Satire Isn’t Satire If Someone Has To Explain It To You

Michael Weiss writes for PJM:

Listening to the chorus of fainthearted responses to this week’s New Yorker cover, one gets the impression that satire, like everything else in our sad culture, must now come with a warning label and child-safety latch. Barry Blitt’s slightly overwrought but still amusing illustration, which is even pedantically titled “The Politics of Fear,” features the Obamas fist-bumping in the Oval Office. Michelle is rendered as an AK-47-wielding Angela Davis, Barack is tricked out as a pious Muslim, an Osama Bin Laden portrait hangs on the wall and an American flag burns in the fireplace.

Irony should cut like a rapier, not drop like a Steinway, but still, it’s not hard to appreciate what this pictorial intends. Yet it has got a few supporters of the Illinois senator barking mad.

[…] A basic rule of satire is that if you have to explain your point, even a little bit, you’ve already failed.

[…] A less observed rule of satire concerns its inevitable consequences. No amount of explanation will ensure that the joke won’t still be misconstrued or misunderstood by those destined by cruel nature to do just that. What are the odds that the number of voters who think that the “real” Barack Obama belongs in a Gitmo detention cell has increased since this latest issue of the New Yorker hit newsstands? Anyone who could be converted to those feverish ranks by a mere caricature is going to cause electoral trouble anyway.

We saw with bloody effect, in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon mess, that some audiences are born thick and crude, and that the only sure way to prevent giving “offense” to them is not to do or say anything, anytime, anywhere. It was argued then by correct-thinking types who claim to be on the side of art and literature and free expression that those cartoonists were right-wing bigots who needlessly provoked their own attempted murders. Now a highbrow liberal weekly in the United States is being assailed by the bien-pensant because it failed to dumb down its characteristically mordant daubing.

So much for the idea that sophistication is moored to progressive politics.

Like bad jokes from a reality TV comedian contest, Obama still doesn’t get it. It was HIS choice to step into the public limelight, the mother of all public limelights, in fact, by entering the race for the American Presidency. This isn’t the 1920’s, where campaigns are run from smoky rooms and speeches made from cabooses in every little town between here and Topeka. This is the first decade of the 21st century, where every outfit, tie, hair, zit, accessory, shoelace and breath of the Annointed is recorded and photographed and you-tubed for three dimensional examination for proof that he is the second-coming. And some Democrats are beginning to see that he is NOT:

After a brief bout of Obamamania, some Capitol Hill Democrats have begun to complain privately that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is insular, uncooperative and inattentive to their hopes for a broad Democratic victory in November.

“They think they know what’s right and everyone else is wrong on everything,” groused one senior Senate Democratic aide. “They are kind of insufferable at this point.” (Politico)

Obama is the very worst kind of politician, not some new, improved variety, and it is wise to remember that every organization is a mirror of its leader.

If this man is elected (which he won’t be; his shortcomings are so severe) this would be the type of Administration we could expect: Swaggering braggadocio on an epic scale accompanied by an infantile self-confidence born of nothing.

A thick-as-asphalt-skin is requirement numero uno to run for President. Michelle Malkin thinks he’s overreacting. Then she lists just a small sampling of the cartoons that others in public office have had to endure lately. You didn’t hear THEM crying to media,complaining and whining that “it offends me”. Get a life!

To add insult to injury, he continues to flip-flop on every issue, like we are a nation full of lemmings incapable of an original thought. How can you explain a simple literary device that your average eighth grader excels in, to a politician who can’t pick a stance and stick with it more than a few days. The latest belly-flop involves his website, which now has been scrubbed of any Surge criticism. That was a pretty big job; must have really reduced his bandwidth requirements! Erick at Redstate compares Obamaworship with another questionable religion, Scientology.

When the situation in Iraq was going badly, Barack Obama wanted us to retreat. When the surge took hold and the situation in Iraq improved, Barack Obama wanted us to retreat. No turn in Iraq went unstoned in Obama’s commitment to retreat and surrender.

Not any more. Obama has thrown his old positions under the bus. And, for a guy whose campaign claims to get the net, he’s done an extremely dumb thing — he purged his website of his former positions. Apparently he’s never heard of a cache.

The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue Web page, which had described the surge as a “problem” that had barely reduced violence.

“The surge is not working,” Obama’s old plan stated, citing a lack of Iraqi political cooperation but crediting Sunni sheiks – not U.S. military muscle – for quelling violence in Anbar Province. . . .

Obama’s campaign posted a new Iraq plan Sunday night, which cites an “improved security situation” paid for with the blood of U.S. troops since the surge began in February 2007.

It praises G.I.s’ “hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics and enormous sacrifice.”

Gone are Obama’s days of criticizing the surge, which he claimed was sure to fail. It’s like L. Ron Hubbard writing Scientology. Every aspect of the religion is subject to revision until it is published for Tom Cruise to jump on a couch and attract creepy cultists and far left automatons. And even then the second edition can edit out inconvenient gibberish the Messiah originally wrote some staffer accidentally inserted without the foreknowledge or permission of the Messiah.

Is there no position this man will not take that he will later repudiate? Is there nothing this man will not say or do to get elected?

That’s what inexperience and ineptitude get you. Always having to tuck tail and run the other way as fast as you can. This is what we lawyers sometimes denote as a “continuing pattern and practice.”

Oops, missed a couple there, buddy.

The Oracle of Winder writes Obama a letter, asking why he has a “pre-determined agenda” for his fact-finding mission overseas multiple photo-op campaign with tyrants who hate America to Iraq and Afghanistan? Will he change his mind again, saying he misspoke or misphrased this or that when he gets back?

Third, How the HELL can you take an information gathering junket to Iraq and Afghanistan with a predetermined agenda? So you’re going to spend my tax dollars and waste time, fuel and Secret Service security to tell me that you want to end the war? Barack, no one and I repeat, NO ONE wants that war to last any longer than is necessary to achieve victory- a stable, democratic and peaceful country. If you want to make this a charade so you can say you have been there and you still want a unilateral withdrawal, save the effort and just make another speech!

The Anchoress explains being Presidential, for the satirically challenged:

The Office of the American President was not created for pageantry, and the man (or woman) voted into it is not there to be “loved.” He is there to protect and defend his nationals and and articulate the primacy of human liberty throughout the world, even if he never gets much credit for it. Kosovo loves Bill Clinton. Iraq loves George W. Bush.

Nations and people who have lived under jackboot and tyranny always love the American President. And nations ruled by tyrants have always loved his foes.

So Barack, if you can stop checking your pants the mirror, you’ll find an excellent example of “…protect…defend…articulate the primacy of human liberty throughout the world, even if he never gets much credit for it…”, in the Oval Office right now. Not only has he suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous SATIRE over the last eight years, he can spell it and use it in a sentence. So he just beat you at the spelling bee! Try not to be offended or change your answer. Again.

Cross-posted at RedState

3 Comments

  1. July 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    […] played by Obama and Company, who seem just a tad less sophisticated for their reaction, don’t […]

  2. Malloy said,

    July 15, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    The only reason that this Mr. & Mrs. Obama satire DOES have impact — and may very likely spread — is because like all good satire, or good humor for that matter, there’s more than a germ of truth in it. Otherwise, the satire would utterly roll off the Obamoids’ backs, having no impact.

  3. July 16, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    […] Comments get a life on Clayton County Sue-A-Rama…Malloy on Satire Isn’t Satire If S…Scanning the Sphere:… on Satire Isn’t Satire If S…scottymck on What a […]


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