By now, you all have seen the comic. Playing off two major news stories, a police officer shoots a monkey and wonders aloud who will write the next stimulus bill. Hellfire and brimstone soon followed, as Al Sharpton and his entourage of "victimized blacks" rolled up in their hatemobile to continue setting the clock backward on race relations by pigeonholing the editorial as racist for its use of a monkey.
Apparently, now that there's a black president, so we can no longer refer to the collection of mostly white people who actually write bills as "monkeys." Somehow, calling a white staffer a monkey is a racist insult ot the president.
Have we all forgotten one of the most wildly popular metaphoric device for comparing those in our government with simpler mammals? It isn't as if the infinite monkey theorem just suddenly popped up in Google's search results and I just wrote up the Wikipedia article to support my theory. The basic theory has been traced back to Aristotle. The device has been discussed in the Washington Post, was used for humor in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and was listed by Wired in 2007 as one of eight classic thought experiments.
It has also been used countless times in less controversial political commentary. Every time there is popular discourse to a written statement (bill, rider, etc) in D.C., at least one political cartoonist makes a reference to the infinite monkey theorem. Not only that, but take the typewriter out of the equation and we've been calling our presidents monkeys for centuries:
That last link is very telling. The writer obviously feels quite different than I, but he has tracked down a common editorial cartoon from those days. Lincoln was often depicted as a monkey or chimp in political commentary. Bush 43 has been called "Chimp" by liberals for nearly a decade.
Tie this all together with the fact that Pelosi had much more to do with writing the stimulus bill than Obama, and you find that the infinite monkey theorem is the only logical conclusion for the comic, the tying together of two major current events is creative, and Sharpton and the "Race Cops" need to take a deep breath and a long vacation.
By attacking innocent political cartoons as racist and ignorant, you fan the flames of racism and squelch free speech. You hold this country back and make us live in fear of saying or writing or drawing the wrong thing despite the right intentions. We should not, in our free country, have to submit our every thought to a panel of oversensitive "mullahs" who will twist and turn the meanings of our work until they find a reason to deem it offensive.
Shame on the Post for apologizing. The media in this country is free and you did nothing wrong. No apology was necessary, and I hope this doesn't make you think twice about whether to publish edgy commentary and cartoons in the future.