I’d like to compare and contrast two political images, both of which inspired comment wank.
The first is from the Western Suburbs Weekly .
The second is a Bush macro from Pundit Kitchen .
The Bush macro is is classic crip humour – exactly the sort of dark humour I’d expect a PWD (person with a disability) to produce. (Note that I don’t actually know whether the capper is TAB or not.)
It is unambiguously making fun of George Bush, not of the soldier, and I really don’t understand how someone could in good faith interpret it otherwise. The soldier is not depicted in a demeaning way. No stereotypes of soldiers or PWD are used. The soldier is depicted as the sensible person in the picture, not the stupid one.
However, there is a blast of conspicuous outrage in the comment section. The criticism centres around the macro being in “poor taste”, and accusations that the capper “doesn’t support our troops” and “exploits injured soldiers just to make a political point”. The real motivations, however, come out later in the thread, where the community is accused of having an anti-Bush bias (as if that’s a bad thing.)
The Western Suburbs Weekly cartoon, in contrast, rests completely on entrenched racist stereotypes to make its point. It is poking fun at the Chinese subject of the cartoon, not at anyone else.
It, too, inspired comment wank, though less so, as it was being discussed on a smaller site and the wank wasn’t tolerated. The wank was the usual fauxgressive racist bingo stuff, centring around how truly rational people would have given the cartoonist the benefit of the doubt. Oh, and no such wank would be complete without the catchphrase “political correctness gone too far”. This little gem got thrown in by the self-appointed Defender for good measure:
If I wanted to be offensive, I could suggest that your motivations in this matter are coloured by your own feelings (and perhaps past hurt), making your views unobjective and thus invalid.
I would not (because that’s obviously ridiculous), so please don’t invent motivations for me.
So what’s the difference between satire and “satire”, for you? Can you see the difference between these two cartoons? Where does crip or race humour cross the line? (For me, I think it’s somewhere around the point where I can’t imagine a PWD or POC activist producing the piece.)
And, if you have answers, a request from tigtog: could you explain it to the New Yorker?
 Description: a fat Chinese caricature straight out of the Gold Rush/Yellow Peril racist cartooning tradition sits behind a large, shiny desk. His deskplate reads “CHINA STEEL Co.”, and there is a small Chinese flag on each corner of the desk. The picture window behind him shows a dim, smoggy sky with factories spewing smoke.
The man is holding a cigar in one hand and a newspaper in the other. The newspaper headline reads, “AUSTRALIA TO ADOPT CARBON SCHEME”.
The man is saying: “HA… HA… R’OSE AUSSIES JUST QUACK ME UP ...”
 Description: George Bush is leaning over a hospital bed, shaking a soldier’s hand. An American flag hangs in the background. Bush is looking serious, and the soldier is looking rather incredulous. The soldier has no visible disability, but his left leg is out of frame.
The photo is captioned, “Don’t worry ’bout that leg, son. It’ll grow back.”