Tuesday, 12 June 2012

418: Culture Clash 1

Mad, June 1974
“Bussing In Other Areas for the Purpose of Social Integration”
Writer: Arnie Kogen
Art: George Woodbridge

This cartoon rather belatedly plays on the aftermath of the culture clash of late 1960s / early 1970s America. Bussing was the policy of desegregation in education where black students would be transferred to more upscale usually white schools. So here we get three more culture clashes which would make a lot more topical sense if they had been printed in 1971. Instead, three years later, it’s less like satire and more like nostalgia. We get Hippies, underground newspapers, and Fire island homosexuals on the one side of the gap. On the other side Pat Boone (an Ultra-WASP singer), marines, and hard hats (right wing workers who attacked anti-war protestors). The joke being that in each instance that integration is impossible. If the top cartoon shows an actual path of violence being cleared through all those mucky, lazy hippies, then it’s hard to see how the joke in the bottom panel isn’t “Tee-hee, look the fairies are also going to get a bashing”. Like the gay men in Jack Chick’s “The Gay Blade” , these are some surprisingly old, ugly and balding gay men, to add insult to injury.

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