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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Too much monkey business?


Last Sunday, I wrote a blog in which I castigated the money men, the kind of people who've been around for aeons; the kind that Jesus kicked out of the temples for usury. No, I'm not talking about the Jews of that time but today's equivalents: the corporate titans, the Wall Street shakers and movers who single-handedly destroyed the American and world economies with their insatiable greed.

I compared their behaviour to the new study that suggests that monkeys cooperate better when they are threatened by an external force, in the case I mentioned with real monkeys, the Ice Age and the dominance of Alpha males who try to hoard all the food supplies.

Now it appears that there is a right royal row going on in America about equating the American president, Obama, as a monkey that has been shot. That's what the cartoon was about in The New York Post and which caused a few people to raise their eyebrows, most notably the Reverend Al Sharpton who demonstrated against it calling ti a clear case of racism.

Am I missing something here? Are we not allowed to joke anymore? Are we not allowed to indulge in that age old practice of satire? Of being able to lampoon those whose task it is to protect and serve us? Our politicians? Our policemen? Our journalists?

The creator of the cartoon, Col Allan, stands by the cartoon and is on record as having meant the following only to be interpreted from the cartoon:

'The cartoon is a clear parody of a current news event, to wit the shooting of a violent chimpanzee in Connecticut. It broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy.'

Is Mr. Sharpton trying to jump on a political bandwagon here? Trying some political posturing or jousting? Trying to stir up racial hatred? It does seem to me that he has blown it out of proportion in tandem with whatever hidden agenda he is currently following?

The Huffington Post says, 'At its most benign, the cartoon suggest that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a roabid chimp.'

I'd be really interested to know what other people think.

1 comment:

cos67 aka costick67 aka cosine67 said...

Hey Tommy,

My friend, I'm not the only linguist in the world, and I'm crap at semiotics and semantics, but I think it's a racist equation of Obama with a chimp. No doubt to me. I wrote about the protest at the NYPost without describing or showing the cartoon itself. I found it THAT unbearable. From sources on alternet.org, I was reminded of the same type of equation often being made by racist NY cops about Afro-Americans.
I'm also interested in any comments. We can't let this one slide.
Costa the outnaboutcanuck.