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Interpretation, Plausible Denial and racially loaded imagery (NYPost cartoon)

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Posts

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Right, so the question is, given the information presented, what's a reasonable interpretation. It's reasonable to see racism in the strip, otherwise such a large number of people wouldn't be making that same assessment.

    or they could be seeing racism because they are constantly watching for racism due to an oversaturation of racism and culturally taught racism recognition training.

    and those few that always see the worst.

    edit: bascially what im saying is, you find more pennies (racism) by looking for them, but you also find more bottlecaps (not racism) that way too.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah pretty much that. Brain's been hacked.

  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    The guy was GLAAD's gay defamer (or something like that) for the year because of his ability to put so much anti-gay imagery in a single frame. In this one
    post_marriage_2_lg.jpg

    he managed to get
    1. a hamster
    2. a disco picture
    3. an umbrella drink
    4. his trademark foot up in the air for gays
    5. limp wrists
    6. a hankey
    7. flowered wallpaper
    8. an AIDs ribbon
    9. and last but not least a teddy bear with what might be a dildo
    in a single anti-gay cartoon. He's managed to get a sheep in most of his anti-gay cartoons including this one
    Spoiler:
    The idea that hewouldn't understand the imagery after jamming this much bigotry into his other works is far fetched

    There's nothing homophobic in that comic, stop being so paranoid. Hamsters are common pets, everyone loves disco pictures, umbrellas are common comic props, the author probably slipped while drawing the guys foot and that's why it looks all weird, politicians have wimpy wrists, they need a hankey to blow their noses on, flowered wallpaper is probably just because he likes flowers, that ribbon could be a non AIDS ribbon (you're so paranoid you assume that its an AIDS ribbon!), and everyone loves teddy bears.

    Look, if you go and say "that's homophobic!" to every little comic that might possibly be viewed by a brain-damaged person as offensive, nobody is going to take you seriously. The author probably didn't mean anything offensive anyways, and that is what matters!

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast. I drive real fast, I'm gonna last.Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    The guy was GLAAD's gay defamer (or something like that) for the year because of his ability to put so much anti-gay imagery in a single frame. In this one
    post_marriage_2_lg.jpg

    he managed to get
    1. a hamster
    2. a disco picture
    3. an umbrella drink
    4. his trademark foot up in the air for gays
    5. limp wrists
    6. a hankey
    7. flowered wallpaper
    8. an AIDs ribbon
    9. and last but not least a teddy bear with what might be a dildo
    in a single anti-gay cartoon. He's managed to get a sheep in most of his anti-gay cartoons including this one
    Spoiler:
    The idea that hewouldn't understand the imagery after jamming this much bigotry into his other works is far fetched

    There's nothing homophobic in that comic, stop being so paranoid. Hamsters are common pets, everyone loves disco pictures, umbrellas are common comic props, the author probably slipped while drawing the guys foot and that's why it looks all weird, politicians have wimpy wrists, they need a hankey to blow their noses on, flowered wallpaper is probably just because he likes flowers, that ribbon could be a non AIDS ribbon (you're so paranoid you assume that its an AIDS ribbon!), and everyone loves teddy bears.

    Look, if you go and say "that's homophobic!" to every little comic that might possibly be viewed by a brain-damaged person as offensive, nobody is going to take you seriously. The author probably didn't mean anything offensive anyways, and that is what matters!
    I certainly hope that you don't think that what you're saying in that post is analogous to people not thinking that the monkey comic is necessarily racist.

  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I certainly hope that you don't think that what you're saying in that post is analogous to people not thinking that the monkey comic is necessarily racist.
    People not thinking that the monkey comic is necessarily racist != People thinking that if you see anything potentially racist or racially insensitive in the monkey comic you've obviously been brainwashed by the PC brigade.

    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
    http://goofybeast.wordpress.com
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Some of the cartoonists other works

    When NJ started to allow same sex civil unions
    Spoiler:

    When NYC decided to launch an Arab-themed school (they have other similar themed public schools for gays, Jews and other groups
    Spoiler:

    Midterm elections
    Spoiler:
    The important thing that I'm noticing here is that the third one does not have a crushed can.

    What's he trying to convey with this?

  • JamesKeenanJamesKeenan Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Jesus christ this guy is fucked up.

    I take back what I said before when I said, "It's unlikely this was meant to carry any racial overtones."

    This guy's fucked up, and he very well might have meant Obama. Which makes him racist which he clearly already is and wrong, since Obama didn't write the bill.

    Not that anyone would try to argue that "facts" ever deterred the ignorant from making their stupid statements.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Bert is in the last one, and he recycles.

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  • Indica1Indica1 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Blacks are good at sports like basketball (but not swimming), Asians are good at math, and your accountant should be a Jew as they're great with money are all extremely racist even if they're making 'positive' claims.
    Ok, fair enough, I can easily accept that. I was, again, just stupidly hung up on the belief in the target of the racism being lesser in some way.

    Racism is the belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.


    You were right, people just think the definition of racism is "something that might offend somebody, and has something to do with race."

    Edit: okay, i didn't realize that discussion ended 10 pages ago.


    If the president had any real power, he'd be able to live wherever the fuck he wanted.
  • wwtMaskwwtMask Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Jesus christ this guy is fucked up.

    I take back what I said before when I said, "It's unlikely this was meant to carry any racial overtones."

    This guy's fucked up, and he very well might have meant Obama. Which makes him racist which he clearly already is and wrong, since Obama didn't write the bill.

    Not that anyone would try to argue that "facts" ever deterred the ignorant from making their stupid statements.

    This is pretty much what we've been trying to get at. No one knows for sure what he meant, but given his previous work and the proximity of Obama to the stimulus bill, we're not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    When he dies, I hope they write "Worst Affirmative Action Hire, EVER" on his grave. His corpse should be trolled.
    Twitter - @liberaltruths | Google+ - http://gplus.to/wwtMask | Occupy Tallahassee
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon and say that I didn't see any racism immediately. I had just read the article about the killer face-eating chimp, and then saw the cartoon, and it made sense to me.

    Then I looked at a page showing some of the artists more offensive cartoons, and while he may not have been deliberately making a racial joke in this most recent one, the guy is clearly a racist, bigoted scumbag.

    I hope his career ends horribly because of this, and it would be the height of ironic justice if that happened in spite of his not actually intending to be racist (this one time. Because he is a fucking racist piece of shit).

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2009
    Racist, sure, but goddamn, his homophobism takes his racism by a fucking mile.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Elki wrote: »
    Racist, sure, but goddamn, his homophobism takes his racism by a fucking mile.


    Well yes, he hates gays and thinks we're all perverts.

    It's almost quaint, in a sort of Fred Phelps lunatic sort of way.

  • TehSpectreTehSpectre Ragamuffin Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I'm sure it's been beaten to death at this point, but I took the comic as:

    A monkey could have written the stimulus bill.

    efsx.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    guys, the more of his other work I see, the more it convinces me that if he had ACTUALLY been trying to be racist, he would have gone further. He's not big on subtlety.

    georgersig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    PantsB wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    I haven't seen him turn people into animals in any of his comics so far....
    Spoiler:
    But you know that's just the last month.

    The Donkeys are generic democrats. He does the same with elephants and republicans.

    And hey, Cuomo is clearly labeled.



    The middle comic there shows his (consistent) charicaturization of Obama as overly thin with giant ears.

    The chimp in the "questionable" strip is fat, and has average to small sized ears.

    georgersig.jpg
  • PotatoNinjaPotatoNinja Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    guys, the more of his other work I see, the more it convinces me that if he had ACTUALLY been trying to be racist, he would have gone further. He's not big on subtlety.

    Is this sarcasm? The guy isn't ACTUALLY trying to be racist because his other comics are worse?

    Two goats enter, one car leaves
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    guys, the more of his other work I see, the more it convinces me that if he had ACTUALLY been trying to be racist, he would have gone further. He's not big on subtlety.

    Is this sarcasm? The guy isn't ACTUALLY trying to be racist because his other comics are worse?

    No, it's not sarcasm. It's a rational statement, rather than a knee-jerk emotional reaction.

    The cartoonist IS a bigot, and I'm pretty sure that he understands the way that the monkey could be taken, and didn't care if people were offended.

    BUT, look at this guy's previous work. If his goal was to call Obama a monkey, he would have come out and done it. He would have tried to be sneaky about it.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    guys, the more of his other work I see, the more it convinces me that if he had ACTUALLY been trying to be racist, he would have gone further. He's not big on subtlety.

    Is this sarcasm? The guy isn't ACTUALLY trying to be racist because his other comics are worse?

    No, it's that the trumped-up crime of monkey = Obama doesn't fit his M.O.

    The man is not subtle. That's pretty fucking clear.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Jesus christ this guy is fucked up.

    I take back what I said before when I said, "It's unlikely this was meant to carry any racial overtones."

    This guy's fucked up, and he very well might have meant Obama. Which makes him racist which he clearly already is and wrong, since Obama didn't write the bill.

    Not that anyone would try to argue that "facts" ever deterred the ignorant from making their stupid statements.

    This is pretty much what we've been trying to get at. No one knows for sure what he meant, but given his previous work and the proximity of Obama to the stimulus bill, we're not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    You're making this out to be some sort of 50/50 thing, where it's plausible that he's being racist given the content of the cartoon.

    I don't have to give him the benefit of the doubt to state that he's a bigot. I also don't have to give him the benefit of the doubt that it's a long stretch around at least two corners to turn that cartoon into a caricature of Obama.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    wwtMask wrote: »
    "It means what you want it to mean" is just a little bit of bullshit.

    Sure, you can imagine it has a personal meaning to you, but there are very small degrees where this is allowable.

    If I said Robert Frost's poems were only ever about what it was like to have sex with his mom, I would not be "free to have my opinions." I would be an idiot.

    Again, this is mistake in assuming that other meanings can't be drawn from a work of art. I mean, do we really think that the architect behind the Washington Monument was also secretly thinking that it was a great phallic symbol? Whether or not he did, that's another meaning that an observer may take away from the monument.

    EDIT: Also, there's nothing wrong with having a debate about different interpretations, but dismissing them out of hand because they don't correspond to yours is wrong. I just don't like the idea of shutting down that debate by saying that people who think it might be racist are intentionally looking for racism or are unreasonable.

    I'm not trying to shut down a debate, nor am I at all times saying my own interpretation is the right one.

    But I absolutely think that in many, if not most, cases, there is a clear most correct interpretation. It's usually pretty clear what the artist/director/designer/writer/etc was trying to say, and anything too far from that is, plainly, wrong.

    You can like it to mean something else, or even think it might work better under this other light. But it doesn't make it more meaningful or more correct than what was clearly the artist's original meaning.

    Right, so the question is, given the information presented, what's a reasonable interpretation. It's reasonable to see racism in the strip, otherwise such a large number of people wouldn't be making that same assessment.

    No, otherwise those people who see Mary in stains and Jesus in grilled cheese would be considered reasonable. Lots of exceptionally religious people get offended at the drop of a hat. Apparently for a lot of people it doesn't take much to create a lot of umbrage over nothing at all.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    wwtMask wrote: »
    Gosh, I guess I'm not willing to take the plunge into actively seeking the metaphore in absolutely everything. Yes, sometimes a primate is a reference to the idea that black people aren't so evolved. Sometimes they're just what they are.

    You're suggesting that if Georgia O'Keefe had painted a big, juicy watermelon, it could conceivably be taken as racist because watermelons are code for a regressive view of blacks. That's retarded. If something is racist, intent is of paramount fucking importance.

    I've asserted my personal take. I'm suggesting that sometimes there isn't so much code to be found in a cartoon that's as obvious as this one. I noted that the artist in question isn't subtle like a knife and that if he were being racist we wouldn't have to be listening for dog whistles. I'm asserting that my personal take makes sense, and that the "he's racist because monkeys are code for blacks-aren't-evolved" takes a lot of hoop jumping that doesn't make any sense.

    Your example isn't similar to this one. I mean, a watermelon by itself is meaningless. But if she painted a slice of watermelon in black hands, it would be reasonable if someone took exception to it.

    And the thing is, it isn't so much that this cartoon by itself is indicative of racism, it's that this is one in a line of work that can be interpreted as bigoted. Given that and the context of the cartoon, I think you're being unreasonable in insisting that intuiting bigotry from this cartoon is "hoop-jumping". What you call "hoop-jumping" I see as a reasonable conclusion that could be drawn form the information provided by the cartoon.

    The worldview that makes that a reasonable conclusion is a worldview that allows for a lot of unwarranted outrage.

    I shudder to think what would have happened if he had made a reference to a million monkeys on a million typewriters drafting the bill. A million times as racist, no doubt!

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yar wrote: »
    Really, making that monkey be Obama makes the cartoon make no sense. Is Obama someone "they found" to write a stimulus bill? The obvious implication is that the monkey that was shot IRL might have been the figurative one that Dems in Congress must have gone and found to write their stimulus bill, and now they'll have to find someone else to write the next one.

    The idea that the monkey is Obama (and not, you know, the actual monkey that was shot), makes no sense. Why would they then have to go find someone else to write the next stimulus? I mean, wouldn't Biden be President then? There wouldn't be any "finding" to do, and regardless, who writes the stimulus would not even be a relevant or sensible question at all if Obama was shot.

    The only thing that makes sense is that the "joke" is that Dems went and found a monkey to write the stimulus, but now the cops shot the monkey attacking someone, so they have to go find someone else to write it.

    I get the racist interpretation... but if that's what you saw first then your brain has been hacked. Think harder.

    EDIT: I see all the other examples of him being less than politically correct. He loads up a comic about Foley with little trappings of homosexual stereotypes. He draws offensively exaggerated charicatures of arab terrorists. He travels the well-trodden slippery slope of homosexuality and bestiality. But none of that compares to what you are suggesting now. None of that is double-meaning, none of it meant to be hidden or amiguous or confusing, none of it requires a highly questionable alternate interpretation of the comic, and none of it nearly so egregious as calling Obama a monkey. So no, you aren't really making much of a case with any of that, either.

    Yar is indeed correct.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    has it been mentioned that the Post has put out an "apology", saying that the cartoon is not racist, but if anyone is offended, then they are sorry that they are offended.

    And then spending the rest of the apology accusing people who reacted to the comic of really just being out to get them.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    has it been mentioned that the Post has put out an "apology", saying that the cartoon is not racist, but if anyone is offended, then they are sorry that they are offended.

    And then spending the rest of the apology accusing people who reacted to the comic of really just being out to get them.

    yeah, and it wasn't much of an apology as much as a justification.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    has it been mentioned that the Post has put out an "apology", saying that the cartoon is not racist, but if anyone is offended, then they are sorry that they are offended.

    And then spending the rest of the apology accusing people who reacted to the comic of really just being out to get them.

    Is that unreasonable?

    Have you seen the aggressive way "I'm offended" has been used, particularly by those on the right? If the Catholic League gets all offended at something innocuous, I think it's reasonable to tell the Catholics that are genuinely offended that nothing was intended, but that the Catholic League can fuck right off.

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  • wazillawazilla Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    has it been mentioned that the Post has put out an "apology", saying that the cartoon is not racist, but if anyone is offended, then they are sorry that they are offended.

    And then spending the rest of the apology accusing people who reacted to the comic of really just being out to get them.

    Is that unreasonable?

    Have you seen the aggressive way "I'm offended" has been used, particularly by those on the right? If the Catholic League gets all offended at something innocuous, I think it's reasonable to tell the Catholics that are genuinely offended that nothing was intended, but that the Catholic League can fuck right off.

    This is a sentiment that I can definitely agree with. Mock outrage is something that I could stand to see eliminated from today's political discourse.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Is that unreasonable?

    I think it is shitty of them to pretend to apologize, only as a facade to proclaim that THEY are the real victims here.



    I don't think that they had any obligation to apologize for anything in the first place, mind you.



    edit: to clarify, I didn't post about their apology as a complaint. I posted it to show all the people who had been "calling for action" exactly what they got them out of the NY Post. As I was saying yesterday, the people who were upset by this are not the people who regularly buy the Post, so ultimately, the post doesn't care if it upsets you.

    georgersig.jpg
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    wazilla wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    has it been mentioned that the Post has put out an "apology", saying that the cartoon is not racist, but if anyone is offended, then they are sorry that they are offended.

    And then spending the rest of the apology accusing people who reacted to the comic of really just being out to get them.

    Is that unreasonable?

    Have you seen the aggressive way "I'm offended" has been used, particularly by those on the right? If the Catholic League gets all offended at something innocuous, I think it's reasonable to tell the Catholics that are genuinely offended that nothing was intended, but that the Catholic League can fuck right off.

    This is a sentiment that I can definitely agree with. Mock outrage is something that I could stand to see eliminated from today's political discourse.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Is that unreasonable?

    I think it is shitty of them to pretend to apologize, only as a facade to proclaim that THEY are the real victims here.



    I don't think that they had any obligation to apologize for anything in the first place, mind you.

    They are the real victims here. There aren't any other victims. Maybe they're completely deserving of society coming down on them like a shit-ton of bricks. But not for this innocuous stuff. We've seen the kind of comics the guy puts out on a regular basis, and people are getting offended at this one?

    I think if people had come out and made a stink about virtually any of the other cartoons we've seen here, they wouldn't have so much cause to say "fuck off" to the umbrage seekers, "sorry" to the ones with delicate sensibilities. With this though, sorry, they're in the right.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    [The New York Post] are the real victims here.

    They aren't idiots. They new EXACTLY what people would think when they saw the monkey in the cartoon.

    Also, how exactly is this hurting them? It's not like they were being taken seriously by anyone before this point.

    As I was saying yesterday, this may have even been a publicity stunt. They've sure gotten a whole lot of attention.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    [The New York Post] are the real victims here.

    They aren't idiots. They new EXACTLY what people would think when they saw the monkey in the cartoon.

    So I, and maybe Jeepguy are idiots for not seeing the connection there? And do you really think the people, the kind of people, at the NYP are going to be more sensitive to this sort of thing than me and him?

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    [The New York Post] are the real victims here.

    They aren't idiots. They new EXACTLY what people would think when they saw the monkey in the cartoon.

    So I, and maybe Jeepguy are idiots for not seeing the connection there? And do you really think the people, the kind of people, at the NYP are going to be more sensitive to this sort of thing than me and him?

    Hey, Loren, have you read anything I've posted in this thread, or are you just coming out swinging at everyone?

    I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE COMIC WAS RACIST. I've said that many times over.

    It was, however, a racially insensitive move to use a monkey in a cartoon involving a bill being championed by the first black president. There is NO WAY that at least one person in the process, before this hit the stands, didn't say "hey, people are going to think that this is racist." The Post decided not to care.



    And not caring IS a valid choice here. The demographic that actually buys the New York Post is not the demographic that gets offended by racism, so it's not like it would have a significant effect on their sales.



    They're not "victims", though. There are ZERO victims in this entire situation.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    [The New York Post] are the real victims here.

    They aren't idiots. They new EXACTLY what people would think when they saw the monkey in the cartoon.

    So I, and maybe Jeepguy are idiots for not seeing the connection there? And do you really think the people, the kind of people, at the NYP are going to be more sensitive to this sort of thing than me and him?

    Hey, Loren, have you read anything I've posted in this thread, or are you just coming out swinging at everyone?

    I've read it. I'm not saying you think the comic was racist. I'm addressing your comment about idiots at the NYP.

    I'm saying that it doesn't take an idiot to overlook the potential for people to find racism in the comic. And, given the propensity for the NYP to be bigot douches, I think they might actually be less sensitive to that sort of thing than most about things that could plausibly be construed as racist.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    They're not "victims", though. There are ZERO victims in this entire situation.

    What about the people who felt compelled to examine his earlier work?

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    They're not "victims", though. There are ZERO victims in this entire situation.

    If a bigot is attacked for bigotry over a comment that was not bigoted, he's still a victim.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    They're not "victims", though. There are ZERO victims in this entire situation.

    If a bigot is attacked for bigotry over a comment that was not bigoted, he's still a victim.

    I think that you have to have some kind of harm actually befall you in order to be a victim.

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