Tuesday, July 15, 2008

American Satire & Obama Drama

Since I've been getting emails and IMs about this, I figured I may as well lay it out here in Ye Olde Blog. I think there's nothing wrong with The New Yorker's recent cover. You know, the one causing all the ruckus, since it's got the Obamas all dressed up like terrorists. Since I'm not terribly politically-minded, I can only assume all y'all are harassing me 'cause I used to work at that fine magazine. That's ok. Just let me share my piece.

I really think the biggest problem with the cover has nothing to do with the magazine or the artist (Barry Blitt) at all. I think the biggest problem is that American's don't get satire. And that's fine, except, there are a lot of smart media outlets like TNY that are really great with satire, and the Obama cover is a perfect example. It addresses all the propaganda that the right-wing pundits are throwing at the Obama campaign. You know, that bullshit about him being a terrorist, a Muslim (and who cares if he were, really, but that's another blog for another day), etc. It highlights that "terrorist fist jab," has a flag burning in the fire place, and a portrait of Bin Laden on the wall. I mean, really, folks, what's not to get about this? It's so absurd, it has to be a joke.

And, okay, okay I get that it's a controversial cover. But seriously, the folks at The New Yorker are smart people, and you shouldn't think for a minute that they weren't expecting some sort of lashback from Obama supporters and the liberal media. And they know exactly what Fox News and all those conservative pundits are going to do with that - but, let's face it, those guys are preaching to the converted. You could put Obama in a crown of thorns, a frilly pink dress, or a Hitler-esque mustache on a magazine cover and these folks are still going to refer to him as "B. Hussein Obama" when they call in to raise a stink on talk radio.

But let's face it folks, controversy sells. This cover is going to move units, and that should make Obama supporters happy. If you actually open the magazine, you'll find not one but two articles on the senator. Now, given that a) I don't work at TNY anymore and b) as a result of a) I'm broke (and busy), I haven't had the time or money to sit down and read the articles (you may have noticed I'm up to my ears in teen and middle grade books), but, given the way the magazine tends to lean, you can be pretty sure that they have something good to say about Obama. At the very least, you know that they are going to be smart, no-bullshit pieces. And, you know what? That's exactly what the skeptical and the undecided need to read.

Yes, I support Obama. As I previously stated, I'm not very smart about politics. I'm one of those horrible people that gets pissed off when the President gives a speech or there's an important debate and it interrupts my TV programs. I don't read a lot of political magazines (or any, these days - like I said, too many kids' books), and I don't do a lot of research on the candidates. That said, I have seen Obama speak, I've heard what he has to say, and it seems to me he has a lot of good ideas for the American people, and the drive, ambition, and will-power to see these ideas through to fruition. Barack Obama loves America. For Chrissakes, anyone who is going to let a magazine cover dissuade them of that fact was never willing to consider Obama's character in the first place.

In conclusion: what's the big deal?

In another conclusion: I think you guys just need something to complain about. As if there wasn't enough already. Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. The only reason that this Mr. & Mrs. Obama satire DOES have impact — and may very likely spread — is because like all good satire, or good humor for that matter, there’s more than a germ of truth in it. Otherwise, the satire would utterly roll off the Obamoids’ backs, having no impact.