Thursday, May 27, 2010

Single-Issue Blindness

Honest Reporting, often a good criticism site, defending Jews against negative media portrayals, has really gone overboard. They have been congratulating themselves for convincing Comedy Central to remove an online video game based on the show "Drawn Together".

What they don't get is that Drawn Together is, if anything, a giant Jewish inside joke, while being offensive to all kinds of groups (blacks, fat people, white racists, Christian extremists, gays, children's programming, Asians, etc.) at least in part. Here are my comments to them:

Responding to this thread, where they defend themselves from critics:

You guys are just blind. You can't tell the difference between a philo-semitic parody of prejudice, and true prejudice.

Yes, philosemitic - between Captain Hero's being traditionally ritually observant, even if a sexual deviant (and the juxtaposition pokes fun at the sex scandals among the Orthodox); and Wooldoor Sockbat being a victim who kills when he has to, who poses as a nice guy, like everyone's favorite tame Palestinian, Walid Shoebat (note the similarity of names), they are parodying issues generally considered internal to the Jewish community.

To quote from the Drawn Together Wiki:

Though never stated explicitly, it is strongly implied that he and his parents are Jewish, as he calls his mother "Ima" (אִמָא), Hebrew for "mommy" (also used in its plural form, "Imahot" (אִמָהוֹת) in "Little Orphan Hero") and has been seen to observe Sabbath rituals; this is part of a running gag of Jewish in-jokes throughout the series (creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein are both Jewish). Since Captain Hero is a parody of Superman, these jokes may also be references to similar hints of Judaism in Superman's background; like Jeser and Silverstein, Superman creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel were both Jewish. Captain Hero's homeworld is also called Zebulon which may be a reference to one of the ten lost tribes of the Israelites.

[end quote]


In "The One Wherein There Is a Big Twist, Part II" it is revealed that most of his people, the Sockbats, were murdered in a Holocaust perpetrated by the Sweetcake people (themselves parodies of Strawberry Shortcake), who turned to eating the Sockbats as a remedy for an economic crisis.

[end quote]

The Sockbat thing parodies the ambivalent position of Israel in the world, and the parallel to the Palestinians, given the poor hasbara in Israel these days - the Pal-Arabs have become the new Jew-victims, while the Jews have become the new oppressors, in far too much of popular culture. So too, Wooldor is both a victim and an occasional killer, as well as a Christian who poses as a Jew. He is also said to have been born in 5753, and holds a Bar Mitzvah as a fundraiser. So he's portrayed as Jewish, Holocaust survivor, but with the name derived from the tame Palestinian. Shoebat is a Christian as well, not Muslim Sockbat occasionally commits cowardly terrorist acts: stealing an old man's car then shooting him as he runs away, etc.

So much of it is an inside joke, and you just don't get it, because you can't or won't look past the surface of the skin of the covering of the concept.

Good, pat yourselves on the back for stopping a bunch of JEWS from writing SELF-PARODY. Whoopee.

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