Monday, June 4, 2012

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

The cartoon lady in the top picture is black, unfairly paid.... and grinning her face off anyway.

The cartoon lady on the bottom is white, unfairly paid.... and somewhat upset.

From obviously the same White House artiste who brought us the cheesy "Life of Julia" series comes a brand new series of e-cards supposedly touting the Fair Pay Act. Rather than storming around the country demanding a national minimum wage as he did during his last campaign, Our Leader just wants all the people to send these cartoons to our friends and neighbors, in case they didn't know working women exist in a living hell and are either ecstatically happy about it or mildly chagrined, as the case (or race) may be.

What we really need is a conversation about the stagnating wages of both sexes, not to mention the fact that in not one of the 50 states does a minimum wage job pay a month's rent. Not one. Or how about the fact that unions are being destroyed at a dizzying clip, or that those touted "re-shored" manufacturing jobs at places like tax-evading, profit-bloated G.E. pay only half of what they did just a few years ago? But I digress.

In one of the e-cards, another cheerful white woman is shown in the express lane of the grocery store. We are told, "It's true, in more than 50% of American households, women's salaries help pay the bills, buy the groceries and provide for their families."

The implicit message, of course, is that Cheerful White Woman has a husband who also works, since she only "helps" to pay the bills. If she were the sole breadwinner, she would not be smiling in the supermarket. You can trust me on that.

I have to say, if the Romney campaign put out cartoon crap like this, buying into the mythology of the happy slave woman, there would be hell to pay, cries of racism. But since a black president's staff is putting out the distasteful propaganda, don't expect Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell to gin up any manufactured outrage. They'll save the outrage for when the Romney campaign makes fun of the cartoons. Or when Republicans block the bill in Congress in another War on Women skirmish. But it will be win-win for the Democrats anyway -- they'll have another wedge issue to fund-raise off.

This latest White House propaganda campaign is obviously geared toward solidly middle-class, independent, Ann Romney-leaning women voters who don't have to worry about impending eviction or having enough money in a single crappy checking account to feed their kids, and who don't want to worry about the poor women who have no choice but to worry about this stuff. And it is also bending over backward to prevent the Republicans from bringing up that "angry black woman" malarkey again.  

How in the world can an anti-sexism, post-racial politics P.R. campaign come across as so damned... sexist, and even racist? Once again, this White House will succeed in pleasing nobody and offending everybody.

No Need to Worry About Food Stamps. My Salary 'Helps'!


Denis Neville said...

What’s with all the cartoons?

“Take a look at how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime – and how Mitt Romney would change her story.”

Frank Rich said, “The Obama camp’s didactic comic strip suggested what Cathy might have looked like had it been conceived by a humorless committee of social planners in a Scandinavian government bureaucracy; it played into every right-wing caricature of Obama as the “socialist” avatar of a nanny state.”

And so it did. “Barack Obama's favorite eyeless, mouthless government dependent.”

Denis Neville said...

What’s wrong with this “art?”

We have drones. The Dutch have a remote-controlled model ‘Orvillecopter.’

Check out the latest work by Dutch artist Bart Jansen:

Abstract art? A product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.

Zee said...


Totally unrelated to anything, just a brief note to gloat that those of us here in New Mexico, for the second time in as many weeks, have the best seat in the house for a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.

I've been parked out on my driveway with my Nikon spotting scope, flagging down any neighbor who happens to be at home or passing by, to show them a projected image of the transit of Venus on a white screen.

For once, I don't have to travel to Easter Island to be in the path of coronal eclipse or major transit of the Sun!

For those of you less blessed, you can watch the transit in real time at:

PS: @Denis--

Rolling on the floor laughing at Iowahawk' version of Julia and wondering how on Earth Team Obama could have walked into that with their eyes open. Or, maybe like Julia, they have no eyes.

Valerie said...

I said somewhere between two and three years ago that it was clear Obama was going to govern against the middle class and the poor for most of his administration and right before the election he would throw out a few bones to "his constituents" that didn't cost him much.

Well, here is one of the bones.

Personally, I have moved beyond the gender gap thing and am focussing my concerns on the gap between the rich and the poor which continues to grow under Obama's "leadership" and the gap between what WAS the middle class and what IS the middle class in our country.

So now gays and feminists can say Obama is their man - the presidential candidate who has their back. But I wouldn't be too quick to turn my back on the guy, lest he stab it as soon as the election is over.

Denis Neville said...

@ Zee - re: “gloat”

"I think the astronomers of the first years of the twenty first century, looking back over the long transit-less period which will then have passed, will understand the anxiety of astronomers in our own time to utilise to the full whatever opportunities the coming transits may afford; and I venture to hope they will not be disposed to judge over harshly what some in our own day may have regarded as an excess of zeal." - Richard Proctor, Transits of Venus, A Popular Account, 1875

Your zeal is understood, from one who is “less blessed,” with the knowledge that this is the last chance until 2117.

I have always been a watcher of the skies. And like van Gogh, I prefer starry nights.

“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that night is still more richly coloured than the day; having hues of the most intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not enough to paint a starry sky.” - Vincent van Gogh

My most memorable times were in Peru, the wonders of the night sky, along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu … staring at the blazing light of billions and billions of stars of the most intense hues.

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence." - Immanuel Kant

Denis Neville said...

Tweets revisited: "The Rich are different from you and me"

Via Clusterstock, “A Hamptons Handyman Tweets Out The Hilarious And Absurd Requests He Gets From 'Citiots' Every Summer”

Urban Dictionary: “citiot” - a modern-day term for Village Idiot.

“Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money.” - George Carlin

“Do not waste your time on social questions. What is the matter with the poor is poverty what is the matter with the rich is uselessness.” - George Bernard Shaw

Zee said...


The link that you provided was missing a final "6,"

My favorite Hamptons Request of the Day:

"Dig out Mr. P's palm trees and return to green house down island. Mr. P installs trees just for the season."

My God, where do these life-wasting parasites come from?

I have no objection to someone becoming or being wealthy. But don't they have more important or useful things that they could occasionally be doing with their wealth that are also personally satisfying?

My best night skies ever? Backpacking in Yosemite National Park, in the vicinity of Budd Lake and Cathedral Peak in the early seventies.

More recently, camping in the Pecos Wilderness and San Mateo Mountains here in New Mexico.