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Faustus

The Art Of Offending

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Problem is that the average American won't see the satire. Believe it or not, a notable percentage of Americans believe he is a Muslim(and it's not just the Republicans ).

Personally, I think the "muslim", "terrorist", "racist" and related adjectives on Senator Obama are so dumb that they can't benefit his opponents at all. In fact, such arguments can backfire on their authors, as implying they have no better argument for not voting for him.

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Problem is that the average American won't see the satire. Believe it or not, a notable percentage of Americans believe he is a Muslim(and it's not just the Republicans ).

Personally, I think the "muslim", "terrorist", "racist" and related adjectives on Senator Obama are so dumb that they can't benefit his opponents at all. In fact, such arguments can backfire on their authors, as implying they have no better argument for not voting for him.

 

If so, then the author has succeeded by incurring controversey and doubt.

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I think this Obama cartoon it's a very clever political move on his side.

We agree.

Problem is that the average American won't see the satire. Believe it or not, a notable percentage of Americans believe he is a Muslim(and it's not just the Republicans ).

Personally, I think the "muslim", "terrorist", "racist" and related adjectives on Senator Obama are so dumb that they can't benefit his opponents at all. In fact, such arguments can backfire on their authors, as implying they have no better argument for not voting for him.

Salve A,

 

your comment here might on first glance seem to depart from your earlier statement ("we agree") so let's be straight who the "authors" are, at lieast in this New Yorker cartoon. The authors are allies of Obama, imputing certain opinions about Obama as if they lay in the minds of most or just Republicans, and the laugh is on them. Almost all Republicans look at this cartoon (Altough few read the New Yorker, but they will now see this), realize they are being lampooned, and just say "typical...". They know at the same time these concepts do not comprise their opinions, and they very likely knock those ideas down when then hear them espoused, and are not the "authors" in the larger sense. Now try your best to turn the whole process around and apply it to your own groups and situations. Might it cause you to become more interested in the whole process, if you had allowed yourself to become complacent, or disintrerested?

 

Don't forget, too, Nephele's calibration of "average" intelligence. Those below the 50% measure, or even lower comprise members of both parties. That is another problem for Obama. It probably had something to do with his speaking out in spite of probably sharing the opinion about Republicans. He has to realize: it's all a mixed bag. The constant bringing up of his differences, and things he would actually like to put to bed, make people think again,......and again, rather than settling down.

 

And this once again puts him at the center of controversy.

 

On the Racist mention; it all seems to come out of the Obama campaign, now as it did in the primary with HRC. It was he that said "They'll say I'm a muslim, and oh, by the way did you know he,s black?" recently.

Almost everyone, below 50% and above that line know when they are being fed a line by a politician with a problem.

 

One last comment. If you have to explain a "joke" it has lost it's value. If You have to explain it or justify it to those it was intended to serve, it's even worse. Humor is a "two edged sword".

 

Faustus

Edited by Faustus

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Problem is that the average American won't see the satire. Believe it or not, a notable percentage of Americans believe he is a Muslim(and it's not just the Republicans ).

 

It's not just "the average American" who often fails to grasp satire.

 

Regardless of where you live, think of one person you know whom you would describe as being "of average intelligence." Then realize that 50% of everyone else is dumber than that.

 

-- Nephele

 

I completely disagree. Americans are a lot smarter than most people assume. People do get satire; the issue with the New Yorker cover was that it was designed to provoke and infuriate. Every issue regarding the magazine cover strikes me as ridiculous and overblown--it is, after all, a magazine cover; and a funny one at that--but to suggest that people 'don't get it' is too condescending, I think. Remember, Fox executives thought Borat was too sophisticated for average Americans, and so they only released it in 800 theaters. It went on to own the weekend, and make over 150 million dollars.

 

The furor over the New Yorker cover is strictly political, nothing more, nothing less. To say that people aren't sophisticated enough is off-target, I think. After all, it's the liberals and the democrats who are pissed off over the cover, and they constantly ridicule the right and conservatives, whom they portray as Nascar-loving troglodytes. Now that the tables have been turned, and fingers are pointed back at them, their natural inclination is to blow up and to not take kindly to something of this nature

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After all, it's the liberals and the democrats who are pissed off over the cover, and they constantly ridicule the right and conservatives, whom they portray as Nascar-loving troglodytes.

 

Many people in that link said that you can not make fun of Obama because he is black and their audiences will see their jokes as racist. This is how the democrats are using this cartoon, by showing that making fun of Obama it's racist and full of prejudice, by vilifying his opponents while they also victimize him.

They make a media show and make harsh comments bringing the issue to spotlight and many people will think "poor Obama the nasty Republicans are making tasteless racist jokes about him"

I don't believe that liberals and democrats are pissed off over the cover. They made it.

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Salve A,

 

your comment here might on first glance seem to depart from your earlier statement ("we agree") so let's be straight who the "authors" are, at lieast in this New Yorker cartoon. The authors are allies of Obama, imputing certain opinions about Obama as if they lay in the minds of most or just Republicans, and the laugh is on them.

Salve, Amici. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

When I said "authors" I was not talking about the cartoon's authors, but the authors of the quoted Obama's media adjectives ("Muslim", "terrorist", "racist").

 

Free speech is still prevalent in the US; I don't think any joke on any candidate has been censured.

 

From where I am, for better or for worse, both candidates are quite liberal.

 

And the average intelligence of the American people (of any party) has been clearly enough to keep the democracy running.

Edited by ASCLEPIADES

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Problem is that the average American won't see the satire. Believe it or not, a notable percentage of Americans believe he is a Muslim(and it's not just the Republicans ).

 

It's not just "the average American" who often fails to grasp satire.

 

Regardless of where you live, think of one person you know whom you would describe as being "of average intelligence." Then realize that 50% of everyone else is dumber than that.

 

-- Nephele

 

I completely disagree. Americans are a lot smarter than most people assume. People do get satire; the issue with the New Yorker cover was that it was designed to provoke and infuriate. Every issue regarding the magazine cover strikes me as ridiculous and overblown--it is, after all, a magazine cover; and a funny one at that--but to suggest that people 'don't get it' is too condescending, I think. Remember, Fox executives thought Borat was too sophisticated for average Americans, and so they only released it in 800 theaters. It went on to own the weekend, and make over 150 million dollars.

 

The furor over the New Yorker cover is strictly political, nothing more, nothing less. To say that people aren't sophisticated enough is off-target, I think. After all, it's the liberals and the democrats who are pissed off over the cover, and they constantly ridicule the right and conservatives, whom they portray as Nascar-loving troglodytes. Now that the tables have been turned, and fingers are pointed back at them, their natural inclination is to blow up and to not take kindly to something of this nature

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After all, it's the liberals and the democrats who are pissed off over the cover, and they constantly ridicule the right and conservatives, whom they portray as Nascar-loving troglodytes.

Many people in that link said that you can not make fun of Obama because he is black and their audiences will see their jokes as racist. This is how the democrats are using this cartoon, by showing that making fun of Obama it's racist and full of prejudice, by vilifying his opponents while they also victimize him.

They make a media show and make harsh comments bringing the issue to spotlight and many people will think "poor Obama the nasty Republicans are making tasteless racist jokes about him"

I don't believe that liberals and democrats are pissed off over the cover. They made it.

Salve K,

 

I have to agree with you, the Democrats are not P'd off. But Ob did denounce it, finally saying it was "offensive to Muslims" I don't know any Republicans who are P'd off either, not at all. To them it's as I said earlier; "typical", but amused at the dubious strategy. This just seems to be the accumulating detritus of a candidate's campaign which is beginning to appear a little chaotic. It's almost as if Ob needs things to renounce, or denounce, or to set straight to keep his thin resume from being discussed, ever.....

 

BTW his wife is now out of the campaign, so we should let her alone. And his two little girls; he displayed them as JFK displayed Caroline John-John, and it seems a little of the same image. He later, expressed regrets for having done that, but didn't explain just why.

 

There's plenty of raw material for political cartoons based on Mr. Obama, but we'll only see them in the Washington Times.

OBAMA.jpg

During Clinton's 8 years, virtually all the political cartoons with him as the subject were based on his "weaker moments" which were shown as his being just "cute", endearing, sometimes knavish (but not too much so) or a "bubba", but an endearing bubba.

 

Faustus

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I don't think you quite got my comment in response to FVC's statement regarding the "problem" with "the average American". My comment was not to imply or agree that Americans (or members of any other nationality) are dumb -- or even "smarter than most people assume."

 

When speaking of the average whatever, one should bear in mind that the word "average" implies the peak of the Bell Curve. There's a pretty good chance that there are going to be an equal number of dumb and smart folks on either side of "average". That was the gist of the comment.

 

As for Borat... The popularity of the Borat movie is by no means proof that every person who went to see it, and laughed their asses off at the hilariously crude physical humor in the movie, also recognized the irony in the movie.

 

As for your assertion that "it's the liberals and the democrats who are pissed off over the [New Yorker] cover"... Note that the New Yorker article states: "The response from both Democrats and Republicans was explosive."

 

In fact here's one apparent "liberal and democrat" who was most definitely not "pissed off" by the New Yorker cover: Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman. You can listen to an interesting NPR interview ("But both Obama and rival John McCain said they found it offensive.") with Mr. Spiegelman here: "Art Spiegelman Defends 'New Yorker' Obama Cover". Click on the "Listen Now" at the NPR site.

 

-- Nephele

 

My apologies. To be honest I only skimmed the thread, and, reading your post, I jumped to conclusions. It just iritates me to no end to hear people condemn Americans and dismiss them as morons, which was why I responded the way I did. Again, I apologize. I do, however, have another gripe, which I will take up ... now.

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BTW his wife is now out of the campaign, so we should let her alone. And his two little girls; he displayed them as JFK displayed Caroline John-John, and it seems a little of the same image. He later, expressed regrets for having done that, but didn't explain just why.

Faustus

 

First Ladies travel the world in a capacity in which, often times, they represent America, usually in nothing more than a goodwill capacity. As such, I think a candidate

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Regarding the private and public life of any candidate within any democratic contest under any free-speech regime, there's hardly anything really "off-limits", at least since Aristophanes and probably from long before.

 

We may not always like its consequences, but I simply can't imagine any better alternative than free speech.

 

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter".

Thomas Jefferson, 1787.

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Just a few points and opinions regarding some of the many diverse views in this thread:

 

The Obama cartoon is great, and it would take a very unaware person not to see the satire involved. Here in Britain, as in the rest of Europe, anything which might upset Muslims is clamped down on very vigerously. It has been pointed out many times on our media that this intended not to prevent distress to Muslims, but to prevent reprisal action by extremist Muslims, and as such is seen rightly as an unwelcome restriction on our freedoms. Many moderate and mainstream muslims feel patronised by this, and regret the overall resentment towards them that these measures are generating.

 

Regarding the Borat movie, it has been pointed out that Sacha Baron Cohen would not have got away with much of the humour if he wasn't Jewish. In England, it is well known that comedians from ethnic minorities can make jokes about racism / racist views with impunity, whilst comedians of British background dare not touch the subject. So much for our democracy. Interestingly, Sacha Baron Cohen made a film called 'Ali G in da house' whose central character is 'Ali G' (real name Alistair Graham) who is a white male who would love to be black, and adopts rap culture and a fake Jamaican accent. Devised to poke fun at current teenage trends, many teenagers immersed in 'rap' culture actually adopted some of the characters ridiculous mannerisms and phrases, utterly failing to see the joke.

 

Regarding some voiced regret that Americans are perceived in some quarters as being 'dumb', it must be said that only people who are 'dumb' themselves make this gross generalisation and apply it to 280 million people. When I hear my peers make statements to this effect, I often refer them to UNRV by way of challenging their nonsensical views. I also point out that a nation which has 'X-factor', the 'Jeremy Kyle Show' and 'Big Brother' among its most popular TV programmes cannot judge ANYONE!

 

It is quite true that 50% of the populace are less intelligent than the average - but this statement, if supported by things such as IQ testing may be misleading. I often come across people who are probably very intelligent indeed, but whose view of the world at large is frighteningly narrow. I have also worked with and known some people with various degrees of learning difficulty, who nonetheless have a very active and broad interest in their world, and are very well read and knowledgeable despite their limitations.

 

End of rant!

Edited by Northern Neil

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It is quite true that 50% of the populace are less intelligent than the average - but this statement, if supported by things such as IQ testing may be misleading. I often come across people who are probably very intelligent indeed, but whose view of the world at large is frighteningly narrow. I have also worked with and known some people with various degrees of learning difficulty, who nonetheless have a very active and broad interest in their world, and are very well read and knowledgeable despite their limitations.

 

Nicely said, NN.

 

In my humble opinion, any such individuals with or without a learning disability, who "have a very active and broad interest in their world and are very well read and knowledgeable despite their limitations," are already above "average".

 

-- Nephele

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Salve, Amici.

 

Strictly speaking, 50% of ANYTHING (any sample) is by definition under its Median (not its Average); consequently, the other 50% is over.

 

Of course, Median and Average can be the same, for example under the paradigmatic Gaussian distribution.

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