Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jokes for Smart, Attractive Hipsters Who Think Cultural Appropriation Jokes Are Funny

THEY ARE NOT FUNNY.

Ahem.  That just exploded out of me.

I had the misfortune of reading this collection of comics, Hand-Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People.  I also had the misfortune of reading it in a public place, so I had to try and control my groans and angry gesticulations.  People probably called the local Panera to complain that the girl with the polka dot iPad case and Fuji Apple Chicken Salad was distracting at best, frightening at worst.


So, this is a collection of comics from a guy who does them for The New Yorker.  I usually find The New Yorker's comics to be pretty funny, but a lot of the ones included in here are tone-deaf at best, and totally offensive at worst.  I can't offer any commentary on the text included, because my e-ARC was so pitifully formatted that it was like trying to read something after it went through the shredder.  Other "chapters" were just filler text, like "afoign jklke nweoin mfiej thei lkjljfwqj at."  The "words" almost made sense, but not quite.

I wasn't a huge fan of the tee-hee religion comics, mostly because it relied heavily on stereotypes.  For example, there were probably three comics alone that said something about Mormons having eight wives.  Note: I am not a Mormon.  However, I do know that the vast majority of practicing Mormons do not practice polygamy, and I'm sure they're really, really tired of the multiple-wife jokes.    Sikhism is defined as "the bearded good guys."  What does that even mean?

But by far the worst part of this book is the racism.  And don't tell me that "it's funny."  It.  Is.  Not.  Funny.  This is the book embodiment of those horrible Urban Outfitters "Navajo print boyshorts."  No, it's worse.

All the Native Americans in this book are either drawn as "Eskimos" with furry body suits or as Plains tribe warriors with war paint and feathers.  It's awful.  There's one cartoon that shows two identical Inuit people, one labeled "Eskimo" and the other labeled "transvestite Eskimo."  HA HA BECAUSE THEY LOOK THE SAME HA HA HA no.  Another awesome one is labeled "Nanook of the South" and it's an old white dude dressed in an "Eskimo costume" saying "I have over a hundred words for black people."  Here was my reaction to that "comic," now rendered in handy gif format!




Which can be said for the entire book, really.

I unfortunately received an ARC of this from Netgalley.

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