in this post, i am responding to the comments from the post below, so please read those first 😉
after re-reading pam’s comment (which is in the post below), i’m def interested in this idea of “double-take satire.” i’ve never read a NYer before and don’t know their coverography, but pam’s take seems convincing to me. and yes, i’ve been comparing the satire of the cover to Flarf, i think pam’s distinction is important:
it differs from flarf, the frisson of which largely depends on the indeterminancy of which object or objects are being satirized, as well as the indeterminancy of how & when these objects cease to be mere objects and become the voice or subject or aesthetic content of the poem itself.
pam also poses two important questions:
why this particular instance of satire at this time?
and why be satisfied with the level of satire it performs at this time?
to the first question: it seems like a HUGE part of this election is dependent on representation–and, more specifically–racial representation. artists, activists, politicians, editors, etc are forced to fight this discursive war. Blitt’s response is a lazy and unimaginative and only reflects his own limitations.
to the second: we shouldnt be satisfied, as barbara expresses.
pam also comments on “pop culture’s drive to neutralize, kitschify, and cutify certain images of 60s/70s racialized radicalism.” These images, then, are rendered “‘harmless’ by stripping them of their political meaning and disconnecting them from the concrete systemic inequalities that continue to exist today.”
i want to think if it might be possible that these images actually also work to racially radicalize pop culture? do a million Che T-shirts render his image ‘harmless’? or is the image, in and of itself, always neutral and its “harmfulness” or “harmlessness” is determined by the reader? couldn’t the fist-in-the-air on a hemp purse be read as ‘political’? can political meaning be “stripped” from the image?
Gary doesnt exactly agree on the ‘double-take’ satire of the NYer covers: Look at Blitt’s other work and tell us what you think.
Gary says all satire offends some people all of the time. this seems true.
Gary doesn’t menstruate because he was inseminated by a robot when he hit puberty (or something, i didn’t really get it).
Gary says “The mainstream/right media’s portrayals and implications have consistently been over the top.” By over the top, i think he means ‘racist.’ why are the two conflated?
Gary ate francois when he was a baby, which means one of them is still a virgin (i still dont get which one).
Gary says, “One thing the Jon Stewart video seems to suggest–and I agree with this–is that the mainstream/right wing media is using the cover as a target with which to deflect criticism from their own heinous practicies.”
this seems true enough, and is perhaps evidence that wow the cover failed to hold a mirror up because its targets (the right wing media being one of the targets) don’t see themselves in the cover. failed satire?
thanks for the link matt! someone should tell Kamiya that cynicism didnt kill irony, but dry cleaning killed irony.
kasey, yes i ‘get it’ that the targets are McCain et al…but how in the world are they represented parodically? even gary says “it seems maybe worthwhile to point out that the cover is a fairly accurate representation in visual imagery of what the mainstream/right wing media has been doing to the Obamas all along.” does accurate mean parodic? i dont get it.
unless of course you are trying to say: “If our satire have offended, Think but this, and all is mended”
gary links to this, which you must check out.
my breakdown of the four comics:
comic 1) offensive satire
comic 2 & 3) unoffensive satire (tho offensive to those who deserve to be offended 😉
comic 4) meta-satire (pomo satire?)
pam, i wouldnt delete your comment! great to hear your virtual voice!
pam makes another thoughtprovoking comment, which is too complex for me to respond to, so i hope others will:
I’m interested in the strand of this conversation that wonders more generally about the relation between satire and offensiveness. I guess I’d say all satire by definition bites, performs a certain conceptual violence on both the target of satire and the audience, and offensiveness is just one way of achieving that bite. Conversely, not all works that play with the notion of offense are automatically satire. I’d also say that satire by this definition implies an underlying ethical stance, however disguised or ironized this stance may be. But maybe I’m misunderstanding what other people mean when they say satire. Maybe this is getting at the root of why I can’t buy the mirror-metaphor definition of satire, unless it’s a convex mirror, that shoots daggers. And the very fact that it shoots daggers at something implies that some kind of ethical valuation (good, bad) is being made. Just holding up the mirror on its own doesn’t seem like enough to make something satire.