Showing posts with label Prickly City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prickly City. Show all posts

Friday, February 20, 2009

Weingarten on Prickly City, Doonesbury, Delonas' chimp

From the 2/10 Chatalogical Humor:

Washington, D.C.: Gene - what did you think of last Friday's Prickly City where they call Rush Limbaugh a jerk? It actually made me laugh.

Gene Weingarten: I would like this better if it were funny. I applaud the stance, but I think political cartoonists -- and political standup comics -- have an obligation to be funny.


"...I think political cartoonists -- and political standup comics -- have an obligation to be funny." : Unless their name is Trudeau, the Garfield of political "humor."

Gene Weingarten: I was thinking specifically of Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury. He is the perfect example of the political satirist who sees his mission as humor first.

and 2/17's Chatalogical Humor:

Alexandria, VA: Hi,

No, Prickly City wasn't funny, and did you leave the "ly" off your link intentionally, or Freudian slip of a sort?

Gene Weingarten: I always call it Prick City, because of its politics. Been doing that for years.

Richmond, Va.: I have a great Ralph Steadman story for you. At some point he was in town doing a book signing for his illustrated version of "Animal Farm" (it's so amazing). He was giving each signature a unique ink-blot and a fan came up and said "do something really crazy to mine!" So Steadman took out his lighter and set it on fire.

Gene Weingarten: Excellent. I have that Animal Farm book. It is brilliant.


UPDATED 2.20.09

Gene Weingarten: I want to begin with an important clarification. In yesterday's update I was asked if I found THIS photograph interesting in light of the sharply debated prior discussion involving posteriors. I responded with laughter. At some point during the day yesterday, the link mysteriously shifted to a different picture, namely THIS one, which was a highly controversial political cartoon from the New York Post. This cartoon was seen by many people as a racist commentary directed at President Obama. This one I would not have laughed at.

But let's talk about it!

It's by Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, a man whose work I have read and loathed for years. Delonas is strident, unfunny, rabidly right-wing and a virulent bigot, portraying gay people in a way so revolting you would think it's parody if you saw it in The Onion. It's not. Here is Sean Delonas, for example, on gay marriage. Here is Sean Delonas on Governor McGreevey. See that oddly raised leg? That is Delonas's signature move to show someone is gay: Gays are prancing lilyhoppers!

So what do we make of the furor over the chimp cartoon? Is it racist? Does Delonas get the benefit of the doubt?

Sure. I'll give it to him. This cartoon is interpretable without racial overtones: The stimulus bill is stupid, he thinks: It might as well have been written by a rabid chimp. The cartoon coincided with the story of the crazed chimp in Connecticut who ripped off a woman's face, and was shot to death by police. Obama wasn't really the author of the stimulus bill, though his was the most public face behind it. Mostly, I think comparing a black person to an ape is so archaic, so Depression-era, and so primitive that even a Neanderthal like Delonas wouldn't do it.

No, what Delonas would and did do is create a totally pathetic cartoon using the unspeakable tragedy of the chimp attack, which left a woman horrifyingly maimed, to make some lame political point about the stimulus package. It's inappropriate, unclever, and makes senseless use of a shockingly violent image. Pure Delonas, pure crap, but not racist.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weingarten on Doonesbury and judging people by their comic strips

Two weeks of the Chatalogical Humor chat by Gene Weingarten leads to a couple of interesting observations on comics.

From Tuesday, October 14, 2008:

Gimmeabre, AK: I agree that Sarah Palin is singularly unqualified to be Vice President, let alone President. And I also grit my teeth whenever some yahoo starts spouting off about the sanctity of "family values." But I think Gary Trudeau went waaaay over the line in Sunday's "Doonesbury." Now, I know you are a regular worshiper at the Church of St. Gary, but since when is "stay-at-work mom" (which I think most people call, "working mother") pejorative? And who told Trudeau that Palin's last pregnancy was unplanned? And was the shot at Palin's pregnant daughter really warranted? Come on, Gene; man up, and admit that your hero blew it this time. Doonesbury, (Oct. 12)

Gene Weingarten: I had no problem with the shot at Bristol; Palin made Bristol a subject of public discussion, and the "family values' Republican mantra makes it germane. I wondered about the other things, too, though. And after I saw your posting, I emailed Garry about it. Here is his answer:

I believe that Palin has said herself that Trig was a surprise. Certainly her choosing to hide her pregnancy for many months suggests she didn't find it convenient. But planned or not, I regret including that detail for another reason; since Palin is married, it has no bearing on "family values". It's value-neutral, and I should have left it out.

"Stay-at-work Mom" is just a play on the "Stay-at-home Mom", once viewed as morally superior in family values universe. The general point, of course, is that conservatives have used family values as a bludgeon against liberals for many years, and that the general messiness of Palin's family life has complicated that line of attack. What Mark is saying is that despite our best intentions, life DOES happen, and as he makes clear in the last panel, he doesn't exempt himself. To him, the death of sanctimony is something to be celebrated.

and from October 28:

Washington, D.C.: My friends and I have been discussing: Is there any one book, movie, or TV show, that having as a favorite is an automatic deal breaker? What interests would prove to you that someone is totally unfunny, has a different worldview, and that this relationship would never work?

Some say "Da Vinci Code" as a favorite book is a deal breaker. The best example I've come up with is ruling out someone whose favorite television show is "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Gene Weingarten: Dan Quayle's favorite movie was, famously, "Ferris Beuller's Day Off."

I judge people by their taste in comic strips, where there are obvious and cliched deal breakers. But there are also subtle red flags. I'm worrying about someone who claims to like "Prickly City" or "Mallard Fillmore."

DowntheDrai, IN: Gene --

What was your reaction to Sunday's "Doonesbury?" I have trouble with this whole "attack Joe the Plumber" thing. For all you, I or Trudeau knows, Joe's a great plumber -- or maybe a terrible one -- but why should we care? The cartoon comes across as just a vicious personal attack on the guy for having the temerity to disagree with Obama.

So I figured there must be a deeper point being made -- some metaphor about the candidates -- but if Trudeau is trying to suggest that one of them will prove to be an inept bumbler who doesn't know what he's doing -- well, Obama's the one without the track record of accomplishment, but somehow I don't think that's where Trudeau was going.

Was this funny and I just missed it? Doonesbury, (Oct. 26)

Gene Weingarten: Yes, it was funny and you just missed it. First off, you need to understand that because of Sunday comic deadlines, Trudeau must have punched this out in minutes, the day after the last debate, when it became manifest that Joe the Plumber was not a licensed plumber.

Is this fair satire? Yep. Why? Because Trudeau knows exactly as much about Joe the Plumber as McCain apparently did before he hauled him out to be the CENTERPIECE of his failing, desperate campaign. McCain had already created this ridiculous stalking horse, and Trudeau is doing exactly what his job is: Exposing the hypocrisy behind it.

It doesn't matter whether Joe is a competent, unlicensed plumber. He's a caricature, and McCain made him one.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Today's comics weren't all comic

Richard Thompson has a hilarious sendup of Free Comic Book Day that about 37 readers of the Post will get and appreciate. In their continuing effort to combat e-piracy, the Post hasn't put it online yet, although you can see last week's panel.

Meanwhile a few other strips in the Post are worth noting today (that's the May 5th strips).

Bud Grace goes for a dose of reality in the Piranha Club.

Bill Griffith's History of the washing machine in Zippy was just lovely.

Pearls before Swine breaks the 4th wall in a graphically-amusing way.

Speaking of graphic, what's the deal with yesterday's Baldo? First his aunt walks in on him naked in the bathroom and seems to suggest a Red Hot Chili Peppers fashion, and then we get this strip. Am I reading too much into this or is there a "size of his dick" joke here? For Better or For Worse had a PMS joke today, and Brewster Rockit had a fart joke with spiderwebs coming out of a character's ass (a Spider-Man 3 tip of the hat).

Finally on Monday, two diametrically-opposed cartoonists ran similar strips on the Virginia Tech murders right next to each other: Prickly City vs Candorville.