And the Winner Is – The Dictator’s Speech!

South African political cartoonist Zapiro conflates the Libyan Revolution with the Academy Awards. [Source: Mail & Guardian online]

Forget dancing with the stars. Now you can rub elbows with the autocrats at the Academy Awards, via Zapiro’s latest political cartoon. The irreverent South African satirist appears on Al Jazeera’s Listening Post, which features his latest seditious venture – ZA News.  I was pointed to this panel by AJE’s Libya live blog.

I grasp only a little bit, visually, of what’s going on here. I’d love to hear/read someone’s description/interpretation. Please leave a comment!

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2 Responses to And the Winner Is – The Dictator’s Speech!

  1. AndyJ says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the brilliant post.

    Here’s a description of the cartoon.
    1st panel: “The 2011 Naked Emperor Oscars” above a statuette of a Roman emperor wearing a laurel wreath, looking embarrassed, covering his privates with his hands.

    2nd panel: “Burlesque-oni”. Berlusconi sits in a chair, grinning. On his lap sits a nearly naked stripper wearing a g-string and pasties with tassels. The tassels are airborne, indicating that she’s been exercising them. More strippers kick up their legs on a stage in the background. Two scowling cops, one carrying handcuffs, approach Berlusconi from the rear.

    3rd panel: “Hereafter starring Jacob Zuma.” Zuma has a shower head in place of a halo. He’s smiling at the “camera” while hanging a sign reading “Under New Management” on the Pearly Gates. A puzzled angel hovers in the background.

    4th panel: “The Fighter.” An R. Crumb-ish boxing referee, wearing blank glasses, is saying “It’s a draw!” His shirt is labeled “AU”. One boxer, wearing trunks labeled “Gbagbo,” is passed out on the floor. The other boxer, one fist still raised from the knockout blow, wears trunks labeled “Ouattara.”

    5th panel: “127 Hours – Desert drama starring any Arab dictator you care to mention.” An Arab wearing a qaffiyeh, with an anxious look on his face, is pinned in a narrow gorge by a rock on his arm. He’s holding a knife in his right hand. Tremble lines indicate the knife is shaking as he contemplates cutting off the pinned arm.

    6th panel: “The King’s Speech, featuring the incoherent babbling of Brother Leader.” Qaddafi, wearing a fez and looking deranged, hollers into an antique microphone, his left arm raised with the hand in a fist. It’s a take-off on a scene from the beginning of the film The King’s Speech.

    7th panel: “the social network.” A young man wearing a fez faces a laptop, his right index finger striking a key. The screen shows a Facebook page labeled “Topple your despot.” Below the title it says “342 million people like this.”

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Andy, thanks so much for the vivid detail!

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