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News Where is the line in Political Cartoons?

  1. Feb 18, 2009 #1

    LowlyPion

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    Legitimate political commentary?

    Or latent racism?

    http://www.nypost.com/delonas/delonas.htm

    I'm with Al Sharpton on this one. "...troubling ..." he is quoted as saying.

    You'd think that there would by now be a little more sensitivity to racial issues on the part of the NY Post
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2009 #2
    Why on Earth do you think "racism" when you discover this cartoon ? It's just a joke, and I simply don't understand why it should have anything to do with racism. From my perspective, you just related it to racism.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2009 #3

    Gokul43201

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    The line should be drawn where you are infringing on someone else's copyright or inciting violence (tough call sometimes).
     
  5. Feb 18, 2009 #4

    Evo

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    It depends on whether you consider Obama to have been the object of the cartoonist's "joke". If it had been a bunch of monkeys the message would not lead you to think of Obama as being singled out. Comparing Obama to a monkey would be extremely racist, from the viewpoint of an American.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2009 #5

    mgb_phys

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    Oh, I assumed it was just a monkey, as in if an infinite number of monkeys could write shakespeare, this bill was written by one monkey - tops.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  7. Feb 18, 2009 #6

    Gokul43201

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    It's probably not a common slur outside of the US and UK (where it became popular in the '80s, during football - read soccer - matches when teams had few black players) and a few other countries (like Australia and Brazil, where the slur is used against an aborigine).

     
  8. Feb 18, 2009 #7

    LowlyPion

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    That may be well and good from your defensive perspective, but the fact that it would be found to be offensive by others - maybe a large number of others - should at least suggest that from the perspectives of these others that the cartoon is drawing from an unfortunate well of connotation and alternate entendre.

    A cartoon that is prima facie 2 white cops shooting a black monkey with the monkey the inferred author of the stimulus package I'd say shows more than a little insensitivity and poor judgment.
     
  9. Feb 18, 2009 #8
    The monkey-racism link is completely foreign to my culture, which is why I missed your point. Besides that, political cartoonism in Europe is rather wild, and has already been criticized when picturing some international events, which is the background of my defensive perspective.
     
  10. Feb 18, 2009 #9

    BobG

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    Considering a crazed chimpanzee made national news the last day or two, I wouldn't have made any racial connections.

    It's definitely a cartoon with a short shelf life. Without the context of current events, I can see where a reader would be puzzled about where the chimpanzee idea came from.
     
  11. Feb 18, 2009 #10

    Astronuc

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    I don't understand the connection between the stimulus bill and the shooting of a chimpanzee by police. Congress wrote the stimulus bill and Obama signed it.

    There was that incident where a 200 lb chimpanzee attacked a friend of the chimps owner, but I still don't see the connection with the stimulus bill. The police ended up shooting it.

    Just one more reason not to read the NY Post.
     
  12. Feb 18, 2009 #11

    Gokul43201

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    It's clear where the chimpanzee idea came from. What I'm clueless about is the supposed connection between the chimp and Obama (other than the racist connection). Is this suggesting that Obama is on a rabid frenzy, out to maul the average American??? I'm just not getting this joke!

    Edit: I see Astronuc had the same difficulty.
     
  13. Feb 18, 2009 #12

    mgb_phys

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    Me too.
    Back office.mainframe programmers used to be known as monkeys because they did the 'room full monkeys at typewriters' programming.
    So simple changes were known as a 'one banana problem' - because you only had to feed the monkeys one banana to do it.
     
  14. Feb 18, 2009 #13

    LowlyPion

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    That was my reaction. As a joke there is no apparent nexus that I can see - which to my thinking anyway is a critical element for a cartoon. It rather seems to be more a gratuitous opportunity to trot out some past shorthand imagery. Even though I was aware of the 911 call to shoot the monkey, it didn't register immediately with me that it was drawing that connection.

    As a parallel example I think throwing a Swastika in a cartoon would be equally challenging to insure that sufficient nexus was established by the portrayal - and that it served as a legitimate commentary that would be assured not to be offensive to Jews - likely an improbable task.

    The NY Post's response shows that the insensitivity is not just that of the cartoonist.
     
  15. Feb 18, 2009 #14

    turbo

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    In light of the monkey dolls being portrayed as Obama during the campaign, it was insensitive at a minimum to run that cartoon. Unlike most political cartoons, this one had no point that I could see, and there was no humor either. Bad editorial decision-making at the Post.
     
  16. Feb 18, 2009 #15
    "The bill is so stupid that it looks like a monkey wrote it". Seems obvious to me; the Obama race reference seems quite a stretch.
     
  17. Feb 18, 2009 #16

    mgb_phys

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  18. Feb 18, 2009 #17

    BobG

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    It sounds a lot more fun with the audio from the 911 call.

    Funny, how the neighbors alway say the person (or ape) was the last person in the world they would have expected to go on a killing spree.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  19. Feb 18, 2009 #18

    Gokul43201

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    How did I miss that? I guess I was distracted by the cops tattooing bullet holes in the chimp's chest.
     
  20. Feb 18, 2009 #19

    BobG

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    There's clearly two lines of emotion running on the stimulus bill.

    1) The stimulus bill is Obama's creation and he's killing the economy with it.

    2) Congress voting on a stimulus bill they haven't even read is out and out crazed panic.

    (Or out and out partisanship considering how the vote split. If your vote was decided before the bill was even finalized, reading it was unnecessary.)

    However, the first two sentiments seem to be the strongest with the public. I assume the cartoonist belonged to the second group.

    Stimulus Bill a Sorry Spectacle. This bill had to be passed on Friday because Americans are losing jobs every day. There's not a day to be spared. Never mind Obama didn't sign it until Tuesday.

    But, yes, within 3 days, no one will remember the chimpanzee and the cartoon will look even lamer than it does today.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  21. Feb 18, 2009 #20
    http://www.latimes.com/la-na-ny-post-cartoon19-2009feb19,0,7178947.story [Broken]


    N.Y. Post defends cartoon some say links Obama to dead chimp
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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