Not a dry eye in the house »« Distinctions, always distinctions

This thing is not like the other

Now look here. Politicians get caricatured. There’s a long and glorious tradition of caricaturing politicians. Right? Right.

Therefore, bloggers should get caricatured too. It’s the same thing, after all – being a politician and being a blogger.

Or is it?

No, actually. It’s not. Being a blogger isn’t the same as being a politician.

Frankly it wouldn’t occur to me to caricature a blogger. It wouldn’t occur to me to caricature anyone (even a pol, actually) because it sails way too close to plain old meanness. It would feel awful, for that reason – it would be like pinching a smiling baby or kicking a friendly dog. It makes me flinch just to imagine doing it.

That’s not to say I have any delusion that I’m a super-nice person. I can get very pissy when exasperated. But sit down in cold blood to caricature an ordinary private person? That pissy I’m not.

I think saying “wull politicians” is complete bullshit.

One of the nameless people commenting on Michael Nugent’s blog – nym “Cian” – is a bullshitter of that stripe.

Regarding this issue of “”harassment”” through cartoons of public bloggers like PZ Myers and Benson, by the same token do you think cartoons of politicians ( who are “real people” too, whether you like them or not ) mocking and satirizing their work should not be done?

Please. I’m not Obama, I’m not Romney, I’m not even a North Dakota rep who voted to pass a fetal personhood bill.

And caricatures don’t mock and satirize the work, they mock and satirize the person, including the person’s face.

My face in the Peezus and O “cartoons” is not my face; the photo was doctored.

The photo:

QEDprofile

The doctored version.

Comments

  1. hjhornbeck says

    Ooo, I find myself in a rare moment of disagreement with Benson.

    Satire, when done correctly, can be pretty awesome. Wikipedia has an excellent entry on it:

    Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

    There is no minimal entry there; so long as you have power and are hypocritical, you can be a target of satire. Bloggers certainly fall within that range. So by wielding your power over the Atheism+ movement, Benson, you… are….

    … and that’s where things go off the rails. In order to be a proper target of satire, you have to have some power over the creator. What power do you have over the average Slyme Pit member, Benson? Obviously very little, as they have no problems continuing to trash talk you on several blogs. And while you’re hypocritical about some things (as we all are), you have never marked yourself as a gatekeeper for A+. Straw people can’t be hypocrites.

    These comics do not satirize you, they ridicule someone that has never existed outside of a person’s head. They satirize a delusion. THAT is why they fail as satire, as the criticism can only succeed if the person holding the delusion changes their mind.

    Hmm. I suppose that technically makes these comics self-mockery….

  2. hoary puccoon says

    Aside from everything else, since the ‘pitters are making such a point of wanting dialogue and resolution, how are they seeing this as forwarding their alleged goals?

  3. Lofty says

    Aside from everything else, since the ‘pitters are making such a point of wanting dialogue and resolution, how are they seeing this as forwarding their alleged goals?

    Slimespitters don’t actually logic in that way. It’s all “dudebros rulez”.

  4. zibble says

    In defense of caricature, all art is caricature. Not even photographs can capture a subject with 100% accuracy, so exaggerations have to be made to make up for the information lost in translating a 3D, living, moving entity onto a still, 2D medium. The issue isn’t the caricature itself (which is necessary in attempting to draw a person), it’s what the artist the sees in the person they’re drawing and on what they’re choosing to comment. For example, if you were a particularly repulsive hack, you might only comment on the subject’s ethnicity.

    Personally, I think it’s absurd to even call this tasteless, unintelligible MS Paint crap caricature. Its message is indecipherable to everyone but the creator, either because there is no message or the “artist” lacks the talent to express it coherently (both). I don’t know what he was attempting to convey by making you look like Harry Potter, his own stupidity was all he managed.

  5. great1american1satan says

    My specialty as an artist is likeness, and likeness is best teased out by picking out the recognizable or distinct in a person and nudging it to the fore – which, yes, is caricature, and not bad in itself. But yeah, that’s just a semantic thing. The point stands.

    Zibble – that Protocols of the Elders of Mallard Fillmore shit just shivered my motherfuckin’ timbers to the core. Creepy. That subject reminds me of when Barrack Obama first came to prominence and no one could figure out how to caricature him because the blackness was too confusing to them. Hint – unlike gollywogs, real black people sometimes have lips that are darker than their skin tone. Use your eyes, people.

  6. Ulysses says

    Lofty @5

    Chris Clarke has a post at Pharyngula with a link to something else he wrote. Here’s a quote:

    Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has developed a brilliantly concise definition of an asshole: “A person who demands that all social interaction happen on their terms.”

    That sounds like the slymepit.

  7. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    hoary puccoon wrote:

    Aside from everything else, since the ‘pitters are making such a point of wanting dialogue and resolution, how are they seeing this as forwarding their alleged goals?

    I’ve found there’s a pretty good litmus test for a claim forwarded by a ‘pitter.

    Basically, if it’s anything other than a straightforward admission that all atheist bloggers need to stop discussing social justice issues and anything else that doesn’t make non-religious people feel better about themselves for not being religious – and/or a demand that they be able to say what they want, where they want, and to whomever they wish to say it (i.e. that they be unbannable/unblockable at blogs and on Twitter) then it’s a bullshit smokescreen created in an attempt to legitimise their bullying and harassment by presenting themselves as brave heroes fighting for God freeze peach.

  8. says

    The pitters are increasing the bullying of me on Michael’s blog – you know – “haw haw haw, she says she refuses to participate but look, she’s posting about it on her blog, haw haw haw, why doesn’t she come along and talk here, we don’t bite, haw haw haw”

    Thanks a fuck of a lot, Michael.

  9. Aratina Cage says

    The pitters are increasing the bullying of me on Michael’s blog – you know – “haw haw haw, she says she refuses to participate but look, she’s posting about it on her blog, haw haw haw, why doesn’t she come along and talk here, we don’t bite, haw haw haw”

    Goddammit. I tried to get them to stop that. And no, that is not satire. It’s cruelty.

  10. hjhornbeck says

    Let’s see if I got this straight.

    Several members of the Slyme Pit are encouraging you to visit Nugent’s blog. Not that fancy new website with the rules and regulations that ensure fair dialogue, but an arena they dominate in and nearly control.

    But they want reasoned dialogue.

  11. doubtthat says

    I agree with the ends, but not the means.

    I remember satirization of bloggers being pretty important to policy as well as group sanity during the War years. The Doughy Pantload, the Flying Keyboard Commandos…the absurdity of that era demanded satirization and mocking. It’s not like politics has gotten any less weird, and there are plenty of bloggers out there that deserve to be ridiculed.

    I think the main difference, here, is that the satire sucks because it’s based on some perverse mythology, rather than anything real. It’s therefore not commentary, it’s just aimless gibberish.

    I don’t think anyone is immune to satire, but there’s nothing happening on this blog that’s really satire worthy, as is evidenced by how ham-fisted and incoherent the comic and other attempts have been.

    Consider Al Gore: Satire about his weird wooden personality and inadequate presidential campaign=good fodder. Making fun of him for arguing that global warming is real…well it is real, what’s the joke? Haha, he accurately identified the greatest dilemma mankind faces, what a dummy!

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