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Male nipples are OK, female nipple bulges are not
September 11, 2012 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Nipplegate: Why the New Yorker Cartoon Department is About to be Banned from Facebook

In addition to banning photos of actual breasts, Facebook has taken a hard stance against the New Yorker's depiction of nipples in a cartoon about Adam and Eve. As a result, the New Yorker Cartoon Department's Facebook page was temporarily banned.
posted by asnider (124 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Right decision, wrong reason.
posted by koeselitz at 8:45 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Children must be kept away from nipples!
posted by Egg Shen at 8:48 AM on September 11, 2012 [31 favorites]


I don't even understand the offending comic.

You doodle a couple a bears at a cocktail party discussing the stock market and think you're doing comedy!
posted by King Bee at 8:48 AM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, at least Facebook didn't just grab some sharpies and paint leave and branches over the naughty bits.
posted by griphus at 8:49 AM on September 11, 2012


Nipples on pre-op MF cartoon transexual: yay or nay?
posted by justkevin at 8:50 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


The most depressing part of that scene griphus is that the actual offices are no where near that nice.
posted by The Whelk at 8:51 AM on September 11, 2012


Maybe they should have just changed the caption to be about Facebook.
posted by deathpanels at 8:52 AM on September 11, 2012


Last I heard (from you, Whelk?) the cartoon office is basically a closet with a weary man inside.
posted by griphus at 8:54 AM on September 11, 2012


What was Roger Ebert's caption for this one?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:55 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I, for one, am happy that Facebook is working so hard to shield our children from the oversexualization of Western society. Already, my wife is having to tell our six-month-old daughter "eyes up here, buddy".
posted by Slothrup at 8:55 AM on September 11, 2012 [25 favorites]


I don't think any of us wants to live in a world where people are allowed to view their own body parts.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 8:56 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


fantastic midtown views however griphus (and free coffee)
posted by The Whelk at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2012


“My wife is a slut.”
posted by wcfields at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't even understand the offending comic.

The woman had asked for a chocolate-chip cookie, and the man made one so big that it grew into a tree. The man pointed at the tree, asking, "Do you like the cookie tree I made you?"

The woman stared up it, terrified, and began weeping. She slumped to the ground. "That was a horror," she whispered.

The man sat next to her, concerned. "I just thought... anyone can make a regular sized cookie. I wanted to make something beautiful. Original."

And what we see in this moment is the woman reluctantly agreeing that the cookie-tree which looms above them is indeed original, which is funny, because she's not into the idea at all, but is trying to be diplomatic, the same way that you would be if you got a big cookie tree.

They're both naked in the cartoon because they're not PRUDISH FUCKING AMERICANS FOR A CHANGE
posted by Greg Nog at 8:59 AM on September 11, 2012 [79 favorites]



posted by wreckingball at 8:59 AM on September 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


is this a penis allegory greg
posted by elizardbits at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Given that my Facebook feed consists of anti-Obama slogans and Footprints in the Sand, I'm guessing that it's not the right market for New Yorker cartoons
posted by goethean at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Once you allow one set of nipples in, no matter how innocuous, you have to let all the nipples in. It's the classic nippley-slope.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:02 AM on September 11, 2012 [57 favorites]


NSFW?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:02 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I get the problems with the gender disparity and the prudishness about nudity, but given Facebook's status as America's number-one producer of underage non-nude pornography, I can't say I don't empathize with them wanting to have that rule.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 9:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


"America's number-one producer of underage non-nude pornography..."

What?
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


is this a penis allegory greg

Dude, what isn't?
posted by grubi at 9:06 AM on September 11, 2012


non-nude pornography

Is this like those Christian side-hug things?
posted by elizardbits at 9:06 AM on September 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


Unfunny New Yorker cartoon followed by unfunny New Yorker essay confounds unfunny New Yorkers (and Facebook). Film at 11 (edited for broadcast)
posted by chavenet at 9:08 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


NSFW?

I think it's probably SFW in most workplaces, but if cartoon breasts will get you in trouble then perhaps you should wait until you get home.
posted by asnider at 9:08 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Needs NSFW tag
posted by Flashman at 9:08 AM on September 11, 2012


The most offensive part of that cartoon is that a) it was published and b) someone got paid for it.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:09 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good Smell Perplexes New Yorkers
posted by griphus at 9:09 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Facebook's reply: This is not underage non-nude pornography. We take the finest non-nude pornography and age it in oak caskets.
posted by DU at 9:10 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


First they came for the nipples, and then they got distracted by the nipples, so they forgot what they were going to say, and were embarrassed.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:10 AM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Also, who, exactly, is simultaneously concerned about something being NSFW and clicks on a link marked "Nipplegate"?)
posted by griphus at 9:11 AM on September 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


This led me to Philip Roth's enormous open letter to Wikipedia about its page for The Human Stain, which was also enjoyable.
posted by Beardman at 9:12 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"America's number-one producer of underage non-nude pornography..."

What?


Underage, non-nude pornography is a genre of pornography featuring underage girls who aren't nude, but are sexually posed or scantily clad or otherwise presented in ways that the consumers of said pornography find sexual. They are not naked because they're underage, but it's being used as pornography (hence, non-nude pornography). One easy way of this stuff getting into the circles where people consume it as pornography is for it to start as pictures taken by underage girls of themselves, posing sexually, wearing bikinis, wearing the kind of revealing clothes, and generally doing things that are totally fine for a 14 year old girl to take pictures of themselves doing, but are creepy when grown men are looking at them and masturbating. Unsurprisingly, a lot of these photos start out on Facebook.

Google, Non-nude pornography if you're interested.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:13 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Right decision, wrong reason.
posted by Fizz at 9:14 AM on September 11, 2012


Good Smell Perplexes New Yorkers

Ironically the source was New Jersey.
posted by elizardbits at 9:14 AM on September 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Google, Non-nude pornography if you're interested.

Shit. Obviously, I mean "interested in learning more" not "interested in jerking it to pictures of 14 year olds with braces."
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


What, you didn't really think that was a diaeresis over the second o in cooperate, did you?
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 9:17 AM on September 11, 2012 [26 favorites]


No, I'm just happy to see you.
posted by griphus at 9:19 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


No kidding, Bulgaroktonos.

Braces are creepy.
posted by notyou at 9:20 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jesus. If we start banning any image that someone might theoretically want to masturbate to, the internet is going to be a really quiet place really fast.
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:21 AM on September 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 9:17 AM on September 11 [+] [!]

Those "elbows" are really female nipples, aren't they? BAN THIS USER IMMEDIATLY
posted by naju at 9:21 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


If we start banning any image that someone might theoretically want to masturbate to, the internet is going to be a really quiet place really fast.

Seriously. I almost lost it to a photoset of grilled cheese the other day.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


I saw some nipples when I was thirteen, in an 'art' book that had pictures by Botty Chelly.

The shame, degradation and misery lives with me still. Children must be taught that nudity, especially when disguised as 'art', is the source of all sin, and entirely unnatural. Otherwise they'll grow up like me, in thrall to filth and reproduction, and worst of all - European, liberal, and committed to both personal freedom and social responsibility.

God hates nipples, those who bear them and those who bare them.

Who told me I was naked? Satan. God would never have let on.
posted by Devonian at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't even understand the offending comic.

It's a joke about original sin right? With a pun on "original" meaning novel or creative rather than being the source of sin.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:24 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought it was a break-the-fourth-wall metajoke about how disappointing the comic itself is.
posted by naju at 9:25 AM on September 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm operating under the assumption that people calling for NSFW tags are joking.
posted by Ickster at 9:25 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


(*)(*)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:26 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's a joke about original sin right? With a pun on "original" meaning novel or creative rather than being the source of sin.

Yes, but what is the referent to "that" in the comic? Sex? Or the apple? I seriously didn't get the comic either. Unless it's that they didn't like sex? In which case, I guess covering the nipples is in keeping with the tone.
posted by DU at 9:29 AM on September 11, 2012


It "was" original. But only that once.

Now it's common.

Maybe fig leaves and a little more distance from Eden might have helped it read better.
posted by notyou at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


ಠ_ಠ
posted by phong3d at 9:32 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Where the hell is the T party! Should we really be allow nipple panels to make these decisions?
posted by srboisvert at 9:37 AM on September 11, 2012


For whatever reason I've befriended a couple of porn actresses on Facebook and while they mostly post about taking their pets to the vet or shopping or whatever, they "like" pages with a lot of quasi-sexual content - bikinis and bums, and a surprising amount of skin. Those pages are still up.

I like another page devoted to Hollywood in the fifties and sixties. It's all photos of movie stars from that period, often on-set. That page gets suspended or taken down at least once a month, and there is nothing remotely risque on it, although the admin sometimes posts burlesque stuff.

What's happening is that someone is actively and regularly complaining about the Hollywood page, and it gets taken down.

The same thing is happening here - someone has a hate on for the New Yorker, and they are working hard to make sure the page gets suspended.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


FWIW, I really like New Yorker cartoons.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:38 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw some nipples this morning.

Touched 'em, even.

They're MINE.

HOTCHA
posted by Madamina at 9:44 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


YouTube's started to allow some tasteful nudity, I don't see why Facebook can't.
posted by naju at 9:45 AM on September 11, 2012


The UPDATE JOKE ALERT JOKE ALERT is the best part. The obvious is indeed not obvious to Gawker.

New Yorker cartoons have been getting more and more naked lately. I wonder whether this one counts as "obvious sexual activity".
posted by ook at 9:45 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Madamina, you are a pervert and I'm reporting you.
posted by grubi at 9:46 AM on September 11, 2012


My 3 year old often goes "NIPPIES" and starts beeping at people's nipples.

Guess he'll soon graduate to sr. editor at The New Yorker.

I' m so proud.
posted by stormpooper at 9:50 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


FWIW, I really like New Yorker cartoons.

You spelled 'rarely' wrong. You probably have autocorrect on.
posted by rocket88 at 9:51 AM on September 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Some people like cartoons from the New Yorker. I'm sorry for those of you with overdeveloped senses of snark, but it's true. So you can stop commenting about your ever-so-pomo dislike of them, and go back to your tenth martini this lunch.
posted by mephron at 9:56 AM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


As someone who often enjoys New Yorker cartoons, I find this thread hilarious. Also the link in the FPP.

I'm likely a boring dinner guest.
posted by davejay at 10:01 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The trouble with New Yorker cartoons is: you have to think so much that by the time you've figured it out--if you do--you go, "Oh." Which is why I think they're more about aspirational marketing than anything.
posted by smorange at 10:01 AM on September 11, 2012


If we start banning any image that someone might theoretically want to masturbate to, the internet is going to be a really quiet place really fast.

The sound of no hands fapping?
posted by chavenet at 10:02 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Madamina, you are a pervert and I'm reporting you. wondering what you're doing for dinner this evening.
posted by davejay at 10:02 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's always two or three good cartoons per issue. Last week it was this one, this one, and this one. If you don't grin at at least one of those then I don't know what to say, maybe go take a nice walk or something
posted by theodolite at 10:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


FWIW, I really like New Yorker cartoons.

You spelled 'rarely' wrong. You probably have autocorrect on.


If you had dropped the "You spelled 'rarely' wrong" line, this would have been very New Yorker-like.
posted by davejay at 10:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wait, now you can be "ever-so-pomo" just by thinking New Yorker cartoons are unfunny? You're telling me I read all that Deleuze for nothing?
posted by RogerB at 10:05 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Davejay, you would be a welcome dinner guest at my house any day.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 10:06 AM on September 11, 2012


Pomeranians are well known for their dislike of droll humor.
posted by griphus at 10:06 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Basically since there was nobody there to marry Adam to Eve, they were having sex out of wedlock, so those are sinning nipples right there.

Also, that makes all of their descendants illegitimate bastards?
. Sorry all of humanity! That is what nipples do! Render an entire species illegitimate!

posted by Joey Michaels at 10:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I did not understand the Adam and Eve cartoon until somebody explained upthread for me it's a play on original sin.

It might be interesting to see what fraction of the readers laughed at that cartoon right off. I'm thinking far fewer than a half. We could take a poll: 1%, 10%, 40%, 70%. What do you think?
posted by bukvich at 10:15 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


You spelled 'rarely' wrong. You probably have autocorrect on.

I also accept and have no problem with the fact that there is a considerable number of intelligent people out there who just don't get New Yorker cartoons. The great thing about Jim Carey and Robin Williams is that you always know when they're being funny, and when to laugh.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:16 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The trouble with New Yorker cartoons is: you have to think so much that by the time you've figured it out, the doctor is ready to see you.
posted by hexatron at 10:20 AM on September 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think the New Yorker should take its lead from Viz.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:21 AM on September 11, 2012


I started reading New Yorker cartoons differently ever since I first visited my future mother-in-law's house and saw a framed copy of a cartoon from the magazine that was drawn specifically, though not explicitly, about her (then-deceased) husband. It was one of those sort of vaguely confusing 'huh I guess that's funny, sort of' cartoons, unless you know about the particular details of the particular corporate merger it was in reference to, and a particular detail of my father-in-law's personality.

Now whenever I fail to understand one of their cartoons, which is often, I just assume it's another in-joke aimed at some subset of NYC wealth.
posted by ook at 10:22 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh hey guys did you hear the one about how New Yorker cartoons are obscure and unfunny because I think after Seinfeld had a whole episode about it everyone is ready for my fresh take on the material.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:23 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


For anyone who actually enjoys New Yorker cartoons, I suggest picking up the digital archives (or the giant-ass book), and taking a look at the ones from between the 20s and the 50s. Many are actually ha-ha funny, and they're considerably more biting and satirical than the stuff that runs today (which generally varies from "wholly inoffensive" to "somewhat liberal.")
posted by griphus at 10:27 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


WHY DID THE NEW YORKER CARTOON CROSS THE ROAD
posted by elizardbits at 10:27 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I only read New Yorker for the articles.
posted by naju at 10:29 AM on September 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't even understand the offending comic.

I thought it was quite straightforward - Adam and Eve have just had sex for the first time. For all the excitement of sinful knowledge that the forbidden fruit/serpent promised, the sex wasn't very good and actually very awkward. Eve is awkwardly trying to make Adam feel better about his lacklustre clumsy performance: "Well, it *was* original [sin]"
posted by Bwithh at 10:31 AM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


WHY DID THE NEW YORKER CARTOON CROSS THE ROAD

To get away from the cocks who kept criticizing it.

and something about a hen
posted by davejay at 10:33 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


and yes, I laughed. Inwardly and intellectually, in a rarified and dignified Yankee Brahmin way
posted by Bwithh at 10:33 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


There's always two or three good cartoons per issue. Last week it was this one, this one, and this one. If you don't grin at at least one of those then I don't know what to say, maybe go take a nice walk or something

thedolite: can you do this every week, I mean, as a public service?
posted by chavenet at 10:34 AM on September 11, 2012


Jesus. If we start banning any image that someone might theoretically want to masturbate to, the internet is going to be a really quiet place really fast.

And yet, surprisingly, this place is still around.
posted by phaedon at 10:40 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's always two or three good cartoons per issue. Last week it was this one, this one, and this one.

I truly did not believe you, but the first and third ones were indeed pretty good, and the beret one is fucking stellar.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:45 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought it was quite straightforward - Adam and Eve have just had sex for the first time. For all the excitement of sinful knowledge that the forbidden fruit/serpent promised, the sex wasn't very good and actually very awkward. Eve is awkwardly trying to make Adam feel better about his lacklustre clumsy performance: "Well, it *was* original [sin]"

Sex isn't sinful. They were specifically told to "be fruitful and increase in number". The original sin was eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which they were forbidden from doing. They are sitting under that tree in the comic. Eve is saying that she may have done a terrible thing, but at least it was original.

In summary: God doesn't exist
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:46 AM on September 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


The beret comic was probably the best one I've seen in weeks. Mainly because it's exactly how I feel when I wear half the things I do.
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


and the beret one is fucking stellar.

Roz Chast is hilarious.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:51 AM on September 11, 2012


mephron: So you can stop commenting about your ever-so-pomo dislike of them, and go back to your tenth martini this lunch.
Since the indigenous people of California are probably not known for drinking martinis by the decade, I'm going to have to assume you object to advocates of a Permanent Open Market Operation.

Which, like many New Yorker cartoons, is neither funny nor comprehensible.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Roz Chast is a national treasure. Of all the regular cartoonists, she's the most reliably funny and insightful.
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


> For anyone who actually enjoys New Yorker cartoons, I suggest picking up the digital
> archives (or the giant-ass book), and taking a look at the ones from between the 20s and
> the 50s.

WARNING! If you are at all tempted by the "absolutely every single cartoon" from the whole era claim, they're pdfs. And if they were originally full page cartoons the pdf version can't be blown up to full-page size without going all pixely.
posted by jfuller at 11:02 AM on September 11, 2012


It's a joke about original sin right? With a pun on "original" meaning novel or creative rather than being the source of sin.

Yes, but what is the referent to "that" in the comic? Sex? Or the apple?


The badger they poked with a spoon is just out of the frame, see.
posted by naoko at 11:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


What about this contest?

Rarely has "Christ, what an asshole." been such a perfect solution. Though my preference would be "Of course, the horsehair wigs are all recreations based on archaeological remains and indigenous oral histories."
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:06 AM on September 11, 2012


One easy way of this stuff getting into the circles where people consume it as pornography is for it to start as pictures taken by underage girls of themselves, posing sexually, wearing bikinis, wearing the kind of revealing clothes, and generally doing things that are totally fine for a 14 year old girl to take pictures of themselves doing, but are creepy when grown men are looking at them and masturbating.

...what? "Non-nude pornography," is this actually a thing now? Because this, defining the wrongness of a thing by what some hypothetical actors might do with it, sounds exactly like our current national hysteria over child pornography spinning off the track and becoming an entirely new kind of crazy, the Satanic panic of our age.
posted by JHarris at 11:30 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


defining the wrongness of a thing by what some hypothetical actors might do with it

The idea as to whether morality is absolute or relative, objective or subjective, inherent or acquired, is a very interesting one.
posted by davejay at 11:39 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


...what? "Non-nude pornography," is this actually a thing now? Because this, defining the wrongness of a thing by what some hypothetical actors might do with it, sounds exactly like our current national hysteria over child pornography spinning off the track and becoming an entirely new kind of crazy, the Satanic panic of our age.

I wasn't suggesting any additional panic or that such pictures should be banned, but it most certainly is a thing. It's what /r/jailbait was, before they shut it down. I was merely expressing some sympathy for Facebook, because these pictures are often identified as being "from Facebook" and I wouldn't want my brand associated with what's basically closeted child porn.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:40 AM on September 11, 2012


Came for the cartoons, stayed for the crypto-9/11 Truther reference.
posted by Chrischris at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2012


Chrischris, that's a military drone.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on September 11, 2012


Came for the cartoons, stayed for the crypto-9/11 Truther reference.

I'm not really sure I get it, but I think that's meant to be a Predator drone? Not sure I see the 9/11 reference.
posted by naoko at 11:47 AM on September 11, 2012


Whoops, shakesperian beat me to it.
posted by naoko at 11:48 AM on September 11, 2012


And on top of that, I spelled his or her name wrong.
posted by naoko at 11:49 AM on September 11, 2012


Because this, defining the wrongness of a thing by what some hypothetical actors might do with it, sounds exactly like our current national hysteria over child pornography spinning off the track and becoming an entirely new kind of crazy, the Satanic panic of our age.

That takes an extra leap of saying that everything that can be used as pornography is wrong though. It's entirely true though that a relatively large amount of what is functionally used as pornography isn't explicitly sexual or obscene, especially for more fringe fetishes that focus on things other than naked people having sex. If people use a shoulder massage device for sexual purposes, it makes sense to talk about it being a sex toy, and similarly if people get off looking at something that isn't intended to be sexual or wouldn't been seen in a sexual way by most people then it makes sense to talk about it being pornography.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:49 AM on September 11, 2012


A military drone being flown over Central Park Sailboat Pond by a shadowy figure whose face we can't see?

I guess I was commenting on the questionable taste of the cartoon more than anything else. I knew it was a Predator drone.
posted by Chrischris at 11:53 AM on September 11, 2012


You're telling me I read all that Deleuze for nothing?

Considering there is no good reason to read Deleuze, probably.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:56 AM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought it was quite straightforward - Adam and Eve have just had sex for the first time. For all the excitement of sinful knowledge that the forbidden fruit/serpent promised, the sex wasn't very good and actually very awkward. Eve is awkwardly trying to make Adam feel better about his lacklustre clumsy performance: "Well, it *was* original [sin]"

Interesting. I think you have hit on why this cartoon is so problematic. Original Sin has nothing to do with sex but rather with the fall of man and therefore mankind's expulsion from Eden. After the expulsion every man is born into sin. The Bible never specifies whether or not Adam and Eve had sex in the Garden but eating the forbidden fruit made them ashamed of their nakedness. Since they were not ashamed before, you must decide for yourself whether or not they had engaged in sexual congress but bear in mind that animals have sex without shame.

Therefore in order to find this cartoon amusing, you must first think "Original Sin" but that isn't something that might pop into your head when you look at two naked people sitting under a fruit tree. Therefore you must go through some tortured reasoning. Which makes it less successful.

However I do have the big ass book of complete cartoons and I can attest to them being very amusing.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:14 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I see a New Yorker cartoon, my reaction is is to fall on the floor waving my arms and legs around wildly like an infant, suddenly unable to process any logic or comprehend any art. The cartoons are just so impenetrable and absurd that they break my ability to understand anything about the world. All suppositions about the cartoons meaning seem equally likely. Am I even reading it right side up? Why are the caption letters all slanty? Is this in English? What is language? It's the best I can do not to choke on my own spit-up.
posted by fleacircus at 12:17 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are you totally sure that's a New Yorker cartoon and not a gas leak? It wouldn't be the first time they were mixed up.
posted by griphus at 12:22 PM on September 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


After eating the apple, Adam and Eve were now ashamed of their nudity. Why? What does this have to do with "knowledge of good and evil"? The answer might help us understand this whole Facebook mystery a little better, or even more pressing, the intended-punchline-of-this-New-Yorker-comic mystery.
posted by dgaicun at 12:24 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tough crowd.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:28 PM on September 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


After eating the apple, Adam and Eve were now ashamed of their nudity. Why?

Adam's penis was kind of small and, no longer blissfully ignorant, he is now ashamed. Eve tries to comfort him by claiming the sex they've been having -- which she now recognizes as embarrassingly inadequate due to Adam's small penis and lack of cunnilingus skills -- was at least "original."
posted by asnider at 12:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This discussion inspired me to start a new absurdist twitter account! New Yorker cartoons without the cartoons.
posted by naju at 1:16 PM on September 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


That takes an extra leap of saying that everything that can be used as pornography is wrong though.

That's a leap that, when it comes to kids, our nation has shown itself able to make, readily, every time.
posted by JHarris at 1:28 PM on September 11, 2012


I'll never forget the day. I was working for IBM, about 1981, and hopped on the elevator on the 4th floor, going to the 15th, and there she was: proud, defiant, with one strongly protuding nipple, bulging against her tight-weaved Angora sweater. White, if I remember correctly.

The sweater, not the girl.

I couldn't help but look. I was young, and this was the first time I'd seen such a sight.

She caught my gaze, no, my stare; and she looked me straight in the eye and said "CNS".

"What?" I asked.

"Crippled Nipple Syndrome" she said as she exited on the 13th floor. I never saw her again. And by the grace of the gods, I've never seen another CNS woman.
posted by lometogo at 1:34 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


> The cartoons are just so impenetrable and absurd that they break my ability to understand anything about the world.

Favorite thing about them! Most recent one I went to the length of cutting out showed a fellow in a suit trying to go up a very heavily traveled Down escalator. Off to the side there's a fellow telling another "Bob was raised in the wilderness by salmon."
posted by jfuller at 1:41 PM on September 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


A military drone being flown over Central Park Sailboat Pond by a shadowy figure whose face we can't see?

I guess I was commenting on the questionable taste of the cartoon more than anything else. I knew it was a Predator drone.


My interpretation was that the drone is the end result of one-upmanship taken too far. The spook is a big child with his big toy, overshadowing the boy and his boats, just as adults sometimes do with their gas-powered RC vehicles. Only much more sinister.
posted by yath at 1:57 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I thought the nipple cartoon was simply that they're kind of shocked at how the whole thing went, and a bit stunned, because they'd had no frame of reference for what "sin" would actually be like. So they're kind of in shock, and have nothing to say, so they say the only thing they can: "well, that was original."

Like, you'd go into a circus tent to see a show advertised as "astounding!" and inside, instead of what you'd expect (circus stuff) you witness, say, two elephants stomping up and down on top of actual children, who were now dead and bleeding profusely all over the ring. You might then walk out of the circus tent, overwhelmed, in shock, having seen this thing you cannot unsee and can never unsee, and you turn to your companion and say "well, that was astounding."

or like if you went into a plate of beans, expecting them to be overthought...
posted by davejay at 2:35 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're telling me I read all that Deleuze for nothing?

Guys, we have a new Christ, what an asshole. This works as a caption for any New Yorker cartoon, ever. It really does. Think about it.
posted by Acheman at 2:56 PM on September 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


They can't all be Ziggy.
posted by Brocktoon at 2:58 PM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not really sure I get it, but I think that's meant to be a Predator drone? Not sure I see the 9/11 reference.

I'm guessing it's a commentary on life in a post-9/11 surveillance society. Or maybe it's an ad for the new Robocop film.
posted by homunculus at 3:42 PM on September 11, 2012


Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog etc.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:19 PM on September 11, 2012


jfuller writes "Favorite thing about them! Most recent one I went to the length of cutting out showed a fellow in a suit trying to go up a very heavily traveled Down escalator. Off to the side there's a fellow telling another 'Bob was raised in the wilderness by salmon.'"

Now that's funny.
posted by Mitheral at 7:53 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog etc.

Interesting for a kid in 8th grade science class?
posted by asnider at 9:27 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your Facebook is False (with Rainn Wilson)
posted by homunculus at 12:41 PM on September 13, 2012


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