15 July 2008

Flash it across the screen

Today's word is:  SATIRE

Satire is that most trickiest of literary devices. Its usage triggers more "is it or isn't it?" moments than all others combined.  Commonly confused with irony and sarcasm, satire is neither.  It stands alone.  It's like a pelican on one leg.

Satire has suffered needlessly in this age of ultra political-correctness.  People are terrified of using it lest it be misinterpreted literally.  It's a shame really; good satire is as entertaining as a campfire sing-a-long.

To wit: the cover of the New Yorker this week.  It's been all over the news these last forty-eight hours: Barack and Michelle Obama, in their finest Muslim/terrorist garb, celebrating the destruction of America with a "terrorist fist jab" in the Oval Office.

Obama hates it.  McCain hates it.  I think Bugs Bunny hates it too.  Pity, because it is absolutely brilliant.

Come on!  How many bogus "Obama's a Muslim" e-mails have you received since January?  How many times have you heard him referred to as Barack HUSSEIN Obama by right-wing blowhards?   Michelle Obama hates America remember?  Oh yeah, this is definitely what an Obama Oval Office will look like if we are foolish enough to elect him.  Obama! Osama! Osama! Obama!  Let's call the whole thing off! (before they kill us all!  BOO!)

In my opinion (and we all know how important that is) this cover illustration is a perfect satirical commentary on the politics of fear, racism, and Islamophobia.  It's completely ridiculous how we accept and allow the political forum to distort the realm of our elections, and this cover calls it out.  We have more people who will cast their vote on the basis of whether or not they believe Obama is a Christian then on the basis of whether he will be good for the economy, the war, etc.  It's unbelievable.

The New Yorker knows this.  And they knew that when they released this issue that a lot of people wouldn't get it.  They've proved their point.

What I like most about this is that it recalls the single dumbest piece of "objective" and "responsible" television journalism in the history of mankind: Fox anchor E.D. Hill referring to the Obamas' fist bump when he claimed the nomination after the Oregon primary as a "terrorist fist jab."  She said this.  Seriously.

Personally I have always thought of terrorists as high-fiving kind of folks, but what do I know?  I'm not witty enough to make up things for Fox News.  Hill (I think E.D. stands for "Eloquent Dingbat") was never made to explain what she meant.  We all know what her intent was: use the word "terrorist" in the same sentence as "Obama" because someone somewhere will make the "connection."  Remember, if Obama is elected, we are all toast.  By March.

You've been warned.  If you don't rip that cover off, frame it beneath your American flag on the wall, and take it with you into the voting booth while you vote for John McCain, then you hate America.

How ironic.  Um, no I mean sarcastic.  Damn!  Satirical!  Yeah that's it!


frankandmary said...

I'm Italian & I have a little sticker showing an old man getting it on with a goat. The caption is : Italian Widowers.  I only have a community college degree, but I sure does get some of it.
I think most of the folks who "get it" aren't the problem.  My not getting it was mostly based on things that I've overheard & seen around me of late.   I didn't get that they'd get it, & I saw that as a huge problem.
I recently joked about a self help thing I went to in my journal. I got a few emails from people saying GROUP THERAPY SAVED MY LIFE!  I put my 10 ounce kitten in a chinese food 1 quart container with chopsticks & I thought my neighbors were going to call PETA.
Those folks won't get it, either.  I think the only people who will get it are largely those who were going to vote for Obama anyway.

aimer said...

I just don't have enough respect for the average person. I have a Jeffersonian perspective when it comes to government by the people--I believe that everyone is entitled to be treated fairly and that we must encourage particpation by all in our democratic process but I don't really believe that most people have a clue about anything beyond their own back yard. They should get it but they won't. Already they don't. Some dingbat who didn't like my post from yesterday sent me an email informing me that the reason the cover upset the Obama campaign is because it has an element of truth, because all satire has an element of truth. Even the magazine feared that people wouldn't get the point, why else issue a press release explaining the satirical intent? I've beem reading the New Yorker for years and I've never known them to feel that they had to explain a satirical cover in the past. If you have to explain the satire, then perhaps the satire isn't as clever as you think. Just think, the issue doesn't even come out until July 21! I don't think it will destriy the Obama campaign, but it certainly won't help it.--Sheria