping on this with something dumb. In fact, I'm going to go switch the publication times.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:07 PM
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I'm surprised she missed the opportunity to draw a turban on him. FAIL.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:14 PM
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2: Oh, no harm no foul.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:16 PM
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Yep, outdoes this more conventionally annoying Chris Muir one that got me going earlier this week.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:31 PM
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Oh, gak. Everything about that cartoon HG linked is gross---and unoriginal.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:35 PM
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and unoriginal

The trope having been deployed frequently in the cartoons in Our Dumb Century.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:49 PM
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But I am cheered by Obama finally going to recess appointments. I eagerly await the accusations of unprecedented tyranny.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:53 PM
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9

Fuckin' Edmund Burke was on about it in 1790!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:54 PM
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10

well, Marie Antoinette as damsel in distress, not Lady Liberty, but it's the same rhetorical move.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:55 PM
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Despite what you modern liberals might think, Reflections on the Revolution in France is not a cartoon.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 3:56 PM
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12

neB to HG and LB with his latest post: "Now, now, ladies. Neither of you is beautiful."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 5:36 PM
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13

it's like I was successfully trolled.

Yeah. Honestly, I wonder if sane people should even link to that cesspool of a site (this post doesn't, of course, but it links to something that does). Linkage does drive up traffic, which in this case gives the, er, cartoonist the satisfaction of knowing that her "work" is receiving a wide readership/viewership. (What a vile person she must be. The note of aggrieved innocence would almost be comical, except that there's nothing funny about the game she's playing here).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 7:47 PM
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describing something as 'unoriginality' as a means of deprecating it is just really silly. what ever was original, except maybe gilgamesh and neil armstrong,


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 10:19 PM
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Gilgamesh was highly derivative.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-27-10 10:36 PM
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16

Ignoring its poor taste, is this cartoon even remotely funny? What's the joke?

I think part of what makes it so offensive is that, as far as I can tell, there's not even an attempt at humor anywhere in there. (Or maybe there's a deeply misogynistic joke that I can't quite tease out...) It's pretty easy for me to forgive offensive attempts at humor, even when they're completely unsuccessful as humor. But I'm having a hard time extending that charity here, because even though it's in the form of a cartoon, I'm not seeing any joke at all.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-28-10 9:33 PM
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Neil Armstrong stole the idea of rising above doomed humanity virtually alone on a state-of-the-art vessel from Gilgamesh.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-28-10 9:40 PM
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16: I was just in the midst of thinking out a post I'm going to write for Bave's site on Tuesday about rape jokes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-28-10 9:45 PM
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Er, it's not like a screed against rape jokes, which I take for granted, but about the history of people laughing at rape jokes and why.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-28-10 9:46 PM
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I mean Gilgamesh.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-28-10 9:49 PM
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21

It's not supposed to be funny, it's supposed to get people outraged about the Rape of Freedom by Islamofascist secret muslim Kenyans.

The thing that bothers me far more than the cartoon is the fact that large numbers of Americans really do feel as if they have been brutally assaulted by the passage of a tepid set of half measures. They are convinced that this bill is pure evil even though they have no idea what's in it. All they need to know is that it's Them behind it. The teabagger movement is just CHANGEBAD with guns.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 7:44 AM
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18/19: huh, I hadn't thought of that, but I guess it's right--if you think the very fact of rape is inherently sort of funny, then I guess the mere depiction of it counts as a joke.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 7:44 AM
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21.1: obviously it's not supposed to be purely funny, but I was trying to get a handle on whether it was intended to be even subtly humorous or ironic, etc. (as most political cartoons are, even biting ones). Not for any really good reason, I guess, but just because, as I said, I'm usually pretty forgiving of offensive humor, even when it fails a humor, and I was struggling to understand why I wasn't really having that reaction here, and I was wondering if it was because there's no effort at humor there--it's just a plain old offensive image, not a joke--not really any different from, say, a t-shirt with an image of Klansman surrounding a black man hanging from a noose.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 7:57 AM
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I think at least one ofthe intended effects of that cartoon is well demonstrated in that thread, where almost immediately the commenters decry how horrible it is that they will be accused of racism. "The woman is green, after all."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:03 AM
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The unfunny political cartoon has a long and rich history, even in corners of the world much less sordid than that one. If the cartoon is intended to have any humor, it is of the "oh no she didn't" transgressive variety.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:06 AM
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The unfunny political cartoon has a long and rich history

And Chris Muir adds to that history every single day.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:14 AM
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23: I think that any humor in the cartoon is as Sifu suggests. For the intended audience the implication that something sexual just happened is transgressive in itself.

I think something similar is going on with the constant refrains about the tree of liberty - using that sort of language makes people feel all tough and important.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:15 AM
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Does the cartoon change at all if, instead of the Statue of Liberty, it was an elephant sitting on the bed? Or John Boehner? Not asking rhetorically.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:19 AM
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26: but even good and famous political cartoons from much-lauded, famous political cartoonists! The form was founded on cartoons that were less funny than polemic or infuriating: look, those drunken irishmen want to beat that chinese guy to death! Haha!

None of which is to excuse or forgive this cartoon in any way, it's just that looking at political cartoons and expecting them to be funny is sort of a category mistake.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:21 AM
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it's just that looking at political cartoons and expecting them to be funny is sort of a category mistake.

Your point is generally right, but this is wrong. More political cartoons than not are intentionally funny (or, at least, intend to be funny) these days. But I think you're right that this horror is in the tradition of cartoons not meant to be funny.

Does the cartoon change at all if, instead of the Statue of Liberty, it was an elephant sitting on the bed? Or John Boehner? Not asking rhetorically.

I think that would demonstrate intent to be funny. Which, if I understand Brock correctly, might make him find it less offensive. Wouldn't change the offensiveness level for me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:25 AM
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it's just that looking at political cartoons and expecting them to be funny is sort of a category mistake

Those of us who learned to read (political cartoons) by leafing through various Doonesbury books beg to differ.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:27 AM
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Does the cartoon change at all if, instead of the Statue of Liberty, it was an elephant sitting on the bed? Or John Boehner?

Well, the line "You gave all the consent I'll ever need Nov 2008" wouldn't make as much sense. And besides that, he'd be raping the Republicans (hooray!), rather than Lady Liberty (boo!).

I'm not sure it would be more funny, though.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:28 AM
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Which, if I understand Brock correctly, might make him find it less offensive.

I think that's probably right.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:30 AM
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30.1: in the US I think that's probably most often the case these days, but it wasn't historically, and if you look at political cartoons internationally (e.g. this, linked here) I think it's much less true. The Mohammed cartoons (just to throw a bomb, as it were, into the discussion) are another example of this genre.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:30 AM
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31: hey, that's me too. I just wanted to share some of the "wtf?!?" reaction I had when I first saw a Thomas Nast cartoon with everybody here.

WTF, amirite?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:31 AM
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Does the cartoon change at all if, instead of the Statue of Liberty, it was an elephant sitting on the bed? Or John Boehner? Not asking rhetorically.

I don't think it becomes funny (or interesting), but that would at least defuse the black-men-raping-white-women stereotype; this country has much less of a tradition of lynching black men for alleged crimes against elephants or orange homosexuals.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:35 AM
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I'm aware of the long history of unfunny political cartoons. My only point was that to me personally, patently offensive unfunny things are more offensive than patently offensive things that are meant to be funny (even if they fail). I was trying to figure out which category this cartoon belonged in--i.e., is there some joke that I'm missing.

I don't think I'm disagreeing with any of you.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:36 AM
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orange homosexuals.

Oompa-Loompaist.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:36 AM
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39

but that would at least defuse the black-men-raping-white-women stereotype;

I don't think it would -- I think the stereotype is invoked when you call a black man a rapist regardless of the identity of the victim. (And after all, in the only context where people conventionally talk about male on male rape, the skinny white boy getting sent to prison is afraid of being raped by a big black man.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 8:41 AM
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I think the stereotype is invoked when you call a black man a rapist regardless of the identity of the victim.

Yeeeaaaaah, but less explicitly, I think. And it's a different set of stereotypes (with a different set of implied value judgments about the victims) from the white boy in prison getting raped by the big black dude.

As a corrolary, having the GOP elephant or Boehner there would have an implication of "haha, Obama made the GOP into punks" which, while still extremely offensive, is offensive in a way that makes the GOP look bad. The historical stereotyping of white women as agentless victims of sexually rapacious black men allows for the implicit casting of tea partiers as the great white hero who will take revenge on behalf of Lady Liberty. Who takes revenge on behalf of elephants? Hippies?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 9:05 AM
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Well, PETA, I suppose, or at least they have been running ads about abuse of circus elephants around town lately. Although I also suppose they would be (rather oddly) lumped in with "hippies" in the sense you're using the term.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 9:08 AM
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I was using the term as a teabagger might.

I like elephants! I believe them worthy of defending if not perhaps violently avenging, except in very specific circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 9:12 AM
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Mostly OT, but as a sort of polar opposite of the linked cartoon, I think this is supposed to be funny, but it's not really because it's mostly just sadly true:

Democrats: "We need health care reform"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Give us a majority and we'll do it better"
Democrats: "Done, you have majority of both houses"

12 years later, health care is irrefutably worse in every respect for every single person in the United States

Democrats: "We need health care reform"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Americans are tired of partisan politics!"
Democrats: "OK, let's compromise"
Republicans: "OK, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done"
Republicans: "Too liberal, get rid of half your ideas"
Democrats: "Done. Time to end debate"
Republicans: "Too liberal, we need more debate, we will filibuster to prevent you from voting"
Democrats: "OK, we'll vote--sorry guys, debate is ended. It's time to vote on the bill"
Republicans: "Too liberal, we vote no"
Democrats: "OK, it passed anyway--sorry guys."

One month later

Republicans: "Wait--wait, OK, we have less of a minority now so we can filibuster forever."
Democrats: "Sorry, the bill already passed, we need it to pass the House now"
Republicans: "But we have enough to filibuster"
Democrats: "Sorry, the bill already passed, we need it to pass the House now"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You haven't listened to our ideas! You've shut us out of this whole process!"
Democrats: "Sorry, show us your proposal"
Republicans: "Smaller government"
Democrats: "That's not very specific"
Republicans: "OK, here's our detailed proposal--It's our common-sense ideas we spent 12 years not enacting"
Democrats: "OK, we'll add a bunch more of your ideas"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You included all these back-room deals"
Democrats: "OK, we'll get rid of the back-room deals"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You're using obscure procedural tricks to eliminate the back-room deals!"
Democrats: "No, we're using reconciliation, which both parties have used dozens of times for much larger bills"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! You're pressuring Congressmen to vote for your bill! Scandal!"
Democrats: "It's called 'whipping', it's been done since 1789"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Can't you see the American people don't want this?"
Democrats: "This bill is mildly unpopular (40-50%), doing nothing (your proposal) is extraordinarily unpopular (4-6%)"
Republicans: "We need to start over! We need to start over!"
Democrats: "We should really consider voting--"
Republicans: "Liberal fascists! Start over! Clean slate! Common-sense! America!"


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 9:12 AM
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44

Burke made it into plenty of cartoons, though.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 12:45 PM
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40.last: This is all part of the conservative trope that their preferences are "just the way things are" or "the original founding principles of America."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:04 PM
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I figured out how to make the cartoon funny (if still awful). Instead of Lady Liberty, the figure on the bed should be the constitution, rendered in the style of the bill from Schoolhouse Rock. For extra topicality you could put Obama in a clerical collar, but I suppose that would just confuse the target market.

Voilá: still desirously offensive jackassery, but possibly forgivable to Brock!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:31 PM
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It would be funny to me if the cartoon depicted a bunch of Republicans gracefully realizing that health care reform, while imperfect, is nothing whatsoever like gang rape. Perhaps they could be shown discussing the matter over coffee and feeling remorse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:46 PM
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You may not be the target audience.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:47 PM
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discussing the matter over coffee Kwanzaa cake


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:56 PM
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Shorter Heebie: "She liked it."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-29-10 1:57 PM
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This comic might be a parody of The Onion's wonderful editorial cartoons, which almost always feature a crying Lady Liberty and an outrageous, over the top political viewpoint. But probably not, since The Onion knows that rape isn't funny.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 03-30-10 9:55 AM
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None of which is to excuse or forgive this cartoon in any way, it's just that looking at political cartoons and expecting them to be funny is sort of a category mistake.

Yes and no. I certainly find the vast majority of US political cartoons laboured and unfunny. But there are exceptions - and in most cases they're clearly trying to be funny, it's just that they beat you over the head with the punchline. Moreover, in the UK there's a long tradition of cartoons which are both polemical and very funny - Steve Bell being the prime exemplar.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:55 AM
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