A Humorist’s Lament (Covering The New Yorker Cover Brouhaha In Verse) – Updated
By now, everyone’s surely seen Barry Blitt’s New Yorker cover, depicting Barack Obama as a flag-burning, bin Laden-loving, fist-bumping Muslim. Intended to satirize “The Politics of Fear,” the image is being widely criticized as reinforcing the very stereotypes it seeks to mock.
Cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has a very interesting take on the topic here and here, as does cartoonist Ruben Bolling here, and Don Davis here, here, here, and here. The New York Times queries some late night talk show hosts here and Mark Karlin of Buzzflash speaks out here.
Here’s my view in verse:
A Humorist’s Lament
Madeleine Begun Kane
A humorist like me sure knows
How tough it is to write, compose,
And sketch satiric toons and prose
And poems. It’s not without its woes.
For instance, Barry Blitt’s lampoon,
New Yorker’s well-intentioned toon,
Is meant to show as crass buffoon
The lie and bias-spreading goon.
The humor quand’ry, if you please:
This toon could fit with equal ease
In any right-wing, racist sleaze
And readily its readers please.
That’s why it draws this fit of pique
For spreading what it would critique,
Confirming to the knowledge-weak:
Barack Obama — Terr’ist Sheik!
Update: Some more funny people have chimed in on this topic: skippy; David Horsey; Jon Swift; and Talk About Comics.[tags]Barack Obama, New Yorker Cover, Barry Blitt, Tom Tomorrow, Ruben Bolling, Racial Stereotypes, Media Humor, Election Coverage Satire[/tags]