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View Diary: Texas Company Uses Image of Kidnapped Woman to Advertise Truck Decals (34 comments)

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  •  Victims of violence as subjects of humor (0+ / 0-)

    is as old as the hills.  I grew up on Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner and Tom and Jerry.

    •  Two things wrong with that defense. (0+ / 0-)

      1) "Old as the hills" means "not wrong" how, exactly?

      2) Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner cartoons tend to be laughing at the would-be perpetrators of violence, and at how their intended victims turn the tables on them -- not laughing at the victims.  Elmer Fudd successfully shooting Bugs or Daffy and dragging them home as trophies?  Wouldn't be funny.

      •  You have a point. (0+ / 0-)

        There are also cartoons like Itchy and Scratch.  And Mr. Bill.  The victim is the victim.

        You can split hairs for a long time.  I think we know why this was considered humorous.  The entertainment value wasn't in seeing somebody bound and gagged but in the reaction of panic and chagrin it was meant to foster in the mark (the guy driving behind the truck), which is typical of practical jokes.  

        "Oh my God!  Is that somebody up ahead being kidnapped!"

        "Relax.  It's a decal."

        "Are you sure?  Let me edge up closer and see.... aw shit, you're right."

        "Ha ha ha ha.  You fell for it."

        I don't think I want to waste more time defending this.  I'm just making the point that on that non-gender basis, many people would find it amusing.  Take the woman out of the equation, and it's okay with me.  Arguments based on aesthetics sans gender seem like a waste of time because everybody has a different sense of humor.

        •  Let's not forget that Itchy and Scratchy (0+ / 0-)

          was a meta-cartoon, making fun of the type of cartoon where the unending cycle of violence and counter-violence makes the villain and the victim indistinguishable from each other.  Itchy and Scratchy is funny because it's satirizing the kind of cartoon violence that becomes too pointless to be funny, and also because it goes for the (limited) shock value of presenting graphic, gory murder as a kiddie show.

          Meanwhile ... I have to admit, I hadn't given much thought to the intended panic-the-mark aspect of the humor.  In its own way, I'm not sure that isn't worse: let's all laugh at the guy who briefly thinks this shocking image is the real thing and reacts with panic and chagrin like any decent person would!

          Let's take out the gender aspect, then, and even the helpless-victim aspect: suppose this decal showed a realistic-looking image of the back of the truck filled with high explosives.  Still funny?

          •  I remember there was an artist... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon

            I can't remember if this was before or after 9/11, but I suspect sometime before -- who made sculptures of time bombs.  They looked pretty classic: red sticks of fake dynamite with wires coming out of them and going to an alarm clock.  Somebody bought one of these and carried it in his luggage, setting off a panic.  I think the traveler got off with a stern warning because of the first amendment "art" aspects of it.

            Not sure it's relevant to the discussion anymore.  I sort of lose patience for discussions about how far is too far with jokes and art.  I tend to fall into the "it's never too far" camp.

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