Wikinvest Wire

When Black and White Fail

Sunday, October 01, 2006

An indecipherable cartoon in this week's issue of The Economist demonstrates the difficulties that arise when only two colors are seen. It appears that some sort of flamethrower is being wielded in the last panel, but it is impossible to know with any certainty due to the limited amount of information conveyed in the black-and-white only drawing.

But, a flamethrower coming from out of the back of a fire truck carries little of the subtlety or irony to which readers of this magazine have grown accustomed on page 9 - surely there is something more.
Is there some detail that is being overlooked that would cause this drawing to rise to the level that has become the norm, or was this simply an off-week, where a straightforward, not-so-funny graphic was the best that could be mustered?

16 comments:

mechie94 said...

I don't think W is using a flamethrower. It's more likely a visualization of the idea that the US has added fuel to the fire of Islamic terrorism. See this week's report on same.

Tim said...

Yeah, I guess the fire truck is full of gasoline or some other combustible - it just seemed too straightforward.

Anonymous said...

Dubya's a fossil fuels man, after all.

jer537369 said...

Have you never heard the saying, "Adding fuel to the fire".

Seems quite an apt summation of the situation to me.

Anonymous said...

It has to be a comment on the leaked report (CIA?) about Islamic terrorism being worse post-Iraq war. Of course, given that the report is from US "intelligence" it has to be taken with a few tons of salt (wmd anyone?).

So yeah, I think the "Adding fuel to the fire" comment above sums it up nicely.

To think a more competent administration/congress would have used, at least, a water gun but hey, we all get the government that we deserve.

Anonymous said...

There is more to it than just adding fuel to the fire. It asks, in effect, "who is the bigger terrorist?"

MyFriendFate said...

Perhaps the "FIRE" displayed so predominately throughout the cartoon symbolizes more than just a "fire truck". Instead of representing a simple noun, it characterizes a state of mind.

Anonymous said...

Tim, speaking from the other side of the pond, I have to say I think you give the Economist way more credit than it deserves. This kind of cartoon is typical fair. It's simply criticising an incompetent administration. Where were they when these policies were first being advocated? In favour of course. You might not remember, but they had a cover in the nineties about oil going to $10 a barrel. They've got incredibly odd views about natural resources being essentially infinite, and the natural environment being impervious to unfettered exploitation. And they've been reflexively opposed to climate change, in a way that contradicts all the major science journals (these views are "gloomy". They actually champion a confirmed crank called Lomborg. It's a bit like the cigarette companies that had doctors advertise smoking) Oh yeah, and they called for Clinton's resignation over Lewinsky. I mean, give me a break. What I find so irritating is that they're very often wrong on simple facts, and mostly drearily opinionated, all the time retaining this pseuodo-objective patronising anonymity. You've got a far better piece of journalism in your own country. It's called the New Yorker. The single page by James Surowiecki contains more insight into issues fiscal than a stack of Economists.

Tim said...

Phil,

It's all a matter of perspective, I believe.

It's been five years or so since I started reading this magazine and the things that first attracted me still do:

- a global view, rather than the myopia common here
- no bylines and little advertising
- taking a stand (right or wrong)

I found their critiques of Alan Greenspan, the housing boom, Donald Rumsfeld, and others to be far ahead of its time, however, I often have issues with the stories in the Finance and Economics section (to their credit, they are brave enough to talk about something like Austrian Economics from time to time.)

I concur with your laundry list of complaints regarding Clinton, Iraq, energy, etc. The more I write the blog, the more I realize that nearly all of the mainstream financial media has a problem with simple facts.

On the other hand, I kind of like the dreariness.

I'll have to start reading James Surowiecki - I know I've read him before, but not recently.

Anonymous said...

This cartoon clearly shows GW fighting fire with fire. You clearly see the terrorist hiding behind the rest of the world while GW is doing this.

The libs would prefer we carry on a quaint discussion with the terrorists instead, while giving the terrorist's plenty of time to regroup and plan their next attack.

Rewarding bad behavior with kindness encourages more bad behavior. Especially when you consider the mindset we're dealing with.

If the rest of the world did their part in fighting terrorism, The war would have been won years ago.

Unfortunately, the US no longer has the financial means to win this war. Terrorists will wage war on Israel and Europe next, and nearly win, after half the place is destroyed. The US will not be able to help out much because we are already bankrupt.

jer537369 said...

anonymous said; "If the rest of the world did their part in fighting terrorism, The war would have been won years ago." And,
"The libs would prefer we carry on a quaint discussion with the terrorists instead."

The U.S. is the babe in the woods of the world when it comes to fighting terrorism. The rest of the world has been fighting terrorism forever. Think IRA, Basque, among others. These conflicts only ended after "quaint discussion" took place.

Truth is, you are governed by buffoons, elected by buffoons, who in a heavy handed and criminally incompetent way, indeed added fuel to the fire of not just terrorism but also the general anti-American mentality that infects the world.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Economist, I have to agree with Phil. I used to be a big fan for all the reasons Tim described, and I still think it is well-written, but their "fundamentalism" has become an annoyance.

Besides the wrong stands Phil already mentioned, they dogmatically oppose any sort of industrial policy, consistently promoting the view that the loss of manufacturing in the UK and US should be embraced, and seem to look forward to the world where everything is engineered, designed and built in Asia. They angrily criticize any moves to slow this process as protectionism and government interference. Paradoxically, they seem to think the English-speaking countries can continue to dominate this world (apparently through the strength of our unrivaled consumers and financial manipulators). Basically, they serve their financial class arguing in the cleverest way possible that what they do not just lines their pockets, but is also of great benefit to the world.

To their credit, they are sober enough to notice that excesses such as growing US deficits, bubbles, and inequality endanger the future of the entire society, ultimately including the financial types. I also very much appreciate their emphasis of common Atlantic values and desire for the continued alliance of US and Europe.

Anonymous said...

I think the expression on the globe's face says it all. Its terrified of whatever Bush is spraying on it and is looking at him like he's crazy.

Anonymous said...

hope that you realize what you say when you throw gas on the flames

Anonymous said...

amazing how the hatred between Dems and Reps is worse than that between the US and the terrorists

Anonymous said...

the anti-American hate has always been there but in the past Americans cared anout the world ....
now they don't and hopefully will never bail you out again , just let you die , die , die

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