Open Thread: Of Monkeys, Cartoons, and Stimulus Packages

by Latoya Peterson

What’s your first response to this picture?

Over at Gawker, where Hamilton Nolan posted the image and an update, there has been some conjecture as to what the cartoonist meant to convey.

They brought up a news hook where there was a trained/pet monkey shot by the police after attacking a woman in California in Connecticut on Friday.

Others ventured it was a rift on the old monkeys/typewriters/Shakespeare joke.

Now that you’ve seen the comic, with and without some additional context:

1. What was your first thought?

2. Did it change based on the context?

3. Does a cartoonist have a responsibility to clarify failed jokes?

Update: If a cartoonist has a record of using bigoted imagery or racist/sexist/homophobic jokes, does it change the context of these jokes?

(Thanks to Kimberly for the tip; RJG and Baiskeli for the update.)