This got forwarded to me by an alert reader, who gets email, as we all do, from some retrograde relatives. You know who I'm talking about, right? Old, white uncle-and-grandpa-type dudes, watchin' them some Glenn Beck and packin' heat.
Heh. Cute, huh?
But, as I chuckled, I realized--hey, I get it--but a lot of things in this joke might seem weird, complicated, or just entirely opaque to younger readers. So I'm taking it on myself to be the younger generation's link with history, much as Senator McCain has done for people like me.
Here, in a nutshell, is what's going on:
Those are our two major-party presidential candidates. Sure, you knew that, right? And they're side-by-side, so you're meant to be comparing them in some way, that much is clear. But what, exactly, is the deal? Well, see how Senator McCain--that's the crusty old white guy, kids!--is wearing some sort of odd clothing? Well, that's his uniform. Senator McCain served in the United States Navy a very, very long time ago when he was a young man. (See how that photo's in black and white? Weird!) Anyway, he was in a war and some really terrible things happened to him, and he handled it pretty well, and has thus been trading on it ever since, although it has nothing much to do with any real job he's ever held. And that's not the point of the joke, anyway--the point is that he's wearing a uniform, which makes him seem rugged and manly, and older folks are into that, especially guys. And anyway, the real point is about the other dude, Senator Obama. He looks pretty cool, huh? Well, yeah, but the joke is that he's wearing some kind of Robe Thingy in that picture, which must be the Native Garb of some crazy foreign country or other, where people, like, jump around and throw spears. This is supposed to make you chuckle, first of all, because it's so much less rugged and manly than the Jumpsuit Thingy that McCain's got, but more importantly because it draws attention to the fact that Senator Obama's father came from the continent of Africa. Wait, you're saying. What's that got to do with it? Well, kids, what's funny is that being partly from Africa makes you black--see how he doesn't quite match the other guy? That's not just the color film! He really does look different! Isn't that hilarious?
No, seriously. Some people think that's funny, the kinda folks who don't spell so good. (Where it says "if your still thinking," I'm pretty sure they meant to write "you're." Now that's comedy.) Back in the twentieth century, people thought that was a kinda big deal--they thought folks from Africa were, like, all wild n' crazy, and had lots of sex and committed crimes and stuff. If you were "black" you couldn't even be president, because not enough people would like you. Weird, but true. Luckily, people are smarter these days.
Anyway, here are the two senators currently, just to clarify things: