PunditMom raises some interesting questions about the, shall we say conversation-stimulating new cover of the New Yorker. (I call it a double-irony because it makes you ask, 1, are they making fun of the Obamas, Muslims, or Black Panthers? Or, 2, of the people who infer an association?) Mocking the number one team is highly fashionable. The interesting observation PunditMom makes is that it's not only unfashionable to mock the number two or three team, but those who do are passionately censured. It's unfashionable *not* to censure said mockers.
Ethnically mixed societies at uneasy peace are nothing new of course. And so there must also be a long precedent to the effect PunditMom illuminates. Some sound reason for the rigid byzantine rules of political correctness. Here's a try at answering her question. Once ethnic groups begin commercial integration, insulting the disadvantaged groups must be stifled. Otherwise you got your insurrection. So when someone says "whatever you do, don't disrespect Muslims" they may be channeling subconscious instincts "don't encourage Muslim revolt". Think it's sincere? The best way to appear sincere is to believe it yourself. Just notice how rarely westerners get passionate about anything else Muslim. But hey, I'm really very content with selfishness doing more good than evil.
Back to the complexities of double-irony. After Obama is elected, I look forward to the doubly-ironic political cartoon (here and now I predict it) where U.S. Christians parade Obama as a conspicuous human shield on display for the benefit of the Muslim world, wearing a sandwich board "Lookit his name, will you? Now PLEASE don't hurt us!" I think it might be the shrewdest ever phantom campaign platform. Not for duping Muslims, but Christian voters.
Speaking of double-irony, reminds me of Nellie McCay. Is she mocking feminists? Or feminist bashers? Probably the latter, but I revel in not being sure. I adore ambiguous people because I think the rest are just up to something that will ultimately confuse me more.