4 responses

  1. yikes! reminds me of a conversation i had with my grandmother last week:

    My grandmother tells me that she received the cutest email, which featured a series of animals who have gotten their heads stuck in various precarious positions. After each image is the caption: “how is he going to get out of this one?” At the end of this email is a picture of Barak Obama, with his head being Photoshopped into some sort of confinement, with the caption “How is he going to get out of this one?”

    Now, obviously the intended message has to do with the budget mess and is attempting to use comedy to prove its point, and to my grandmother this seemed to be the only possible interpretation. But I tried explaining to my grandmother two things: 1) America has a history of hanging African-Americans by their necks; and 2) America also has a history of calling African-Americans “monkeys.” The email, intentionally or unintentionally, calls upon both of this traditions; and the problem so much in our society is that we tend to divorce our images, words, and deeds from a larger context. This sort of atomization of the individual seems symptomatic of our current era, allowing people to say – with sincerity that is both genuine and absurd – “I’m not a _______, but…”

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