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Humor Isn’t Funny When You Have To Explain It

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, July 14, 2008 12:48 EDT

imageThe hallmark of good satire is that it’s good enough to perhaps be taken credulously by those who aren’t too swift, but also ridiculous enough to show that whoever does take it seriously is a bit slow in the head.

This is not good satire.

The Obama campaign is condemning as “tasteless and offensive” a New Yorker magazine cover that depicts Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in a turban, fist-bumping his gun-slinging wife.

An American flag burns in their fireplace.

The New Yorker says it’s satire. It certainly will be candy for cable news.

The Obama campaign quickly condemned the rendering. Spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement: “The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Senator Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds quickly e-mailed: “We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive.”

The main problem with the image is that there’s absolutely no indication of satire involved. Take the New Yorker header off, and you’ve got something that could go up at any number of county Republican Parties with no alteration whatsoever. As Kevin Drum points out, what’s missing is any indication of agency in the picture – there’s no poke at the people saying this, merely a reflection of what’s being said. It’s not actually satirizing the phenomenon of right-wing e-mail forwards, it’s just creating the ultimate version thereof. To put it in a different context, it’s like holding a satirized Klan rally by holding a Klan rally…with a laser show that makes a three-story image of a burning cross. A bigger, badder, better version of the thing you’re attempting to mock doesn’t constitute mockery, it just constitutes a gaudier version of the thing you’re addressing.

John McLaughlin: Obama fits the ‘Oreo’ stereotype

By pams

Oh no, he didn’t. Jeebus H. Christ. McLAUGHLIN: OK, let’s nail this thing down, and here’s a sample of what Jackson apparently sees as Obama disparaging the black community. OBAMA : If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that too many fathers are also missing. Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. Missing from too many lives and too many homes. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men.…


SC: overseas campaign to attract gay tourism yanked

By pams

While it’s a positive sign that someone in the state of South Carolina thought it was a good idea to attract gay tourism dollars — in this case an ad campaign that was tied to gay pride festivities in London — you still have to wonder what were they thinking.…


America: Let Us Be Known For Our Teeny Ding-Dongs

By Amanda Marcotte
Sunday, July 13, 2008 23:50 EDT

I was going to write a big, long take-down of this wretched article, but instead I’ll just mention how a friend of mine, every time she saw some douchebag driving a super he-man manly man vehicle on giant tires like a Hummer, would hold up her pinky finger and say,…


I’m Not Saying Obama Is A Fascist

By Jesse Taylor

I’m just saying he’s a very Nationalized Socialist. Take his decision to deliver his acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver. It seems that the venue for the rest of the Democratic convention – the Pepsi Center (occupancy 21,000) – is just too small. Obama says he…


The Delicate, Impregnating Flower That Is Man

By Jesse Taylor

This is apparently the year where the feminist war on manhood comes to a head. On September 1, Harvest House Publishers is slated to release my second book, The Kind of Man Every Man Should Be. The basis for the book essentially is to help rebuild the kind of man…


Reliable Sources

By Jesse Taylor

Howie Kurtz hosts a show full of reporters coming on and talking about why they do the bad things that they do, and then doing absolutely nothing to stop doing those things, despite the fact that they’re the people who do them. New on ESPN: Ineffectual Coaches’ Corner, where the…


Give The Gift Of Anger Today

By Jesse Taylor

Although the New York Times tells us today that dissatisfaction with Obama’s FISA stance is the provenance of hairshirted liberals and bloggers on the internet doing their Youtubing and hoping (Comments from Left Field has more, including some ruminating on the question why the dissatisfied elements of the GOP base…


Fundnut: Bush cursed the White House with the Koran

By pams

It’s Sunday, and time for another installment of fundie freakout. Read the unhinged ravings of J. Grant Swank, Jr., a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine. Apparently same-sex marriage will result in curses on the U.S. Hilariously, Dear Leader is apparently responsible for his own political woes because…


What Greenwald Said

By auguste

30-some years and 362 363 (EDT midnight went by already) days ago I was born someone other than Glenn Greenwald. I got a little bit screwed on that one, I must say – but not as badly as the US screwing itself. This is what a country becomes when it…