Late Night Open Thread: In Galtian Paradise, Irony Owns You!


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Via commentor Sm*t Cl*de, via Sadly, No!, Tumblr “Shittiest Editorial Cartoon of the Moment” captures one for the ages. Straight from the Stalinist archives

the editors of the National Review offer RNC conventioneers a special frameable update of the latest Republican heartthrobs, just in time for Labor Day. In their role as horny-handed sons of the Real American Soil(tm), Romney has plans, lots of plans, and Ryan has a book — possibly the Bible, possibly Ayn Rand, possibly Tom Friedman, let the audience decide!

Can you imagine the cries of butthurt outrage from the NR’s proud Cornerites — Katherine ‘K-Lo’ Lopez, Jonah “Doughy Pantload” Goldberg — if some filthy hippie cartoonist from the left-of-center (reality-based) community presented this historical tragedy as an actual joke?

103 replies
  1. 1

    Oh god, that’s priceless.

  2. 2
    Dee Loralei IPhone says:

    That’s so bad parody commited suicide after murdering irony. Conservatives are very strange.

  3. 3
    Bago says:

    After irony committed suicide twice, It tied an onion to its belt, threw parody under the bus, and then jumped that bus over over a fucking shark.

    Either that or the artist just quit his job in style.

  4. 4
    Linkmeister says:

    Can they possibly be so dumb as not to realize what it looks like?

  5. 5
    max says:

    It’s those pals, Creator Eddie Haskell and Creator Wally! Eddie is looking away in rapture, entranced with the vision of his very own tax shelters being written directly into the tax code!

    Meanwhile, Wally is strangely drawn towards the sheer attractiveness of that construction worker’s ass. This conflicts with his crush on Ayn ‘Rhymes with Swine’ Rand in ways that are most discomforting.

    max
    [‘For instance, the construction worker is one of the masses but appears to working hard. And also, he’s way hotter than Ayn, and well, gee.’]

  6. 6
    Tehanu says:

    To “conservatives” art is only worthwhile when it acts as propaganda — art that isn’t propaganda is incomprehensible to them. Which is why they’re always bitching about how Atlas Tanked at the Box Office.

  7. 7
    Jerzy Russian says:

    You should see some of their illustrations of Ronald Reagan they did back in the 1990s. I was a student at Yale at the time, and William F. Buckley, Jr. apparently gave each of Yale’s libraries a free copy of the National Review. We used to read them for laughs. The free issues stopped coming after Bill Clinton was elected.

  8. 8
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Linkmeister:

    Can they possibly be so dumb as not to realize what it looks like?

    Yes.

  9. 9
    Richard says:

    Damn. It makes you want to start singing the Soviet national anthem.

  10. 10

    @max: Funny enough, the guy who played Eddie Haskell is a wingnut.

  11. 11
    hhex65 says:

    An iPad could easily store about 100,000 of those scrolls, if there’s even anything on them– but carrying them around like that seems really inefficient.

  12. 12
    Harold says:

    This is the greatest thing since TIME put goatse on its cover.

    http://www.time.com/time/cover.....20,00.html

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Since it’s an open thread, I just want to say how much I love all the fun the Obama team is having with fundraising. My inbox has the big excited announcement about having topped 3.1 million individual donors, followed by all kinds of stats (number of students, refugees, teachers and small business owners from swing states, etc.) all done up in different fonts and sizes like an old-fashioned circus poster.

    And in the middle of all this is this delightful tidbit:

    3 women donated for every 2 men
    –> 7,968 women named Michelle <–

    LOL, priceless!! Never in as many years as Mitt has dollars would it occur to the Rmoney folks to sort their donors by how many women were named Ann. And it's such a cool shout out to FLOTUS love! What an awesome bunch of folks.

  14. 14
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tehanu:

    It also explains Jon McNaughton.

  15. 15
    JGabriel says:

    Jesus.

    Even before reading the post, I was thinking, “Wait, I recognize that style. There’s a name for it. What was called again … Soviet Realism! That’s it!”

    So, when I finally get to the body of the post, imagine my utter frustration when I realize, “Goddammit, National Review already stole my joke, AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN GET THE JOKE!”

    Clueless bastards.

    .

  16. 16
    Richard says:

    With plans formulated by Ayn Rand, Romney/Ryan in that cover image are off to build a steaming pile of bullshit.

  17. 17

    @hhex65: The scrolls all say on them: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over.

  18. 18
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Richard:

    Damn. It makes you want to start singing the Soviet national anthem.

    Soviet National Anthem with English and Russian lyrics, sung by the Red Army choir.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x72w_69yS1A

  19. 19
    hhex65 says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: and Ryan is holding a cookbook entitled “To Serve Man”

  20. 20
    Arclite says:

    The Rethugs are just fucking totalitarians that masquerade under the banner of “FREEDOM!” just like Lenin used to do.

    Sorry, but this isn’t a bug, IT’S A FCKING FEATURE.

  21. 21
    Alison says:

    Sweet mother of crap. That’s…wow.

    Jeez, come on, November already.

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    Most of the neo-cons have Trotskyite backgrounds, either directly, like Hitchens, or through their parents, like Kristol.

    So it’s not surprising that they turn to their base imagery.

  23. 23
    Ash Can says:

    I dunno about cluelessness here — given the way the American right has embraced authoritarianism, I’d bet there’s something at least subconscious going on here.

  24. 24
    Dennis SGMM says:

    (Robin Leach voice) Tongue baths of the rich and shameless!

  25. 25
    Violet says:

    Oh, God. This is hilarious. You know, Ayn Rand was strongly anti-Soviet. I don’t think she’d like this.

  26. 26
    Yutsano says:

    @Violet: She was also militantly atheist and fiercely pro-choice. Paulie Boy chooses to completely ignore that part of her philosophy.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    @hhex65: I hate “Like” buttons on everything, but that was one of the few occasions I miss them.

  28. 28
    owlbear1 says:

    Apparently National Review sells more copies of the issues people can easily mock.

  29. 29
    HobbesAI says:

    Reading through their list of reasons to defeat Obama, I see 23 of them are repeats.

  30. 30
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @HobbesAI: I’d figure they were all repeats.

  31. 31
    Sargent Pepper's Spray says:

    It’s all in keeping with the Orwellian theme of the entire GOP these days. After we learned that Obama invaded Afghanistan at the Republican National Convention, it is important to remember that we have always been at war with EastAsia.

  32. 32
    Fred says:

    This is definitly the illustrators joke. I can just see him grinning through the whole project and taking roll on the floor laughing breaks. If nobody makes a stink he has a great portfolio piece. If the sh*t hits the fan he get his fifteen minutes and is beloved of “Mother Jones, “Rolling Stone”, etc. and he has a better portfolio piece.

    Art Director: Oh so YOU’RE the guy who did that one.

  33. 33
    Narcissus says:

    Didn’t you know Socialist Realism was all the rage in the Village these days

  34. 34
    Narcissus says:

    Why I hear Peggy Nooners has a Jon McNaughton over her bidet

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    I bet the artist knows the Soviet image and was trying to make some kind of joke. Like, ha ha ha, we stole the communists’ picture on Labor Day, that’ll show those DemoRats. If a joke wasn’t intended, then the artist was just lazy and stole the composition.

  36. 36
    Liquid says:

    To borrow the words of a young Chekov — Yo Mayo!

  37. 37
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    It is a shame that the artist didn’t also appropriate the text at the bottom of the original, about the USSR being the “socialist nation of workers and farmers”.
    SOLIDARITY FOREVAH!

  38. 38
    Applejinx says:

    Oh, man, the Zazzle site for that CCCP poster is priceless.

    I particularly like how it looks in the Kids’ Room, and tastefully displayed over the gracefully descending Stairs :D

  39. 39
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @David Koch:

    Most of the neo-cons have Trotskyite backgrounds, either directly, like Hitchens, or through their parents, like Kristol.

    So it’s not surprising that they turn to their base imagery.

    Which reminds me, Jonah Goldberg’s dust jacket photo from his most recent book sure looks like an attempt to imitate the Trotsky look.

    At this point, I think it’s less about intellectual roots as simply pretending that they’re the real revolutionaries.

  40. 40

    Good Christ, are these fucking people kidding? This is beyond belief.

    @low-tech cyclist:
    I don’t know, I think he looks more like Lenin, only with more hair. As a random aside, I once saw a guy on the train who looked like Lenin’s clone, only he had hair, too. If that guy had been bald, I swear, I would have thought Lenin had come back from the dead and was riding the R3 every day into work…

  41. 41

    Much like @PeakVT I think this is deliberate. The artist absolutely knew what he was copying. Likely the publishers knew. The GOP has been obsessively copying liberal (they can’t tell ‘liberal’ from ‘communist’, remember) memes lately. I believe it’s motivated by grade school spite, an ‘I know you are, but what am I’ sentiment. They even structured the official themes of their convention around mocking distortions of Obama’s words. This is meant to read as copying a socialist labor-loving icon on Labor Day but altering it to praise exactly the opposite of the original. I believe they consider this deep satire.

  42. 42
    NancyDarling says:

    That cover is a joke, isn’t it? Surely it is just Driftglass pulling our leg. I am 70 miles from the nearest newsstand selling The National Review, so I can’t check it out for myself. Somebody say it ain’t so.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    NancyDarling says:

    @raven: Thanks, Raven. I found this on their archive pages when I was trying to verify.

    National Review prides itself on being witty, shrewd, and splendidly written…

  45. 45
    hep kitty says:

    And so David Koch supports gay marriage. So there’s that.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    hep kitty says:

    Watching pre-convention coverage which is boring as hell but this is my coffee time and NO JOE for me. Wow, D-Wasserman-Schultz is totally dolled up and looks beautiful this morning!

  48. 48
    hep kitty says:

    You know, I can’t imagine that an artist with any knowledge of art history or the source of historic artistic memes did not know the origin of this style, which is indeed communist propaganda in nature.

    I’m just saying. I wonder if it’s meant to be tongue in cheek? I mean for readers that aren’t too stupid to just look beyond it.

  49. 49
    Davis X. Machina says:

    All power to the soviets of preachers and hedge-fund managers!

  50. 50
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    The GOP has been obsessively copying liberal (they can’t tell ‘liberal’ from ‘communist’, remember) memes lately.

    I can imagine some mook at NR thinking “Let’s show Romney & Ryan in that 1930s WPA poster style. Inspirational! Solidarity! Shared sacrifice! Technocracy! Greatest generation!” Because one’s determined efforts to destroy the reputation of Roosevelt and the New Deal are no obstacle to wanting to piggyback on the popularity of, well, Roosevelt and the New Deal.
    And then, failing to find any WPA posters with quite the right vibe, turning to the collections of Nazi and Stalinist propaganda for inspiration. It’s all totalitarianism, innit?

  51. 51
    hep kitty says:

    I don’t understand why utterly evil people like David Koch and Dick Cheney cannot remain pure in their malevolence by opposing gay marriage. Ticks me off.

  52. 52
    hep kitty says:

    Let’s see, replace Romney with Obama, Ryan with Biden

    hmmm . . .

  53. 53
    kay says:

    The book is a ledger.
    Romney has the building plans and Ryan has the ledger.
    They’re all going to continue to pretend Paul Ryan is some kind of budget expert, although his budget obsession began January 20th, 2009.

  54. 54
    danielx says:

    Good Christ, it’s a real magazine cover. I thought this whole thing was a parody of a parody. Now I’m going to have to check my Solzhenitsyn to see exactly which apparatchiks R & R most closely resemble. Do I hear a bid for Yagoda the Chemist….

  55. 55
  56. 56
    debbie says:

    In more ways then one, their heads are not on right. Something’s wrong with the anatomy drawing.

    Also, will Glenn Beck set aside his theory that Progressives are Communists to embrace this poster?

  57. 57
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Linkmeister:

    Can they possibly be so dumb as not to realize what it looks like?

    They probably think it looks very Rockwell.

  58. 58
    danielx says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    George Lincoln Rockwell, maybe.

  59. 59
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @NancyDarling:

    I found this on their archive pages when I was trying to verify.
    __
    National Review prides itself on being witty, shrewd, and splendidly written…

    Because nobody else outside the conservabubble would call it any of those things.

  60. 60
    PeterJ says:

    Why is Michael Palin the GOP nominee for President?

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    @Violet:

    You know, Ayn Rand was strongly anti-Soviet. I don’t think she’d like this.

    I remind you of this bit of dialogue (from memory) from Anthem.

    Bad Guy: You may not like our methods, but you admire our goals.
    __
    Randian Heroine: On the contrary. I despise your goals, but admire your methods.

    I’m paraphrasing, because I’m not about to look it up, but the gist is: Rand would like this NR cover. She loved authoritarian methods.

    .

  62. 62
    Keith says:

    Comrade Romney’s got some pretty hoss forearms for a 68 year old man.

  63. 63
    priscianusjr says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de:

    It is a shame that the artist didn’t also appropriate the text at the bottom of the original, about the USSR being the “socialist nation of workers and farmers”.

    It really is a shame. Then we would realize that Romney represents the urban worker, holding rolled-up “plans” (actually blank), while Ryan represents the peasant, carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged under his arm.

  64. 64
    scav says:

    Anyone else getting a little Mad magazine vibe about the heads? And they are distinctly not correctly attached to those bodies.

    Seriously, blueprints? Man is a CAD but apparently can’t handle one.

  65. 65
    RSA says:

    What kind of alternate reality is this?

    Another thing that caught my eye is the field of stars on the flag. The bottom row should have six stars, but looks to have ten or more. So the United States of Soviet America has 70 or more states? Okay…

  66. 66
    Lojasmo says:

    @Alison:

    Jeez, come on, November already.

    I want to watch Barak kick RMoney in the teeth for a couple more months. Don’t ruin my fun,

  67. 67
    sherparick says:

    @JGabriel: She might have been deeply anti-bolshevik, but Rand absorbed a great deal of the esthetics of “Socialist Realism.” She renamed it “Romantic Realism” (talk about an oxymoron there), but it was still the same ideologically driven plots, long didactic speeches as monologues, and cardboard characters who pretty much end up the same as they started, with their class enemies “dead.” (Remember the great train wreck set piece in Atlas Shrugged.) For more, on this see http://blog.beliefnet.com/rodd.....nster.html

    Overall, American Conservative Movement absorbed as one of its prime groups in the 1950s a large number of people who had a a Radical Anti-Communism of many ex-communists and Trotskyites, who had the psychological make up for “True Believers.” That brought the same pscyhological tools and narratives to their new cause, and encouraged it to adopt the many of the same techniques and tactics of Bolshevik Communism. Hence, Republicans now have a “party line” for the day, which they flip on a dime to oppose today what they once supported yesterday. The Conservative apparatchiks and apparatus is similar to what Communist Parties organized when they had state power. They have become what they hated.

  68. 68
    quannlace says:

    Damn. It makes you want to start singing the Soviet national anthem.

    To me, it looks like something done under the WPA. You know, a government stimilus program. Where so much of the artwork created under it celebrated workers and the common man.

    Oopsie!

  69. 69
    quannlace says:

    Added:
    I’m positive that the illustrator they commisioned it from knew the historical connection. Like Eastwood, you start to wonder if people are deliberatly pranking the Republican party.

  70. 70
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    Rand would like this NR cover. She loved authoritarian methods.

    She also hated Degenerate Art in all its expressionist and non-figurative forms, and came up with elaborate Objectivist reasons why heroic human figures in totalitarian poses were the Only True Art.

  71. 71
    Dennis G. says:

    Man o man is that a funny cover.

  72. 72
    Misterpuff says:

    689 Reasons to Defeat Obama

    (so you don’t have to mention the real reason in polite company)

  73. 73
    stratplayer says:

    OMG!! I have got to pick up a few hard copies of this future collectors’ item and get them into plastic sleeves, pronto! Whoever greenlighted this for the undeletable print edition got completely trolled by a diabolically clever illustrator. I’m in awe.

  74. 74
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    I dunno, but that doesn’t look like all that good of a portrait of Willard.

    I’m getting more of a Michael Palin impression. Wearing a Willard hairpiece.

    But the overall composition is quite inspirational; I’m ready to go forth and smite the running-dog capitalists now.

  75. 75
    jimmiraybob says:

    Finally, art to match the propaganda.

  76. 76
    presquevu says:

    Why are Leslie Nielsen and David Strathairn on the cover?

    The lines in the forehead on the plans guy must have been modeled on the mittbot before the botox upgrade.

  77. 77
    me says:

    @Misterpuff: I’m surprised they didn’t aim for 666 reasons.

  78. 78
    MomSense says:

    HA! (a la Chris Matthews)

  79. 79
    Another North Carolinian says:

    The artist is Roberto Parada and I think he’s one of the good guys, by which I mean I think he just punked TNR. Check out his website and gallery. For example:

    http://robertoparada.com/gallery1/stewart.html

    Bravo Roberto!

  80. 80
  81. 81
    nitpicker says:

    This is even worse when you consider the fact Mitt Romney and his advisors still think the Soviet Union is a thing.

  82. 82
    pat says:

    OMG,go to the Parada website and click on Up in Smoke for an image of Bush the Dumber fiddling away like Nero.

  83. 83
    Teejay says:

    Is that the actual cover of The National Review? This isn’t a joke or a gag? For real?!

  84. 84
    LanceThruster says:

    I do not like the fact that R-money is depicted looking a bit like Karl Maldin. It humanizes him far too much.

  85. 85
    Fort Geek says:

    If the MittBot’s being played by Michael Palin, Granny Starver is Roddy McDowell.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This is meant to read as copying a socialist labor-loving icon on Labor Day but altering it to praise exactly the opposite of the original. I believe they consider this deep satire.

    I think you’re probably right. This is the illustrated version of, “HAHAHAHAHA stupid libs! You love Communism, so we stole your Communist art and put our guys in it! How you like us now?”

    They will interpret the blank, puzzled stares they get as anger and dismay and not confusion.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, when we were visiting my parents a few weeks ago, my Fox-loving dad explained the whole “fascists are commies” thing for us. Apparently Mussolini was a disillusioned Communist who went out and started his own political movement when he decided that Communism was unworkable, but because he started as a Communist, that meant that Fascism had Communist roots and is just another form of Communism. Ha!

    No, I didn’t entirely follow the “logic” either, but that’s what Fox is selling to the masses as historical fact and political theory.

  88. 88
    smintheus says:

    You need blueprints to build, and also when you’re demolishing an existing building.

  89. 89

    @Mnemosyne:
    And fear. Don’t forget fear.

  90. 90
    Larkspur says:

    @Teejay: Huh. I went straight to the source, Teejay, having been, like you, somewhat gobsmacked that this would be a real true cover. This is what I got:

    This NRO Section Is Currently Offline. We should be back shortly. Thank you for your patience.

  91. 91
    The Lodger says:

    @Narcissus: Now I want a JonMcNaughton under my bidet.

  92. 92
    pourrie says:

    @scav:

    “Anyone else getting a little Mad magazine vibe about the heads?”

    Oh, good call. The artist actually did make illustrations for Mad magazine. http://robertoparada.com/gallery4/gorilla.html

  93. 93

    […] (Via Balloon Juice.) […]

  94. 94
    Tehanu says:

    @danielx:
    You’re totally right with no “maybe” about it!

  95. 95
    Barney says:

    Those are architect’s blueprints, a la Fountainhead. And, like Howard Roark, Romney is going to blow the future up if you don’t build it exactly the way he demands – and that it, after all, the GOP way for the past few years (eg in the 1990s they designed mandated health insurance; in the 2000s, Romney implements it in one state; in the 2010s, they try to sabotage it when someone else has control of it).

    Meanwhile, Ryan has a loose-leaf binder there – notice the circle at the top of the spine. This is meant to show “well-calculated economic plans”, I suppose – but, let’s face it, it means “presentation on how to kill Medicare by degrees” in his case.

    The main thing, as others have said, is that this is stuck 40 or more years in the past. It’s as if the PC (let alone Apple) never happened to these guys. It’s so anachronistic, you have to check if they’ve put 50 stars on the flag yet (and wouldn’t they like a USA in which Hawaii wasn’t a state – or Alaska, with its embarrassing half-term governor …)

  96. 96
    mazareth says:

    The New Conservative Man — marching boldly back in time!

  97. 97
    mazareth says:

    The New Conservative Man — marching boldly back in time!

  98. 98

    […] most staunchly Conservative and aggressively anti-Socialist publications in America, published a cover of Romney and Paul Ryan drawn in the Stalinist art style common in Soviet-era propaganda. While […]

  99. 99
    JustRuss says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Given the recent parade of Conservative Parody Fail , I agree this was intentional.

  100. 100
    Harry Bryan says:

    @Linkmeister:

    Yes, they can.

    There may be intelligent republicans – but I’ve never met one.

  101. 101

    Irony indeed. Note also Dean Baker calling Federal Government purchases of stock not partial nationalization but privatization. By his definition, Lenin was the worlds number one privatizer

    privatization proposals put forward in the 90s, including Clinton’s plan to put Social Security money in the stock market

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Matt says:

    Y’know what I don’t see in either Mitten’s or ZEGS’s hands? Anything that could actually be used to BUILD something. They’ve got plans and ledgers, and apparently it’s going to be up to “we the YOU PEOPLE” to actually do anything while they give out orders.

    Oddly accurate picture, that…

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