kasey left a great comment on the post below which i wanted to draw up:
If you agree that the satire is obvious, then wherein, for you, does the offensiveness lie? Simply in the depiction of certain images, in any context whatsoever? I’m not trying to be confrontational–I just really want to know your thought process on this.
I mean, I could understand, if not necessarily agree with, someone who objected to it on the grounds that the satire was not obvious–someone who thought either that the illustration was straightforwardly representational of the artist’s attitudes (and I know you don’t think this). or who thought that the critique failed because its satirical intent was not made clear enough. But again, if you agree that it’s obviously satire, what’s the objection?
barbara calls the NYer cover ‘failed satire’. i’ll be a bit more generous and call it ‘soft satire’ (to steal silliman’s adjective); that is, satire that merely presents what it aims to critique without actually critiquing it. ‘soft satire’ can still be offensive because it merely presents the offensive thus re-inscribing its offensiveness.
perhaps kasey would agree that Blitt’s cover, on its own, can be used for non-satirical purposes–as each of the images in the cover have been used for such purposes. the cover, on its own, is not satire. however, what makes it satire is 1) the comments/intention of the artist and 2) the branding (The New Yorker). hence it’s ‘soft’ because nothing in the art itself is satirical.
what do you think kasey?
gary also left a thought-provoking comment:
An interesting side note: The New Yorker cover has already generated about six times the Internet discussion that the “terrorist fist jab” comment on Fox News generated.
That’s a rough guess, based on two Google searches: (“New Yorker” + Obama + cover, which brings 606,000+ returns) and (“Fox News” “terrorist fist jab”, which brings about 125,000+ returns).
Page and Barrett aside, most of the response has been to condemn the cover and the artist.
In other words, people are generally made more upset, or at least are many times more vocal about, artists and media who hold up a mirror to the culture’s biases, war-mongering and fear-mongering (as the Barry Blitt and The New Yorker has done), than people and media who actually embody them (as is the case with E.D. Hill and Fox News).
Google searches aside, i think ‘people’ (who people?) are just as upset by soft satirists’ mere mirrors as they are by the culture’s biases and those who publicly embody those biases (biases is a soft way to put it).
really, enough holding up of mirrors–smash the mirrors on their faces.