Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On That Cartoon

The brouhaha over the New Yorker's cover cartoon slyly depicting the Obamas as everything that the left wing fears that the ignorant masses think of them prompts a SWNIDish question:

Who is least likely to "get" satire: political partisans or religious partisans?

As is the case with many questions posed with "or," the answer is "yes."

SWNID seriously attributes the inability to laugh at the satirizing of those individuals or groups with which one is affiliated as symptomatic of hubris. Taking oneself (as opposed to one's convictions) too seriously, misunderestimating one's very human and inescapable limitations of judgment while at the same time misunderestimating others' ability to sort out obvious realities, breeds hypersensitivity about sarcasm. Worse, it imagines offense in actions and remarks that are neither sarcastic nor in any reasonable sense offensive.

We SWNIDishly pity those few, earnest people we've known who find insult and threat everywhere, who rail against every perceived deviation from orthodoxy as they define and redefine it, including imagined slights against those fellow mortals whom they lionize as imagined allies for their personal agendas. They are no less pitiable for being religious than for being political, or vice versa, as the saying goes.

And what pains us most is how unfunny it is to draw attention to this persistent reality. But we will say it plainly: Lighten up, humans! You're not all that you imagine, and ordinary folks get the joke when someone tells it. Enjoying the gag will do more for your cause than complaining about it.

So as a supplement to the Obama cartoon, published by a magazine that is second to none in its support for the junior Senator's candidacy, we draw attention to the satiric response from David Horsey in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (motto: "Our name proves that Bush isn't the only one who makes up silly words!"), who imagines what an equivalent McCain cartoon might look like on the equally partisan National Review.


Christine said...

Again and again the liberals prove they have no sense of humor.

How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb ...

NYMart said...

To comment on Christine's comment (is that allowed?), both liberals and conservatives often have no sense of humor when it is they who are being satirized.

I find plenty of conservatives (I have a lot of them in my family) "who find insult and threat everywhere, who rail against every perceived deviation from orthodoxy as they define and redefine it."