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View Full Version : "It's Racist," and Merely to acknowledge racism, for them, is to be racist."



megimoo
07-15-2008, 07:53 PM
Rush Limbaugh was right

It's official: The Bush era has made liberals so terrified of right-wing smears it has caused them to completely lose their sense of humor.

The blogosphere's reaction to the New Yorker cover proves that the Bush era has killed a lot of liberals' sense of humor. And that's not funny.

"It's Racist," and Merely to acknowledge racism, for them, is to be racist."

"The Word Is Out There Is Nothing 'Funny' About Obama !"

"You Will Not Make LateNight Jokes At Obama's expense !"

After Obama wins, they decree, there will be time for all the sophisticated ha-ha.
But right now, imagery must be as tightly controlled as at an exhibition of Stalinist realism paintings.

As Ari Fleischer said, we must all watch what we do, watch what we say.
snip
To judge from the reaction of much of the left, you'd think that New Yorker editor David Remnick had morphed into some kind of hideous hybrid of Roger Ailes and Roland Barthes and was waging an insidious Semiotic War against Obama.

I don't know what lugubrious planet these people are on, but I definitely don't want any of them writing material for Jon Stewart.

After 9/11, some pious nitwits, suffering from an America-centrism akin to the medieval belief that the Earth was the center of the universe, intoned that "irony was dead."

Seven years later, they've been proven right -- but not in the way they intended. Irony may have been killed, but not by sincerity -- it's been killed by cynicism.

Vast swaths of the left have apparently been so traumatized by the Big Lie techniques employed by the Bush administration,

its media lickspittles like Fox News, and the right-wing attack machine that they have come to regard all images or texts that contain negative stereotypes as too politically dangerous to run.

If you satirically depict Obama as an Islamist terrorist, in this view, you are only reinforcing and giving broader currency to right-wing smears.

Since the essence of satire is exaggerating negative stereotypes, this means that satire itself is off limits.

Or, at least, all satire except that which the cowering -- but oh so semiotically sophisticated -- left-wing commentariat deems to be sufficiently broad-brush and polemical to pass its funny test.

There's no arguing taste in humor, of course, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that those who find Barry Blitt's drawing completely unfunny have traded their appreciation of subtlety and nuance for an instrumental, ends-obsessed, political-unto-death worldview.

The prominent blogger Atrios, for example, writes of the cartoon, "It obviously was an attempt at satire, but it fails.

It represents the basic stuff that you get from the Right about Obama, but it neither mocks nor exaggerates them."

Atrios may be reading secret e-mails from Fox News containing Protocols of the Elders of Obama that I haven't seen -- oops, I shouldn't have made a joking reference to that noxious forgery, because by so doing I have played into the hands of anti-Semites -- but I haven't come across any right-wing hits on Obama that feature an American flag burning in the White House fireplace and a portrait of Osama bin Laden on the wall.

The more brain-dead among the posters on left-wing blogs angrily denounce the New Yorker cover as itself racist.

Merely to acknowledge racism, for them, is to be racist.

This view, which in its Manichaean purity oddly recalls the hysterical reaction of some Muslims to the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, represents the reductio ad absurdum of political correctness: Not a single work of satire could ever pass this paranoid test.

With some exceptions (notably the conservative commentator Michelle Bernard on "Hardball"), few of the pundits who criticized the New Yorker went this far: They merely expressed outrage, or concern, that by running the cartoon, the New Yorker was unwittingly carrying the right's water for it.

A couple of points need to be made about this.

Yes, the right wing is obviously trying to paint Obama as a Muslim terrorist sympathizer -- it's the only card they have to play.

And yes, there are ways that the mainstream media can, and has, "laundered" such scurrilous smears -- Fox News is expert at them.

("Tonight at 8: Is Obama a Muslim fanatic, or merely a white-hating traitor? We report, you decide.") But it should be obvious that there's a fundamental difference between mocking something and laundering it.

Some on the left, however, are so terrified that Americans, in their cosmic stupidity, cannot distinguish between satire and smear that they reject satire.

After Obama wins, they decree, there will be time for all the sophisticated ha-ha.

But right now, imagery must be as tightly controlled as at an exhibition of Stalinist realism paintings.

As Ari Fleischer said, we must all watch what we do, watch what we say.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2008/07/15/new_yorker_cartoon/