Boy, have we been hearing from the folks who are up in arms about the cover of the New Yorker. The New Yorker, of course, is happy as a clam at a pig roast. Show me the money!!!!
I guess the biggest problem for people who hate the cover is that the cartoon seems to satirize Michelle and Barack as terrorists, instead of taking aim at the people who are perpetuating that notion -- blaming the victims, as it were.
Someone on a discussion panel made a worthwhile point. If, for instance, a person like Karl Rove had been depicted in the cartoon with a thought balloon over his head and the infamous "terrorist" Obamas inside it, perhaps the New Yorker's satiric intention would have been clear.
Incorporating the alleged origins of the rumors would have pointed the satire in the right direction.
Like The New Yorker gives a rip about explaining themselves.
They might as well include a banner across the top of the cover that says, "Hey, it's a joke!"
Clearly the drawing has succeeded in doing everything a political cartoon is supposed to do -- engage and enrage.
In the end, is the cartoon offensive? Yes. Is it provocative? Yes. Is it satire? Yes. Does it seem mean spirited? Yes. Is this a free country? Yes.
My first reaction was "Oh, geez, they've lost their minds." Then I noticed the fist bump between Black Panther Michelle and Osama Obama and I laughed. I don't know why that little gesture took me from a nose wrinkle of disgust to laughter, but it did. Perhaps it seemed to encapsulate the absurdity of anyone thinking they are the least bit subversive in any way.
Of course turnabout is fair play. What is the New Yorker going to do to satirize McCain? Show him as a guide at the Smithsonian Air Museum leading tours of the five planes he supposedly trashed, because he was such a bad pilot. "I dumped this little beauty into the ocean off of Pensacola." "I backed this one into a bomb on a carrier and killed over 100 sailors. Ooopsie daisy!" "This one I don't remember, oh, wait I was hungover." "Oh, here's the one I lost over North Vietnam. Better take a map next time."
How about we see him seated in the Oval Office, with his low class rank at the Naval Academy prominently displayed behind him. As he tries to make an important military decision, he suddenly realizes he missed class that day.
Or perhaps they could showhim in a POW camp playing cards, smoking cigars, and drinking brandy with his captors while his fellow prisoners are staring at him in various states of starvation.
Or standing at the podium giving a speech saying he's his own man, while being manipulated by Bush from behind a curtain, like a ventriloquist's dummy.
Meanwhile, what is lost in this shizzlestorm is that the controversial cartoon bears no relation to the excellent article about the Obamas inside the magazine.