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07/15/2008

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I wonder; If that same cover debuted on the cover of American Spectator, or RushLimbaugh.com would you still find it funny?

It would depend on the joke being made. If it were presented as a real depiction of Obama's beliefs, then no, I wouldn't find it funny. But then, if it were presented as real it wouldn't be a joke.

If it were presented as a joke -- if it were an article about the right's fascination with the fictional Obama -- then yes, I would find it funny.

" if it were an article about the right's fascination with the fictional Obama"

But, that isn't what the article in the New Yorker is about, so why is it funny?

Clearly, I'm misunderstanding something.

It's funny now because it's an ironic representation of a politically controversial point. It's funny in exactly the same way no matter what the venue. One of the arguments against the cover being funny is that it's dependent on context. It's funny because it's in the New Yorker and everyone knows the New Yorker is sympathetic to Obama. If I might indulge in a little Eng Lit pedantry, this is a literary argument that's been going on since Robert Penn Warren and his pals came up with t what was called "The New Criticism," which is no longer new.

New Crit, as it is called, argued that context didn't matter, that all that mattered were the words on the page, in splendid isolation. I, personally, think New Crit is bullshit, but then I'm a "C" student.

I think context matters, so the fact that it's in the New Yorker is relevant, and serves as a clue that the art is offered ironically, and that counts.

With humor, what's key is understanding who is the butt of the joke. Humor is more than a technical exercise -- that is, humor is actually funny -- only when it illuminates an agreed upon truth. If you're not someone who agrees with that truth, then you're not going to find the humor funny. It may still technically be humor -- that is, there may still be structural irony -- but it won't make you laugh.

That I find the New Yorker cover funny says something about how I perceive the world. I believe that segments of the right are insane about Obama; that's the "truth" that I accept and that the art illustrates. Hence, I laugh.

That Obama and other liberals are not capable of laughing at this, even though they agree with the agreed upon "truth," says something about how serious they take themselves. It's something I don't find particularly attractive, and something I don't think others will find attractive either.

"C" student, my ass. This is good stuff.

It seems so completely out of character that Obama doesn’t like this cover. Maybe I misjudged him in that respect.

This cover is so obviously ironic and satirical – why would anyone in the Obama campaign complain about it? It clearly attacks those who attack Obama. How is it even possible to interpret this cover in any other way? Then again, maybe my appreciation for satire isn’t shared by all people. My sick brain would even expect politicians to not only laugh about satire that is aimed at their opponents but also about caricatures that are aimed against them.

I have to say that I agree with you 100% on this one. Bob Doll became infinitely more likeable once he stopped campaigning and started poking fun at himself. My favorite line was when he was on Letterman right after losing (from memory here)

Dave: "So, what have you been up to lately?"
Doll: "Apparently not enough."

Obama is really going to start losing popularity when he makes himself out to be the uptight old man in the race. All we need now is a shot of him spraying kids with a water hose while shouting, "Get off my lawn."

Doll? Wow, apparently there's something buried in my psyche that I'm going to have to explore.

So, Obama's pissed off over a satirical cartoon.

And he claims he's not a Muslim.

Riiiiight. . . .

You want irony? Here's your irony:

"a pointed indictment of the right's tendency to see people who aren't just like them as caricatures. "

You're right, the cover is hysterical, but I'm afraid we're laughing for different reasons.

As for young Michael, all I want to know is where you've been dude? Hubris is O'Bama's middle name. He wears the thin skin of the unaccomplished, and despite the incessant pleas of his supporters to "lighten up" a bit, he simply can't because of this inadequacy.

I saw the cover and was shocked. I didn't realize they charged four fifty for that fish wrapper!

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