WaPo: Joker Poster is Racist (And So Are You)

Oh, the joys of pseudo-intellectual journalism. In a world where deep, cultural insights are a dime a dozen, Philip Kennicott over at The Washington Post gives us his take on the recent appearance of anonymously posted Joker/Obama signs:

So why the anonymity? Perhaps because the poster is ultimately a racially charged image. By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and '70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.

Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life....

Obama, like the Joker and like the racial stereotype of the black man, carries within him an unknowable, volatile and dangerous marker of urban violence, which could erupt at any time. The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can't be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he's black.

Kennicott does make a strong point that the poster's message is muddled. The Joker could more accurately be described as an anarchist than anything else. So the connection between the Joker and socialism really isn't there. The best one could argue is maybe that Obama's ultimate goal is socialism, yet he's trying to "trick" us into thinking that's not his plan at all—or something like that.

But regardless of what the intended message of the poster is, the immediate jump to racism is just too far-fetched. The only reason Kennicott made the connection to race is because he was looking for it. The poster is about Obama and socialism and maybe the dangers of messy lipstick application. But not race. Seeing racism here, there, and everywhere doesn't make the accuser sound intellectual, just ignorant.

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  • ||

    You know what poster I want to see? the "hope" poster with the word "hope" replaced with "debt." Will someone with more search skill than I get a hold of that for me? Thanks. I owe you a hot dog.

  • ||

    than ME, dammit.

  • Warty||

    Obama is black. Ergo, criticism of him is racist. Q.E.D.

  • Gul Dukat||

    I might end up printing out and (in an easily removable manner!) taping that on the front door of local gm and chrysler dealerships.

  • ||

    Joker --> urban --> white facepaint --> black --> racism

    OK, I'd like for Kennicott to please show his work on this equation.

  • ||

    This reminds me of all of the thumb sucking editorials that were done claiming that the Lord of the Rings movies were racist because Orcs were really black people. Normal people saw the movie and thought "cool Orcs". Enlightened, educated progressives saw the movie and saw horrible dark skinned evil flesh eating creatures and thought "black people". They are the ones who immediately associate any negative connotation of any message with black people. But the rest of us who don't think that way are all racists.

  • ||

    Legate, I found this right away.

  • ChrisO||

    Overthink things much, Mr. Kennicott?

  • Abdul||

    Seeing racism here, there, and everywhere doesn't make the accuser sound intellectual, just ignorant.

    Oh, I see. Ignorant. Right. And what oppressed minority has been consistently denigrated and sterotyped as ignorant? I can hear your dog whistles. You might as well just come right out and say it: you hate Obama because he's half-Hawaiian.

  • PC||

    Methinks that without these effeminate and overly sensitive white liberals we would actually be in a post racial era.

  • ||

    Seeing racism here, there, and everywhere doesn't make the accuser sound intellectual, just ignorant.

    Or paranoid.

  • ||

    I call BS on the notion that if they used Nicholson's Joker makeup people wouldn't see racism. They would say he was made to look like a jockey lawn ornament since that movie is 20 years old and it's been surpassed by a more relevant replacement in pop culture. This is the strangest leap to racism I've seen in a while.

  • ||

    I don't know about anyone else, but my brain don't work that way. In my experience, most people assume the simplest explanation first (Occam's Razor) and that would be that the artist thinks Obama is a socialist joker. The contemporary Joke makeup was probably chosen for the simple reason that it would be more immediately recognizable.

  • Fluffy||

    It's necessary to overthink things when you're trying to bullshit people.

    The Joker isn't "urban". The Joker is supposed to be an evil psychopath. Full stop. I agree that he has anarchistic tendencies, but those aren't relevant to this poster. He wears face paint, but that's not relevant to this poster other than the fact that it makes the reference recognizable.

    The poster says, "Obama is an evil psychopath and a villain." That's it. A bit over the top, but not racist.

  • Tomcat1066||

    "By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss. He is black and he is identified with the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and '70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates. "

    Or perhaps it's because Ledger's Joker was truly terrifying while Nicholson's was just fun, and they're trying to make the connotation that Obama is terrifying.

    Or perhaps Ledger's Joker wanted to destroy the entire social order, just like Obama seems to want.

    Or...aw hell, I can do this shit all day and STILL not find racism an easy leap to make.

  • hmm||

    It happens all the time. I see it weekly. White, often liberal minded (but not limited to just the bunnyhuggers) make the immediate jump to racism in many situations. It's a default judgment in the minds of many people black and white.

    Something not touched on by the media is that the Philly nut job at first rooted for Obama in his blog in a racially charged post then against him later. I found it kind of funny that if the guy had mentioned anyone on the right it would have been page one above the fold material. Instead no one even covered it. (at least that I saw)
    *not that I think it is story worthy to begin with, the hypocrisy is what gets me.

  • Xeones||

    It is so nice of the Post to give that retarded Kennicott boy a job.

  • Fluffy||

    Also, we have every reason to assume that the person who put the poster up is an urbanite themselves. So it's very doubtful that the poster was trying to say, "Obama is urban and that's evil 'cause he's black!"

  • ||

    Anyone bold enough to challenge Obama and/or his policies is going to have to face accusations of racism.

    I'd like to see a spoof on the Obama-as-superman image, the one in which he is ripping open his shirt to reveal an "O." The image as is doesn't make much sense, because we already know he is Obama, so revealing the "O" under his shirt is not exposing his secret identity or anything dramatic. Anyway, my spoof idea, which someone has probably done already, is to have the hammer and sickle in place of the "O", or maybe Jimmy Carter's face, or something like that.

  • Enyap||

    Right because the Joker is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the term inner city.

  • ||

    Portraying Obama as a character that has always been portrayed by white men in movies that had almost entirely white casts is associating him with the dark fearful aspects of black culture. Ah Ok.

  • kilroy||

    I haven't seen the Ledger version but I do recall the scene in Nicholson's version where the Joker promises everyone "Free Money" if they come to the parade, then proceeds to gas everyone that shows up. Sounds like Obamacare to me.

  • ||

    I think on the reasons why the poster is so effective, despite its mixed message, and makes metrosexual liberals like Kennicot pea their pants, is that Obama for whatever reason has really dead looking eyes. I don't think his dead eyes are his fault or any indication of his personality. But, they are very dead looking. That makes the poster especially sinister looking. Do the same thing to a picture of someone without those eyes, GW Bush for example, and the poster would look funny not sinister.

  • Abdul||

    Come to think of it, even though Batman's crimefighint is all based in the inner-city, none of Batman's villians are black. Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Riddler, Scarecrow, Two Face, Mr. Zsasz--all white as rice.

    Maybe Batman's afriad of a racial profiling lawsuit?

  • ||

    Legate: Here you go, make your own!

    Seeing racism in this is almost as silly as something I read back in 1977: Star Wars is sexist because tiny, sperm-like ships piloted by men destroy a giant, egg-like Death Star.

    The poster is brilliant, and I don't think the message is muddled, just intriguingly elliptical. It's makes you stop and think about it, which a "clearer message" might not.

  • Geoff||

    HYPE!

  • ||

    these sandy vaginas see racists and corporate greed in all obama opposition. the poster is racist and the town hall protesters are bussed in by insurance companies.
    it doesn't matter what the message is as long as you can demonize the messenger.

  • LibertyTiger||

    I don't know what's more offensive; being called a racist because I critical of Obama, or being compared to a violent sociopath, The Joker, because I'm an anarchist.

  • Kevin||

    For all of you who just love a good dose of exposed hypocrisy.

  • LiberyTiger||

    One other thing, does Vanity Fair hate white people. http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

  • Federal Dog||

    Kevin beat me to it. People hailed the Bush-Heath Ledger-Joker tripe as high art.

    Tripe's on the other foot now. Deal with it.

  • ||

    Papaya SF,

    That website is great. Thanks.

  • ||

    I, for one, give Mr. Kennicott mad props for figuring out how to sneak a major placement of this poster into the WaPo. He correctly determined that the best way to spread this meme was to put it in a major media outlet, and that the only way to do so was to attack it.

    Millions of people will see the poster because of this article. Well played, sir. Well played. The creator of the poster couldn't have asked for more.

  • Jason||

    Having not really seen many of the new Batman movies, I understood it as Obama in whiteface, as in Obama acting white in promoting socialism.

  • T||

    Having not really seen many of the new Batman movies, I understood it as Obama in whiteface, as in Obama acting white in promoting socialism.

    Well, that makes as much sense as the racism interpretation.

  • ¢||

    Every picture of Obama that doesn't purposely exaggerate his blackness looks like Lou Reed, and Lou Reed is quintessentially urban, i.e., black.

    QED, yo.

  • Amber Waves||

    Amber Waves | August 6, 2009, 12:41pm | #

    "Not that I intend to start a threadjack here, but did anyone else read the Washington Post article where they're now trying to push the Obama = Joker poster as "racist"?"

    I'd pay one hundred dollars for a tee-shirt imprinted with this picture. One hundred dollars.

  • ||

    Papaya,

    Next dog and beer is on me. Phenomenal.

  • ||

    I'd like to see a poster of Obama as Dr. Evil with his pinky in his mouth and the text being "Fourteen triiiiilion dollars".

  • Amber Waves||

    And of course it's racist. He's in whiteface.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    For Leftists, all evil is mass evil -- "systemic," "institutional" evil -- against which only they stand. Just look at how over these past decades American racism has contracted in practice (largely because of the revolt against government-imposed segregation) but exploded in Leftist theory. The [feminists'] "rape culture" has also become a "racist society." It's gone from bigotry being the province of an Archie Bunker to this being a nation of Archie Bunkers -- and worse. Contemporary America is routinely described by such figures as Julianne Malveaux ("two hundred million white racists"), Joe Faegin ("every major aspect of life [here] is shaped ... by racist realities"), and Maulana Karenga ("increasing racism and continuing commitment to white supremacy") in terms honestly applicable to only apartheid or Nazism. But it's a progression not without its own logic: The greater the evil of the social masses, the greater the good of the socialist elite.

    FROM HERE

  • ||

    Don't you wish joe would come back to explain how willfully pig-headed we're all being by not acknowledging the obvious racism of that poster, then throw a hissy fit and leave again? The only thing better would be if it were Obama pictured as a joker-monkey hybrid.

  • PR||

    If you just want to see the world burn, socialism seems like a good way to go.

  • Pete Seeger @ 90||

    "Anyway, my spoof idea, which someone has probably done already, is to have the hammer and sickle in place of the "O", or maybe Jimmy Carter's face, or something like that."

    If I had a sickle,
    I'd sickle in the mor-or-ning,
    I'd sickle in the eve-ning,
    All over this land.

  • ||

    Can't we go back to simpler pre-racial times? Like when a portrait of George Bush formed using monkey heads, was projected on a giant billboard above the Holland tunnel in Manhattan?

  • ||

    Hmmm. If Heath Ledger's Joker make-up signaled to people that Heath Ledger was metaphorically black, while Jack Nicholson's signaled that Nicholson was metaphorically white, doesn't that make the latest Batman movie, and Ledger himself, racist?

    I mean, Ledger was the one who created the "urban" version of Batman. I hate to speak ill of the dead, but I think that we should call Ledger out on the racism of his Joker portrayal.

  • Saul Alinsky||

    "it doesn't matter what the message is as long as you can demonize the messenger."

    I'm lovin' it!

  • ||

    Does anyone remember back toward the beginning of GWB's presidency, there was an email going around that had several pairs of images. Each pair contained a photo of GWB and a photo of a chimpanzee with a look on his face similar to GWB's.

    Can you imagine the racial outrage that would ensue if the exact-same email were created and distributed regarding Obama?

    It's getting so that if Obama starts getting any bad press, all the Dems have to do is create something like that (anonymously) and then feign outrage at the racism. The press will eat it up with lots of sympathetic coverage, all the while implying that it was "those unenlightened, barbaric conservatives that created this."

  • Ska||

    If I photographed a steamy, chunky pile o' shit, would the WaPo publish it? Because it seems like they'll fucking print anything.

    I really hope they get thousands of letters from readers describing how far fetched this idea is.

  • J||

    "Urban makeup"? Is this what the gangs are wearing these days?

  • Elemenope||

    The poster isn't racist. It's just a non-sequitor and stupid.

    People hailed the Bush-Heath Ledger-Joker tripe as high art.

    Oh, yes, The ever nebulous "people". I don't know who "people" is, but that one was stupid too, and made about as much sense. Portraying any authority figure as the Joker (especially the Ledger incarnation) strikes me as supremely confused and likely idiotic.

  • ||

    I think the racism thing is quite a stretch. Should have just called the poster dumb and left it at that. Maybe "socialism" scares wingnuts because they are all old enough to remember the actual red scare. Thing is, it doesn't scare anyone else. Lots of people thought Obama was a socialist and voted for him anyway because the alternative was much worse.

  • ||

    "Oh, yes, The ever nebulous "people". I don't know who "people" is,"

    I can tell you. "People" are the ones who are now screaming loudest about this being racist.

    If you want to call it stupid, that is your right. And you may be right. But screaming that it is racist is just idiotic.

  • ||

    Aren't both Jokers urban? I mean, they are both in Gotham City, right? What the fuck makes Nicholson's Joken "urbane", as opposed to "urban"?

    What exactly is urbane or urban about white face paint?

  • ||

    No Tony. You are not afraid because you are too young to remember how bad it was in the 1970s. You also don't get it becaus you know little about the world beyond what you learned in high school and don't understand what socialist countries are actually like. Your ignorance would be cute if it wasn't so dangerous.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The only reason Kennicott made the connection to race is because he was looking for it"

    And also because accusing people of racist in an attempt to discredit them and relieve the accuser of any responsibility of adressing the argrument or point the person is trying to make has been part of the lefty playbook for many decades.

  • Elemenope||

    And also because accusing people of racist in an attempt to discredit them and relieve the accuser of any responsibility of adressing the argrument or point the person is trying to make...

    So, um, what is the point that the poster is trying to make?

    ... has been part of the lefty playbook for many decades.

    Has been part of the political playbook for decades. I think on the right the shut-down word is not "racist" but "commie" or "socialist". Hey, look at that! Apropos.

  • ||

    "Jack...you...are my number one...GUY."

    Both Jokers are "urban", of course--they both terrorize Gotham City and are most likely from there originally, though the Ledger Joker's origins are more...unclear. But that's all beside the point.

    Portraying any authority figure as the Joker (especially the Ledger incarnation) strikes me as supremely confused and likely idiotic.

    This is true, but I doubt the creator of the poster was going for any more than "The Joker is a bad dude, so by giving Obama the paint, that says he's bad too." Obviously, a nihilistic/anarchistic creature such as The Joker has nothing to do with authority.

    Personally, I prefer Lex Luthor, but I don't really see how one could paint Obama as a super-genius billionaire industrialist.

  • ||

    Pete Seeger
    Your limmerick or song is racist! Everyone knows when you say sickle you are referring to sickle cell.

  • ||

    By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character

    Dude!

    Consult a mental health professional, pronto.

  • Warty||

    I'm waiting for someone to dress Obama up as Magneto.

  • EJM||

    If only this joker had been used.

  • Amber Waves||

    Just printed 12 color copies. Will be leaving them here and there...here and there...

  • TallDave||

    It's in the MSM style guide: any criticism of Obama is racist.

  • ||

    Speaking in terms of art criticism, I think the Obama joker poster is effective. It may not be as cerebral as the Hope poster, but that's not a necessity for high art, any more than internal consistency is.

    1) It grabs you. If you see it on a street corner, you look at it, because it's arresting.

    2) It's simple. Obama, joker makeup, and the word "socialism."

    3) The juxtaposition is not really internally consistent, but that's what makes it a juxtaposition.

    4) The message is (imho): President Obama is scary and he might kill you. Socialism is scary and might kill you. President Obama represents socialism.

    5) Assuming that's the message the artist was going for, I think it's effective. On the other hand, if the artist meant it as a positive commentary on Obama, I agree that it's not well executed.

  • ||

    I ran the photo over at Urkobold yesterday, solely because I thought the reaction to the image was funny. As noted above, Bush got similar treatment from Vanity Fair last year, and no one freaked out.

    Is it great art or even great parody? Probably not. But neither is it racism. Presidents get criticized often, frequently in very over-the-top ways. That's the job. And Bush and Obama have earned far worse, in my opinion.

  • ||

    So, um, what is the point that the poster is trying to make?

    Obama is the face of socialism (Note that the caption is "Socialism", not "Socialist.")

    Obama is a typical lefty elitist who wants to tear down the institutions of American society (as the Joker says, "I just want to see the world burn").

    Obama's public image (thoughtful, post-partisan, blah blah puke) is a facade, symbolized by the full-face make-up.

    At heart, Obama is a thug who learned his trade in Chicago and has surrounded himself with Daleyite thugs.

    How's that?

    I like it. Its elliptical, as someone said above, eye-catching, and ambiguous, allowing people to project on it. We know what's lurking in Kennicott's subconscious after his little temper tantrum, don't we?

  • ||

    Sometimes folks try to interpret at a level of depth that simply doesn't exist. This is generally accompanied by an intellectual lack of interpretive skill.

  • ||

    Pro,

    I think it is better art than you think for the reasons JMann points out above. But more than anything it is couragous and subversive. We live in a country where the entire media elite and the entire artistic culture can't suck this guy's cock hard enough. To make such an over the top poster and post it in LA of all places is very subversive and couragous. For that reason, it is a great poster.

  • ||

    FWIW, I don't think Obama is some socio-fascist megalomaniac trying to destroy the world by destroying the U.S. I see him more as Gilligan. A fairly simple guy that is trying to make things better for all who just keeps fucking things up.

  • ||

    Well, art appreciation is subjective. I like the reaction it's getting, though. Obama would be fair game for this sort of thing, even if he were a good president. Since he's proving God-awful, well, we're entitled to mock him.

    And there was much gnashing of teeth and scratching of the scalp.

  • MNG||

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    I mean, wait a minute,

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Does the guy not know that the Joker is white? That in both versions the Joker acts up in a city, not just a city but an archetypical city? Holy shit this is the most laughable thing ever...

  • ||

    If he's Gilligan, who is the Skipper?

  • ||

    I thought the connection had to do with the fact that Heath Ledger ODed on prescription drugs and under Obama's socialized medicine plan, such tragic deaths would be reduced.

    You're trying to tell me this poster is ANTI Obama? Ledger got an Oscar nomination for this, it's not like they used DeVito's Penguin.

  • MNG||

    The Joker could be many things, but a symbol of urban violence that implies black people committing that violence?

    You couldn't come up with that shit if you were on acid.

  • ||

    If he's Gilligan, who is the Skipper?

    Biden, of course! But who is The Professor?

  • D.D. Driver||

    The poster is both provacative and subject to differing interpretations.

    There is a word for this phenomenon: art.

    Personally, I think the poster is a swipe at cheeseball sloganeer Shepard Fairey and Obama is just collateral damage.

    In any event, I love how the lefties decry the artists as a dangerous racists and then wonder why she remains anonymous.

  • MNG||

    "At heart, Obama is a thug"

    What kind of skinny pussy does one have to be to see Barack Obama as a thug?

    Do people know the meaning of that word? A thug is like wht Rocky started out as in the first movie.

  • ||

    MNG,

    You're not even trying. I bet you're wearing a shirt with that picture right now, laughing at our ignorance.

    I don't know why, but this reminds me of the old National Lampoon cover with the t-shirt that offends women.

    Episiarch,

    Gore?

  • ||

    He is not Gilligan. He is more like a non-recurring charecter in Fantasy Island. Every episode of Fantasy Island had the same theme; people get what they wish for only to regret getting it. Obama is moderately intelligent and overly earnest. He really thinks that if only he can shove his vision of the world down the country's throat everything will be wonderful. The difference is that unlike the charcters on Fantasy Island who always walked away wiser after their fantasy turns into a nightmare, Obama will no doubt blame every one else and never question whether perhaps his fantasy wasn't such a good idea.

  • MNG||

    Epi I think the Energy Sec. is some Nobel Prize winner in Physics ain't he? He can be the prof.

    I was wondering who Ginger is...

  • ||

    Caption Contest:

    "Hah! Just wait 'til you see what the damn unicorn is wearing."

  • ||

    ""Urban makeup"? Is this what the gangs are wearing these days?"

    You're onto something here, J. Remember the Baseball Furies in their fabulous make-up from the late '70's move The Warriors. Oh, and those Insane Clown Posse kids. Face painting -- very gritty and urban; not just for tykes at suburban street fairs anymore.

  • ||

    Sarah Palin, dude ☺

  • Xeones||

    It's so nice of Reason to continue to let that retarded Tony fella post here.

  • ||

    "What kind of skinny pussy does one have to be to see Barack Obama as a thug?

    Do people know the meaning of that word? A thug is like wht Rocky started out as in the first movie."

    Apparently you don't. Being a thug does not have to mean you are physically imposing. It is come to mean the a person who uses force and intimidation to get their way. Obama is very much a political thug.

  • Warty||

    Good point, B.P. If the artist really wanted to be offensive, he would have made Obama into a juggalo.

  • MNG||

    Pro
    Whatever, I think Kennicott's article to be incredibly stupid...The Joker represents Chaos, the chaos that lies barely under the surface of most individuals and society in general...You people have read the Killing Joke.

  • JB||

    So, um, what is the point that the poster is trying to make?

    Pair the image with this famous chart:
    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/

    Al Queda couldn't do this much damage in their wildest dreams. I don't know what others have gotten out of his first 6 months, but to me Obama sure comes across as a madman bent on destroying America.

  • ||

    The Warriors. West Side Story for straight people.

  • kinnath||

    Dear Mr. Kennicott: Sometimes a prick is just a prick.

  • MNG||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thug

    Thug, a person, often a criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire. Often a member of a gang, as an enforcer in organized crime

  • EJM||

    That in both versions the Joker acts up in a city, not just a city but an archetypical city?

    The thing that surprises me the most, now that I think about it, is that absolutely nobody here (even in the wake of the Gilligan's Island references) has brought up Cesar Romero's portrayal of the Joker.

  • ||

    "Portraying any authority figure as the Joker (especially the Ledger incarnation) strikes me as supremely confused and likely idiotic."

    Talk about supremely confused...

  • MNG||

    John
    Obama intimidates you? WTF?

  • ||

    MNG,

    I think the word "thug" has taken on a broader meaning that that. It has come to mean someone who uses intimidation to get their way. I mean when you have the full force of the government and state run media behind you, it is not exactly like your stature means much.

  • ||

    absolutely nobody here (even in the wake of the Gilligan's Island references) has brought up Cesar Romero's portrayal of the Joker.

    That was camp, dude. Doesn't have the same cache for insulting someone politically.

  • MNG||

    John
    Obama uses intimidation to get his way?

  • ||

    But who is The Professor?

    Larry Summers, of course.

  • ||

    "John
    Obama intimidates you? WTF?"

    No. But lots of thugs don't. The test is not whether they inditimdate a single person, but the methods that they use. In the political contest, Obama is a thug. He has intention of working with anyone who doesn't agree with him. He belittles and creates straw men out of anyone who has an opposing view point. He has told his supporters to "get in the face" of people who disagree with him. He has millions of creepy cult like followers.

    No Obama may not be out breaking kneecaps, but at least in the metaphorical sense of his political tactics, he is very much a Chicago thug.

  • MNG||

    Dudes, the campiest Joker of all time was the incarnation in the Scooby-Doo meets Batman and Robin movies.

  • proud libitard||

    I think some are missing the point. You guys do realize that all the dailykoz'ers think that calling someone a socialist is code word for racist thought. Idiots.

    So, if that poster is racist what about my picture I did back right before the election? Note: gratuitous plug for my blog! :)
    obama's vision

    I guess I'm racist too, huh?

  • ||

    Yeah, it's a stupid article. Making hay out of an artist focusing on the very recent and quite iconic Heath Ledger Joker rather than the much older Nicholson one--I don't even get it.

    About the thug bit, I think it's okay for libertarians to throw that term around some, even if it's a little over the top. Ignore the rule of law, and, yeah, I think you're a thug.

    EJM,

    I was, until you said that. Jack gave him a lot of credit for the character back in the day.

  • ||

    MNG,

    When your chief of staff brags about never letting a crises go to waste, you are a thug, at least in the politcal sense.

  • MNG||

    "he is very much a Chicago thug"

    That is one crazy metaphor!

    Help police, this thug is creating a straw man of me for my opposing view points!

  • ||

    Just thought I'd point out that the Joker was a nihilist not an anarchist.

    Huge difference.

  • MNG||

    Just because someone might think something is constitutional that you don't that doesn't make them a thug.

    I have to say the last thing I would call George W Bush is a "thug." Hell, even Nixon was not a thug (though some of his operatives would probably fit the bill).

    Jesus.

  • MNG||

    "When your chief of staff brags about never letting a crises go to waste, you are a thug, at least in the politcal sense."

    Help police, this thug is trying to get policy passed in the wake of national sentiment being stirred up!

  • ||

    I'd accuse Bush of thuggery.

  • hmm||

    Rahm is a thug. He has a history that reads like a mobster.

  • MNG||

    Definitions of thug on the Web:

    hood: an aggressive and violent young criminal
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    A criminal who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire; en.wiktionary.org/wiki/thug

  • MNG||

    "I'd accuse Bush of thuggery."

    Seriously, that makes about as much sense to me as accusing him of "unicorny-ness."

    In a political sense, of course!

  • MNG||

    The problem here is, if Bush and Obama are thugs, then what term do you use for someone like Mussolini? Extra-thug?

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thug

    Thug, a person, often a criminal, who treats others violently and roughly, especially for hire. Often a member of a gang, as an enforcer in organized crime"

    Shut the Fuck Up MNG. You grow ever more tiresome.

  • Timmy||

    Barry-O: Nice healt plan you got dere fella . . I'd be a real shame if sumpin happen to it wooden it . . .

    Thug

  • ||

    Uh, "thug" is based on Idian (East) origins. Indians can have dark skin. Therefore, the use of the term "thug" is racist.

    Hey, I'm getting the hang of this!

  • MNG||

    "You grow ever more tiresome."

    I imagine you think the same of facts and logic, why pick on the middle man?

  • Federal Dog||

    "A fairly simple guy that is trying to make things better for all who just keeps fucking things up."

    I have seen no evidence that his goal is anything more than mere self-aggrandizement. And far from trying to make things better for all, he is completely willing to damage other people to attain that goal.

  • ||

    "The problem here is, if Bush and Obama are thugs, then what term do you use for someone like Mussolini? Extra-thug?"

    Sociopathic killer.

  • ||

    Reworked posters 1 2

  • birdman ||

    "I sense great vulnerability. A man-child crying out for love. An innocent orphan in the post-modern world." "I see a parasite. A sexually depraved miscreant who is seeking only to gratify his basest and most immediate urges." "His struggle is man's struggle. He lifts my spirit." "He is a loathesome, offensive brute. Yet I can't look away." "He transcends time and space." "He sickens me." "I love it." "Me too."

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    "John
    Obama intimidates you? WTF?"

    When a man's henchman ask you to esnitch on your neighbors, you might be a thug.

  • wingnutx||

    By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character,

    ...the artist shows that he hasn't been living under a rock for the past 20 years.

    Staying current is racist.

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    Make that -- when your henchman ask people to esnitch on their neighbors, you might be a thug.

  • ||

    I don't think many people under the age of 30 have any idea there is a Joker that wasn't played by Ledger.

  • ||

    It's quite simple. Mussolini was a jack-booted thug. Obama is not jack-booted.

    It's hyperbole, man, just like the image!

  • MNG||

    Look, words have meanings folks. Obama is a nerdy, slight little politician. He's not threatening to break your kneecaps or something for goodness sakes.

  • ||

    What about Thugboat Annie?

    You guys are all misogynists.

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    "I imagine you think the same of facts and logic, why pick on the middle man?"

    Anyone posting dictionary cut and paste is an ass. That's a fairly universal viewpoint.

  • ||

    He's not threatening to break your kneecaps or something for goodness sakes.

    There are people on the payroll for that.

  • EJM||

    Barry-O...

    Any relation to Mr. Orwell?

  • ||

    I thought he was the chosen one MNG? Now he is a nerd? My how the mighty have fallen. Look, if his creepy ass followers can have posters of him looking suspiciously like Jesus Christ, I think his critics are allowed to be liberal with their language.

  • MNG||

    Yeah, Pro, hyperbole, I get it, but that kind of thing is silly.

    I mean, if Obama is a thug, then who that disagrees with you politically and wants to change policy in a way that you disagree with is not a thug? Now everyone who doesn't agree with you is a "thug." That can't be helpful for anything...

  • ||

    Look, if I had called Bush a Nazi, it wouldn't have literally meant that he was a member of the National Socialist German Worker's Party. It wouldn't even mean, necessarily, that he was engaging in Naziesque behavior. It might just mean that I thought he had some tyrannical tendencies. No reasonable person would think I meant that he was really a Nazi or akin to the Nazis.

  • MNG||

    Obama, like most political leaders with any success, has some creepy followers among his many followers. Why is that so bothersome to some of you?

  • MNG||

    I have to say I'm a pretty big critic of Bush and I would never think to call him Nazi. Honest.

    Not so smart? Simplistic? Wrong-headed? Yes.

    Nazi? WTF?

  • ||

    "I mean, if Obama is a thug, then who that disagrees with you politically and wants to change policy in a way that you disagree with is not a thug? Now everyone who doesn't agree with you is a "thug." That can't be helpful for anything..."


    Okay. Then do you agree that it is unhelpful for people to describe those who are against Obamacare as " people who appear to have been sitting in their attics since the anti-tax tea parties, listening for signs of alien aircraft. But on the bright side, they've finally got something to distract them from the president's birth certificate."

    If calling OBama a thug is so bad for civic discourse, isn't Ms. Collins' little rant and all of those like it in the media worse?

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    "I mean, if Obama is a thug, then who that disagrees with you politically and wants to change policy in a way that you disagree with is not a thug? Now everyone who doesn't agree with you is a "thug." That can't be helpful for anything..."

    Obtuse much?

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    "Obama, like most political leaders with any success"

    [citation needed]

  • MattXIV||

    Mr. Cent is not kidding about the Lou Reed resemblance- if you changed the hair back to black, took off most of the lipstick, and converted it to black and white, you'd pretty much nail the photo on the cover of Transformer. Maybe with "Vicious" as the caption? Plus the album's sexually ambigious themes would allow moronic WaPo writers to accuse the poster of being both homophobic and racist for ill defined reasons.

  • ||

    "I have to say I'm a pretty big critic of Bush and I would never think to call him Nazi. Honest."


    The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse. I had people accuse me of being a chickenhawk for supporting the war, despite the fact that I actually served in said war. I never heard one peep out anyone on the left or the Democratic Party saying that some of that stuff was out of line. No one said a damn word. And now that Obama is in power, you are Mr. Civil discourse. Get the fuck out of here. It is a bit late for that.

  • ||

    I'm defensive because pretty much everything I post at Urkobold is over-the-top nonsense. For instance, I don't actually think monkeys will conquer the world.

    Not until they join forces with the robots, anyway.

  • MNG||

    John
    To say that about "people who are against Obamacare" would, yes, be most unhelpful to the civic discourse. It's moronic.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    "If calling OBama a thug is so bad for civic discourse, isn't Ms. Collins' little rant and all of those like it in the media worse?"

    But they are wearing swastikas. Swastikas!

  • MNG||

    "The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse."

    What? Now I'm going to have to appear pedantic and ask for a cite of that...

  • Xeones||

    I don't think Obama is a thug, unless we get all anarchist up in here and claim that ALL agents of the government are de facto thugs (and i'm not saying they're not). I think he's trying to push a lot of really terrible policies, and he's too arrogant to see that he's in over his head or accept that his popular support is slipping, and he's not as bright as his proponents think he is. But i don't think he's a thug. Like MNG said, he's a nerdy, slight politician.

  • ||

    Yeah MNG, I guess you were just outraged by this

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/bush-as-joker.html

    And this

    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/bighollywood/2009/08/03/obama-as-joker-selective-outrage-from-la-weekly/

    or this

    http://fashionablygeek.com/t-shirts/george-bush-drinks-the-delicious-blood-of-democracy/

    Just shut up. Really. If you didn't raise hell about those things, then you can't say a word about this. Period.

  • Narcissist Hour||

    I'm unemployed but I'll offer my expert opinion free of charge:

    This particular image of a joker is current and iconic
    Socialism is a joke
    Mr. Obama is advocating socialist health care "reform."

  • Bigg Blakk Dikk||

    Obama may not be a thug but his ramping up the Afghan war sans any military service is a textbook definition of chickenhawk (which I won't cut and paste here).

  • MNG||

    Pro
    You know I enjoy Urkobold's sense of humor, and I'm not prone to political correctness (I regularly make jokes here about the retarded for Pete's sake). I just think thug is, even as an over-the-top name, such an innappropriate name for such a little nerdy guy who goes "uh" all the time between big words when he's talking.

  • ||

    I'm defensive because pretty much everything I post at Urkobold is over-the-top nonsense.

    But- and I know this because I foolishly followed your earlier link- you have a certain somebody monitoring you, ever-ready to scold you for your transgressions.

    Speciesist.

  • ||

    He has [no] intention of working with anyone who doesn't agree with him. He belittles and creates straw men out of anyone who has an opposing view point. He has told his supporters to "get in the face" of people who disagree with him. He has millions of creepy cult like followers.



    Woah talk about projection. Replace he with she and I'd swear we were on the Ayn Rand thread.

  • Xeones||

    I should add that politicians are WAY more harmful than run-of-the-mill thugs.

  • Civil Discourse||

    "you are Mr. Civil discourse. Get the fuck out of here"

    I resent that remark.

  • William||

    "Oh, the joys of pseudo-intellectual journalism."

    Who would know better than the pathetic propagandists who write for Reason?

  • ||

    Monkey-brained flesh eating robots are people, too.

  • MNG||

    John
    I don't of know any prominent Deomcratic officials who called Bush a Nazi. If you know of one then you should cite it, or perhaps you should shut up.

    Actors in Hollywood are hardly "the entire Democratic establishment."

  • ||

    "The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse."

    What? Now I'm going to have to appear pedantic and ask for a cite of that..."

    Cynthia McKinney said he was behind 0-11. Howard Dean said that it was a theory that hadn't been proven that Bush was possibly behind 9-11. Spike Lee said that Bush blew up the dykes in New Orleans to kill black people. Any number of leftist celbrities endorsed 9-11 conspiracy theories and were never called out for it or suffered any kind of reprobation from the Democratic Party. The list goes on and on.

    Come on MNG. Where the fuck were you for the last 8 years?

  • Xeones||

    Right on cue, Lefiti shows up. Hey, Lefiti! Did you ever get that rolling pin out of your ass?

  • ||

    P Brooks,

    I wasn't going to call him out. He's always followed our site, and only chastises us for our libertarian ways on rare occasion.

    MNG,

    Bushitler?

    Obama isn't a thug. But he is an authoritarian wannabe, just like his father (Bush) before him.

  • MNG||

    "I should add that politicians are WAY more harmful than run-of-the-mill thugs."

    I might be inclined to agree with that. But most are hardly thugs. A synonym for a thug is a "tough." That hardly fits any politician I can think of.

  • ||

    THIS IS RACIST!!! Portraying Obama as anything other than Christ, Buddha or Mohamed is racist. Wait...er..uh..actually portraying Obama in a turban is racist too. So therefore portraying Obama as anything other than Christ or Buddha is racist. Anyone who disagrees is racist too.

  • MNG||

    Cynthia McKinney and Spike Lee are the "entire Democratic establishment?"

    Who knew?

  • Ted Kennedy\'s Liver||

    " A synonym for a thug is a "tough." That hardly fits any politician I can think of."

    Bring it on!

  • I, Kahn O\'Clast||

    Legate,

    If you are still reading this, check your email. I sent you a "Debt" poster.

  • MNG||

    I guess Tom Tancredo and Ted Nugent are "the entire Republican establishment."

    C'mon John, you put your foot in your mouth, it was stupid, and now your toes are leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Just admit de-feet and lets move on to some of your other stupid partisan points.

  • kinnath||

    Obama is not a thug. He is self-righteous do-gooder which makes him far more dangerous than any street thug.

  • Xeones||

    That hardly fits any politician I can think of.

    That's my point, MNG. Few people involved in politics in this country are, themselves, tough enough to aspire to thughood.

    But then, your average thug rarely implements massively incompetent stimulus schemes, or invades a foreign country based on faulty intelligence. So.

  • ||

    Lets not forget the DNC's four year love affair with Michael Moore. The Dems never once stood up and said that any criticism was out of bounds. They encouraged it and rewarded people made the most outlandish statements.

    And now, someone does one poster and it is dangerous and racist. Well fuck that. Stop insulting our intelligence MNG.

  • ||

    I like definition number 2 for "thug", which was referred to upthread: "(sometimes initial capital letter) one of a former group of professional robbers and murderers in India who strangled their victims."

    You know, not to dampen the side thread, but the image doesn't say "thug." Was the Joker a thug, exactly, as portrayed in The Dark Knight?

  • Meta4||

    "THIS IS RACIST!!! Portraying Obama as anything other than Christ, Buddha or Mohamed is racist."

    To me, he looks just like Mohammad in this picture. I'd add more, but I am prparing for certain outrage in the Muslim world.

  • Xeones||

    kinnath just made my point more succinctly than i did.

  • Meta4||

    "Cynthia McKinney and Spike Lee are the "entire Democratic establishment?"

    Who knew?"

    You git joe living up your ass these days? Give it a rest.

  • MNG||

    Pro
    I would not call the Ledger Joker a thug. The Burton Joker was a thug before he became the Joker.

  • MNG||

    John's pedaling so fast away from his initial claims that he has been declared an entrant in next years tour de France.

  • kinnath||

    The worst thing that a thug could do to you is maybe stick a shiv in your liver. Obama has the capability of fucking up the whole world at this point.

  • smartass sob||

    You're trying to tell me this poster is ANTI Obama? Ledger got an Oscar nomination for this, it's not like they used DeVito's Penguin.

    DeVito's Penguin has been reserved for use if Huckabee should ever become president. ;-)

  • MNG||

    "kinnath just made my point more succinctly than i did."

    And I agree with both of you that a politician can effect much more damage than any thug. But thug for a politician is usually not just an over the top thing, it's a stupidly innappropriate appellation.

  • Some Old Italian Guy||

    I find the word "WaPo" to be as racist as it gets.

  • ||

    MNG,


    Name one Democrat who ever criticized them or contradicted what McKinney and Spike Lee said? There was so much over the top bullshit that came out in the last 8 years and the Dems never once tried to stop it and did everything they could to benefit from it. That gives them no standing to complain about virtually any criticism launched at BO.

  • MNG||

    OK, so now it's not "The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse" but rather "No Democrats ever criticized people who called him a Nazi."

    John, new spokesperson for Schwinn.

  • ||

    MNG,

    I agree. So, to determine the appropriateness of the Joker image being associated with Obama, we need to agree upon the word that does accurately describe Heath's Joker.

  • ||

    Pretty sad, MNG. The best you can do to defend your Dear Leader is play pedantic around the definition of a word. WEAK.

  • MNG||

    Pro
    I think he could be a nihlist as noted above.

  • ||

    I am not backing off of anything. The Dems endorsed and welcomed people who called Bush a Nazi and worse. Among Democratic circles, it was quite acceptable to call Bush a Nazi and was done all the time. I saw it.

    I love this rewrite of history. Democrats were totally reasonable in their oppostion to Bush. No one ever said or published anything offensive about him. No one ever lied. Nothing.

  • MNG||

    sage
    Where do you get the idea that Obama is my Dear Leader???? I hope in the rich fantasy world you live that keeps you happy all chicks have nice tits...

  • ||

    OK, so now it's not "The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse" but rather "No Democrats ever criticized people who called him a Nazi."

    They are functionally the same thing. If I hang around with and encourage people who routinely drop the N word but don't do it myself, am I any different than those who do? If anything I am worse. At least my friends are honest about who they are.

  • Narcissist Hour||

    William | August 6, 2009, 2:42pm | #

    "Oh, the joys of pseudo-intellectual journalism."

    Who would know better than the pathetic propagandists who write for Reason?


    "Pathetic"? I wouldn't say that. "Propagandists"? Of course. Reason's raison d'etre is propaganda. We're in the age of propaganda.

  • One of these things is not lik||

    The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse

    The Dems endorsed and welcomed people who called Bush a Nazi and worse.

  • Trey||

    "we need to agree upon the word that does accurately describe Heath's Joker."

    How about "stellar"?

  • MNG||

    I like Obama better than Bush sage, and that's about it, and that ain't saying much....

    I think you will find a lot of people that voted for him don't find him to be any chosen one, or messiah. We just thought he was the best of the choices. I voted against him in the primary and actively worked on another candidate's campaign.

  • Warty||

    So are we finally getting back to the levels of political hatred that we had back in the 1800s? I really, really hope so.

  • Warty||

    You're a Hilarite, MNG?

  • Xeones||

    But thug for a politician is usually not just an over the top thing, it's a stupidly innappropriate appellation.

    I sort of agree, but then we do live in a stupidly inappropriate day and age.

  • ||

    MNG,

    You really have turned into Joe. Howard Dean was never really a truther. He just said on national TV, that there is a theory out there that the Saudis tipped off Bush to 9-11 and he let it happen. Now he didn't know that was true but some people think it. Give me a fucking break. You and I and everyone else know exactly what Dean was saying and that he was trying to put it in people's minds that it was acceptable and possible that 9-11 was an inside job. If you allow people to say and do things in your name and then do nothing to criticize or distance yourself from them, you are endorsing and owning those ideas.

  • MNG||

    If Ledger is a nihlist then I can see the view that RC Dean kicked upthread, you know liberals want to tear down America's cherished institutions, Obama is a liberal, people who want to tear down cherished institutions are nihlists, yada, yada, yada...

    I mean, the Joker wasn't a socialist for goodness sake.

  • StinkPipe||

    "You're a Hilarite, MNG?"

    I wrote her in for President.

  • MNG||

    Bill Richardson Warty.

  • Warty||

    Xeones, you're on fire today.

  • MNG||

    John @ 3:04

    Ever more pedaling...You're reaching like Mr. Fantastic here John...

  • Xeones||

    Folks, we've gotten way off the main point, which was "Slow Phil" Kennicott's blatant public display of coulrophobia.

  • Warty||

    "Simple Phil", Xeones. Simple, you retard.

  • ||

    Nihilist seems reasonable. Here's the dictionary entry for "nihilism":

    1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.
    2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.
    3. total and absolute destructiveness, esp. toward the world at large and including oneself: the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler's last years.
    4. Philosophy.
    a. an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
    b. nothingness or nonexistence.
    5. (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
    6. annihilation of the self, or the individual consciousness, esp. as an aspect of mystical experience.

  • MNG||

    We've gone from "The entire Democratic establishment called him a Nazi and worse" to "Howard Dean said something that could have the sly implication that Bush knew about 9/11 before hand."

    John, you're a trooper, what can one say?

  • Xeones||

    Shut the fuck up, Warty. I like mine better, and so does your mom.

  • MNG||

    I think it fits perfectly Pro, that's the essence of Ledger's performance.

    Or, as my wife summed it up one day "he didn't give a shit about anyone's well being, including his own."

  • Xeones||

    "Ve are nihilists. Ve believe in NUSSING."

    "Ya, in NUSSING."

  • StinkPipe||

    He brought AIDS to the company picnic!

  • MNG||

    Big Lebowski reference, 10 points Xeones.

  • ||

    Actually, we don't know the Joker's politics or economics. Too bad Ledger isn't around to tell us. Maybe Nolan could?

    Oh, and nihilist it is.

    Quite a large number of the more vocal Democrats did throw around the Nazi and Bushitler stuff during the last administration. I think they mostly meant it as hyperbole, too. Mostly.

  • Warty||

    Xeones, you are a discredit to the Nordic race.

  • ||

    So, is Obama a nihilist? If he really plans to run America off the cliff as far as a Treasury default goes (yet to be determined or even determinable), then I might use that term.

  • ||

    We're all nihilists, now.

  • MNG||

    Pro
    I think a lot of liberals and supporters of the Democrats threw the "Bushitler" nonsense around, but I can't recall many if any prominent Democratic official, elected or otherwise doing it. There's a difference that's important there.

    The latter represent Democratic voters more (they are the ones that get elected over others or chosen), the former are nutty fringes of the base.

  • MNG||

    OK, gotta run. I ain't getting between Xeones and Warty.

    And I mean that in every possible sense of the terms.

  • Xeones||

    I think they mostly meant it as hyperbole, too. Mostly.

    You obviously never met my dad, then. I say the word "bush" to my old man, that vein comes out of his forehead and starts throbbing, and i'm all JEEZ I WAS COMPLIMENTING THE NEW SHRUBBERY.

  • ||

    @ Xeones

    "…and he's not as bright as his proponents think he is…"


    ...[A]nd he's not as bright as [HE] think[s] he is...

    FTFY

  • ||

    Well, I don't think many GOP leaders are using that sort of language, either.

    What's interesting is that I don't think anyone would object to virtually any politician being called a "whore."

  • Xeones||

    By Odin's beard, Warty, i swear i will hunt you down and carve the blood eagle into your back.

  • ||

    Cease this bush-league semantic demagoggling.

    Or I'll sic my armada of flying monkey-brained flesh eating robots on you.

    And don't even *think* of coming on my lawn, Boyo.

  • Xeones||

    Groovus, i was gonna insert that part as a parenthetical, but then i didn't.

  • ||

    "John @ 3:04

    Ever more pedaling...You're reaching like Mr. Fantastic here John..."

    That is not a response that is an assertion. Do you not think that it is true that when you embrace someone and do nothing to contradict those views you own those views. It goes back to the example of friends who drop the N word. If you don't say anything and in fact praise these people, then you have endorsed their views. It would be one thing if people like Lee had been excoriated for what they said. But that is not what happened and you know it.

  • Warty||

    Xeones, don't make me put you into the brazen bull.

  • ||

    (tosses Xenones 'The Macabre Twin-Axe'. +10 to dexterity, +50 to flatulence)

    Carve away. It has the finest of Nordic runes.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Legate Damar | August 6, 2009, 12:39pm | #
    than ME, dammit.


    "than I" was correct.

    You wouldn't say "more skills than me have" you would say "more skills than I have."

  • Xeones||

    You and whose army of jötnar, Warty?

  • Warty||

    The entire host of the Æsir will aid me in expelling you from Asgaard, Xeones. You are more foul than Fenrir.

  • Xeones||

    I'm composing the edda now, you smarmy son of a bitch:

    Nú er blóðugr örn
    breiðum hjörvi
    Xeones, bana Wartyar
    á baki ristinn.
    Fár var fremri,
    sá er fold rýðr,
    hilmis nefi,
    ok hugin gladdi...

  • ||

    Xenones, I might recommend for your Dad a referral to a shrubbist.

  • Jokerman||

    Oh, yes, The ever nebulous "people". I don't know who "people" is, but that one was stupid too, and made about as much sense. Portraying any authority figure as the Joker (especially the Ledger incarnation) strikes me as supremely confused and likely idiotic.

    Imposing the rules of rhetoric on visual art? How unsophisticated are you? It is like rereading George Will's column on the death of Andy Warhol where the man just didn't get the fact Warhol wasn't a fellow opinion page scribe.

  • ||

    Lets not forget the DNC's four year love affair with Michael Moore. The Dems never once stood up and said that any criticism was out of bounds. They encouraged it and rewarded people made the most outlandish statements.



    Now this is just fucking stupid. Most of the "Democratic establishment" is neoliberal, pro-corporate uselessness anyway. I can't think of a single important Democratic politician who has done anything but run far away from Michael Moore. Furthermore, have you even watched a single one of his movies? How exactly do his occasionally Oscar-winning documentaries compare to the paranoid stupidity we find on the fringes of the right? I get so tired of the lazy false equivalence which a lot of you guys are guilty of. I consider the fringe of the left to be, say, Code Pink, whose nefarious mission is to criticize a war everyone in the world considers a mistake. The fringe of the right? Half the Republican party at this point, who are willing to tolerate any intimation of fascism as long as it is generated by someone with an (R) after their name, but once Ds get in power, it's time for revolution.

  • Neu Mejican||

    lemenope | August 6, 2009, 1:38pm | #
    And also because accusing people of racist in an attempt to discredit them and relieve the accuser of any responsibility of adressing the argrument or point the person is trying to make...

    So, um, what is the point that the poster is trying to make?

    ... has been part of the lefty playbook for many decades.

    Has been part of the political playbook for decades. I think on the right the shut-down word is not "racist" but "commie" or "socialist". Hey, look at that! Apropos.



    My vote for thread winner.

  • Warty||

    Xeones, I shall not even raise a runestone to your memory after I behead you in single combat.

  • Xeones||

    How exactly do his occasionally Oscar-winning documentaries compare to the paranoid stupidity we find on the fringes of the right?

    They are really, really similar, actually. Tony, go look up what a libertarian is before you post here again, lest you continue to parade your ignorance.

  • ||

    You know, I'm starting to like the piece more than I initially did. There's something stark and--dare I say it?--nihilistic about it.

  • Xeones||

    Your threats are laughable, Warty, for it is your blood that will water the roots of mighty Yggdrasil, and your flesh that will make the ravens glad.

  • Federal Dog||

    "I can't think of a single important Democratic politician who has done anything but run far away from Michael Moore."

    Well, off the top of my head, John Kerry gave him a seat of honor at the 2004 Boston convention. He apparently believed that Moore counted as a substantial endorsement in Democrat circles.

  • Fluffy||

    How exactly do his occasionally Oscar-winning documentaries compare to the paranoid stupidity we find on the fringes of the right?

    Considering the fact that Michael Moore made his reputation by being what amounted to a stalker, I think we can certainly compare that to the "thuggish behavior" that the tea party guys are being accused of.

    Show up at a political event held by a Congressional representative to demonstrate = thug

    Stalk a private citizen for a couple of years at his home, place of work, and on social occasions = Award winning documentarian.

    Is that about right?

  • Neu Mejican||

    John | August 6, 2009, 2:07pm | #
    The Warriors. West Side Story for straight people.


    You're kidding right?
    It is the gayest movie made before that one batman movie with George Clooney.

  • ||

    "How exactly do his occasionally Oscar-winning documentaries compare to the paranoid stupidity we find on the fringes of the right?"

    Michael Moore insisted that Bush knew where Osama Bin Laden was but the president was simply keeping him on ice. That is clearly just like someone who shows up with a "No Socialized Medicine" townhall meeting. God you are stupid Tony. Even MNG didn't try to claim Moore was anything but an embarassment.

  • ||

    IIRC, Nicholson's Joker, before he released the Smilex gas, declared: "This town needs an enema!"

    Also keeping in mind that "juvenile deliquent" Jack Napier's aptitudes included "fine art and chemistry."

    It's a stretch, but certainly explains Obamacare to me the relevance behind the pop culture reference. Except that the poster in not fine art and as racist as a granola bar.

  • ||

    So I take it you've watched Moore's films, John?

  • ||

    "You're kidding right?
    It is the gayest movie made before that one batman movie with George Clooney."


    Really? It has been years since I have seen it. But I always figured any movie where people use ball bats and tire irons on each other, as opposed to West Side Story where they settle their differences by singing and dancing, couldn't be that gay. But perhaps The Warriors is just a side of gay culture I have never seen.

  • Warty||

    There is no place you can hide from my wrath, Xeoenes, for I shall pursue you even across the bifrǫst bridge if I must.

  • Xeones||

    Furthermore, o Wart-encrusted one, upon your death you will not even attain a seat in Valhalla; no, you will be taken by Hel to join the rest of the unworthy.

  • ||

    NM,

    Are you insane? What was Top Gun? Even the female lead turned gay.

  • Jokerman||

    But perhaps The Warriors is just a side of gay culture I have never seen.

    I direct your attention to the sublime offerings of Robert Mapplethorpe, BYOL, just looking at the whip one can make your ass cinch.

  • ||

    The warriors Micheal Beck, the lead protagonist of guys wearing no shirts and leather vests, turned up in "Xanadu" after "The Warriors"...

    screams serious latent homosexualitay at the very least.

  • ||

    Xeones' shadow loomed on the sides of the rain-slicked alley as Warty dodged between abandoned shopping carts and split-open garbage bags. Sweat trickled down between Warty's shoulder blades despite the cool night air. His breathing was ragged. He coughed and Xeones' shadow shifted.

    "W-W-W-Warty," Xeones voice echoed in the night-empty city streets, "I'm coming for youuuuuuu." The knife gleamed in his hand. He licked the blade, cutting a shallow groove into his tongue. He let the blood fill his mouth as he chased the fleeing figure.

    Warty ducked behind a dumpster to catch his breath. The frightened rabbit of his heart beat madly in his chest. The alley smelled of vomit and gardenias; he clapped a hand over his mouth to keep from retching. As he rocked back and forth, gagging and beginning to cry, a tremendous fart crept out--slow at first, then gathering speed and volume and wetness.

    What felt like thick rain sprayed down on Warty. Xeones had crept onto the dumpster under cover of fart and had spit the blood out so he could snarl. "The eagle," Xeones rasped, "I shall have your lungs out and fuck your heart to mush."

  • kilroy||

    I bet you could find some Chrysler bond holders that consider Obama a thug.

  • ||

    Robert Mapplethorpe???? Yikes, Pathology rotation made me less queasy.

  • ||

    Strangely, I managed to write in the flatulence without having seen Groovus Maximus' Fart-Axe.

    Must be something about Warty.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Really? It has been years since I have seen it. But I always figured any movie where people use ball bats and tire irons on each other, as opposed to West Side Story where they settle their differences by singing and dancing, couldn't be that gay. But perhaps The Warriors is just a side of gay culture I have never seen.

    You've never watched MMA/the UFC?
    Really?

  • Xeones||

    As dubiously honored as i am to be featured in one of your stories, Sweet'n'Low, i have a quibble: a knife won't do for bringing the eagle because it would take too long to saw through Warty's ribs with the small blade, and he'd die of shock well before i could pull out his lungs. A broadsword, expertly wielded, is the best tool for the job.

  • Warty||

    Xeones, we must unite our swords against this foul menace SugarFree.

  • ||

    Actually Xeones, a sternal saw, Falcetti rib spreader, Liston knife and #11 blade on a #4 Adson Brown should do the trick nicely ;-)

    I'll even custom engrave Nordic runes on 'em for ya.

  • ||

    Xeones, we must unite our swords against this foul menace SugarFree.

    Swear revenge all you want, but please don't talk about rubbing your "swords" together over me. If I swung that way Epi would have fucked me inside-out years ago.

  • Xeones||

    But Groovus, your tools... they lack honor. The ravens will not be glad of a feast so prepared. Are you a servant of Loki?

    As for Warty, he cannot call himself a warrior who would strike down a bard for speaking truth.

  • ||

    "Tony, go look up what a libertarian is before you post here again, lest you continue to parade your ignorance."

    I love his ignorance parade float. It has a barnyard theme Tony and two fat, pasty white rednecks engaged in testicular play.

  • DADIODADDY||

    I'm confused, when Vanity Fair had the picture of Bush as the ledgerish Joker where was the outrage?

  • ||

    Servant of Loki? Never!

    Though I did a prostate exam on him, strictly professional.

  • ||

    a knife won't do for bringing the eagle

    When I re-post it, I'll give you a Fallout 3 Ripper.

  • ||

    "Urban makeup"? Is this what the gangs are wearing these days?

    Why, yes they are.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "Is that about right?"

    I love you, Fluffy!

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "But I always figured any movie where people use ball bats and tire irons on each other, as opposed to West Side Story where they settle their differences by singing and dancing, couldn't be that gay."

    A Puerto Rican was shot dead, man.

    Granted, they were dancing when it happened...

  • ||

    BTW IIRC, don't they have an Official Obama Administration deck of cards? And who is the joker in that?

    Gives a ironic slant on "playing the race card".

    ::ducks::

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    "I bet you could find some Chrysler bond holders that consider Obama a thug."

    Agreed.

  • Xeones||

    When I re-post it, I'll give you a Fallout 3 Ripper.

    That is acceptable. One must keep abreast of the times.

  • jtuf||

    He is black and he is identified with the inner city

    Hmm, born in Hawaii to a mother who was born in Kansas. His father got into Harvard grad school. His mother was a professor with a PhD in anthropology, which meant he spend part of his childhood abroad while she was doing research. He attended ivy league schools for both undergrad and grad school. Sorry, I'm just not seeing it.

  • Jokerman||

    DADIODADDY | August 6, 2009, 4:12pm | #
    I'm confused, when Vanity Fair had the picture of Bush as the ledgerish Joker where was the outrage?


    In my pants.

  • Spoonman||

    Amazingly, the comments on the WaPo site are even stupider than the article.

  • ||

    Hmm, born in Hawaii Kenya to a mother who was maybe born in Kansas. His father allegedly got into Harvard grad school. His mother was a "professor" with a PhD in anthropology, which meant he spend part of his childhood abroad in a madrassa while she was doing research preparing for jihad. He attended ivy league schools for both undergrad and grad school or so he says without providing transcripts. Sorry, I'm just not seeing buying it.

    FTFY.

  • Chicken Bones of Justice||

    A socialist system would NEVER have turn-around times like this. Never.

    "http://www.zazzle.com/barack_obama_joker_picture_socialism_tshirt-235202338790913782"

  • hmm||

    Hmm, born in Hawaii to a mother who was born in Kansas. His father got into Harvard grad school. His mother was a professor with a PhD in anthropology, which meant he spend part of his childhood abroad while she was doing research. He attended ivy league schools for both undergrad and grad school. Sorry, I'm just not seeing it.



    LIES!!

    I was born in Pasadena California.(almost communist)

  • Jokerman||

    By using the "urban" makeup of the Heath Ledger Joker, instead of the urbane makeup of the Jack Nicholson character, the poster connects Obama to something many of his detractors fear but can't openly discuss.

    Evidently, Kennicott believes Obama was born in either Compton, Watts, Harlem, or some inner city between. Does that make him a Birther of some stripe?

  • ||

    Chicken Bones of Justice,

    What's funny is there's a little kid modeling that shirt.

    I do think it odd that people think there's anything "street" about Obama that adds a backstory upon which a racist narrative can be built. In a way, it's kind of sad that the first black voted into the White House really isn't very black, culturally. Not because he's educated but because he spent so much time outside of the U.S.

  • MattXIV||

    I give The Warriors a 285 on my homoerotic subtext scale (300 = 300). Pretty gay, but no Top Gun

  • ||

    Could Top Gun have been any gayer without being actually filmed as explicit gay porn? I think not. 300, incidentally, is the right number to base a movie gayness scale.

    Speaking of movies, John Hughes just died. He was 59.

  • ||

    The only media to ever score a perfect 300 is Billy Squire's Rock me Tonite video. Hell, even Queen never scored above 290.

    That sucks about John Hughes.

  • ||

    I agree. You'd think rich guys could avoid early, non-accidental deaths.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Philip Kennicott is a laughable hack, and had the poster used the Jack Nicholson makeup instead, he would have found some other pathetic reason to object.

  • ||

    This would be racist

  • Neu Mejican||

    I like the hss scale...I will concur with the 285 score for Warriors.

    But how do you rate Top Gun if the scale is a scale of Homoerotic SUBTEXT?

    So, UFC, 275?
    Hit & Run references to dear departed joe, about 265?

  • chad||

    I could stretch that far but i am not Stretch Armstrong.

    Pay attention to how the ledger joker created chaos in different areas to get to his ends. Doesn't that sound a little familiar?

    whatever, the liberal activists can't accept a taste of their own medicine. not that we didn't know that already...

  • Neu Mejican||

    How's this rate on the hss?

    "Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass," Lesnar stated after the fight. "... I pulled it out of him and beat him over the head with it.

    Or does this also fail the "subtext" test?

  • ||

    So, now it's racially offensive to depict a black man in whiteface?

    That's some kind of progress, isn't it?

    -jcr

  • ||

    At my local Spencer Gift Shop in the mall, they used to sell George W. Bush coffee mugs, with him smiling with devil horns. They also sold Hillary Clinton nut crackers.

    Welcome to the club Obama.

    P.S. Who in the political arena will be Batman?

  • Paul||

    I haven't read all 287 comments, but I will add mine:

    The Joker theme is simple: Obama isn't what his own voters thought he was going to be-- not even close. He played a massive joke on all of them. And, what we'll end up is socialism. Is it a fantastic, brilliant connection between the image and the word socialism? Can't say, won't say.

    I love double standards. Bush in the image of a chimp: good political rabble-rousing. Obama as the Joker? Now we've got a problem.

  • ||

    ErichIHall,

    I'm Batman.

    Paul,

    The more apt character would've been the Riddler or Two-Face.

    Agree with the left's hypocrisy on this issue.

  • ||

    Rather, I disagree with their hypocrisy and agree with your assessment of it.

  • John||

    "Joker" Obama: maybe intended to evoke the image of the Joker burning that gigantic pile of money in Dark Knight?

  • Nah||

    That ain't Obama, that's Al Jolson!

  • Jim Treacher||

    Personally, I think the poster is a swipe at cheeseball sloganeer Shepard Fairey and Obama is just collateral damage.



    I hadn't considered that, but I like it. After all, Fairey has become rich and famous by ripping off socialist iconography.

    Obama uses intimidation to get his way?



    Only when lying doesn't work.

  • Hostile Gospel||

    Read the Article, "Gotham's Finest: How Obama Unites the Joker and Socialism While Dividing the Art Critics" over at Brave New Post!

  • ||

    If Obama is a Socialist Joker for pushing Congress to come up with a healthcare proposal, then Bush and Cheney are Socialist Jokers many times over for bailing out automobile manufacturers and Wall Street and for lining the pockets of war profiteers.

    I'd agree that the WaPo's focus on the racial aspects of this piece of street art is misguided. In light of the media's double standard with respect to promoting misinformation about President Obama's policies, the true story is that people who believe he is Socialist have been misled. The ones manipulating the nutty fringe to hold this opinion are hypocrites who have a political agenda that involves spreading fear and lies to get what they want.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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