Friday, February 27, 2009

Conversation with a Conservative (Monkey Edition)

"I don't understand why people are so uptight about that monkey cartoon."

"Well, it was pretty racist."

"What makes you think so?"

"Because the monkey is clearly meant to be Barack Obama."

"No, Ian. The monkey was clearly a caricature of the stimulus plan!"

"Which nearly every American and media outlet equates with Obama."

"The two are completely different things. It's not their problem if you conflate the two just to fit your own self-righteous cause."

"Conservatives seem to conflate the two as much as anyone else, if not more."

"That's because we don't want blame for the Obama stim...DAMN!"


"It's just a label. The stimulus package was a team effort. It could just as easily have been attributed to Tim Geithner."

"But there would have been no joke then."

"What do you mean?"

"Are you aware of David Cross' letter to Larry the Cable Guy?"

"I love Larry the Cable Guy!"

"Right. Well, in it, Cross calls Larry out on his joke about being 'madder than a queer with lockjaw on Valentine's Day.' Why, Cross asks, does the person in question have to be gay, when it could also apply to women?"

"Because it's funnier that way?"

"To the right people, yes. There's no way the cartoonist didn't realize that at least some people would equate that monkey with Obama. The panel's practically winking at you to think that."

"You're making associations that aren't there."

"I imagine a lot of readers are making that association. You have to admit, it does add a layer of humor if you're a sick racist jackass. Also, it was in the New York Post, which, in the slaughterhouse of journalism, amounts to pet food."

"This whole thing stinks of false outrage."

"You might have a point if several merchants hadn't sold Obama-monkey T-shirts during the campaign."

"That has nothing to do with this cartoon."

"It has everything to do with it. Last year, we saw the anti-Obama movement hit new lows in criticism and desperation. From cries of socialism to outright racism, critics pulled out every conceivable stop to paint Obama as Not One Of Us. So forgive me if I'm skeptical of this cartoonist's motivations. I'll agree with you that he didn't cross the line, because there was no line left to cross. But that doesn't make it excusable."

"America has a proud history of acerbic wit and speaking truth to power. Are you insinuating that we should end all potentially offensive speech?"

"Do you read my blog at all?"

"Not since 2005."

"Oh, right. Well, I can be just as acerbic and offensive as anyone, believe me. But when I aim to be offensive, I at least try to be creative about it. And I don't insert racist angles and then blame my readers for seeing them."

"The chimpanzee was not racist."

"It looks more like Sambo than Bonzo."

"Well, what about the Bush/Chimp cartoons?"

"Those were funny."

"Gotcha! You're a hypocrite!"

"No you don't. What made those comparisons funny was that Bush was the leader of the free world, yet made primatelike facial expressions and acted at about a monkey's intelligence level. Obama does none of these things, so there's got to be another reason he's likened to a chimp. A really foul, racist reason."

"False outrage."

"Kind of like the false outrage brewing among conservatives over the economy?"

"I hope the Obama stimulus fails."

"I bet you do."



Nick said...

Just wondering if you would express the same outrage regarding this left-wing host and his wife's protrayal of Bobby Jindal...

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes, it's stupid to ridicule Bobby Jindal in a mock-customer service voice. It's racist with no redeeming political or satirical qualities.

I say, make fun of Jindal for his endless job-hopping and his condescending, Mister Rogers evil-twin-style voice. That's enough.

Nick said...

Good. You're at least being consistent.

Ian McGibboney said...

And so are you, by dredging up some obscure counter-incident to rebut what I'm talking about - as if I'm wrong to be outraged if I'm not equally outraged by your example.

Both examples are wrong. But I hope you don't see a New York Post cartoon and some local radio chatter as exact equivalents.

Jason said...

Actually, I would say you would be wrong if you were not equally outraged by these stupid actions. Shouldn't outrage for this kind of behavior be universal regardless of political affiliation?

It doesn't matter if it's in the New York Post or some podunk radio station in BFE. Racism is racism and it should all be equally scorned.

Ian McGibboney said...

Well, Jason, I do think a high-profile publication in one of the biggest media markets in the world should have higher standards before equating the President of the United States with a monkey.

Idiotic jabber about Bobby Jindal on some rural Louisiana radio station may be clueless and offensive, but it's not even in the same league. Frankly, I expect that from local radio. I suspect that's even a selling point of local radio.

I just wish Nick could come up with a better example when playing his usual round of, "Democrats do it too!"