Monday, February 25, 2013

Quote of the Day


"It’s a blaring example of how casually racism and misogyny, even about young children, can be accepted and even celebrated by some percentage of the public — especially when it is couched in the form of humor. So many kinds of hostility — racial, sexual, homo- and trans-phobic humor — gain an easy acceptability, precisely because it plays into the ironic hipster self-aware racism of 'being so cool that we know it’s racist that it’s ok to participate in it. We’re above it.'"

-- Salon contributor Falguni A. Sheth, a professor of philosophy and political theory at Hampshire College and a self-described writer about politics, race, and feminism, on The Onion's Quvenzhané Wallis tweet

I won't lie, I was eagerly awaiting the entertainment sure to be had when Salon decided to step up and dispense the liberal intelligentsia's view from Olympus on this whole Onion thing -- and God knows, Falguni A. Sheth didn't disappoint.

Right off the bat in her piece, she talks about how she turned off the Oscars immediately after MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" song, echoing what she amusingly believes is the off-put sentiment expressed by the actresses cut to in the audience during the skit (and completely unaware of the fact that Naomi Watts and Charlize Theron's disgusted looks were, in fact, part of the skit).

She then goes on to hit all the touchstones of any good humorless screed from the hyper-sanctimonious contingent of the left in the wake of something like this: accusing The Onion of both racism and misogyny; bringing up a thirty-year-old dissertation on race relations and language from a law professor; mentioning Eve Ensler and her "One Billion Rocking" event and an address from Ravi Shankar's daughter, who recently admitted to being sexually abused, that the author insists should be viewed by the people at The Onion; declaring that what The Onion and MacFarlane do amounts to actual psychic harm against women. You get the picture.

The piece is so flawless in its depiction of pompous, politically correct indignation that it reads like satire itself. I'm wondering whether it was actually written by the staff of The Onion.

Again for the cheap seats: Quvenzhané Wallis is an incredibly talented young girl who was used in an admittedly tasteless and ill-advised joke to make a point about how our culture, often through social media, attacks celebrities. Wallis wasn't the one the joke was aimed at. It was aimed at us.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You can excuse a lot if it's funny. But the tweet wasn't funny. Neither was McFarlane. His attempts at self-reflexive irony didn't make his thing any funnier, either.

jmnlman said...

I'm amazed at the negative reaction to the joke about George Clooney MacFarlane did. Because the joke was actually ripping Clooney for viewing arm candy as disposable. I would've figured the feminists would have been applauding but no apparently not.

JohnF said...

Nope. Sorry. Couldn't get through it.
I tried.

Chez said...

Love the first comment. Says the anonymous guy.

Matt said...

So this is the American version of Bernard-Henri Levy? Pass. I thought the tweet wasn't very bright, but I'm amazed at the amount of copy that's been generated.

Claude Weaver said...

Hey I'm just catching up on this whole mess. I honestly didn't give a crap about the Oscars, so forgive my lateness.

But am I the only one who finds the entire situation funny, considering that, par for the course for The Onion, a segment of the population that you think would understand that The Onion is satirical still missed the point? Only instead of the rubes who don't recognize the name, it the supposed intelligentsia who know satire isn't something you put on a wheel?

I'm just saying: when some Tea Party yahoo posts a link on Facebook pointing to an article about how Obama eats Christian abortions, we can all laugh at the people taking it seriously. But now, all of a sudden, this one tweet gets called out, and they have to apologize?

What the fuck, people?

If anything people should be outraged that it was such a lame joke for The Onion. If anything, the joke would work better if they never named a particular actress. That way, it acts like a barometer: if somebody doesn't asks "wait, which one is the cunt?", they fail the joke.

Let me wrap this up. I suspect that the reason most people got upset was because they DID get the joke. They understood that they were being mocked for mocking others on their big night, and they didn't like it. Maybe a few were honest in their outrage, but not enough for this level.

namron said...

What Claude said. If you can't take a joke, then fuck ya'. That's a universal, unalterable truth.