So a lot has already been said about this Obama/Joker picture, most of it inane, some of it entertaining (my favorite so far has been the constant point that the Joker’s plans actually worked and thus it’s unfair to compare him to this loser). Unfortunately as much fun as reading some of these comments have been, there is, as always, the occasional WTF moment brought you by some liberal with a publisher. Today’s “Are they on drugs?” moment is brought to you by Philip Kennicott and his article Obama as the Joker: Racial Fear’s Ugly Face and the Washington Post.
Kennicott correctly identifies that the poster is meant to link Barrack “The One” Obama with socialism and the villain from “The Dark Knight.” Really the man takes up a paragraph to make this point clear…as if someone couldn’t have gotten that in about half a second of looking at the picture. But I guess Kennicott knows his liberal audience, and they do so need to have things explained to them (as we’ve all seen latching onto the obvious is not the strongest suit of most liberals).
He then makes bizarre statements like:
” Obama’s opponents, in Congress and among pundits, have already raised the specter of socialism.”
The specter of socialism…like the word was only used in underground pamphlets and whispered in dark hallways. What specter, I think we’ve been quite clear, when this man isn’t out to control everyone through fascist strong arming (like asking the American public to inform on anyone who speaks out against the government and turn in anyone hiding Jews…oh wait that last one probably won’t be until next year, but given this administrations policies toward Israel…) I think the conservative in this country have been quite clear and loud about the fact that this man’s policies, beliefs, ideology, and behavior are and can only be interpreted as socialist.
But aside from Kennicott’s odd word choice in how to describe blunt criticism, he goes to step further into the ‘what the hell’ and states:
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.
The Joker’s makeup in “Dark Knight” — the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world — emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of violence. Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks — the thinking goes — don’t just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus.
I’ll give you just a minute to read that again. Probably because I need a minute to figure out where to start attacking this little piece of drivel, there’s just too many options.
Okay, first what make Ledger’s makeup “urban” and Nicholson’s “urbane”…they’re clowns…Jacks’s was a bit more ridiculous and looked more like a clown, Heath was a pure sociopath and looked more disheveled. I don’t think anyone could reasonably make a class distinction between the two Jokers, let alone a racial one.
Or how about “a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world”...okay, Gotham’s corrupt, but the villians of the Batman (and most comic books for that matter) are not the poor, it’s the mob (which could be considered the upper levels society) and in most comic books the rich and educated. If anything, the lastest Batman movies challenge the viewer to not accept the injustice caused by class disparity. Then the whole wounded villain thing…come on…if anything his shifting stories seemed to suggest that his scars are incidental, that he was always a psycho, not the product of some hideous accident. Heath Ledger’s Joker isn’t a normal villain, he’s the Devil, an “agent of Chaos” as he puts it, evil for evil’s sake. It’s a rare archetype in literature, because aside from a few others instances (Shakespeare’s Iago, Milton’s Satan, Chigurh from No Country for Old Men) it’s a difficult part to pull off believably without being absurdly comical. Kennicott seems to miss that the point of the multiple scar stories was part of what made the Joker the devil, that he had no true history, he was just evil.
Finally we come to the most egregious part of the argument: the fact that a frightening percentage of liberals are racists. “Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks — the thinking goes — don’t just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus.” What? I tend not to think in terms of race, and while I would say that for the lower classes there does seem to be in modern America a vicious circle of people not being able to get out of poverty, I tend to think of it as a lack of will power to change their circumstances (not to say that the middle and upper class have that will power, they don’t, that’s why they’re complacent and make so many bad business decisions you wind up in recession). I don’t quite get the virus thing. Is he saying that people think urban black are always going to be from the gutter no matter how far they progress? In my experience I find that people judge a person by what they’ve done and how they conduct themselves, not by where they come from…but maybe I just choose to associate with non-racist company.
But this shows a very basic nature of liberals. No one in their right mind would associate this poster with race, but this man did, and sadly I’ve heard that a lot of liberals have. Why? Because in my experience liberals can be some of the most racist people you run into. Some of the most vocal liberals I’ve ever known have been incapable to make any decision about people without taking race into account. I once worked with a very liberal person in a school who was incapable of separating race from their assessment of student. This person would literally complain if I praised the work of a white student, irregardless of basic facts like the student’s performance or the fact that there were lots of white students who didn’t do well in my classes or that I praised any student who did well without regard to the way light refracted off their skin. This person would blatantly state they wanted to put up minorities for awards. This person would praise mediocre performance by minority students as if they had just won a nobel prize…why because liberals of this sort think that members of minorities really are inferior, so if they just do okay, that’s really spectacular (please see the disgusting fawning by Democratic members of the Senate over a lackluster jurist like Sotomayor for more proof).
Liberals were quick to see the incident of a couple weeks ago as a black professor vs. a white cop, not as elitist twit vs. good cop which would be a far more accurate way to describe the event. Democrats like to bring up the race issue especially with this president, because then they get to brand every disagreement with his socialist policies (and they are socialist) as racist vs. Great President, not the more accurate competent objection vs. incompetent egotist of a president. Liberals are especially afraid of losing the race card right now, because if they lose that, then all they have to rest on are strength of the brains of Pelosi, Reed, and Obama (otherwise known as the number zero).
So really all Kennicott’s article did was not reveal some racist streak in conservatives, but rather his own failing to see people as people, and not as a member of a racial group.