Monday, July 14, 2008

Restless Knee Jerk Syndrome


I wasn’t going to post today, I have a deadline looming BUT this mish-mosh of stupidity, this more about nothing crap, this not getting the point, this jerks controlling our knees craze is just more than I can stand.

Unless you’ve had your head under the covers all day you must have seen or heard about the New Yorker cover.

The artist Barry Blitt told Huffington Post contributor Nico Pitney:

“I think the idea that the Obamas are branded as unpatriotic [let alone as terrorists] in certain sectors is preposterous. It seemed to me that depicting the concept would show it as the fear-mongering ridiculousness that it is.”

Blitt was then asked:
And in retrospect, given the outcry, is he glad he made the art?

"Retrospect? Outcry?" he wrote. "The magazine just came out ten minutes ago, at least give me a few days to decide whether to regret it or not..."

Oh sorry Barry – we appear to suffer from restless knee jerk syndrome. We must react! We must react NOW!

I got this from politico.com:

Obama campaign 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."

I don’t know what I would have wanted Sen. Obama’s campaign to say. I have such empathy for him. How impossible it must be to get through a day staying on point when all around swirls “secret Muslim” “angry black woman” “where’s his lapel pin?” “did he have his hand over his heart?” – blah-blah-blah!

I THINK the cover is brilliant. I THINK if a person THINKS about that image for more than a nano-second and then does any amount of unbiased research about the Obamas they too would THINK that Barry Blitt did exactly what he says he intended to do.

Will some folks look at that image and say to themselves – See I just knew he was a terrorist and she sure is an angry black woman? Yes, yes they will.

So isn’t it better to look at that and talk about it? I THINK it is. Let’s hold up fear and ignorance and call it – uh – fear and ignorance. And let’s ridicule it!!! And let’s say shut the fuck up if you’re too stupid and hateful to THINK.

33 comments:

Raven said...

Brava!! Brava!! I so agree! The thing about the way the media functions these days is that everything gets so twisted into a controversy that nobody actually stops to think about what's being said. Knee-jerk is the perfect description, with emphasis on jerk. What has happened to the idea of subtlety, of thinking, of discussion. I think I must try writing about my theory of toxic cynicism again one day soon. Please remind me if I forget.

You are wonderful as always. I'm glad you wrote about this. I was muttering to myself earlier in the day and you have vented beautifully for me.

Jeff B said...

My first reaction to seeing this cover was to laugh at the depiction of them doing the now imfamous fist bump that the ultra conservatives assume is some sort of terrorist signal to dominate the world.

I sometimes hesitate to comment in sarcasm at various sites because I wonder if the recepient will get it or not. Just another case of how immediate we tend to take things. God forbid we would let things soak in for a whiole and comtemplate the real meaning whether it be humorous or otherwise.

Glad you decided to post this. Let's hope that people will realize that just because the media says something, that it doesn't necessarily make it gospel.

Jeni said...

I saw this on the CBS Evening News tonight and it didn't give me any message to solidify my belief that Obama is a Muslim or that his wife is a militant black. But then, I guess probably because I have hated those e-mail forwards that people have been so thoughtful to feel I should see and read about Obama and his childhood that all comes together to try to make people believe he is all these things that have been force-fed us to try to turn as many people back into being racists, or haters of any religion save the white protestant type or to think anyone raised in a single-parent home is doomed to a life of sin, crime and degradation. How ever could could a black man from a family such as is described in those pieces ever manage to go to Harvard anyway, ya know? Gee, I wonder, how could that be? Could it be from good upbringing might just be possible in a single family home be it white or black? Could it be that it was instilled in him to learn as much as possible, to develop an empathy for the human condition? Could it be that he utilized every asset available when the time came to go to college too? Gee, I wonder. Do these people who insist on accepting those notions as being truth perhaps also think the Islamic people all came together and sent secret funds to a fund earmarked with Obama's name to send him to Harvard. That must be the answer. Surely, it is. I suppose some with their paranoia about those with differences being all bad, totally wrong, etc., do believe things like that, absurd as they are, and also are most likely jealous too of a black man and woman who have achieved success. Although I understand the meaning behind this artwork, sadly, there are way too many in this country today who don't grasp the concept of satire, of parody, and to them, this would then have a big ring of truth. They're usually the same ones who don't seem to see the stupidity that exists in our "fearless" leader today, soon to be gone in a little over six months. Hopefully, he won't be replaced by a clone.

Jeni said...

My comment above probably holds one of the longest run-on sentences in blogging comment history too, ya know!

Ralph said...

I think soooo many are way too sensitive. Accept satire for what it is.

I notice that others too sensitive about offending this guy in a wheelchair with 'gimp' humor. I could care, if one can't laugh at the absurdity of one's situation in life sometimes, then what?

I'll go with 'tasteless' on the cover.

Dana said...

We seem to have lost our ha-ha in favor of political correctness - so much so that satirical humor is now considered offensive. If we can't laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at?

Ron said...

I would like to ditto exactly what Dana has shared before me.

I myself can be very satrical.

But it's as you shared, Dianne...

It makes one THINK!!!

Great post, dear lady!

I love your PASSION!

Jay said...

Anyone who sees this cover in any manner other than what it was intended to portray is probably already a lizard brain who believes all those terrible things about Obama anyway.

Taken in context, along with the 15,000 word essay that accompanies the drawing, it's actually quite funny.

I don't have a problem with Obama's reaction though. He's just drawing a line that he's saying can't be crossed. That's smart politics. McCain did the same thing with his ridiculous reaction to General Clark's comments a couple of weeks ago. It's all politics and that's the way it works.

ETK said...

Wow, I must live under a rock. Thanks for sharing - i'm glad I got my news from you first. :) It's easier to swallow that way.

Jeeze people, just THINK.

bobbie said...

Definitely tasteless, no matter how it was meant. "Lizard brained" or not, there are people who will not or cannot understand it for what it is, and that's sad. I wish it hadn't happened.

Dianne said...

raven - there's never time for discussion, only for reaction!

jeff - I can laugh about the fist bump thing now but I must admit that when it first happened I was angry. It is the secret code of racism to attempt to dehumanize special moments between a couple like the Obamas and that was what they were doing and I think "they" - the loons who questioned a fist bump knew what they were doing.

Dianne said...

jeni - did you breathe while typing!! I hear what you're saying, I followed it fine. all of these "questions" about Obama are sure signs of how far we haven't come.

ralph - somewhere the absurdity of the cover as it depicts slander against Obama is getting lost.

dana - satire is supposed to be cutting and is supposed to evoke reactions. I do hope people are laughing at it for the right reasons. There's a part of me that wishes it would have been drawn as if it were a thought bubble from a W.Va. voter

Dianne said...

ron - that's all I want!! some thinking!! is that so wrong!? lol

jay - I don't have a problem with Obama's reaction either - not much anyway. it would be an ideal world if he could just outright say - "well there are American's that see me that way, and we have to talk about that" but well - politics doesn't allow for much complex thought does it?

Dianne said...

etk - I'm there for ya kid!

bobbie - I think more of this, without good intentions, is going to happen. I hope I'm wrong. the ones who can't understand - well maybe they can be reached. the ones who won't - they need to have a huge spotlight put on them.

Carletta said...

I read your post and I read all the above comments so I'm left with Amen!

the walking man said...

*shrug* I am sure this issue will be stolen out of my doctors waiting room so I really have no way of seeing the picture of controversy other than second hand where I am sure every person who posts it is posting the manipulated picture because I understand the REAL picture was Barak and his little woman holding hands in front of a campfire while the American flag flew over the grounds and the picture was really an advertisement for Viagra(that good old republican stand up..I mean by) on the side of their 50' rv.

Matt-Man said...

I too, thought it was pretty damn well done and accurate as to what some folks think of them. Cheers Di!!

tt said...

How'd you know I had my head under the covers all day???Hummm...?
Thinking is hard for some people ya know. It takes effort. That would be like telling someone to walk accross the room to turn the channel on the TV. lol
I'm getting really fed up with all the supid shit that's going on. Guess that's why I've been tuning it out. I'll just get my news from you...mkay?

Geraldo said...

Is it tasteless? Sure. But since when is a caricature meant to be in good taste?
There isn't much I can add to the other comments. Somebody in the Obama camp said yesterday that the few percent of people that will believe in this picture are people that will not vote for Obama anyway. He's absolutely right!

I wish I could vote in the USA, but all I and the rest of the world can do is watch and hope the American voters choose right this time. This will be an election to remember - for the right reasons, I hope...

Dianne said...

carletta - Amen to your Amen :)

mark - how'd ya know!?

matt-man - and that was the point! and we have become a nation of people who can't get the point.

tt - you and etk - I got your back, the difference between me and the "news" is I'll tell ya the truth and I won't tell you what I think you want to hear.
I doubt your head was under a cover - somehow I picture you making lunch and driving to dr. appts.

geraldo - I saw that interview and you're right. My conflict is that I want people to not vote for him for the right reasons but I have always been far too idealistic for my own good. thanks for the visit, always cool to have a new voice.

Diane Mandy said...

What a thoughtfu; post. This election is certainly bringing out the best and worst in America. I am curious to see how it all pans out.

PS. Here in Greece the people seem to be huge Obama fans. It's amazing really. Even my conservative parents have good things to say about both Obamas. Gives me hope.

The Mountain Cat said...

Good post D.
That cartoon just goofy anyway.

Dianne said...

diane - I'm curious and excited and anxious - all at the same time. I've heard from friends all over the globe that Obama is popular in their countries. I think the world wants us to have a leader that will actually talk to the world rather than figure out a way to invade it. Funny - a friend in Sweden told me that they want more for us/US than we do for ourselves.

mountain cat - exactly! satire to show goofiness.

Shelly said...

Another great post. I found the cariacature offensive, but heck...I'm a middle-aged-menopausal-cranky-bat, lots of stuff offends me. I love coming to your site - you un-cranky me!

Michelle said...

Our New Yorker went missing in the mail....

Dianne said...

shelly - that's funny that I un-crank you since I too am a member of the middle-aged menopausal cranky club! and your blog always makes me feel so peaceful

michelle - they can't keep this issue in stock. all over NYC newsstands are selling out. bet someone "borrowed" yours.

Ivanhoe said...

I just hope that there is lot more of the thinkers out there then the stinkers :o)

Dianne said...

ivanhoe - me too!

Karen said...

The cover made me laugh. In all honesty I think it is very creative and very ballsy.

Dianne said...

karen - that's what I think. I'm still surprised how many people I consider smart found it offensive - and the reason is always because too many Americans won't get it! Well I see their point but why do we all have to make believe we're stupid. They should wise-up, I don't want to dumb down.

the teach said...

Dianne, clap, clap clap! Even my most liberal friends were upset by the cover. But the cover is SATIRE! Hard to take I know but it points out the stupidity of those who believe all the stupid things being said about Obama and his wife. Whether it's on the cover of the New Yorker there are people, even bloggers we know, who take such pleasure in pointing out all the "dirt" they can find! Yea, Dianne, atta girl!

Dianne said...

thanks mary - I'm still surprised by the reaction to it - from my, I thought, intelligent friends. I have also noticed a snarkiness about the cover. I think the cover has exposed some - as my ex liked to say - "undercover racists". But again, to me that's a good thing. Can't deal with something if you don't acknowledge it's there.

DivaJood said...

We in the USA suffer from an Irony Deficiency.