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Author Topic: Trump + Putin Images Thread  (Read 772 times)

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Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2018, 10:55:48 PM »
I'm also going to point out that depicting Trump as Trump and Putin as Putin in my example is going to show two white guys.  I could theoretically produce some really bad Photoshopping (I told you, I can't draw) using images taken from other political cartoons of these men, and you would still see two white guys.  Not 'one white guy being depicted in blackface'.

Point taken, but I think we have to allow cartoonists the freedom to cast the politicians and celebs they're drawing in various roles (or combined with other characters, named or unnamed: priest, preacher, medieval knight, virgin in trouble, Roman emperor, Jesus, cowboys, hobos, etc), and those roles are not always going to be realistic or historically accurate.

 Imagine if someone drew Paris Hilton as Marie Antoinette, looking blasé and saying something about going to the Oscars, and next you're getting a storm of angry Frenchmen shouting that it's a slur on their queen and their history to compare her to a styleless US parvenue girl. :) Of course you wouldn't get quite that reaction because French people are cool with this kind of stuff, but the general idea is very similar to the thought that "you may only draw these people if the picture fits what they're like in real life and doesn't include anything that's culturally or politically sensitive to any group of people". And I think that's really a straitjacket on humour and satire.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2018, 10:56:06 PM »
I preferred not to repeat the arguments Vekseid had brought against you (and that also panned the articles you were linking to). I would agree with most of what he said and felt it had been established in the thread.

No, there's no rule on this forum that one has to keep debating with someone who is heaping up "if you're not with me then you're accepting slurs on all LGBT people" and that sort of emotional overkill. I made my points but you're basically not listening to anyone who doesn't buy into your peculiar view of this whole range of cartoons and drawings.

I continued replying to Oniya, not to you. That's because I know her to be a calm and reasonable person; also, the points I've been discussing with her were not the same as the ones I argued with you. :)

Sorry, Vekseid hasn't responded to the last set of articles I linked so you can't just "me too" him there. That you don't know this makes it pretty clear you aren't actually reading the thread.

In fact the only thing Vekseid argued with me about was whether what I linked was homophobic or not. He made that clear in his last post, I guess you didn't read it. Everything else stemmed from that. He never made the argument you're making - which is that it's okay because it's funny, or that being responsible about it would lead to a complete shutdown of the arts (this is more hyperbolic and emotional than anything I've said, incidentally). In fact if you read his last response to you, he disagreed with you. This is not a star you can hitch your wagon to here.

Again you have conceded that these are slurs, in fact you've expanded on all the types of slurs they are from what I was initially saying. Nothing I'm saying to you is twisting your words at all. You just don't like that, so you're refusing to talk about it. Or even read what the discussion was, apparently.

Your final point that everyone agreed with you and people found it funny, quite frankly, is the excuse of the bully. "But everyone laughed." That doesn't make it funny. That doesn't make it right. That doesn't make it okay. If you'd read the articles linked you'd see a consistent, meaningful discussion about how the person being bullied here isn't Trump, it isn't Putin, it's the LGBT community. Your only response to this has been "but it's funny!" or "the cost of respect is too high" both of which fall flat.

All you've done is come up with strawmen - "it will kill art," this is hypebolic and already disproven - "I don't think it means what you do," I've shown you multiple links from different sources that say otherwise, there's at least enough of a consensus that you should address the point with something more than your personal opinion - "I think it's funny so it's okay", ultimately a matter of opinion but if that's where you want to rest your case I guess that's your hill to die on. Just remember that's the excuse for sexual harassment and every other type of phobia when they come up too. And now you've fallen back to the classic bit of "you're just being emotional."

Which I guess is sort of fitting because that's the classic answer back for anyone who gets told their offensive joke or "joking" harassing behavior isn't funny. "Oh lighten up" "Play along" "You're too uptight." No, I'm just aware of what's being conveyed here, and who bears the brunt of it, and what the cost of it is. And I don't care how many people are laughing, the rising tide of hate crimes against my demographic isn't funny.

If it's that you don't see the connection between dehumanizing belittling art in popular culture and targeting people for crimes, there are many, many articles you can read about this. Heck there's a stickied thread on a topic with a lot of crossover to it in this very forum.

Here's a starting point: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/3/7/14456154/dehumanization-psychology-explained

It's about the dehumanization of Muslims, yes, the principle is the same. Nobody's studied where people would rank the "evolvedness" of LGBT folks but there's great reason to assume that the rise is violence against us corresponds with increased dehumanizing attacks.

Dehumaniziation is why people support the Muslim ban. It's why people support bathroom bills. It's why they opposed gay marriage.

It shouldn't be coming from people who call themselves progressive, liberal or anti-Trump.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2018, 12:12:21 AM »
And to further, there's nothing surprising or innovative about using gay as a slur. As Vekseid pointed out, that's literally bronze age material.

No, gay wasn't offensive then. Not many gave a fuck if you loved another man as a man. There was some comparatively mild snarking if you loved another woman as a woman (and avoided men). The insult, reflected still in most of these depictions, was to be the effeminate, weaker partner. Mainly receiving anal sex.

In no single article you linked is there anything that mocks Trump+Putin in a sexuality focus rather than a relationship focus. Only in the Elle article is there anything directly implicating gayness, which doesn't involve Trump+Putin at all but rather an image featuring Putin over a gay pride flag that Russia declared to be illegal. Omitting the reason for that picture to feature at protests is not quality journalism.

Yes, in some of these images and in many of these jokes, Trump is painted as the effeminate partner.

And sure, I can understand people taking offense at those. The mpreg pic, the one where he's getting a rimjob. Most of the language you referenced.

One thing I'm pretty certain of, most people aren't going to take equating this style of humor to homophobia very seriously. The absolute most change you can hope for in doing so, is again, to make homophobia more okay.

You want to start a personal crusade about the inherent demeaning status of effeminate acts and the various jokes behind them, go ahead. Make a thread. Write opinions. Whatever.

It's a lot clearer and you'd get more people agreeing with you.

Online Roleplay Frog

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2018, 01:57:19 AM »
Trump+Putin.

Trutin. Pump?

Pump. Let's face it, someone has writtten that fanfic. Multiple someones. If not, someone should. Bonus points if it plays in a gym.

Quote
there's great reason to assume that the rise is violence against us corresponds with increased dehumanizing attacks.

Anywhoo, bonus points for everyone that can prove a rise of violence against the LGBT crowd, which, while by no means in a perfect situation is having a better time now than ever, just like we live in the most peaceful time ever, if you look at historical tendencies.

Quote
It shouldn't be coming from people who call themselves progressive, liberal or anti-Trump.

All these are just group-identifying labels though, that change as the groups priority changes. Especially anti-Trump is a rather broad label as well, do remember, you can be anti-trump because he's too soft.
You can have cruel liberals, or progressives and Trumps polarization of people could advance that further.
What I'm saying is, I find it odd that on one hand you seem to recognize the danger of de-humanization, but seem to not mind another, arguably even greater risk factor in psychology, group-think.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2018, 02:20:08 AM »
Anywhoo, bonus points for everyone that can prove a rise of violence against the LGBT crowd, which, while by no means in a perfect situation is having a better time now than ever, just like we live in the most peaceful time ever, if you look at historical tendencies.

I've already linked it. Here it is again.

https://www.them.us/story/anti-lgbtq-hate-crimes-are-on-the-rise with plenty of links to the studies that support it and all the legislation that's been introduced to reinforce it.

Anti-LGBT homicides in the USA averaged one a week in 2017, and these are just the ones with a provable hate motive related to LGBT status. That's nearly double the rate of 2016, and more than double the rate of any year back to when they first started recording this in 2012.

Last I checked more than double is an increase. Where are my bonus points?

Relevant quote: "It’s up to LGBTQ+ people and our allies to sound the alarm."

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2018, 02:28:20 AM »
And hey have another.

https://around.uoregon.edu/content/report-says-school-violence-against-lgbt-students-rise

“In 2017, bias-based bullying, violent harassment, sexual assault and fear-based absences were at alarming rates among our LGBT youth,” said Julie Heffernan, graduate director of teaching and licensure at UO’s College of Education and co-chair of the Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition. “We’ve known these are issues for a long time, but this is the first time we’ve had Oregon data that highlights just how bad conditions can be in our schools.”
  • LGBT youth were twice as likely to experience bullying and harassment at school.
  • LGBT youth were twice as likely to have been threatened with a weapon.
  • LGBT youth were three times as likely to miss school because they were afraid for their safety.
  • One half of LGBT youth expressed suicide ideation during 2017.
  • One quarter of LGBT youth reported attempting suicide during 2017.

And this is in Oregon. The most liberal state this side of California.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2018, 02:39:27 AM »
Domestic:

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/anti-lgbtq-homicides-nearly-doubled-2017-report-finds-n840011

http://www.newnownext.com/lgbt-gay-hate-crime-murder-homicide/04/2018/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/us/transgender-women-killed.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-signorile-gay-bi-men-murders_us_5a730f74e4b06fa61b4df141

https://www.advocate.com/media/2018/3/01/major-networks-fail-coverage-anti-lgbt-hate-crimes

https://cw39.com/2018/01/26/hate-crimes-on-the-rise-nationally-and-often-go-unreported/

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/the-extraordinarily-common-violence-against-lgbt-people-in-america/486722/

https://splinternews.com/hate-violence-against-lgbt-people-is-on-the-rise-and-fe-1793857470


International:

https://argentinareports.com/violence-lgbt-500-rise/

https://www.wisconsingazette.com/news/anti-gay-violence-on-the-rise-in-ukraine/article_76f19d6d-98e4-560d-a1cc-5ad805ae3c8d.html

https://awiderbridge.org/we-dont-rent-to-gays-hate-crimes-against-the-lgbtq-community-in-israel-on-the-rise/

http://aldianews.com/articles/politics/anti-lgbt-acts-rise-chile/52055

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Costa-Rica-Elections-Prompt-Rise-in-Anti-LGBT-Violence-20180221-0027.html

https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/91391/costa-rica-rise-in-violence-targeting-lgbt-community

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-brazil-gay-youth-2018-story.html

https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/01/08/no-choice-deny-who-i-am/violence-and-discrimination-against-lgbt-people-ghana

https://www.dw.com/en/anti-gay-sentiment-on-the-rise-in-africa/a-19338620

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/alexander-kondakov/putting-russia-s-homophobic-violence-on-map


Tell me more about how great we have it.

Online Roleplay Frog

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2018, 07:29:18 AM »
Quote
https://www.them.us/story/anti-lgbtq-hate-crimes-are-on-the-rise with plenty of links to the studies that support it and all the legislation that's been introduced to reinforce it.

Anti-LGBT homicides in the USA averaged one a week in 2017, and these are just the ones with a provable hate motive related to LGBT status. That's nearly double the rate of 2016, and more than double the rate of any year back to when they first started recording this in 2012.

Last I checked more than double is an increase. Where are my bonus points?

Are you sure you want to argue an increase in a single instance in a sample size of 6 years? I'll let you reconsider that if you want.
If you do not, well,.. what you linked me is not the source, let's go find the source. The NCAVP. That's not a scientific source. They do reports and have no reason to be unbiased. Let's take a brief look at their report anyway.
Alright, in that report they clarify that the LGBTQ related deaths were 77 in 2016 vs 52 in 2017, due to the Orlando Nightclub, going from 2016 to 2017. Single incident reports went up, but that doesn't make as good press.

So that's not an increase, my dear, that's a decrease from 2016. Does that mean Trumps policies hep LGBTQ people? I'll give you a headline here:
LGBTQ Homicides decrease by almost a third in the second year of the Trump administration!
Now does that sound right? It's factually right, just like the one homicide a week is factually right. But it's a clear case of correlation vs causation if I put it like that.
Or can we just cut out the Nightclub, because it's inconvenient, like the report did?
Of course not. It means none of these things. The sample size is far too small to make any judgement or point any fingers at this point in time.

Do note that I'm not arguing anything in favour of the Trump administration, certain polarizing policies might very well lead to an increase in LGBTQ Violence, but I caution you to both re-read my post and not fall for numbers without skeptic review.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2018, 09:43:45 AM »
Okay, there's the attitude I've been fighting this whole time finally come to the surface - the attitude that anti-LGBT hate crimes aren't actually a problem. This is how it always works - once the crowd shows that voicing a bias is acceptable and encouraged (which this thread definitely has now) the more extreme forms of it start to emerge.

The study didn't count the Pulse shooting because it was tracking cases where the motive was purely anti-LGBT hate (what the FBI calls a "single bias incident"). The person who committed the Orlando shooting posted all over social media that it was an act of revenge for Syrian airstrikes. He also called 9-1-1 and told them that during the massacre. His coworkers also talked about how he hated blacks, latinos, and women - all of whom frequently attended the club as well. During his wife's trial it was revealed that he googled downtown clubs, traveled between different nightclubs and appeared to choose his target at the last minute, indicating that it wasn't a pre-planned attack on a gay club.

The idea that it was specifically an anti-LGBT killings were based on media theories that were mostly debunked. There was a claim that his father had once seen him get upset at two gay men kissing, but he was active on gay dating apps. There was a theory that it was revenge for being exposed to HIV, which even that the person who offered it said he was mad at Latinos about that, not LGBT folks, but in any case he was HIV negative.

A lunatic targeting a club that contains a lot of LGBT folks is not the same thing as a club being targeted because the people in it were LGBT.

If we count all the people that died that were LGBT, not those that died specifically because they were LGBT that doesn't show a hate based murder rate. And it would show much higher numbers in all of the years, not just the year of that tragedy.

But even if you don't like that one study, you could have looked for others yourself. You could have read any of the other links. You could have found this, for example:

https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Hate Crimes on the rise 2014-2015-2016, rise of several hundred incidents every year, and that's just what gets reported or occurs in a manner the FBI can track. We'll get the 2017 data in a few months if they release it on the same timeline as previous releases.

Okay so now in response to posting "You can criticize Trump without being homophobic" I've had to explain the following:

- Why Portraying Men Kissing as an Insult is Homophobic
- That it is Possible to Portray a Close Relationship without being Homophobic
- Why Equating Gay with Weak, Feminine, and Subservient is Homophobic
- Dehumanization as a General Concept and how it leads to Violence and Discrimination
- That Homophobia is not an Essential Element of Art, Satire or Humor
- The Rise of Violence Against the LGBT community
- What a Hate Based Murder Is

This is why people are scared to post anything even mildly out of line with the approved groupthink here lol. "You can criticize Trump without being homophobic" shouldn't even be a controversial statement. Well, not to an audience that agrees with the premise that homophobia is wrong and that people are capable of expressing themselves in non-hate-based ways. And yet all but two of you have fought me on it.

Online Roleplay Frog

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2018, 11:46:16 AM »
Quote
A lunatic targeting a club that contains a lot of LGBT folks is not the same thing as a club being targeted because the people in it were LGBT.

If we count all the people that died that were LGBT, not those that died specifically because they were LGBT that doesn't show a hate based murder rate. And it would show much higher numbers in all of the years, not just the year of that tragedy.

I didn't expect to see a no true scotsman fallacy in this kind of context.

Anyway. you're over-invested in this issue and not seeing it rationally. Too lazy to point out all the instances.

Quote
This is why people are scared to post anything even mildly out of line with the approved groupthink here lol.

People are? I'm happy to tell everyone that asks that I find the anti-trump extremes nearly as rediculous as r/The Donald. The amount of backlash against the man is irrelevant to him, to the contrary, it furthers his personality cult even further and some people are so dedicated to him, they follow him more actively than most of his fans. I tune in on the Trump thread for the same reason you turn your head when there's noises of car crashing happening, and Trump's like an accident highway delivering all day.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2018, 01:55:29 PM »
I didn't expect to see a no true scotsman fallacy in this kind of context.

Anyway. you're over-invested in this issue and not seeing it rationally. Too lazy to point out all the instances.

Nor did you.

But at least you were honest in admitting that picking up on the wolfpack's call to label me emotional and avoid the points being made was just laziness.

I'm curious to see if anyone else is going to have the intellectual integrity to correct your complete misunderstanding of how hate crimes work, or if the wolfpack mentality that prevents any of them from agreeing with what I'm objectively correct about, or disagreeing with anyone who disagrees with me, will persist here.

If nobody is willing to risk the wolfpack's disapproval, I'll walk you through it in a few days. It's not that difficult.

Feel free to laughably accuse me of being emotional again lol, it's honestly just funny at this point. Maybe you want to throw in "shrill" and "hysterical" while you're at it lol.

Offline Blythe

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2018, 03:41:05 PM »
I've been thinking a lot about this topic in general. Apologies in advance for the wall of text. I probably won't post in this thread any more after this single post, but I wanted to contribute my rambling sprawl of thoughts.

I couldn't really figure out how I felt about the topic last night & was rather on the fence, so rather than contribute to discussion then, I decided to sit and really think about it, pushing back my first initial emotional reactions, and then considering carefully what sort of impressions I get from these images when I'm in a calmer state of mind. To help get my headspace into an alternative way of thinking, instead of thinking about homosexuality, I thought about it in the vein of another topic.

BDSM.

Hear me out, before anyone goes 'what-the-actual-fuck, Bly?'

There have been some satire and protest-type signs I've seen with Trump and Putin portraying them in BDSM postures or paraphernalia. Some of them I've seen literally photoshop Putin and Trump's heads onto BDSM model bodies. (I'd share what I've seen, but I don't actually find the images appropriate, and this side of the site is publicly accessible). And I thought to myself about how that made me feel about BDSM. About what the usage of BDSM-trappings in these signs signifies in terms of dominance and submission, and how these signs, while parody, while satire, really don't fit BDSM and force us to think of two men in sexual roles. And how that makes people who see the signs view BDSM--as something shameful. As if being submissive were somehow wrong. What message does this send about BDSM?

I also thought to myself "I wonder how various models feel when their bodies are used in photoshop antics like this." I can't imagine all of them approve. It reminds me of how a lot of gay men found their images used by anti-LGBT organizations. I know art is a bit different in that real life harm to models isn't always a factor, but...

It got me to thinking: "I'm uncomfortable with the BDSM images of Putin and Trump. I need to think about why that makes me uncomfortable and explore that in vein of the original topic at hand. So how do I feel about the homosexual satire art of them?"

While I'm a proponent of free speech, I am also a proponent of thoughtful and intelligent discourse.

What value do these signs add? Are they funny, or are they simply appealing to baser negative historical stereotypes, which I see as the lowest common denominator, for their humor?

I suspect it's the latter, more often than not. I tend to evaluate art and signs on a case-by-case basis. I don't divorce art or signs from the artist or the artist's intent, so if an image bothers me, I want to research it to see if it's just some throwaway gag or if some genuine thought or meaning beyond what i see on the surface is there. More often than not, I don't really find such meaning.

I'd never tell people they didn't have the right to create that art or those signs.

But I don't think they add anything of value to protests or debate. I think they create a weirdly hostile environment that encourages us to point and laugh rather than explore the deeper issues surrounding Trump's presidency and administration.

I think that type of art is lazy and uninspired. I think it draws on the worst in us for a cheap laugh. I think they diminish meaningful dialogues.

If I'm going to get into dark and edgy humor, it needs to be far better. It needs to be meaningful. I want my satire to have a cutting edge. I want my satire to teach me something about the uncomfortable darker parts of my self and challenge me to be better.

That art doesn't inspire anyone to repudiate Trump or Putin. It doesn't inspire anyone to change their stance. It doesn't meaningfully contribute to political discourse. I don't care if people laugh at it. I don't protest their right to share it.

But in particular, I wonder how it makes LGBT youth in Russia feel. There are horrifying human rights violations going on in Russia against LGBT individuals, so seeing art that is meant to portray Putin in a negative light, as 'gay,' is appealing to the already hostile atmosphere there.

I don't know how I feel about that sort of art here in the USA. I think we are in a complicated gross state of change in the USA, on the cusp of deciding if we are going to push back against discrimination or normalize it, as evinced by the growing political divide between the left and right. I think that in the USA, the rise in hate crimes is more attributable to the rollbacks in LGBT rights and the administration itself giving tacit nods to treating minorities like subhuman garbage moreso than any art piece is doing.

But I don't think that art is exactly helping us out one bit, either. It contributes nothing and distracts us in the USA from the major issues at hand. Because it's easy to post a picture of Trump and Putin kissing. It's not so easy to examine why LGBT youth are more likely to attempt and successfully commit suicide, be victims of assault, or worse. Those are hard topics that don't have easy answers.

I know I, for one, would rather have the hard discussions.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 03:50:48 PM by Blythe »

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2018, 06:53:12 PM »
What a beautiful, thoughtful post, thank you Blythe. :)

But I don't think they add anything of value to protests or debate. I think they create a weirdly hostile environment that encourages us to point and laugh rather than explore the deeper issues surrounding Trump's presidency and administration.

This especially. Thank you for understanding this.

Quote
But in particular, I wonder how it makes LGBT youth in Russia feel.

Hell, it would make a young person in one of the most tolerant places in the world feel rejected, marginalized, and alone.

I can't imagine what it feels like in a place where things are so much worse. Soul crushing wouldn't even begin to cover it.

Offline RedPhoenixTopic starter

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2018, 04:01:43 PM »
Another excerpt from Donald Trump Isn’t Gay and Your Homophobic ‘Satire’ Isn’t Funny by Philip Ellis for Into's culture section.

Quote
“It’s not homophobic,” a defender of one such cartoon told me when I criticised the portrayal of Trump and Putin locked in a kiss. “It’s funny because you know how much Trump would hate it.”

That argument would barely hold the two inches of water it takes to drown even if you were mailing your cartoon directly to the Oval Office, but it falls apart completely when you’re sharing the joke on social media for thousands of other people to see. The toxic bully you’re trying to parody will in all likelihood never look at your work, whereas a queer teen could all too easily see it and internalize the message that being gay or trans is something that the rest of the world sniggers at.

The first rule of comedy is to punch up, not down. You might think that you’re fighting the power by posting and sharing this kind of material but in reality, you’re just making it easier for everyone else to laugh at the people who, in our current political climate, are among the most vulnerable.

Very well put.

Offline Blythe

Re: Trump + Putin Images Thread
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2018, 04:50:48 PM »
(A whole second post from me--had more of a think, returned to the thread. Not sure if these rambling posts are really my best writing.)

I wanted to elaborate a bit more on the nature of these images, particularly as one point above I made was the following:

Quote
What value do these signs add? Are they funny, or are they simply appealing to baser negative historical stereotypes, which I see as the lowest common denominator, for their humor?

I suspect it's the latter, more often than not. I tend to evaluate art and signs on a case-by-case basis. I don't divorce art or signs from the artist or the artist's intent, so if an image bothers me, I want to research it to see if it's just some throwaway gag or if some genuine thought or meaning beyond what i see on the surface is there. More often than not, I don't really find such meaning.

When I am evaluating whether or not any given Trump/Putin parody-gay art or sign is problematic, this is my thought process:

  • What does this piece say beyond 'haha, Trump is treasonous & submissive to Putin!' I like to look at art with a historical context in mind when I can. The reason this matters to me is that something repeating the obvious ad nauseam doesn't strike me really as art or provocative. It just strikes me as parroting at best, or mindless groupthink at worst.
  • Who is the artist? Do they have a statement about what their piece means? Again, I don't divorce art from context. I am interested in what background of an artist. A homophobe (I'm talking about raging homophobes who advocate outright inequality, for example) who simply happen to be against Trump for other reasons creating that art means something very different than someone else showcasing or making that art.
  • Topical matters surrounding the creation of a piece of art or a sign at any given point. Environment matters when creating political protest or satire art. Art or humor that addresses particularly specific political issues beyond "rawr, we hate Trump and Putin!  >:( " is something I'm more likely to take seriously and not class as problematic.


More often than not, when I try to research various pieces, I don't really get or find much. They are usually reactionary pieces expressing general anger, outrage, or dissatisfaction. I don't begrudge people for their anger at the current administration. So while I won't say all such images are problematic, some definitely do come from a troubling place, socially-speaking. Art that revolves around sexual dominance/submission in particular is something I scrutinize very closely for numerous reasons--contributing to hostile atmospheres, etc.

I mentioned above I would never tell anyone they couldn't make that art or that they couldn't laugh at it. At least, not here in the USA. The USA is privileged to have some of the best protection of freedom of speech, in not outright the best,  in the world, in my opinion. USA citizens are privileged (and I do say this with a modicum of pride) to be able to speak our minds.

Oftentimes in incendiary and crude ways. I don't disagree with people's right to do that. I just don't think it's a sensible thing to do.

At the end of the day, I think my concerns come down to this: Just because something is legal doesn't mean it positively contributes. Just because some people find something funny doesn't mean others won't find issue with it. Humor is hard. Humor is difficult to do well. Political humor is especially volatile and difficult. Crass, crude, and potentially offensive humor certainly has its place in our lives, of course. I like dark and offensive humor myself at times.

But for me, where I don't want it is in my politics. It's hard enough to talk politics without having to talk over garish problematic art/protest signs that detract from deeper exploration of the real issues at hand. Not all of it will be crude or problematic, but enough of it is to justify at least being willing to look at each piece of art or each protest sign with a critical eye. 

(Interesting thread & topic overall. Was a good read.)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 05:02:57 PM by Blythe »