04 October 2010

Cartoon Caricatures of Conservatives

Two recent cartoons have caught my eye that delve into partisan politics. The first was the much ballyhooed appearance of Rush Limbaugh on an episode of The Family Guy. When Brian the dog is rescued in a back alley brawl by El Rushbo, the sarcastic canine becomes a full fledged conservative. Family Guy producer Seth MacFarlane was not one sided when satirizing right and left. But depicting former Vice President Cheney as a monster does tip his hand on where the producers' sympathies lie. The song and dance number “Republican Town” was ribbing and rousing but not really memorable. While the parodied person did not seem troubled by the scene, lyrically lamenting that supporting client change sounds Jewish seemed slanderous on conservatives. In toto, I was not as much offended by the cartoon as I was unimpressed.

Some might concluded that I do not have a sense of humor or can not take having a joke hit too close to home. But my other animated opinion belies that bias.

I also came across a viral internet video remix which was outstanding. Rebellious Pixels parodied Glenn Beck through a carefully crafted pastiche of Donald Duck cartoons. “Right Wing Radio Duck” is a filked featurette that has Donald Duck down on his luck after losing his job. When his house is threatened by foreclosure, he become hypnotized by the seemingly sympathetic sounds of Glenn Beck. The ending was exaggerated and unfair, but overall the cartoon was clever and funny.

While Jonathan McIntosh of Rebellious Pixels has cited Fair Use Provisions from Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law for his non-commmerical transformative video remix, I doubt that the G.C. for the Mouse House will allow the work to be widely distributed for long.

To paraphrase Fulton Sheen, if you can not laugh about something that you believe in then your faith is not that strong. The key is to have material at which tolaugh The Family Guy just did not tickle my funny bone but the Donald Duck remix was a classic cartoon.

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