If you’re Jeff Goldstein, you declare yourself to be way cooler than everyone else; if you’re Darleen Click, you draw a cartoon in which the President rapes a woman, then tells her that he and friends will be back to rape her again later. In the clinical sense, Click is the more interesting case because she thinks that the only problem with her cartoon is that it’s racist. I repeat: she drew a cartoon in which the punch line is a gang rape and the only potential problem with it she can see is that it might be racist. Don’t misunderstand me: it’s plenty racist—plays into tropes as old as slavery and everything—but the punch line is that the President and his associates are going to gang-rape the Statue of Liberty with, I kid you not, immigration reform.
In service of the cheapest of laughs, Click asserts that the statue that symbolizes America’s commitment to the tired, poor, huddled masses of the world is about to be raped because of the President’s commitment to those selfsame masses-yearning-to-be-free. Talk about your industrial grade ideological incoherence—and I would, except for the fact that Goldstein, never one to be upstaged on his own blog, told a woman that the only way she would ever be cool was if someone raped her with an icicle. That’s not true, though. Goldstein never said that. What he said, and I quote, was:
For instance, here’s Nishi, whose only hope of ever really touching cool would be to pay somebody to fuck her once with an ice dong.
Such are the depths to which Goldstein sinks to maintain the illusion that he’s cool, which is sad, you know, because he’s a middle-aged man worried about whether people think he’s cool. Then, in yet another example of just how over me he is, he declares me to be the exemplar of uncool. Far be it for me, a 32-year-old blogger who sports a backwards Mets cap and is currently writing a scholarly book about comics, to complain when someone says I’m not cool, because honestly, I’m not cool. I grew up, got a job, and am working for the Man; however, forty-something bloggers who alternate between whining about how poorly jobs they don’t have pay and writing 10,000-word-long semiotic screeds about Alinksy and catch-wrestling? Not cool. Doesn’t matter how many people whose favorite film is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington say otherwise, because them? Also not cool. But you know what really, really isn’t cool? Unsubtle threats of politically motivated violence against women:
I predict Nishi will look very surprised the first time she’s knocked down by someone who doesn’t much like the glee she takes in the losses of freedom we’re undergoing.
I predict Nishi won’t have as much fun playing the griefer game once it becomes obvious that while she’s playing a game, many of us are not.
I predict that Nishi doesn’t know who she’s fucking with.
I predict Nishi will soon find it best not to post here anymore.
I predict that I don’t much care about “blogging” anymore; I care about my family and my family’s future, and I see barren narcissists like Nishi as threats to my family—all because they get their kicks seeing how much they can connive their way into control and power.
I predict having such an attitude as Nishi’s will turn out badly.
I’m sure my pointing this out will result in a cool discussion about the coolest of abstruse literary theories—intentionalism—and about how I don’t get what Goldstein intended there, and I’d care, you know, but whatever.
Update. Surprisingly for someone who is so over me, Goldstein just devoted an entire post to refuting my argument—I kid, I kid. He makes fun of my beard and completely ignores the fact that, as Jay noted, the rape of Lady Liberty trope is so tired that the Onion uses it as a running [insert scary minority here] gag. He also refers to Click’s depiction of the moments after non-consensual sex as a “metaphor,” which it would only be were it not actually a depiction of the moments after non-consensual sex. A picture of a cute puppy isn’t a metaphor for a picture of a cute puppy, it is a picture of a cute puppy for the simple reason that things can’t be metaphors for what they are. Click produced a very literal depiction of what might otherwise be a metaphor, but it’s not a metaphor: it’s a drawing of a callous rapist informing his victim that he’s coming back from more.
Update II. By request, as a few of you mistakenly believe that Click can experience shame and will take down her cartoon shortly, I’ll report it here:
See how that’s a “metaphor” for a violent rape, and not a depiction of the aftermath of one? Of course you do.