Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 16, 2009

Sometimes A Sock Is Just A Sock

When I was a kid, my friend Jeff was in a play at the local Civic Theatre where he and some other kids had to improvise dialogue about playing outside during the holiday season. On opening night, Jeff made up some dialogue about looking at all the houses for red lights. After the performance, he was given a stern talking-to about the rain of parental complaints that had come down certain he was making jokes not about red lights but about a red light district. Jeff had no idea what a red light district was, said so, apologized, and stayed away from making reference to red lights during the rest of the show's run. Local civilization survived.

I think of Jeff and the red lights when someone freaks out over a cartoon like this one that ran in the NY Daily News. No matter what the person's intentions are, that could be definitely be seen by a rational person as a cartoon motivated by paternalism and festooned with phallic symbols. At the very least such a result should be accepted as an unintended consequence hopefully not to be repeated, at which point barring a history of this kind of thing we can all move on.

Although I have to say, between this and the Sean Delonas dead dog cartoon I do wonder if any editors at the New York newspapers are looking at their damn cartoons.
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

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