A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 Elections: Vanity Fair Does A Cover!

By now everyone's heard the kerfuffle about the New Yorker's cover of Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House. We did not want to touch that cover. We at this blog believe very deeply in freedom of speech. What the New Yorker cover did, though, was unacceptable to us. Nevertheless, we're not going to fling abuse at them for exercising their right to pursue irony, satire, caricature, political speech, whatever. We felt the image failed to achieve any of its goals and succeeded only in directing negative feeling towards two relatively powerless groups.

Here we want to say something about humour. Humour is the weapon of the defenseless. When you're powerful, you bomb or shoot or stab your enemies to death. You jail them. Torture them. Blacklist them. Because you have the power to do so.

When you're powerless, you laugh at your enemies. You make silly cartoons of them, or write doggerel mocking them, or make music pointing out their bullying behaviour.

The New Yorker chose to turn their mockery on Muslims &mdash a small minority of the population in this country, and one that historically has been excoriated and abused in this country, especially since the events of 9/11 &mdash and against Black Americans. As a group, Black Americans have historically suffered enslavement, lynching, stereotyping, ghettoization, poverty, torture, joblessness, and abuse, and continue to suffer much of these in the present. It wasn't that long ago that realtors would not sell houses to Black Americans. It wasn't that long ago that Black Americans had different (and worse) of everything from water fountains to schools. So we did not appreciate the humour in the New Yorker's cover.

Today, Vanity Fair, a magazine we love and not just because the Lord High Emperor of Snark himself writes there, decided, in the interest of friendly rivalry, to satirize the New Yorker's cover - with this:

We found it funny, and hope you do too. As a Person of Gimpitude, we see nothing wrong with making fun of gimpiness, by the way. We used to be much more sensitive about it, but yaknow? If you can't laugh at this shit, yer gonna cry. The hell with that.

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At 3:51 PM, Blogger Chuck Butcher said...

The New Yorker cover just failed, satire either needs to bite like a lion or be ridiculously funny - or both and it was neither.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Yer right! Good to be back again and good to see ya!


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