Comments

  1. peptron says

    Look PZ, this is really important for you to know. I really have nothing against , in fact, one of my friend is from . And besides, they are not as bad as . But really, when you think about it, are just a bunch of . Now, if you think I hate , that would be misrepresenting me, and make you nothing but . And THAT would be hating , of which I am a proud member of. Now please hold still as I inform the net about the injustices you brought upon me and members of by asking me to empathise with .

  2. peptron says

    Ok, so my post failed… I will need to do it again, and the joke will have failed… But just pretend you didn’t see it.

  3. peptron says

    The two preceding posts by peptron where surely made by an impostor trying to soil my name. It would be nice if they were deleted. Plus it would allow me to develop a persecution complex about being silenced by PZ, which would give me internet points, a valuable commodity in some online circles.

    Attempt 2: Look PZ, this is really important for you to know. I really have nothing against <GROUP A>, in fact, one of my friend is from <GROUP A>. And besides, they are not as bad as <GROUP B>. But really, when you think about it, <GROUP A> are just a bunch of <UNPOPULAR TRAITS>. Now, if you think I hate <GROUP A>, that would be misrepresenting me, and make you nothing but <UNPOPULAR TRAITS>. And THAT would be hating <GROUP C>, of which I am a proud member of. Now please hold still as I inform the net about the injustices you brought upon me and members of <GROUP C> by asking me to empathise with <GROUP A>.

  4. peptron says

    @playonwords: I admit that I had that in mind at the time of writing: Group A = Trekkies, Group B = Otakus, Group C = Cyclists, UNPOPULAR TRAITS = forehead fetishists with a penchant for discovery.
    Surely there is already an online generator for that. Maybe it could be added somewhere for easy access. That would be a great time saver for so many people.

    In fact, I think that the UNPOPULAR TRAITS part could in fact just be fed by the Shakespear insult generator.

    Actually, I always thought it was a good way to know if someone was making a good point: Does it sound like something out of an online generator? If yes, that is not a good sign.

  5. peptron says

    I also know that Shakespeare is written with an e, but my typing skills think otherwise.

  6. Rey Fox says

    You do know that the U.S. government is run by that black friend, right?

    Um. Go on…

  7. Rip Steakface says

    @12

    The black friend in the last panel looks vaguely like a simple representation of Obama.

  8. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Ok, so my post failed… I will need to do it again, and the joke will have failed

    I thought it worked pretty well the first time.

  9. Amphiox says

    The black friend in the last panel looks vaguely like a simple representation of Obama.

    That is a representation of Obama. “BarackStar” is Sinfest’s recurring avatar for Obama, though he hasn’t appeared a great deal since 2008-2009.

  10. says

    @JasonTD (#11)
    And you do realize that having a black president doesn’t make the U.S. not-racist right?

    Sorry for spoiling the punchline.

  11. JohnnieCanuck says

    Sure does make it easy to spot the racists, though. They can’t help themselves from speaking of long form birth certificates and Muslim and middle name Hussein when inside themselves they are shouting BLACK!

    Most heartening thing about it is that times have changed and they can’t come out and say in public what they are thinking any more.

    And for those that don’t follow Sinfest, that’s Uncle Sam there, usually depicted displaying one or more of those attributes. Misogynist didn’t make the list somehow. Poor Lady Liberty.

  12. JCfromNC says

    The misogyny and the imperialism is usually bundled together by Sam watching “exploitation pr0n” involving women from (mostly) 3rd world countries.

  13. JasonTD says

    @Jamie 19,

    I (now) get the punchline, thanks, don’t worry about the spoiler. But just like “BarackStar” (thanks, Amphiox) is an avatar for Obama, Uncle Sam is a very old personification of the U.S. government, not just the U.S. as a nation. (This particular image of Uncle Sam as a white-haired guy with a goatee and top hat traces back to WWI recruitment posters painted by J.M. Flagg, according to wiki.)

    A case can certainly be made that the War on Drugs is inherently racist (at least in effect, even if you give the benefit of the doubt in regards to its design), but I’m having a hard time seeing the U.S. government itself, as it is now, as racist aside from that.

    Imperialism – hopefully, that has been fading in recent decades and will continue to do so. [The exception of] Iraq was certainly a big mistake (though I didn’t always think so), but Obama has made sure that we’re out of it. How the situation in Iraq unfolds over the next few years is anybody’s guess, but our influence over it is greatly reduced, with Iran holding more sway, it seems.

    In any case, the literal empire of the U.S. is down to Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Each of these inhabited territories of the U.S. have representation in Congress (though unable to vote on legislation). We also have military bases worldwide in 30-something countries. That certainly gives us influence, but it also provides extra security for those countries from less-than friendly neighbors. Our economic ‘empire’ is another story, of course, with recent history and the current situation being exploitative in many cases. I’d like to see that change.

    I also take issue with the use of ‘genocidal’ in relation to the U.S. government. I simply can’t think of anything in recent history, Iraq and Afghanistan included, that would even come close to qualifying as genocide.

    My main point, in my original comment, was that it is Democrats that control one branch of government completely and half of the second. Allowing for Republican obstructionism, what have the Democrats even tried to do to fix what PZ and the comic author view as the problems of racism, imperialism, and “genocide” in the U.S. government?

  14. Amphiox says

    @22;

    Keep in mind, Jason, that the Uncle Sam character in Sinfest isn’t a representation of just the US government, but rather the culture of the US, now and in the past (the characters have back stories that can allude to the pasts of the entities they represent). Indeed, in Sinfest the whole US is represented not just by Uncle Sam alone, but by he and his in-comic wife, Lady Liberty (they are going through marital difficulties at the moment). Sam actually represents the aggressive, jingoistic side of American culture, while Liberty represents America’s liberal/progressive aspirations.

    Also, the fruit of self-knowledge is also a recurring gag in Sinfest, and its pattern in-comic is that it generally gives self-knowledge exclusively about one’s bad side/impulses. I don’t think a single character in the comic has eaten the fruit and ended up learning anything nice about themselves.

  15. Amphiox says

    So, to further interpret, the US has been racist, imperialistic, and genocidal in the past, and we can debate if it is still so in the present (racist definitely, imperialistic yes depending on how you define it, genocidal probably not), but the US has never admitted this side of itself and has chosen to ignore/forget its own history. Because it has never admitted wrong nor honestly repented those wrongs, it is still guilty of being “racist, imperialistic and genocidal” even of it is not engaging in such behavior all the time. The fruit of self-knowledge strips away the self-delusions to reveal the truth.

  16. Amphiox says

    Also, I suspect the strip is an allusion to recent events concerning the NSA scandal, the Congressional flap over the drone program, etc. These were things kept secret from the American people (or things the American people could have had access to but generally did not bother to find out about in the past) which are now being brought to light and widely discussed/disseminated in popular press. Hence America is in the midst of gaining self-knowledge, and America is not very happy about it at the moment.

  17. JasonTD says

    @Amphiox 23-25,

    Thanks for the clarifications about the comic, that helps a lot. I certainly agree with all of the ‘self-knowledge’ Uncle Sam gained, in regards to the past, when you put it the way you did, as well as that Americans are generally reluctant, even when not actually self-deluded, to admit the country’s past mistakes.

    So, to further interpret, the US has been racist, imperialistic, and genocidal in the past, and we can debate if it is still so in the present (racist definitely, imperialistic yes depending on how you define it, genocidal probably not)

    As for the present – I think that racism in the U.S. is definitely on the decline, but it is certainly not defeated yet, to the extent that it ever can be. I would say that the U.S. will cease being ‘racist’ when in every public forum, at every level, throughout the country, those that make clearly racist statements or take racist actions are called out by the overwhelming majority of those communities. Basically, when there is simply no haven for racists left in the U.S where they could significantly influence government or culture. That’s a tall order, in itself, given human nature, but it is worth striving for.

    Imperialism – I agree that it depends on how you define it, but that more broad definitions would fit U.S. policy.

    Genocidal – If anything, we should do more to prevent this from occurring elsewhere in the world. We won’t have the resources to be the world’s policeman going forward, even if we should be, but the level of sectarian and tribal violence around the world is only growing. I am not seeing a lot of hope in that respect from the UN or world diplomacy in general.