Thursday, October 27, 2011

I don't know what to say

I just looked at today's installment of "+EV." I've been reading this poker-themed web comic strip forever and generally like it. But today? Stunned is all I can say.

Go take a look.

I'm hardly the most politically correct or oversensitive guy on the planet. But explicitly and casually lumping together Africa, blacks, and tribal cannibalism, and expecting that readers will find in it light amusement, demonstrates an ear far deafer to contemporary sensibilities than I think I can be accused of ever having been.

Didn't humor of this variety die out about the time that Amos and Andy went off the air?

Addendum, October 28, 2011

As commenters have noted, the link above no longer works, and the cartoon in question appears to have been taken down from the site. The archive is here, and the one for October 26 doesn't show up there. I have no knowledge of what happened, but since the comic's author submitted a comment here defending his work, I doubt that he had a sudden change of heart. Given that the series is sponsored by a prominent online poker site, I would venture a guess that the sponsor was displeased to see its name on that particular strip and asked that it be removed.

I saved a screen shot of the page, anticipating that something like this might happen. (Somehow the top edge and a few words of the text got cut off, and I didn't notice it until now.) I didn't post this at first because I preferred to direct traffic to the site of the original. But since it's not there anymore, there's no way for people to see what I was describing. For that reason, I post it below.


Bobby Crosby said...

LOL, what. You're definitely the most politically correct and oversensitive guy on the planet if you seriously had a problem with that strip. Pretty much every episode of "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" has something more politically incorrect in it, and it's not even close to the most politically incorrect "+EV" strip. How about the "Big Blind" storyline? Or the one where Corbin joked about raping his daughter? Also, I didn't expect people to "find in it light amusement" -- I expected most people to think, "Blargh, he was due for an unfunny strip, hopefully the next one will be good." Being offended by it never crossed my mind. It's hard to think of 300 good poker jokes.

The Poker Meister said...

+1 Bobby. I wasn't quite sure how to frame it, and I think you probably were more direct than I would have written, but I think the major crime here is that the strip is simply not funny.

Joking about race, religion, , etc., is basically confronting those stereotypes head-on and poking fun at the people who actually believe them. This strip, although probably intending to do otherwise, is just dumb.

Lance said...

Hey, where'd the strip go? I'm getting a 404 when I try to access it.

Julius_Goat said...

Link is broken. Most recent comic I see is about implied Christmas present odds.

LOL at Grump being PC or oversensitive.

I stopped reading +EV when there wasn't a new comic for about 18 months.

Anonymous said...


Wolynski said...

Amos 'n' Andy was actually very funny.

Listening said...

I actually wouldn't mind the insensitive politically oh-so-not correct if.. I mean.... it's not funny. I think if someone is gonna be jerky that have to at least entertain me...

Drawings are nicely done, tho.'

Julius_Goat said...

Thanks for posting the screencap. I'd say the strip is more a display of ignorance than offensiveness. The "Africans cooking white people in a pot for lulz" trope is centuries old, and basically relies on an understanding of the continent that hasn't evolved from the early 1800s.

Mr. Crosby is correct; shows like The Simpsons and South Park and even The Family Guy do have more "politically incorrect" jokes in them than this. However, what he misses is that those shows also have is a distinct point of view which lends the satire its bite and which usually undercuts the breach in the social contract. This is also what tends to make them funny as opposed to just dumb or offensive.

This strip's point of view seems to be that people are black in Africa, therefore Black Friday, therefore here's an ancient trope based on a retrograde understanding of Africa, for basically no other point than itself. It's pretty hack, and I say that as somebody who frequently has enjoyed +EV.

I think I'm with the Grump here.