Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Palin vs a Cartoon

Palin and Stewie No lie. In her latest manufactured outrage incident, she takes on not David Letterman, not Rahm Emanuel, not even what she so cleverly calls the "lamestream media." This time she takes on the show "The Family Guy." You know...the animated series? The one without real people?

If you haven't heard about it, in the episode in question, there is a character with Down syndrome. Palin took offense at this, saying that it was making fun of her son, and was apparently so upset (it was a "kick in the gut," she said) that she couldn't think straight (*snort* Like that's new.) and had her daughter Bristol write something about it.

Insults directed at [my] youngest brother hurt too much for us to remain silent. People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront, and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you'll ever meet. As a culture shouldn't we be willing to say that some things just are not funny? If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed.

In the interest of thorough research, I found the episode online and watched it. Extra Large Medium was the title, if you'd care to check it out yourself. I know that some of these animated shows can be pretty extreme (I love "South Park"), but I have never watched "The Family Guy," although my friend Darren has said it is hilarious. For whatever reason, I just never got into watching it. I was curious to watch this episode, to see if Darren was right, and to see if Palin was justified in being offended. In my opinion, chalk one up for Darren and give Palin a big fat zero.

It was hilarious, and I laughed out loud at several points. As far as insulting people with Down syndrome, I didn't see that at all. In fact, it was more flattering, in that the teenage son has a crush on a girl at school, thinks she's beautiful and hot and wonderful, and gets up the courage to ask her out. And, oh yeah, she has Down syndrome. When they go on a date, he asks what her parents do, and she says her Dad is an accountant and her Mom is "the former governor of Alaska." (That's one of the parts at which I laughed out loud.) A-ha! Now I get it. Palin wasn't insulted so much because they were ridiculing her special needs son; she was insulted because they were ridiculing her. Hey Palin, remember that satire thingy that you thought was so funny and appropriate when you mistakenly thought Rush Limbaugh used it? [laughing]

Family Guy As the episode goes on, the Down syndrome girl turns out to be a royal bitch, the teenage son is disappointed, and makes what I think is a very pertinent point. He tells her that he thought people like her were supposed to be special, but they aren't...they're just like the rest of us. In other words, they can be assholes, too.

I've maintained that for years. Being physically handicapped, intellectually disabled, a war veteran, terminally ill, or what have you, does not necessarily impart sainthood upon you. I've encountered some real jerks along the way who have had to deal with some of those things. To accept that they can be bitter, angry, moody—to accept that they can be assholes, too—seems to me to be more accepting of them as a part of the community, to not set them apart as something other than potential assholes, just like us. haha

I hesitate to try to see a broader meaning in everything I watch—sometimes it's just funny—but I thought this episode had a nice, subtle message. I saw no ridicule towards those with Down syndrome whatsoever in what they aired, only a dig at Palin herself. If she continues to be insulted by such things (and it was only one line in the entire episode), she's going to have a miserable life being in the public eye. Comedy, satire, cartoons...it's a part of life, and if you put yourself out there, you're going to be a target. Arguing with a cartoon just makes you look even more ridiculous.

13 comments:

  1. There are some forms of personality disorder that make taking offense an art form. You get to see lots of them on shows like Montel, etc. Umbrageousness is the new populism. Oh, and Stewie rocks.

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  2. Methinks she doth protest too much...and too often.

    SSIS!

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  3. Unbelievable. So this is what she meant when she "quit" to do more for "the people".

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  4. I just saw this on the news and laughed..I think people with Downs would be insulted by having Palin represent them just a wee bit.

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  5. I love how her statements of outrage are posted on Facebook. I have nothing against Facebook, but in the words of Andy Samberg playing Rahm Emannuel: "Facebook? What are you, fourteen?"

    Her selective outrage makes me ill, and everything is a strategy-notice how she referred to the network as "Fox Hollywood."

    Remember the show "Life Goes On"? It featured an actor with Downs Syndrome. I eagerly await the release of the box set of the entire series, complete with a "Sarah Palin approved" sticker on the cover.

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  6. Daddy Bush was mad at the Simpsons and Quayle was pissed off at Murphy Brown. Maybe republicans don't realize that these are TV characters and not actual people. Morons.

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  7. I look at Palin and see someone who is struggling to find her way with the big boys. The larger problem is the sheep that follows behind her and gives her an audience.

    A lot of people are feeling justified for their anger at their situations. Doesn't make it right, and that is part of what Sarah represents to me. She is taking advantage of the 'why me' crowd.

    Ooh, Violent Femmes!!

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  8. She sure has to be the center of attention, doesn't she?

    I'm waiting for the ultimate cartoon to be made about her life.... I'd call it 'The Divine Comedy.'

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  9. Family Guy is my son's # 1 show to watch.

    that stupid bitch not only doesn't know WHAT satire means, i bet you $10 she can not even spell the damn word.

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  10. She seems to find something that works for her - like faux indignation over a perceived insult even she knows is a stretch at best - and uses it every chance she gets. She is struggling to keep her name in the press, extending her 15-minutes as long as she can. Which is at least 20-minutes longer than she has earned.

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  11. Catching up on your entries, as always interesting reading. If Palin had to endure the things some celebrities have had written about them & their families she would opt for the big sleep. She is a perfect example of one who can dish it out but sure as hell can't take it without crying foul. I loathe the bitch.

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  12. Kind of makes you long for the good ole days when Dan Quayle was ridiculing Murphy Brown for having a child out of wedlock. Murphy got the better of that idiot, and our new idiot du jour, Miss No Longer Relevant, will probably get the wind knocked out of her sails by the Family Guy. But then again, it is a show on Fox. Maybe it's all staged for some PR, since Miss No Longer Relevant is upset because well, she's no longer relevant.
    I'm just saying...

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  13. Somehow Palin arguing with a cartoon doesn't really surprise me.

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I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?