We Will Think For You, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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37 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    The new tactic of fighting criticism is to become offended and by dint of said offence, render said criticism moot. I am fascinated that "I don't think that deserves an answer" has become a legitimate answer to a serious question. And of course, if you can keep people's attention on a crisis or a scandal, it keeps attention off of you. THAT one's as old as the Proverbial Hills (which I believe are located in upstate New York).

  2. John Ostrander says:

    Allow me a tad more cynicism. The purpose of a cover is to sell the magazine. This cover did what exactly what I think it was designed to do — be controversial, draw attention, sell more mags. The New Yorker didn't always have this type of cover; it's a relatively new addition to its long years.I was one of the ones who thought it was offensive. And stupid. Yeah, I got it. It's "satire". Occasionally, satire misfires and it becomes, well, just tasteless. That's MY reaction to the cover. I'm not saying that will be everybody's reaction. And I'm not calling for the issue to be banned and I don't recall the Obama camp asking for that, either. They just said it was offensive and tasteless. Yes, they tried to make it sound like they were speaking for EVERYONE. It's not just politicians who do that. Political commentators do that as well. So do religious leaders. So do a lot of people who write opinions — it goes with the turf.The Right to Free Speech is a two edged sword. You get to say what you want but somebody else may exercise THEIR right of Free Speech and say, "That was offensive and tasteless and you suck." Blog Knows, the Internet is full of that.I wouldn't be surprised to see that cover again before the end of the campaign — stripped of the New Yorker name, of context, used illegally by actual hate groups. it makes their point for them with people who will never have heard of the New Yorker and it's better drawn than what the groups could come up with. I don't blame the Obama Camp for being a tad testy about it. McCain I think they can beat; it's Obama's friends and supposed allies they have to watch out for. In my opinion.

    • Mike Gold says:

      "Allow me a tad more cynicism. The purpose of a cover is to sell the magazine. This cover did what exactly what I think it was designed to do — be controversial, draw attention, sell more mags."Actually, John, you're, um, completely mistaken and rather cynical… but you're in great company. The newsstand editions of The New Yorker carry a flap that hides half of the cover. This flap billboards the leading stories contained therein. They've been doing this for years now; nothing special for this issue.Therefore, a casual observer chancing past a newsstand with a wandering eye that is prone to land upon an east coast liberal magazine will not see the cover that loudly proclaims Obama to be a Muslim terrorist. The only people who are in a position to get offended are those who are both paranoid and intelligent enough to know better.If somebody thinks Barack Obama is a Muslim terrorist by July 21, 2008, they don't need a glance at an obscured New Yorker cover for intellectual confirmation. And The New Yorker need not lower itself to the lowest common denominator, or even for the irony-challenged. BTW, The New Yorker has been engaging in this sort of thing ever since Pulitzer Prize winning Artie Spiegelman (Maus, RAW, Wacky Packages) got there back in 1993. Some of his covers — like the one with a black woman kissing a Jewish Orthodox man — greatly offended people as well. For the record, Artie told the San Francisco Chronicle — and I completely agree — ""They (the "critics") sound so elitist. The essence of what they're saying is, 'I get it, but I don't trust the people in Kansas to get it.' But isn't that what the whole hope and change thing is supposed to be about? That they will get it.""The standard of offense is, and will always be, defined by whose ox is being gored.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        I would feel a lot differently about the cover of the New Yorker if the title of the Cartoon, "The Politics of Fear," (or better yet, "The Politics of Lies and Fear") had been published on the cover and not on the inside of the magazine. Some people might claim that this would cheapen the joke, explain it away until it wasn't funny. Well, I'm not sure how funny the joke was to begin with. I think the point of the cover is to be "ironic," to MOCK the people who actually have this idea of the Obamas in their head. But…which people are those? This is a caricature OF a caricature (a bit convoluted) … and that's only vaguely implied. And, in the end, it's just NOT funny.There are many people who STILL believe Obama is Muslim. Even though MUCH of the controversy surrounding Obama this Spring sprang from his association with a Christian Pastor and Christian Church! There are people who criticize Obama for distancing himself from that Church: "How could he so easily turn his back on his faith?" When other people are STILL criticizing him for his association with his former church. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And then there are those who continue to insist that he's Muslim. Damned if you've NEVER! Just plain damned, I guess.For the record: Obama is Christian. He's STILL Christian. His father was a lapsed Muslim. I believe his mother was an Agnostic. Barack and his wife Michelle come from working class and middle class families. They are both proud patriots. They don't honor Osama bin Laden. They aren't elitist and they don't advocate violent revolution. Part of showing good taste is imagining how what you say or do might be interpreted or misconstrued by people outside your own insular group. This includes how it might be misconstrued by the "imagined ignorant masses."Did Don Imus consider the feelings of the female Basketball players he casually insulted by calling them, "Nappy Headed Hos"?From Media Matters, April 4, 2007: A detail of the dialog between Imus; Sports Announcer, Sid Rosenberg; Producer, Bernard McGuirk and Co-Host, Charles McCord.IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and –McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don't know.McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.IMUS: Yeah.McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough –McCORD: "Do The Right Thing."I'm sure you remember this incident. I do. Except I never actually heard it. I had just heard and read about it. (I haven't actually seen that issue of the New Yorker either!) Reading Imus' conversation now, "nappy headed hos" comes across sounding like Imus is trying to conversationally back away from McGuirk's, vapid, unfunny line, 'hard core hos." Then Imus starts to stumble, after all his producer painted him into a conversational corner! So he tries to contrast the look of the Rutgers and the Tennessee teams. That's innocuous, right? McGuirk hasn't a CLUE. He jumps in with the "Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes" reference, that Co-Host, McCord identifies as coming from "Do the Right Thing." It was actually from Spike Lee's, "School Daze."Now this bit of insular conversation (the good ol' boys washed over it and moved on, not even considering that they might have been offensive) set off a FIRESTORM of controversy. Al Sharpton was more than willing to turn his offense and outrage into another opportunity to bask in the kleig light of a media feeding frenzy.But where were Rosenberg, McGuirk and McCord during the fallout? Imus took the rap, and fell on his sword. Rosenberg (who comes across the most innocent in this conversation) was a technically a fill in sportscaster because he had supposedly been "banned for life" from the Imus show for making comments that make "nappy headed hos" and even "Jigaboos and Wannabes" look like Emily Post. There was a long history of off-color, insensitive, tasteless and unfunny "humor" on the Imus Show. Maybe that's why McGuirk couldn't be made the scape-goat and "banned for life," everybody realized that meant nothing. A lot of this could have been excused if it was even remotely clever or funny. This wasn't. It was just stupid, racist banter.That's the main problem with the New Yorker cover. It wasn't funny! It was just parroting some of the most egregious misrepresentations about Barack and Michelle Obama. What's the funny part? Where's the clever? It's not even clear, from the cover, that these ARE misrepresentations based on fear and lies. We're just expected to be hip enough to understand that the New Yorker has it's tongue in cheek, because the New Yorker couldn't seriously be this vapid, racist and inflammatory.Yes, the people who scream, "FOUL," can sometimes be more annoying than the original offenders. But don't tell me that the Politics of Lies and Fear doesn't work. Would it be fair for the New Yorker to put on it's cover a cartoon portraying Cindy McCain as a thief, drug addict, adulterer and beauty queen, rolling about in piles of family money? That's closer to the truth than this caricature of the Obamas! "Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" It didn't matter that this was a LIE, playing to our nations worst, racist fears. This was a LIE that worked! This was a LIE that helped put our President in the Oval Office!If the New Yorker is going to make jokes about people's prejudices they need to be more clear that they are joking and that these are prejudices and lies. It would help if their cartoon was funny.

        • Mike Gold says:

          "For the record: Obama is Christian. He's STILL Christian."Again, I ask: So what? We can elect a black man to the highest office in the land, okay, fine… but somebody who isn't Christian? Yeah, we've come a LONG way. We still act like a nation of mongrel bigots.

  3. John Ostrander says:

    The full cover is being shown all over the media and on the internet. It's publicity that you can't buy. it's a political cartoon which means it takes sides — for or against the subject being drawn. The subject of the cover APPEARS to be Obama and, by APPEARANCE, it would look anti-Obama. Artie's argument is disingenuous and ALSO a bit elitist. People in KANSAS won't get it? Some will, some won't. There are places in New York City where they won't get it.Images matter. Haven't we in the comics biz been saying that — images matter and are important? They tell a story? If so, then this image ALSO matters and I can't blame the Obama camp for being riled. Protective? Over reactive? Maybe they simply remember how Kerry got swift-boated in the last campaign. it's not ONLY a matter of an ox being gored.In this political climate and during this election, the New Yorker was being either politically naive or very cynical, in my opinion. I believe in Free Speech. The New Yorker gets the right to run what they want on their covers. And people who have a problem with it get a right to respond. And you get to disagree with them and I get to disagree with you.Free Speech sometimes results in a whole MESS of verbiage, don't it?

  4. Mike Gold says:

    "The full cover is being shown all over the media and on the internet. It's publicity that you can't buy." Yes, but you said the cover was a cynical attempt to sell magazines by commenting on Obama's image problem. If the media picked up on the story that was established by the Obama campaign — and picked up on by the McCain campaign — then that's very bad campaign strategy from the Obama camp. Obama's image problem is one that the campaign needs to address; The New Yorker isn't part of the campaign staff nor are they his campaign flaks. They did a fine job of discussing the problem, and too many of his supporters did a fine job of showing just how thin-skinned they are.Yes, Kerry got swift-boated and his campaign was completely inept at responding. Sadly, that's part of the campaign process. Always has been, unless you think John McCain really did father those black babies. The common liberal mistake is that every intelligent person will automatically see the Truth and the Light and that anybody who comments on them in any negative way is either stupid or a fascist. Mort Sahl was reviled because he held John Kennedy to the same standards to which he held Dwight Eisenhower. He was told he was undermining the forces of good. Being true to his beliefs cost him a lot of work. If The New Yorker is a force of cynicism and evil for printing a cover the liberals dislike, then once again the liberals are acting like self-righteous prigs. If they continue to come across as holier-than-thou and above comment (the "freedom of speech cuts both ways" bit is infantile; it's a convenient thing to say when you're pissed and out of responses), then maybe Obama's internationalist roots aren't his biggest problem.It's the liberals who perpetuated the New Yorker story. Obama blew it, the media picked it up, and the oh-so-hurt Forces Of Light ran with it for a week.

    • John Ostrander says:

      My remark that The "Freedom of Speech cuts both ways" DID have a point which either a) you've missed or b) you're ignoring. The New Yorker cover was MEANT to be provocative; to get a response. It got them and my POINT is that those who DISLIKE the cover are free to say so since they also have freedom of speech. Instead, you dismissed my comment as "infantile" and I guess everyone who thinks the New Yorker cover was not all that great are effete liberals trying to ban Free Speech.I think that the cover was MEANT to create a controversy. One that would extend BEYOND the newstand. Perhaps the purpose was to create a discussion. I think it was a cynical decision to boost visibility of the magazine via the controversy. Maybe it was both. I could be wrong; I have been before. And I don't mind people taking a jab at Obama. Jon Stewart does it; so does Colbert. Jib Jab has a hysterical video that takes after both Obama and McCain and skewers both. I don't see Obama as the Second Coming and he's not MY sacred ox. Just someone I prefer to the other candidate. I can see why his camp didn't like the cover. Maybe I missed it but I didn't see Obama's Camp calling for the BANNING of the issue. They over-stated in "speaking for everyone". But it's okay NOT to like the cover.I don't think we're going to agree on this one.

      • Martha Thomases says:

        I didn't think the cover was funny. That's my opinion, and, along with just under $5, it will get you a gallon of gas. But of course it was meant to cause a fuss and get people to talk about the New Yorker. Who remembers the cover from the previous week?

        • Mike Gold says:

          I'll find out the next time I go to the dentist.But your point is important: what's funny to one person need not be funny to another. We can divide the world up into those that like The Three Stooges and those that don't. The same thing is true with what's offensive: what's offensive to one person need not be offensive to another. We can divide the world up into those that think The Three Stooges are offensive and those that don't.I repeat my point: why did the Obama campaign make a big deal about this offensive thing and keep this story alive for so many news cycles? Were they overdosed on outrage, or were they deflecting the media's attention from something else?

          • Russ Rogers says:

            The world can be broken down into two groups of people: Those who think that there are two groups of people and those who do not. Which group do you belong to?

  5. Mark Behar says:

    It's sad to think that the Obama and McCain campaigns played to the lowest common denominator with their official responses to The New Yorker cover. Sadder still? Most people flat out just didn't "get" the cover! And you'll notice that I don't refer to them as "readers", because I'm sure that few, if any, among the outraged masses actually read the article. Don't believe me? Read a political blog like The Cafferty File on CNN and you'll find a litany of angry responses to The New Yorker's apparently racist, Islamophobic slight against Obama.

    • Mike Gold says:

      Islamophobia is a whole 'nother problem. What if Obama was Muslim and took his oath on the Koran? Big deal. Freedom of religion applies to those who aren't Christian… in theory.

      • Mark Behar says:

        Well, you've just made my point, Mike. It IS a big deal to Joe Q. Voter, who wants to watch the Dallas Cowboys with his president and drink a few Bud Lights. If Obama had taken his oath of office on a Qu'ran, he could effectively kiss his chance at the presidency goodbye, and frankly he could not have come this far if he had done that. The Obama campaign has no choice except to play to the lowest common denominator and hope that educated folks like ourselves can read between the lines. Look what happened when Obama spoke frankly (and correctly) about small town Pennsylvanians clinging to guns and religion. Look at Jesse Jackson's reaction when Obama speaks to African-American males about taking responsibility for their families and their actions. The more honest and intellectual he is, the bigger risk he takes that people will say he talks down to the public. As far as I'm concerned, Obama's campaign felt like they had to say something about the cover of the New Yorker because 50 million potential voters didn't get that it WAS a joke. Pandering comes with the territory. Is it positive? Nope. It's dreadful. But that's American politics for ya'! I'm surprised that you are surprised by any of this.

  6. Mike Gold says:

    "The New Yorker cover was MEANT to be provocative; to get a response. … I think that the cover was MEANT to create a controversy. One that would extend BEYOND the newstand." I wasn't ignoring it. I don't know what they MEANT, I know what they printed and what they said afterwards. I will not second-guess anybody's intent without some reason to have an informed opinion. I didn't say Obama's people wanted the issue banned. QUITE the opposite. They wanted to draw as much attention to it as possible, which is EXACTLY what they did. Them folks — and I believe you know some of them, too — are way too smart not to realize that their self-righteous response will keep the story going for a few more news cycles.The question you should be asking yourself is… why?And it's okay for us not to agree on everything. I think.

  7. Scavenger says:

    My problem is the rank hypocrisy of the defense of the picture. It's claimed "this is satire on how the right is portraying Obama". But it has no context for this. It isn't a picture inside a tv with the Fox logo. It's not in a thought balloon over Bill O'Rielly's head. It's just there.It's the difference between saying "Bob said 'x'" and saying "x" yourself.Is there even a story about Obama's image in the magazine? If it's supposed to be satiring the right's opinions, as art, it fails. If it's about getting some press and magazine sales, it succeeds.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      I agree, the satire on how the right is portraying Obama lacked any context to show that, other than the title, "The Politics of Fear," which was tucked away inside the magazine. Without context, the satire isn't directed at Obama's detractors, it's only focused on Michelle and Barack Obama. Not everybody will agree on what it funny or clever. I'm just waiting for the person to step forward and claim that they thought THIS New Yorker caricature was funny and/or clever, so I can disagree with them.

  8. Mark Behar says:

    I couldn't disagree more, Scavenger. Why should the artist put the FOX logo or Bill O'Reilly on there, any more than he should draw a chain-email sent to Jewish voters which states that Obama's a practicing Muslim? Be an active reader. If it's effective satire, which I think it is, the editors of The New Yorker need not take us by the hand.

    • Scavenger says:

      Like I said, it's the difference between saying "Bob says 'x'" and actually saying "x".The New Yorker claims that what they're doing is satirizing what Bob says. They've said, it's like what Stephen Colbert does. But Colbert does it in context of his character on his show. That context is missing.

      • Mike Gold says:

        And Alfred E. Neuman is really Batman? He is on the cover of Mad. And there's no headline flap obscuring it, either, so they REALLY must mean it.Make for a cool sequel, though. When Catwoman gets the Big Reveal and it's Alfred E., she, of course, pukes. That's the different between Mad and The New Yorker.

  9. John Tebbel says:

    The purpose of a New Yorker cover is to feed the ego and neuroses of the New Yorker editors and their bosses, who made it all on a chain of Staten Island newspapers.See you on the Jitney!

    • Mike Gold says:

      And all those people who buy it…? I guess the joke's on them.

      • John Tebbel says:

        As far as I'm concerned the joke's on them. (Can I have a "Baaa"?) This constant reader dropped the rag after they canned Shawn. He and Ross were too cool to put this week's topical gag on the cover (like someone else wrote, their covers were about mood). Now, it's different, and we've both moved on.They're entitled to their satirical opinion but, like everything else they do these days, they go for the vulgar, easy shot, not the subtle.I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.

  10. Michael Davis says:

    The New Yorker has done this for years. It's a freakin satire. Get over it people. I'm so sick of this political correct crap. If people think that Obama is a Muslim that's because they are ill informed or idiots. And if he was…SO WHAT?Either way I could care less. What I do care about are the issues that Obama AND McCain care about. This type of thing is just another way of diverting from the issues. You know what? I could give a shit if Obama NEVER wore a flag pin. All that is just stupid. If he was a Muslim and never wore a flag pin I would STILL vote for him because I like what he stands for.DUH.

    • John Ostrander says:

      I don't care that the cover is satire. I also wouldn't care if Obama WAS a Muslim, either, but there are people out there who DO. The Daily Show last night did a great series of clips showing how often one of the anchors on Fox kept using Obama's full name and emphasizing the middle name — Barack HUSSEIN Obama. The reason for doing that is obvious — they're trying to tell people, 'Yes, Obama IS a Muslim AND probably a terrorist" in the hopes that ENOUGH people will believe to change the vote in swing states. They're not selling the issues; they're selling a lie. The lies told about Kerry in the swift-boating episodes last election were LAUGHABLE but they kept the spotlight off George Bush's service record AND made Kerry less of a hero. And, yes, I personally know people who DID buy into it.NO election is ever "just about the issues". Go back to the very earliest Presidential elections and you'll find the same lying crap going on back then. John Adam v. Thomas Jefferson — great example.I also like what Obama stands for and I want to see him elected. So the cover bothers me. When you try to be edgy, sometimes you fall off the edge. I'm not saying The New Yorker needs to change their style of covers. I'm saying I think this one didn't work and it plays into lies of people who are trying to make sure Obama ISN'T elected. IMO.

      • Mike Gold says:

        … particularly when the Obama campaign does all your heavy lifting for you.So, why did the Obama folk seize the day in a fit of tightly orchestrated righteous indignation? Gee… I don't know, but since he was right in the middle of a number of issues that offend liberals — his vote in favor of the bill decriminalizing telecommunications companies, his increase of troop commitments to the middle east, his strong support of "faith-based" funding, to name but three, The New Yorker magazine certainly seems like a well-timed opportunity to deflect.

        • John Ostrander says:

          I thought the cover didn't work BEFORE I heard what the Obama Camp's reaction was. I don't NEED them to do my "heavy lifting", Mike. I had my own personal negative reaction to the cover before I heard a word from them. Did they use the cover to their own advantage? Gee, I don't know; I guess they're POLITICIANS. They better be if they expect to win an election. Doesn't make the cover any better (or any worse). Or are you suggesting that the Obama Camp "orchestrated" the appearance of the cover in the first place?

          • Michael Davis says:

            Can't we just get along?

          • Mike Gold says:

            I just don't shares your concern. You don't like it; fine. Satire does depend on whose of is getting gored. You've written your share – I'll bet your Jesus stories in Munden's Bar generated similar hostility in some precincts. Bad taste, heresy to some.

          • Russ Rogers says:

            Bad taste and heresy are easily forgiven crimes. Being unfunny isn't. I give you the Flying Nun vs. The Life of Brian.The New Yorker Cover is stupid because it misses the mark. It's supposed to be about "The Politics of Fear," but it only presents the Fear. Where are the Politics? It doesn't present any humorous context. I think it's supposed to satirize the people who are trying to sell this distorted view of Obama. But it doesn't give any indication as to who "THEY" are, again no context. All we see is the distorted caricature, which has already been shoved in our face day after day by the likes of Fox News. Being "Anit-Obama," in poor taste or even openly racist aren't SO bad in comparison to being totally incompetent satire and just plain unFunny. Obama is a grown up. He can take a joke. But where's the joke? The funny is missing. Uncle Bill O'Reilly is funnier than this. At least I can laugh at him, when I'm not cringing or shaking my head in dismay.

      • Russ Rogers says:

        The "Swift Boating" of Kerry in '04 isn't nearly half as heinous as the "Push Polling" done to John McCain in 2000! I'll place my bets that Karl Rove had his greasy, fat fingers in both those pies of lies. It's the politics of lies, fear, racism… lowest common denominator shit!I appreciate the fact that Barack Obama doesn't sport a lapel "flag-pin." That's dime store patriotism. That's the kind of jingoism that put "Freedom Fries" in the Capital's Cafeteria. Bogus, flag waving. Argh! Seriously, I have nothing against flag waving or lapel pins. Express your love for our country however you please. But DON'T go telling me you LOVE this country SO much that you want to PROTECT it by circumventing the Constitution with torture, rendition, illegal surveillance and a HOST of other crimes. [Ah, crap. The RANT MONSTER has been released. Run for you lives!] Where are MOST American Flags and American Flag Pins manufactured? That's right, China, by Jingo!I will be surprised and delighted when Barack Obama is elected President. Frankly, I cynically thought that I would never see a female, Black, Jewish or any other non-Christian candidate for President win even the nomination of either the Republican or Democratic Parties in my lifetime.Hell, the American public isn't ready to embrace that FDR was in a wheelchair yet! We may be pluralists, but we are hardly progressive about it.It's like Mike Gold said, "We are a nation of mongrel bigots." But I think we need to accept and even embrace that. We need to embrace that we are mongrels, mutts, an amalgam of outcasts. We are strong not because of the purity of our noble heart and cause. We are stronger because our nobility is tempered with rascals, scoundrels, radicals, pessimists, jingoists, perverts and freaks. Maybe it's our willingness to tolerate each other, despite our own discomfort, that makes us great."We're all very different people. We're not Watusi, we're not Spartans, we're Americans. With a capital "A," huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts." –Bill Murray in "Stripes"It's time we give up lofty Utopian notions of a Rainbow Coalition. What is that, the super-team of Rainbow Brite, Care Bears and My Little Ponies? We need to admit that we are just a pack of mutts. Ravenous, wild mutts, capable of the most despicable acts. Let's remember, the worst act of terrorism on American Soil (pre-9/11) was committed by Timothy McVeigh (an American). Christ, he bombed a DAY CARE! We are psychopaths and fascists and racists. We are violent and have incarcerated a larger percentage of our adult population than any other civilized country. We literally have a suicidal gun fetish. We are perverse and polluted.We are also capable of the most amazing bits of invention, loyalty, kindness, charity, philosophy and self-sacrifice ever seen in the history of mankind. We have a PACK mentality. We'll squabble and kill each other, no problem. But if ONE of us is trapped in a mine… If ONE of us is a prisoner of war, we don't forget. If our small town is in danger of being flooded, "neighbors" we don't know will drive THOUSANDS of miles to help sandbag, becase we are Americans. When one of cities is flooded and destroyed, we open our hearts and lives and pockets and try to help. Every Labor Day we gawk and weep and cheer and reach into our wallets for Jerry and his kids.We are bound together by the Constitution. Not a perfect document. Hell, the first thing we did was start to revise it and try to improve it. In general, I think we have. I like the Bill of Rights. The Constitution is where we have tried to house our ideals, the best of us. The stuff that makes Americans closest to Angelic (with a Capital "A") is floating about in the Constitution. That's why it would be a perversion to try to corrupt the Constitution with our petty bigotries and prejudices. That's why we need to condemn the weasels who try to pull "end-arounds" on the Constitution, for example, by trying to create Prisoner of War Camps intentionally outside the jurisdiction of US Courts. That's un-American Bull Shit. The Japanese Internment Camps, un-American Bull Shit. Slavery … (let's hear it)… un-American Bull Shit! Our History is filled with Bull Shit we have later come to recognize and condemn as un-American. It's ironic that one of the prime examples of un-American Bull Shit was the House Un-American Activities Committee, denounced by former President Harry S. Truman as the "most un-American thing in the country today."Americans have a healthy disrespect for authority and convention and at the same time we are bound by history, tradition and loyalty. We are confused and irrascible. Our system of governance is one of the most inefficient you could possible imagine and we wouldn't have it any other way. We gave the world "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "I Wanna Be Sedated." And I would be willing to host a radio talk show with either of those tunes as my theme. We gave the world Charles Mason and Martin Luther King. We killed one and we regularly interview the other to see if he has any new, creepy, bat-shit thoughts to share. We took John Lennon, praised him, spurned him, lauded and shunned him. And when we finally were able to formally adopt him … we shot and killed him and then canonized him. "Imagine all the people sharing all the wolrd…" That's true Americana! As much as "Gimme money, that's what I want!"We are corrupt and evil, and we are the embodiment of freedom, liberty, ingenuity and strength. We are bigots and murderers and sniveling, greedy charlatans. We are also poets and peacemakers and visionaries. We have rarely elected anybody by only making "noble appeals." I'm not saying that we should appeal to the lowest common denominator either. But, we need to remember and respect that part of ourselves. We need to remember and respect the rascals, drunkards, idiots, bigots and frauds among us, because at times these are the very BEST of us. We believe in a free market, that fundamentally "Greed is good" and appeals to self-reliance and self-interest aren't inherently evil, just pragmatic. Unless pragmatism is inherently evil. Let's ask Mr. A for an Objective Opinion. We are Americans with a Capital "A," mutts who have marked this hole in the ground as our own!I think the New Yorker Cover tried unsuccessfully to deflate some of the un-American BS and lies surrounding Barack Obama. It was unsuccessful because, although it highlighted the lies, it wasn't funny enough to skewer and deflate them. This just left us with a cover that looked like a big lie, the very stuff it was trying to mock.

      • Alan Coil says:

        What John Adams said WAS true. Jefferson DID sleep with his female slaves.

  11. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    To digress back to the original point of this article… I happen to find the cartoon striking, and hilarious. In my generation (call me gen x, gen pepsi, gen whatever) politics and humor tend to stick together like peanut butter and jelly. My father told me of a time when the presidency was revered, nor mocked. Now that may not be 100% true, but suffice to say that since Nixon, there's been an ever widening gap between the populace as a whole, and the world of politicians. I know in my heart that there may not exist any politician, left or right winged, who isn't "bought" the say they are sworn into even the smallest office. Barack brings with him "waves of change" but seriously… it's like Denzel or Halle winning an Oscar; Even when it happens, there's no need to still balling over it. The New Yorker started a debate (about what, at this point, I no longer know) which is more than can be said about most of the media being pushed out in today's market place. To that point alone, I say kudos to the artist, and the magazine. To all who think it's "offensive"… turn your cheek and look elsewhere. There's plenty more to see out there.