The New Yorker Cover: Really?:
Well, at least The New Yorker didn't have a cover with Barack Obama fist-bumping the prophet Muhammad. Then we'd've been talking trouble.
From so many of the hysterical reactions, you'd think the venerated weekly, which has been around since, oh, fuck, let's say 300 AD, sure, had published a cover picture of the Democratic presidential candidate in the Oval Office on his knees sucking off a Confederate general garb-wearing Bill Clinton while he shoved a cigar into a moaning Michelle Obama's snatch as a stiletto-heeled, leather bustier-wearing Hillary Clinton whipped Barack's bare back into shreds with an American flag as a portrait of Thomas Jefferson leered at the scene. Frankly, that would have been funnier than the actual cover.
See, the Rude Pundit's problem with the whole Barack-as-Muslim and Michelle-as-Black-Panther plus burning flag and bin Laden's picture in the Oval Office isn't that it's particularly offensive. It's that it's just not very funny. It's not even enough to make you go, "Hmmm." You glance at it once and think, "Yeah, some people think that, don't they? That's a shame." And there the whole joke ends. There's no more levels to it. It's like an Upper East Side version of South Park, an elitist attempt at crude humor, like an ironic fart at a wine tasting.
However, like those shitty Danish cartoons of Muhammad that caused a rage-a-palooza among tight-assed Muslims with nothing better to do with their time and like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh or Jonah Goldberg making stupid ass Hillary Clinton or Ted Kennedy jokes, to fly into a tizzy every time someone does something that mocks or satirizes beliefs is to give the images or words far more power than they deserve. Hell, this is even worse. Because The New Yorker intended the cover as an attack on conservative beliefs through satirizing them. But the magazine is being condemned for, well, satirizing conservative beliefs.
Here's the thing: anyone who doesn't see the cover art as satire already believed that Obama was a terr'ist out to secretly destroy American and get rid of apple pie and porn. No one's gonna look at the cover and say, "Well, right there, it proves Obama hates this country." Conversely (and this is the reason the cover fails as satire), there's not a one of those Obama-hating conspiracy nuts who's going to look at a magazine called The New Yorker, fer fuck's sake, and think, "Well, shee-it, haven't they made us look quite the fools with their hyperbolic representation of a possible Obama presidency. I'd better call Merle and Jesse and tell 'em the cross-burnin' is off." Oh, yeah. That right there wasn't satire. It was sarcasm. The fuckers are actually too dumb to breathe without thinking about how.
And the other sad aspect is that it's such a fuckin' distraction. Listening to Chris Matthews on My Balls Are Hard yesterday, as well as just about everyone dragged out to comment on the cover, made one pine for Britney Spears to flash her vagina again. Because, really, it's the political equivalent.
Rude Fun with New Yorker Cartoons: Every week, the magazine runs a caption contest for one of its cartoons. Nearly every week, you can put these words to the panel: "You think that's bad? I just blew my dog." Try it. It works about 90% of the time.