Missing the Punchline

You see what they did here?
My approach to reading the Marvel and DC solicitations this month was a little different than previous months. This time around, it wasn’t the overhyping text or vague promises of importance that I focused on, it was the covers that really had my attention … after the MJ zombie and Heroes for Hire hentai bruhahas over the last few weeks, I looked at all the images and wondered, ‘So what cover’s going to drive people nuts this time?’
Apparently I’m not the only person thinking about this, as I had several people point out to me some covers that are possible contenders for ‘Internet controversy of the moment.’ I’ll let you guys decide which one we should freak out over, if any. Place your bets and let’s spin the wheel…
My first thought on reading it was… well, okay. My first thought was: I really wish I’d seen this cover before using up my monthly quota of dinosaur/sodomy jokes.
But my second thought was, Oooooo. Clever.
There is currently a bit of backlash against feminist comics bloggers, but it’s pretty obvious where most of it is coming from.
This article, however, is subtle, and the message is hidden underneath a layer of humour. (I do love humour it’s a great weapon. The initial response of an audience is to align themselves with the joke teller, because, hey! Jokes are a social thing, and not laughing at the punchline is akin to admitting that we don’t belong ‘round these parts. The last thing we want to admit to being is humourless.
And there’s a social contract there. By laughing, we agree to dismiss what the joke teller is telling us to dismiss. We agree to agree with what they aren’t saying. We are laughing after all, and the second to last thing we want to admit to being is dishonest. )
Here’s the underlying message in the article:
Feminists bloggers ‘freak out’ that is, they are not rational in their response to issues they deem objectionable.
The images that feminist bloggers choose to respond to are as random as a game of chance.
Feminist outrage is in fact a game – and it is a game for the benefit of spectators, rather than one for participants. The discussions are best understood as for the amusement of the people watching from the outside.
JK Parkin positions him or herself and any rational reader – as outside (and dismissive of) the sphere of feminist comics debate, and does so in a manner to make the reader uncomfortable with objecting to that categorization.
See what I mean? Clever.