Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

In which some liberals seem intent on parodying themselves …

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I get very annoyed when conservatives bash liberals for being humorless, overly-sensitive and (the ultimate in meaningless straw-insults) too “politically correct.”

I get even more annoyed when liberals seem determined, en masse, to prove them right.

It’s been a good week two weeks for annoyance.

First—the Jezebel blogger dust-up. How dare she accuse all Williamsburg boys of being effeminate non-rapists? Or something like that.

Then—The Obvious One.*

AND THEN—this.

God, Megan McArdle, how dare you make a joke about criminals when somewhere out there there are brown people of indeterminate nationality being raped? Um …. [Plus, I’ve seen Megan in real life and, contrary to this cartoonist’s rendering, she really doesn’t look like a 17-year-old goth boy from 1999].

• • • • • • • • •

* Good or bad satire? Debatable. But what I’ve found particularly dumb about this whole business is so many reporters’ and bloggers’ apparent position that:

a) The New Yorker have unforgivably given “the Right” a convenient catchall image with which to attack Obama, as if there were never any cartoons like this floating about some dark circles of the Interwebs and your grandpa’s email attachments before this, and,

b) The New Yorker has some sort of obligation not to publish any material that might even inadvertently be damaging to Barack Obama (it’s an independent publication, not a Democratic propaganda machine), and,

c) [oh, most of all, c] That the masses don’t have the finely-tuned political and satirical sensibilities that they do and must therefore be shielded from any images that may be open to interpretation.

Now I come from Ohio. From a hick suburb of Ohio. I tend not to underestimate people’s political ignorance or general stupidity. But come on. Most people who have the opportunity to come in contact with a New Yorker understand how the cartoon was intended. And the majority of people who don’t necessarily understand how it was intended will likely find it offensive or in crude taste, nonetheless. And those don’t understand how it was intended and also don’t find it offensive—well, they’re the ones the cartoon is satirizing anyway. Meaning this cartoon is creating no additional damage. So. Who. Cares.


Written by Elizabeth

July 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

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