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I stumbled across this cartoon today:
 
knock-out-game-small-file.jpg?w=500&h=37
 
It's comparing Obamacare to knockout: "Obamacare is, in effect, designed to knock out the American economy and way of life, in a single punch"

I agree that Obamacare is brute force I've always been against it. I'm just wondering if with satire can go too far. To me this isn't empathetic to the importance of the Knockout stories and the victims' families, many who've been killed. I'd be surprised if, for example, Time magazine ran this, as the analogy is a bit crude. Also, most of the footage I've seen in the media shows black kids doing this. 

Obviously some people may like this, after all I found this in an objectivist blog. If a blog on Objectivism seeks to educate people using rational arguments, however, it might turn away those who are on the fence (perhaps with Obamacare). 

If this analogy fits, why not take it further and show him gunning down teachers and students at Columbine? 

Edited by Ben Archer
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I stumbled across this cartoon today:

 

knock-out-game-small-file.jpg?w=500&h=37

 

It's comparing Obamacare to knockout: "Obamacare is, in effect, designed to knock out the American economy and way of life, in a single punch"

I agree that Obamacare is brute force I've always been against it. I'm just wondering if with satire can go too far. To me this isn't empathetic to the importance of the Knockout stories and the victims' families, many who've been killed. I'd be surprised if, for example, Time magazine ran this, as the analogy is a bit crude. Also, most of the footage I've seen in the media shows black kids doing this. 

If this analogy fits, why not take it further and show him gunning down teachers and students at Columbine? 

 

The difference is a knockout blow isn't tied to any specific concrete. If the caption read: "Watchout! Obamacare is going to knock you out! #Knockoutgame", then I think you might have a case. But knockouts in general refer to many different concretes, many of which are not offensive at all. For example, a boxing knockout, knockouts by comic book heroes, wrestling, etc. 

Edited by thenelli01
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Well he does tie it toe the events. I truncated the article but here's the first line. (this is the blog post)
 

Having read recently about the disgusting and evil “Knockout Game,” it occurred to me that Obamacare is, in effect, designed to knock out the American economy and way of life, in a single punch
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I don't see a racial comparison, I see a philosophical comparison. These teens playing this "game" are driven by a blind desire to destroy for destruction's sake. It's an example of nihilism, of which Obamacare is another example.

Edited by oso
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Fair enough, but I doesn't address the lack of empathy towards the Knockout victims; by using it in this way. 

 

Again, why not have him fly the obamacare jet into the WTC (the US)?

Do you really believe Obama's motive is nihilism? 

I think that it is a matter of degree. Mass murder is pure, stark evil that is on another level than Obamacare or even an evil game that can result in the death of innocent people. You could say the same about Obamacare and knockout, but I think they are comparable for the purposes of comparing the two motives. Someone who thinks Obama isn't evil, but that he's simply a misguided do-gooder could fairly disagree. Keep in mind that the cartoon shows Obama punching Uncle Sam. It would be different if it showed him having beaten a random person to death.

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Yes I suppose that's true. I guess I just wasn't expecting it from an objectivist blog.I suspect Rand would have liked this cartoon as well, but then again her tone and examples I found to be a bit viscous sometimes. My preference would be for Objectivists to raise themselves to a higher standard, just because I don't see a real use for nasty arguments or harsh analogies. 

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I don't know if you can speak for everyone, as there is definitely arrogance that few seem willing to acknowledge. 

There are some (I won't name people) who will respond in one way, if you make a logical error for example, and some who will aggressively ridicule you. In fact there's a few people who seem to only post for that purpose. Generally moderators are fairly even tempered and objective. I'm sure you've observed this. Regardless, the majority of people on this site are very helpful. I generally come to this site to try to learn. 

 

One of the nastiest spots I've found for making errors is the Ayn Rand Institute's facebook page. They actually banned me from posting for a few months, for disagreeing on something. I was wrong as I didn't see the fallacy I'd made, but I was banned after one post.

As for Ayn Rand's writing, there is much of what I consider to be unnecessary acrimony. Take this from Galt's speech:

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this word to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads." | P3C7 

 

The tone of this doesn't' really appeal to me...just strive for your own excellence and don't concern yourself with judgements on who is "cowardly" or "ugly." 

Wouldn't it better serve a clear discussion by dispensing of the incendiary elements of an argument (which are often placed with a sort of coup de grâce intention)?

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BA, you are way off the topic now, but that quote from AS is beautiful. We should not let the ugly and pitiful mar our conception of man and of human potential. That tone is flawless.

Concerning the comic in the OP, I think that one should not read more into it than is there. It takes the zeit geist of "knockout" and associates that with Obamacare. Obamacare has surprized gullible Americans, hitting them upside the head unexpectedly. Of course, the analogy is not perfect.

Obama let congress write the law. He probably didn't know what was in it until after it was passed. (Imagine Obama b-slapping himself.) Knowing that this is to be his legacy, he has to make the best of it. Unfortunately, like most mystics, he does not know what to do. He left the details to Sebelius and others. (Imagine Obama passing the Tarot deck to her.) A mystic like Sebelius didn't know what to do but to sign no-bid contracts to administration cronies. (Imagine Uncle Sam taking kick backs and ruling over a banana republic.) Now, all the mystical promises Obama made are turning out false. He probably meant every word, but he is a mystic. Things are supposed to happen by whim. When they don't, even he is surprised. He just can't admit that he was wrong since he views himself as morally superior. (Imagine Obama as Jim Jones passing the KoolAid and surprizing even himself when he turns the gun on himself in the end.) Mystics like Obama are the Jim Jones' of the world. It is right to condemn him and his ilk. Identification, evaluation, response-this is the human mode of cognition. I identify Obama as a narcissistic mystic, a very dangerous combination. What should be our response? To play nice?

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Political cartoons can't be expected to convey a perfect argument. Because of the subjective nature of symbolism, people are bound to interpret a cartoon differently. Consider how it would be interpreted if the artist put Obama in a grey hoodie. Most would see the connection to Trayvon Martin. But people could draw will draw different conclusions. Some will think any connection to Martin that portrays him negatively is racist, others may think it is merely a topical connection to current events. Still others will see broader commentary on Obama as a bull-in-the-China-shop, thoughtlessly injecting himself into both healthcare and murder trials where he doesn't belong. I remember a cartoon that depicted Obama as a witch doctor that sparked some debate on this forum. The guy is polarizing. Expect wildly varying attitudes to commentary about him, even among tight circles.

Edited by FeatherFall
grammar, spelling
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I don't know if you can speak for everyone, as there is definitely arrogance that few seem willing to acknowledge. 

There are some (I won't name people) who will respond in one way, if you make a logical error for example, and some who will aggressively ridicule you. In fact there's a few people who seem to only post for that purpose. Generally moderators are fairly even tempered and objective. I'm sure you've observed this. Regardless, the majority of people on this site are very helpful. I generally come to this site to try to learn. 

 

One of the nastiest spots I've found for making errors is the Ayn Rand Institute's facebook page. They actually banned me from posting for a few months, for disagreeing on something. I was wrong as I didn't see the fallacy I'd made, but I was banned after one post.

As for Ayn Rand's writing, there is much of what I consider to be unnecessary acrimony. Take this from Galt's speech:

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this word to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads." | P3C7

 

The tone of this doesn't' really appeal to me...just strive for your own excellence and don't concern yourself with judgements on who is "cowardly" or "ugly." 

Wouldn't it better serve a clear discussion by dispensing of the incendiary elements of an argument (which are often placed with a sort of coup de grâce intention)?

In a "judge not, lest ye also be judged" culture, how else is a "judge and be prepared to be judged" approach likely to be evaluated?

The "judge not" label of 'arrogance' used among the "judge not" crowd usually kowtows the accused to try and align with the status quo.

 

Anyhow, the best way to learn is to retain the quality of being teachable. I'll admit, when I first saw the cartoon along with your concerns, it took a bit to try to put it into perspective. Obviously our current president is of the same ethnic persuation as the thugs in the news clips, but this is accidental or incidental to, and not the essential of the cartoon.

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The guy is polorizing. Expect wildly varrying attitudes to commentary about him, even among tight circles.

Though I made the point that I was surprised to find it on an Objectivist website, now that  you mention it, maybe that's where polarizing would be more appropriate (and on forums like this). I guess I'd have more of a "case" if it had appeared in Time magazine or something. 

 

 

In a "judge not, lest ye also be judged" culture, how else is a "judge and be prepared to be judged" approach likely to be evaluated?

The "judge not" label of 'arrogance' used among the "judge not" crowd usually kowtows the accused to try and align with the status quo.

 

I see what you're saying...sort of like Peter telling Roark to relax and not be so serious with his views, that'd be the status quo. 

 

I think on the internet there's more room for "polarized" views, as I found in real life, it's much better to keep to myself, as hardly anyone can be convinced to try Objectivism without some interest first. (I have gotten a few ex–girlfriends to read Atlas Shrugged though). 

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Race never entered my mind, either watching the "knockout" videos or looking at the cartoon. To me, knockout is not about race but rather cowardice on the part of morally deficient youth looking for violent expression. The cartoon is an imperfect representation of the president blindsiding the country with a program that is hurtful. The problem with the cartoon, in my view, is that it associates the president's program with senseless violence. O-care's underlying philosophy should be argued against, not as senseless violence but as a duty ethic that ultimately leads to self-immolation.

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Objectivist do raise themselves to a higher standard. The standard is reality. Objestivists don't try to evade or sidestep reality. Sometimes the examples, as a result, can appear 'nasty' or 'harsh' when judged by other standards.

I think the idea is more along the lines of how saying the truth means you can have a blank check to state the truth in any way you want. There are sometimes better ways to convey an idea. As far as this cartoon though, I don't find it offensive, I just think it conveys ignorance that many Republicans are at fault too. Well, it is a bit over the top in itself when the cartoon suggests Obama *wants* to destroy America, even for humor.

 

You know what'd be cool? Obama and Romney tag-teaming on Uncle Sam. After all, Romneycare is the same idea. A higher standard for this cartoon is to not let others off the hook.

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The cartoon simply combined the recent news spotlight on these thugs lashing out at the world with the ongoing Obamacare fiasco. While the cartoon is not offensive, the mix of responses to it here shows that the message conveyed by it is not clear and consise.

 

I'm having difficulty parsing how saying the truth means having a blank check to state the truth in any way, what so ever. The best way to convey an idea is in the way that gets the idea across. In this case, the cartoon and article fell short of that.

 

Good point on the nearly forgotten Romenycare. Rather than tag-teaming on Uncle Sam, picture the two of them slapping the handcuffs on a doctor or an insurance salesman. The brass knuckles to Uncle Sam is trying to tie these two separate serious issues together in a rather disparate way.

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I think the idea is more along the lines of how saying the truth means you can have a blank check to state the truth in any way you want. There are sometimes better ways to convey an idea. As far as this cartoon though, I don't find it offensive, I just think it conveys ignorance that many Republicans are at fault too. Well, it is a bit over the top in itself when the cartoon suggests Obama *wants* to destroy America, even for humor.

 

You know what'd be cool? Obama and Romney tag-teaming on Uncle Sam. After all, Romneycare is the same idea. A higher standard for this cartoon is to not let others off the hook.

Something kind of like this?

1st+things+1st.png

The thing is, Romney isn't relevant anymore so I don't see why including him is necessary for a higher standard.

Edited by oso
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Jeeziz, it's a cartoon! The image is standard. The humor is somewhere from acceptable to lame. If you spelled out any policy on the brass-knuckles, the message would be about the same: Obama is injuring Uncle Sam. I am a huge fan of editorial cartoons, however I find very few cartoons in print, except Scott Adams' Dilbert, that warrant much more attention than a momentary glance. There is nothing ethnically offensive in the image. The fact that President Obama identifies himself as an African-American means that he may be considered by many people as a representative (or THE representative) of some imaginary African-American collective. He has had to carry the burden of this controversy from the moment he announced his desire to become the highest-ranking politician in the United States. It is my most sincere hope for this nation, and for the future of mankind, that craftsmanship is returned to cartoons and political caricature illustration, and that political views are expressed with more clarity than the doodling that passes as "cute and funny," as that which is presented on most editorial pages of the nation's newspapers. As for Obama, sure, he's a mystic and a collectivist, but does anyone not get that?

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