Monday, July 14, 2008

Controversial Cartoons in the New Yorker and Babalú Compared

On the cover of the New Yorker this week is a caricature of Barack and Michelle Obama in the Oval Office which depicts him in Indonesian Muslim garb and her in Marxist guerrilla chic toting an AK 47. On the wall over the fireplace hangs a painting of Osama Bin Laden, and in the fireplace itself burns an American flag. If the New Yorker had placed Raúl Castro's picture over the mantel instead of Osama's or found some other way to insert him in the scene (perhaps trying to insert Obama), the cartoon would have been a graphic condensation of my own thought on the Manchurian couple. Of course, we know that artist Barry Blitt intended the cartoon as a lampoon of people like me, that is, clear-thinking people. But his efforts backfired because he got too close to the truth and violated the #1 rule at the New Yorker: "Cartoons Must Not Be Funny."

The cartoon has been denounced by both the Obama and McCain camps. It would also have been denounced by Val Prieto at another time for its depiction of flag burning, but the well-known yankófilo is currently involved in his own controversy concerning Babalú's desecration of the Cuban flag, which necessitated that he maintain a prudent silence on the issue. Instead, water carrier Alberto de la Cruz copied a snippet from a Politico commentary on the cartoon, and the shameless George Moneo, who had published Sarmiento's desecration of the Cuban flag, provided another snippet. Cruz's take was that the liberals are their own worst enemies, which observation will also apply very well to the Babalunians themselves.

Does the depiction in art of a flag burning constitute a desecration of the flag? If the flag itself were on fire, singed or otherwise mutilated, then the answer would be yes. In Blitt's cartoon, however, the Stars and Stripes sits phoenix-like upon the flames, untouched by them. This could be interpreted as a refutation of flag-burning as well.

There is no ambiguity, however, about Sarmiento's desecration of the Cuban flag, or Babalú's enthusiastic endorsement of it as some kind of metaphor for our present reality. Sarmiento has sliced the star on the Cuban flag in two and serrated the blue stripes to resemble ocean waves; the half of the star that remains on the red triangle now looks like two severed legs and the other half cast adrift on the blue "waves" like a boat. If Blitt had altered the elements of the American flag, emptied the field of stars and replaced them with a swastika, or kept the stars but changed the blue field to black, or, as Marc Másferrer suggested in the deleted Babalú thread, enclosed the stars in barbed wire, Blitt's depiction of the American flag would be as offensive as Sarmiento's. In Blitt's cartoon, the layout of the U.S. flag is unaltered; in Sarmiento's it is reconfigured in such a manner as to suggest that Cuban refugees have turned their backs on their flag by fleeing from the Castro tyranny, confounding the tyranny with our country. Sarmiento, a cartoonist for a Communist publication in Cuba, no doubt wished to convey the impression that exiles had repudiated their country by fleeing the tyranny. Such a message would be entirely consonant with the regime's own propaganda. In endorsing both the desecration of our flag and the message of the cartoon, Babalú has not only committed a crime of lesè-majesté but sided with the oppressors of our country in condemning the exile community for following the example of Martí and Maceo.

Babalú's obstinate refusal to disassociate itself from Sarmiento's Castroite cartoon, its "unpublishing" of critical comments about the desecration but wilful refusal to "unpublish" the desecration itself, shows that it shares the totalitarian mindset of its putative enemies and their contempt for our national symbols as well.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are good. I guess every post from now on will reference Babalu's desecration of the Cuban flag.

Anonymous said...

The all-desecration all-the-time blog.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Only for the foreseeable future, although, like its outing of Killcastro, Babalú's desecration of the Cuban flag will always be a motif of this blog.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

That should be: The all-dignity all-the-time blog.

nonee moose said...

Don't ever let up, MAT. It's good for your mental health, and it let's everyone know exactly what you're up to at all times.

la voz de raul said...

¿Qué te parece una cherna en el triángulo rojo? Mariela quiera usarla como la bandera gay cubana.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

It's good for everybody's mental health, including yours. A compass never points in two directions.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

voz de raul:

Thank-you for that vivid illustration.

Now let's see the Babalunians endorse that alteration of the Cuban flag as well.

Dumb @ dumber said...

DUMBEST QUESTION TO START OFF THE WEEK AT BABALU

A question to start off the week
Who is ultimately responsible for the forced separation of Cuban families; the US government's foreign policy or the dictatorial regime in Cuba?

Posted by Alberto de la Cruz at 07:32 AM | Habla (2) | Leenkaso (0)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

dumb @ dumber:

They are scraping the bottom of the polemical barrel. I'm surprised that Alberto has reached Val's vapidity in so little time.

nonee moose said...

A compass can point in any direction you wish. Your reliance on rigid pointy metal things concerns me.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

You must have a very singular compass. Are you sure it's a compass and not a clock?

nonee moose said...

You mean there's a difference?

Seriously, it would suck to be headed somewhere, only to find your destination has moved. And yes, the probability of that has a direct correlation with time.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Yes, there is a difference. A clock tells you where the earth is in relation to the sun. A compass tells you where you are in relation to the magnetic north. Don't use the compass to tell time and don't use a clock to point you in the right direction.

And let's leave Einstein out of this.

nonee moose said...

See, and I was speaking metaphorically. You would like your truth to have some immutable physical attributes. Who's really channeling Einstein here?

Vana said...

No comparison whatsoever with the flag "not burning" in the cartoon, Sarmientos rendition of our flag is desecration for he totally transformed the flag into something it is not cutting the star in half and setting it adrift.

I must say the New Yorker cartoon is not oh so funny, for it depicts the Obamas for what they are.

Val is 34575% right said...

VOMITO, VOMITO, VOMITO, VOMITO




Val:

Wonderful

Posted by Larry Daley at July 14, 2008 10:39 AM

I agree with Larry. Wonderful story Val.

Posted by Henry Agueros at July 14, 2008 11:40 AM

I didn't see a Kleenex warning...

Still...that was wonderful, Val.

Posted by Marta at July 14, 2008 12:51 PM

Wonderful Val, thanks.

Posted by Ziva Sahl at July 14, 2008 12:52 PM

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,

May I play the devil's advocate in this situation? I believe that the post at Babalu was not meant to desecrate the flag but as a form of satire/irony. The poster had no idea that it would offend so many, especially those of a certain age and above ~ due to our life experiences and beliefs. My question is: What if after Angel Garzon's comment to Babalu which I have lauded and found to be very much in step, Babalu would have taken the flag down. They could have simply stated that it was not meant to offend in any way, but because of the mere idea that anyone could take it that way they were removing it.

Would this have been the end of the issue?

PS - I am NOT trying to add fuel to fire, quite the contrary.

Vana said...

Manuel:

Anastasio has issued you an ultimatum two posts down, he's trying to censor you in your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Did you just use the term "hate and contempt for the Cuban people" to describe the writers at Babalu?

Manuel - don't EVER say anything like that again. Have I made myself perfectly clear?

You have every right to criticize the opinions or postings of others - every right in the world. But I will not allow anyone to EVER tell me that I have hate and contempt for my beloved family.

Have you got that clear?

Regards,

Anatasio.

7/14/2008 2:11 PM


Defiendete Manuel ....

Anonymous said...

This Anastasio guy sounds like Castro

ha ha ha ......

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

vana:

Thank-you for bringing Anatasio's comment to my attention. He commented today on a post that's 3 days old on a subject which is now being discussed on this thread.

I have answered him in the antepenultimate post.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

ms. calabaza:

Good questions to which I will devote the next post.

Although ignorance is not an excuse it is certainly one that they could plead in all honesty.

Fantomas said...

Manuel sera posible abrir un blog que sirva para documentar todos los posts de babalu y debatirlos con ellos. Es decir que ellos comenten junto con nosotros en ese blog . Todos juntitos de la mano como buenos amiguitos comentando los babalusianos y los no babalusianos. Inclusive Val podria tener el password tambien de ese blog para que ambos bandos podamos postear ahi. No se puede censurar ningun comentario. Que te parece la idea que se me ha acabado de ocurrir

Anonymous said...

Tremenda idea de Fantomas , te la comistes chico

Ahora necesitamos un nombre

A ver a quien se le ocurre un bonito nombre para ese nuevo blog

Vana said...

Manuel:

Yo are welcome.

Anonymous said...

El mejor nombre para ese blog seria CAGALU!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Instead, water carrier Alberto de la Cruz "

This line was too funny Manuel

Ja, Ja, Ja, Ja

In regards to the new blog Cagalu sounds good to me

rin tin tin said...

Cagalu suena bonito

Anonymous said...

Cagalu vs Chea

Anonymous said...

Cagaluchea Blog

rick said...

Babaluchea Blog

Guerrillero de las fart said...

How about Mieldachea

serafin el carnicero said...

Fantomas: why don't you "donate" your "blog" for this purpose--

You may get some traffic !!!!!!

Fantomas said...

Serafin no quiero que mi blog se dañe con el excremento. Prefiero mantenerlo limpiecito como esta

Ademas el password de mi blog is off limits

Este nuevo blog tendria el password abierto para todos postear

Entiendes la dinamica? por eso hay que abrir uno nuevo

Anonymous said...

"Serafin no quiero que mi blog se dañe con el excremento."

Too late.

Anonymous said...

Fantomas should apply for a job at the UN.

Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Fantomas, el password de tu blog es:

YoSoyUnTremendoComemierda

Fantomas said...

lol

vamos a respetarnos un poquito, no creen?

Anonymous said...

Fantomas la ganga de Kool Aid te ha dejado solo aqui. Donde estaran metidos?

Fantomas said...

Iam watching the Home Run Derby now on ESPN

Be back shortly between commercials

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

Your idea has merit but will never be acceptable to the Babalunians. What they cannot control they will have nothing to do with. If they wanted an open forum, they could well have one at Babalú. But this is not what they want.

The freedom afforded to all by RCAB is the closest that we will ever come to the realization of your proposal.

Fantomas said...

Manuel no seas negatico compadre. Ya el challenge is out in the open. Vamos a ver como ellos responden. a lo mejor me envian un e mail con el green light. solo nos queda esperar. Cruza tus dedos y enciende una vela . anda

Be positive. Lo correcto es que no sea ni alla ni aca es decir abriendo un blog neutral es lo mas correcto Many and YES they will have control of it. that's the purpose

Anonymous said...

Moneo gone mad

What causes kidney stones?
That's right, boys and girls, it's...


GLOBAL WARMING!



Posted by George Moneo at 07:42 PM | Habla (1) | Leenkaso (0)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

fantomas:

They will settle for nothing less than absolute control. Democracy doesn't interest them. It is not the character of their blog that is the greatest obstacle to your plan but the character of the bloggers. As I said in another post, one can change everything except human nature.

Alex Hernandez said...

Hillary is portrayed as a witch constantly in cartoons, she graciously accepts political satire and laughs it off (which probably isn't easy.) My warning to all you Obama fanatics is if he is elected president cartoonists will make mincemeat out of him. It is a grand old tradition and The New Yorker showcases the best of our cartoon artists Enjoy it Cover Boy Obama, this is all in the price of admittance to a job the you are seeking. Political cartoons are never flattering, There is also some truth in all satire.The campaign's and Mr.Obama's reaction is also very important. This is nothing yet. so if the are about to send out nasty notes every Magazine editor in the United States, they are in for a rough election, with some very "SATIRICAL" cartoons.

Alex Hernandez said...

THE BIG PICTURE: The mainstream media reports on this for days! Every time they report on it they are forced to state the fact: ALL OF THE THINGS DISPLAYED ARE NOT TRUE! Mission accomplished.

Vana said...

oooops sorry you*

Angel Garzón said...

Ms Calabaza said...

MaT,

May I play the devil's advocate in this situation? I believe that the post at Babalu was not meant to desecrate the flag but as a form of satire/irony. The poster had no idea that it would offend so many, especially those of a certain age and above ~ due to our life experiences and beliefs. My question is: What if after Angel Garzon's comment to Babalu which I have lauded and found to be very much in step, Babalu would have taken the flag down. They could have simply stated that it was not meant to offend in any way, but because of the mere idea that anyone could take it that way they were removing it.

Would this have been the end of the issue?

PS - I am NOT trying to add fuel to fire, quite the contrary.


Ms. C., thank you. Do you work for the State Department? You are a consummate diplomat, you remind me of Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, whom I tremendously admire.

Anonymous said...

The Flag controversy remains, right Manuel Garzon

Anonymous said...

Don't let it die , Manuel

Anonymous said...

Today's topic: flag desecration.

Discuss.

Anonymous said...

Each day I am more disappointed in Babalu, the mere fact that they used a cartoon by a castroite artist should tell them something.

They are beyond stupid to not see what is so clear...or is it their hatred of Manuel that keeps them from correcting their mistakes?

In any case, instead of elevating themselves they just continue to drown in mediocrity and pettiness.

They have clearly lost all sense of decency and are turning into what they purport to abhor...the castro regime.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe what Moneo did to our beloved Flag

I used to go to Babalu , no more