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When did people lose their sense of humour?

 
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:41 pm
Actually the Bud ammo belt and the walker are rather clever, though I don't understand the 'burning the Constitution' image. CJ's comment however reminded me of a quip in an e-mail I received recently.....can't remember exactly but it was something to the effect:

One candidate has a wife who is a six-figure lawyer, says annoying things, is portrayed as something of a b*tch and obviously wears the pants in the family.

One candidate has a wife who is a knockout gorgeous blond, wealthy heiress, has big * and owns a beer company.

No contest.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:42 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Okay, I'll admit I don't get it other than it is a parody of the New Yorker cartoon.


There ya go. Don't think it's funny? Well, I must admit I found that one funnier, too:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20080715/cartoon20080715.gif

Kinda poked fun at the literalists on the one side and at the "what's there to be possibly offended about" crowd on the other side at the same time.

Made me laugh.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:43 pm
Yeah that one had already been posted a couple of days ago OE. Try to keep up, dear.

No problem with it except the burning constitution image which doesn't fit McCain and the pills image which I consider to be grossly unclassy, mean spirited, and cruel. But whatever floats your boat.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:44 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Yeah that one had already been posted a couple of days ago OE. Try to keep up, dear.


Oh, okay. Did you think it was funny?
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:45 pm
For the reasons I said, no. I don't think unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited is ever funny.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:46 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Yeah that one had already been posted a couple of days ago OE. Try to keep up, dear.

No problem with it except the burning constitution image which doesn't fit McCain and the pills image which I consider to be grossly unclassy, mean spirited, and cruel. But whatever floats your boat.


More unclassy (that's a word?) then muslim garb and rifles slung across their back?

At least the pill part is rooted in historical accuracy; the Obama stuff was made up of whole cloth.

Cycloptichorn
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:48 pm
Chalk up Cyclop as one who still doesn't understand the satire in the New Yorker cartoon.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:49 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
For the reasons I said, no. I don't think unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited is ever funny.


A burning Constitution is "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited", but a burning American flag isn't?

Portraying Cindy with pills (which pokes fun at a fact that Cindy readily admits) is "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited" but portraying Michelle with an AK 47 isn't?
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:50 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
Chalk up Cyclop as one who still doesn't understand the satire in the New Yorker cartoon.


Of course I understand it. But it's still in poor taste, in my opinion, just as you think satirizing Cindy McCain's past as a drug addict is in poor taste.

Cycloptichorn
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 12:53 pm
old europe wrote:
Portraying Cindy with pills (which pokes fun at a fact that Cindy readily admits) is "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited" but portraying Michelle with an AK 47 isn't?


I thought Michelle with the AK looked pretty hot too.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 01:16 pm
cjhsa wrote:
old europe wrote:
Portraying Cindy with pills (which pokes fun at a fact that Cindy readily admits) is "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited" but portraying Michelle with an AK 47 isn't?


I thought Michelle with the AK looked pretty hot too.


And we can add OE to the growing list of those who completely missed the point of the New Yorker satire. Sheesh. Smile

Kudos to our worthy opponents on the Left who did get it though. You guys never fail to keep me reminded that some of you actually do think and 'get it' and understand the intent whether or not you think it was well done. I am honored to have you as distinguished opponents in the debate.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 01:51 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
cjhsa wrote:
old europe wrote:
Portraying Cindy with pills (which pokes fun at a fact that Cindy readily admits) is "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited" but portraying Michelle with an AK 47 isn't?


I thought Michelle with the AK looked pretty hot too.


And we can add OE to the growing list of those who completely missed the point of the New Yorker satire. Sheesh. Smile


Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


You were complaining about a cartoon, calling it "unnecessarily cruel and mean spirited", and then set yourself up as judge of the funniness of other cartoons?

Please.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 01:57 pm
The New Yorker cartoon was satire because showed the Obamas as they were ridiculously portrayed when there was no truth to it or basis for it.

To think that mocking Cindy McCain's past addiction to prescription drugs, an addiction that she overcame and now talks about freely both to help herself as others, is the same thing as satire mocking a totally false image is just dumb, tasteless, and cruel. And no, it isn't funny.

And I am perfectly capable of judging that, yes.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 01:58 pm
Foxfyre wrote:
The New Yorker cartoon was satire because showed the Obamas as they were ridiculously portrayed when there was no truth to it or basis for it.

To think that mocking Cindy McCain's past addiction to prescription drugs, an addiction that she overcame and now talks about freely both to help herself as others, is the same thing as satire mocking a totally false image is just dumb, tasteless, and cruel. And no, it isn't funny.

And I am perfectly capable of judging that, yes.



You're saying there's more truth to the McCain cartoon than to the New Yorker cartoon, and that's why it's not funny?

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 02:00 pm
God, even you aren't that stupid OE. Think about it awhile and get back to me.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 02:10 pm
OE, the NYer cover was a painting by liberals poking fun at conservative talking points and was a caricature of multiple stereotypes heaped upon the Obama's.

The "response" was also a painting by liberals portraying the McCains, not as a caricature of stereotypes, but an exagerration of reality.

Now, had a conservative painted the Obama's, I might be able to understand the point of the second picture, but really, do you actually think the two are similar?

The Obama picture has no basis in reality, whereas the second exagerrates reality and both were done from the same political side of the fence. Do you really expect the other side to just laugh it off?

It's not funny because one was designed to be an attack and the other was not. Satire is funny, attacks are not.

Now, had a conservative artist done a caricature of McCain, I'd probably find it funny. But the one posted above is just another boring liberal smear.
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rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 03:23 pm
In my opinion both were in poor taste not in the least funny. But because of our constitution the right to publish something in poor taste is guaranteed. Perhaps its time to break up the publishing cartels?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 03:40 pm
rabel, We really don't want to break up the publishing cartels; they're all going bankrupt without any outside assistance. Advertising budgets are shrinking as our economy shrinks.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jul, 2008 05:27 pm
McGentrix wrote:


Now, had a conservative artist done a caricature of McCain, I'd probably find it funny. But the one posted above is just another boring liberal smear, [which is] "but an exagerration [sic] of reality".


+++++++++++
M-W
satire
1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn 2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly
+++++++++++++++++

Satire is funny because it cuts so deeply. And nothing cuts so deeply as exposure of what is reality.

The reality in the New Yorker was a cut so deep against a group of people so vacuous that it defies reality; the group that came up with all these ridiculous stereotypes.

The reality in the fake National Review was that it wasn't a fake, it was a SATIRE [still not sure, check the definition again] that pointed out a number of harsh realties. So, yes, satire can be cruel, and to some, personally offensive but that doesn't not make it satire.

The M-W definition is, what else, spot on; "trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly".

The final score; the first satire pointed up beautifully just how widespread and vacuous the conservative lies were [as if there was anyone who didn't know this already]. The second pointed up some unflattering but truthful things about the McCains, particularly about a man who some would have as president - what greater folly is there than that.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jul, 2008 06:32 am
I lost interest in this thread long ago, but this morning I found an article that tells it as I see it. Well written.

Hear the one about Obama?
Published: July 19 2008 03:00 | Last updated: July 19 2008 03:00

As Barack Obama prepared to leave for Europe this week, Americans fretted over why they can't seem to make jokes about him. One explanation is that he's just too wonderful - "not buffoonish in any way", as one tongue-tied comedian put it in a press account. But surely that can be fixed. What is the internet for, after all, if not to humiliate public figures who have done nothing to deserve it? Another explanation is that Mr Obama is lucky to be black at a time when white people are skittish about cracking racial jokes. True enough, but Mr Obama is more than just a black person.

He is also, for example, a stingy person, according to a recent story in the Los Angeles Times. How stingy is he? Why, he's so stingy that, in campaign headquarters, the first time you put your hand under the electric towel dispenser you get a towel. The second time, you get a message to go see David Plouffe, the tight-fisted campaign manager. Or so the joke goes. Are you laughing? No? Not even a tiny bit? Then we are getting closer to the real problem: there are plenty of jokes about Barack Obama; there just aren't any good jokes about Barack Obama. And that is because of the obstacles that partisanship has raised to political humour.

The occasion for America's comedic soul-searching was the latest dud joke, a New Yorker cover that aimed to elicit a partisan chuckle against Mr Obama's foes. In it, Mr Obama and his wife Michelle are pictured in the Oval Office, he wearing a turban, she in combat fatigues, both of them warmed by an American flag burning in the fireplace. It has infuriated Obama supporters without titillating anybody else. "I understand if Senator Obama and his supporters would find it offensive," candidate John McCain was quick to say. That was the gracious and decent thing to say, of course, but it was also exactly what Machiavelli would have said. The cartoon is offensive only to the extent that it is thought plausible.

The problem with the cartoon is not that it violated the amour propre of the Obama camp or bumped up against any taboos about race but that it was an artistic failure. First, its message was alien to its genre. The cartoonist, Barry Blitt, assured readers he was mocking certain "ridiculous" paranoid attitudes about the Obamas, not the Obamas themselves. But a picture cannot convey the mental states of people who are not in it, any more than a sculpture can rhyme.

Second, the visual cues Mr Blitt used were ambiguous. The Somali turban he drew on Mr Obama was the one he'd worn in a 2006 photo of an African visit, reportedly released by the Hillary Clinton campaign to embarrass him. Is Mrs Clinton one of the paranoids assailed? Is it just Republicans? Or is it an attack on gullible Middle Americans of all descriptions? As Wolf Blitzer, the CNN reporter, put it: "There are going to be a lot of people who are not sophisticated New Yorker magazine readers who don't necessarily appreciate the satire."

Understanding the cartoon requires sharing the New Yorker's prejudices, not its sophistication. Without a prior understanding that the magazine is hostile to the paranoid style in American politics and well-disposed towards the Obamas, the cartoon is unintelligible. This problem would never have come up 20 years ago, when the only people who read the New Yorker were subscribers. But today, billions of people are a mouse-click away from being New Yorker "readers". Enough clicks and the cartoon begins to convey the opposite of what it meant to. Under the influence of a hyperdemocratic medium like the internet, you can't say anything to anyone that won't be heard by everyone.

The overthrow of "elite" media makes humour harder to practise, because humour is always a collusion of some people against others - "an understanding, almost a complicity, with other laughers", as Henri Bergson wrote in 1899. Through the fear it inspires, laughter represses eccentricities. It breaks up pockets of resistance to the social consensus. Something is comic when it is rigid, inflexible, mechanical, at odds with the social graces. "And laughter," Bergson wrote, "is its punishment."

Comedy resembles politics more than we think - it provides people with identities by providing them with enemies. And it is scurrilous, defamatory politics that comedy resembles most. As politics grows more partisan, the line between humour and sloganeering blurs. During the primaries, the comedy show Saturday Night Live did an oppressively unfunny skit that showed debate moderators favouring Mr Obama. It became well-known when Mrs Clinton crowed about it in a debate. In other words, it failed as a joke but succeeded as propaganda and few Americans could tell the difference. Mrs Clinton then tried to accuse Mr Obama of borrowing oratory from the Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, saying what he offered was "not change you can believe in, it's change you can xerox". Drum roll! Mrs Clinton delivered the line during a debate as if she were some Borscht Belt stand-up comic and she was booed like one, too. The comedian Jon Stewart recently spoke about "resistance" from audiences when people make Obama jokes.

In a partisan climate, any joke that rises above mere jeering will miss its mark. For half the country, the target is too decent to ridicule; for the other half, he is beneath contempt. On the eve of the primaries, 39 per cent of young Americans told the Pew Research Center they got most of their news through late-night comedy shows. So comedy has never been more important to American politics. Perhaps as a consequence, it has never been less funny.

The writer is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
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