Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Right-Wing Radio Duck"

A friend of mine on facebook--who wishes, for inscrutable reasons that, when you come right down to it, probably just involve fucking with me, to be known as "Mr. Burl Ives"--donated money for Japan and asked me to write about this DD cartoon mash-up called "Right-Wing Radio Duck." She expressed surprise that I had not already written about it, but this may signal a somewhat incomplete understanding of what my duckblogging is really about, as I think it falls substantially outside my bailiwick. But hey, you have to dance with them what brung you, right? Well, I guess you don't have to, but it would be kinda rude not to, after they went to all the effort of bringing you. So let's have at it, even though I don't know that I'm going to bring anything particularly profound to the table.

So in this cartoon, Donald loses his job, gets his house foreclosed, and generally has bad things happen to him while simultaneously being terrified out of his wits by Glenn Beck. It's very well-done, no doubt; a whole bunch of cartoons are mashed together to sometimes-hilarious effect, as when Panchito appears as a representative of the creeping foreign menace (in a broader sense, the manic psychedelia of The Three Caballeros makes a good match for Beck's paranoid raving). Also funny: when Beck asks "how many Marxists, communists, anti-capitalists do you have around you on a daily basis?" and Donald, using a telescope, spies Pluto, Goofy, and Mickey in quick succession. They're everywhere! And when, upon the claim that "there are nazis in America," he looks out the window to see the band from "Der Fuehrer's Face." Ell oh ell.

So it's undeniably funny, but there's also serious intent behind it: in the beginning, when Beck asks "Do you feel like you're working harder and harder these days just to stay financially afloat while fat cats get richer and richer?" it's hard to object to him--because, really, that's exactly what's happening for more and more people. And the government is unresponsive--it really doesn't, to any meaningful degree, give a shit. So no argument there. People goddamn well should be pissed off.

What they shouldn't do, however, is let demagogues channel that anger into believing crazy things. The cartoon is very good on the sort of paranoia that people like Beck instill: They are coming at you from all angles and it's just one thing after another and argh. Do that enough, and you can get people to start believing that bailing out investment bankers is something that "Marxists" would do. Storming the castle with pitchforks is definitely the way to go; it's just that Beck and his ilk provide very poor directions for getting there.

Seriously, goddamnit, I'm trying my damndest not to think about politics lately, and then I get roped into writing about fucking Glenn Beck. Thanks a lot, "Burl." But hey, it's for a worthy cause. So I guess I forgive you.

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