A bad joke

July 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Posted in U.S. Politics | Leave a comment

Note to satirists: if the joke wasn’t funny the first time, chances are it won’t be funny the second time

In fact, you could argue that it’s not even a joke:

There is essentially nothing in this image that is not an exaggeration, or just a representation, of things that are true about John McCain: he is old, his wife once had a problem with prescription drugs, he is closely aligned with George Bush and he does support policies that violate the Constitution.  As a caricature, it works quite well.  As a parody of an image that is supposed to be mocking absurd claims about the Obamas, it completely fails, because the point of the New Yorker image is supposed to be that everything in it is ludicrous and false and obviously so and, more to the point, it is supposed to be exaggerating the absurd claims to their most extreme form.  (The problem with the original image, as I’ve said before, is that it did not exaggerate the claims, but simply repeated them.)

The more of these parodies people produce, the more literally audiences may take the New Yorker image.  For all of the people who dismiss the argument that there will be people who won’t “get” the satire of the original, there are an awful lot of supposedly clever sophisticates who seem not to understand how to reproduce what the image tried to do, which suggests that they didn’t really “get” it, either.

So…has this election reached its nadir yet, or can we expect a lot more stupid between now and November?

I don’t even know why I asked:


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