Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blood Libel

Within hours of the Tucson shootings we saw the emergence of the media-meme that Loughner was driven to shoot nineteen people by Sarah Palin's political rhetoric. In the following days, as details of Loughner's derangement came to light, commentators grew ever more Jesuitical in their defense of the assertion. After all, tone is more important than substance, and it was the Palin's vitriolic tone that pushed Loughner over the edge.


Sarah Palin devouring Arizonan babies

The way the media closed ranks to defend the smear reminded Suciô of an incident in the UK press in 2003. David Brown, the political cartoonist for the Independent newspaper, drew the Israeli Prime Minister as a monster eating Palestinian babies.


Ariel Sharon devouring Palestinian babies
(by David Brown of the Independent.)

There is of course a long European cultural tradition of depicting Jews eating babies: Brown and the Independent were immediately called out on the similarity of the cartoon to the blood libel. They responded that the image was a completely innocent classical reference - inspired by Goya's painting "Saturn devouring his son".

Saturn devouring his son
(by Goya - before he settled down in the canned food business.)

Clearly the image was "borrowed" from Goya. (Suciô's not averse to "borrowing" a little clip-art himself.) But, setting aside the execution of the picture, what possible explanation can there be for its conception? Why should Sharon be pictured eating babies? (St. Ignatius himself wasn't Jesuit enough to bend the Saturnian myth to fit Middle-eastern events.)

But the Independent, and much of the rest of the UK press, closed ranks and bluffed their way through. Members of the Political Cartoon Society and national newspaper cartoonists voted the piece the Political Cartoon of the Year for 2003.

Why should a group of well-educated, ostensibly liberally-minded professionals bestow their highest award on an unfunny and, at best, extremely distasteful cartoon?

Why does the US media continue to blame Loughner's actions on "right-wing vitriol"?

We're not here to defend Palin, or Israel. We do think it's important to be able to recognize the signs when behavior goes beyond the rational: whether it's a lone pot-head's schizophrenia, or the antisemitism of the UK press, or the Palinoia of the US media.


Stubborn defense of the indefensible is not rational behavior.


No small-print tutorial today. We'll maybe get on to a little Script-Fu tomorrow.

40 comments:

  1. xD He fit it perfectly using Goya's vision

    ReplyDelete
  2. Honestly, as a liberal living in the gun-toting state of Arizona, I have to say that this guy was a nut job. What we know about mental illness is that it takes extremes. Schizo's think God talks to them, some think their right-wing conservative doctrines are the way to go to the extreme. Muslims can be extremists, Fundamentalist Christians can be extremists, Conservatives can be extremists, even liberals in the case of Green Peace nut jobs. Any doctrine can enhance the mental illness of any individual. As much as I want to blame this all on right-wing nut jobs, this was about mental illness enhanced by extreme ideals. I can't throw out a whole religion or political stance based on psychos who take it and run. I wouldn't blame rock n roll for creating creatures like Lady Gaga or Marilyn Manson. It's taking something you're focused on and OCD'ing on it. That being said, Sarah Palin is a douche bag and anyone who idolizes someone who is a blathering idiot is very misguided and that is what really terrifies me more than the single guy with psychosis. I hope we continue to pounce on her every word to show what a very troubled and mentally incapable person she is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Autumnforest summed it up nicey!

    Great post.

    I'll be back,
    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
  4. haha only thing i love more than clever edits is hating palin

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's all about generating ratings-- tragedies sell more once every angle has been exaggerated and completely blown out of proportion.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I recently screen-captured all your tutorials and saved them for furute reference. they have been incredibly helpful, thank you.

    I think Palin-hate is the same as Bieber-hate: It's the in thing. That's it. Also, lol, my autocorrectore tried to correct, "Palin" as "Plain".

    ReplyDelete
  7. almost mythical creatures you got there? HAH

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great post as usual. On with the palin-hatin'

    ReplyDelete
  9. As irrational as it may be, everyone should remain able to have their own opinion. To use that opinion to justify harming another, now thats a different story. I think we should celebrate the diversity and madness of man(or woman). THen lock them up and throw away the key :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. freaky freaky... interesting tho

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't know. If i wrote a blog post, and put a bullseye over someone I didn't like, and then a short time later, someone shot them... I might not be directly responsible, but I would sure feel like a jackazz for doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Helloooooooooo :)))

    no no no, this is not a new hairstyle :)! i have so often :)))....

    wow i love your post. i love such things...i´m really crazy :)... often you meet my taste :))))

    Have a great time

    xoxo
    http://mar-iza.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. i see you've gotten all serious on me here... i don't do politics... never have

    ReplyDelete
  14. lol thats jokes. what male wouldnt nail palin though.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post...makes me rather sad though, the entire political arena in the USA is one damn carnival.. what next?

    As I go eat my Goya black beans and rice ( for real)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I called Palin a terrorist in my facebook status and was immediately responded back by my major republican friend who had some fighting words for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Palin is crazy... so messed up

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very enlightening, thanks.

    Don't forget to check and support often your local information hot-spot lifeformation.blogspot.com!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I understood nothing of what this post was about...

    ReplyDelete
  20. good post and analysis of the political cartoons. very insightful.

    ReplyDelete
  21. palin is good for absolutely nothing! lol well except for mindless entertainment on the same level as paris hiltons tv show. what was the name of that show again? anyways... good post dude!

    ReplyDelete
  22. lmao your posts always crack me up dude, one of the best blogs I follow keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm not one for politics but those pictures... Very disturbing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The media is just trying to show that Palin is either insensitive or outright dumb. Anti-semetic references like blood libe are equally damning as the N-word

    ReplyDelete
  25. "the political cartoonist for the Independent newspaper, drew the Israeli Prime Minister as a monster eating Palestinian babies"

    that's so true

    ReplyDelete
  26. To be honest, I think Palin is a dumb broad. I think much of Obama either, but this whole idea of blaming Palin for what this whackjob did is bullshit of strong vintage year.

    ReplyDelete
  27. sarah pallin is really creepy...

    ReplyDelete
  28. i dunno about politics and dont talk about it at all.
    man that goya painting is gonna be my nightmare from now on.

    ReplyDelete
  29. All I know is the majority think she is a moron so I don't worry much about her ever actually getting elected to any political office again and the one she did win she quit so I don't see her getting very far beyond her speaking engagements to her followers (the few she really has)

    ReplyDelete
  30. didnt know that
    subbed
    franztime.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Palin is either a complete moron, or a tactical genius trying to polarize the country and eventually cause a second civil war.

    I'm going to go with moron.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I think the media has perpetuated the notion that Sarah Palin is stupid, so everyone believes it. I think she really showed her nerves in the Couric interview, but since then what has she said that is so dumb? And just because someone has different political views than you doesn't mean they are dumb. What are the specific instances of stupidity or untruths that she has said?

    And before you mention that she said you can see Russia from parts of Alaska...that is true. My dad works in Alaska.

    I'm not a huge Palin fan because her voice annoys me, LOL. But I don't think she is a stupid person.

    ReplyDelete