Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama hates illustration

Barry Blitt's New Yorker cover is the center of much debate.

6 comments:

Frank said...

talk about lack of foresight for both Blitt and the New Yorker.

Andrew DeGraff said...

I feel like the fact that people are taking it seriously just plays to the fact of its relevancy, and I think it will end up helping the debate. As much as I dont like the piece itself, I agree with the editorial board's decision to print it. It vocalizes the fear, and that was the point. What if it was Mitt Romney with 20 wives? Hillary Clinton with an all female staff? Is it offensive? Only in it's immeidiacy, because everyone know it's ridiculous, right? I heard one of the editors on NPR who said "Satire doesnt come with an instuction manual."
Race, and racial misconceptions, are the issue everyone's afraid to touch in this election. The New Yorker is just acknowledging it's existence.
I think the problem with the piece is it's presentation and Blitt's style. He does "ha ha" funny and this piece isn't. But Im glad to see the New Yorker take what they knew would be a very big risk.
Unfortunately, I think the piece will overshadow the story on Obama behind the cover, which is pretty fantastic.

ILANA KOHN said...

i was out of town for a few days, so i wasn't around when my new yorker arrived. i really wish i could've seen it before i read all the stories surrounding it. i really wonder what my first impression would have been had i simply walked to my mailbox and found it waiting there. having first seen it online surrounded by commentary, my first impression was indeed, WHOOOOOA....
i agree that the presentation could be a big part of why they seem to have slightly stumbled over that fine line....it just doesn't read the way it probably ought to.....yipes.
but on another note! frank, your illo looked great despite it all!

Frank said...

the problem with the cover is that it's not obviously satire. If you have to tell people it's satire, it's not well-done.

There are already enough people in the U.S. who don't understand Obama and doubt that he even loves his country, his religious affiliations, etc. My own grandmother is convinced that he's Muslim no matter how much I tell him. A lot of people think he's a bad guy, pure and simple. This cover does not read as satire.

that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Andrew DeGraff said...

I do think it is misrepresentative, but I figure if it pisses everybody off, maybe it's right on. Rethinking my original point, I think the cover should have only focused on the Muslim aspect, or the black power aspect and then the satire aspect would have been clearer. Why people are so terrified of Muslims because of their misrepresentation in the media should be much more of an issue, and might better relate to the "politics of fear". People would do a lot better to listen to Jesus or Muhammed about tolerance, and read a book about the other side of the coin.
Hell, just reading a book, period. I know this country is young and ignorant, but people who thought Obama would have a cakewalk into the White House are only now realizing how far people will go to destroy a black candidate.
Shouldn't people realize after the whole Jeremiah Wright scandal that Obama's a Christian?
Im ranting, but cripes, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Christian, atheist, who gives a damn. Too much worrying about what a man does on Sunday instead of what he does the rest of the week.

ILANA KOHN said...

i just stumbled across this fantastic ny times article discussing why the satire possibly fell flat in this case...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/weekinreview/20seigel.html