1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Knitting Equals Pleasure, Despite ME/CFS
Jody Smith loves knitting. Again. She thought her days of knitting and purling were long over but ... she's back ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

"Chronic fatigue" cartoon in New Yorker.

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by ixchelkali, Mar 30, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes:
    265
    Long Beach, CA
  2. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,267
    Likes:
    5,462
    I'm not sure. Kaplan's done some good, intelligent and dark stuff before. It would be disappointing if this was a stupid CFS cartoon... it might not be. I'm not sure how to read it.

    I know how widespread prejudices about CFS are, and that makes me read it as ignorant and dismissive.

    I respect some of Kaplan's work, and that makes me want to think he educated himself about the issues, and drew a dark illustration of the hardships faced by those with CFS.
  3. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes:
    176
    USA.Earth
    I think the cartoon is an attempt at irony, not humor.
  4. pine108kell

    pine108kell Senior Member

    Messages:
    140
    Likes:
    26
    Tired? I agree with OP. I Don't like it.
  5. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes:
    265
    Long Beach, CA
    I wrote a letter to the editor of the New Yorker explaining why I didn't find it funny and quoting from the CDC's 2006 news conference (I know, I know, but the public still thinks of them as the experts): "We've documented, as have others, that the level of functional impairment in people who suffer from CFS is comparable to multiple sclerosis, AIDS, end-stage renal failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease." I don't know if it will make any difference, but maybe we can educate one person at a time.
  6. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,244
    Likes:
    5,151
    Queens, NY
    I'm also confused whether to be offended by it but, at the same time I'm thinking "why even attempt a chronic fatigue cartoon?:
    Is it that people out there are thinking, talking about it?
    Cartoons are meant to be funny or ironic.
    It's hard to judge what the motivation here was. I don't really get it.
  7. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

    Messages:
    2,490
    Likes:
    1,175
    NYC (& RI)
    The way I see the New Yorker's cartoons is they are meant to be wry, but they often don't succeed, like this one. I'm not really offended if someone makes fun of "CFS", if they are an 'equal opportunity offendor.' I wouldn't mind if Sarah Silverman made fun of "CFS" because she says tasteless stuff about everyone.

    But I don't like it when a place like the New Yorker, that isn't generally offensive, singles out our disease for ridicule as opposed to those with adequate names like MS and AIDS. CDC is mostly to blame for this since they changed the name from ME to "CFS" so we would be mocked and marginalized. This doesn't let the New Yorker off the hook though.
  8. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    8,087
    Likes:
    10,394
    England, UK
    Hilarious! :confused:
    If I put it on my wall, it would remind me, every day, how hilarious my illness is. :rolleyes:

    You can even buy a large framed version of it for only $445.
    I might buy one instead of donating to the WPI.


    Being non-ironic for a moment, I just don't actually get what the cartoon is about.
    I mean, even if you thought CFS was a joke, the cartoon still doesn't make any sense to me, unless the cartoonist is going out of his way to insult very many people with CFS and IBS. Is he saying that Chronic Fatigue and Irritable Bowell are both imaginary syndromes? Why mix the two syndromes in a single cartoon, as if they are the same thing?

    Or unless it is making a serious point about the seriousness of CFS and IBS, which doesn't work.

    ETA: The more I look at it, the more I don't understand the point of it, unless it is intended to be insulting.
  9. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,714
    Likes:
    5,546
    Agree with people who don't like it.

    It's a bit like people who complain that people with ME/CFS say they have no energy and yet have energy to complain about things: we never said we had zero energy in the first place: we just have reduced energy.
  10. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,115
    Likes:
    57
    Ottawa, Canada
    Here is what I get from this.

    First, the title. He tried to make something out of CFIDS but could not. He came close, though. - CFIBS
    (chronic fatigue irritable bowel syndrome)

    This is happening in a psychiatrist's office.
    The lady is saying that if she were not that tired (chronic fatigue), she would have enough energy to complain about her IBS, too.
    It looks like a real CBT session to me!

    In summary, people with CFS are nut heads. They complain about everything (imaginary).

    If it took me so long to figure this out, I wonder how many others besides me were able to understand this type of humor... Probably, not that many.
  11. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,244
    Likes:
    5,151
    Queens, NY
    It definitely doesn't cast us in a positive light.
    We are pictured as complainers for "no apparent reason".
    Why is everyone picking on us?
    Is it "how can we make the lives of ME/CFS patients as miserable as possible" month?
  12. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,714
    Likes:
    5,546
    I didn't think of that way (psychiatrist's office) of looking of it after I read "A woman lies on her couch and speaks to a man in a living room"

    But this is a good summary of what I saw:
  13. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    47
    I will tell you all, I'm the first to enjoy a good laugh. But this is not appropriate. I don't try to manufacture a joke about AIDS, and this is no different. I don't see why the questions here, about how to take this cartoon. It is offensive, and my email to the New Yorker said so in no uncertain terms.
  14. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

    Messages:
    598
    Likes:
    3
    I agree with Kurt - an attempt at irony.

    But here is what I really find ironic.

    This is a CFS forum not a forum for those with CF. So why the upset people?

    If you write in and complain about this - you are simply perpetuating the lie that CFS = CF and playing right into the psych camp.

    As there is no direct or implied reference to CFS, (unless your view of CFS = CF + IBS and that is all), the best thing the CFS community as a whole could do in my view, to matters like this one, - is to simply ignore it.

    Further, if you were likely to complain - they have an out. They will say (and perhaps rightly so) that they were not referencing CFS.

    Some people do indeed suffer from the symptom CF and not the condition CFS.

    I don't and dont suppose many in this forum would either.

    Having said that, if you have CF ( a symptom of many underlying illnesses) and IBS - this attempt at irony would be upsetting to such people all the same.

    But I suggest you leave it to such people to complain.

    ISO
  15. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

    Messages:
    161
    Likes:
    47
    Further, if you were likely to complain - they have an out. They will say (and perhaps rightly so) that they were not referencing CF



    The fact that many people are not educated about the potentially deadly ME/CFS and instead refer to it as CF, doesn't detract from their Probable effort to make a cartoon about people who actually have CFS. I don't think they know the difference at all, and I did suggest they might want to educate themselves because that's what we as "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" patients have to do. Furthermore, i hope they never acquire our horrible illness, as their lives will be a living hell.

    And expressed how inappropriate to put out a cartoon about the illness "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" as it would be to do so about AIDS. Certainly wish the cartoon creator knew the difference between CFS and CF, but probably not. In light of the WSJ article and its' inaccuracies, maybe it wouldn't matter anyway, but my money is on CFS

    My point was to research your topic prior to attempting a joke about a whole slew of people who continue to be blasted by some mediae. When I see it, I'll be there for our cause and if somebody is alienated, maybe they will be inspired to do the research. You more mellow fellows can take that teaching on, but I won't be doing it that way. Thanks. ACTUP.
  16. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

    Messages:
    598
    Likes:
    3
    Hi 5150

    There is, however, no evidence anywhere to suggest that they were probably doing that and that, is the problem unfortunately.
  17. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

    Messages:
    252
    Likes:
    250
    It’s not irony, but rather paradox – somewhat like Lou Grant’s famous hangover quip, “Did you ever feel so bad that you’d have to rally to die?”

    That joke is funny if the person has a hangover – not so much if he has cancer.

    The mere fact of the “joke” indicates the author’s belief that the (barely disguised) illness is not to be taken too seriously.
  18. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes:
    2,586
    WA, USA
    laypersons tend to take the Wessely view that there isn't a qualitative difference between burnout and ME/CFS. So in all likelihood, the cartoon intended to include ME/CFS even if it did not intend to specifically target ME/CFS (which is doubtful, given that ME/CFS has been in the news a lot lately)
  19. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

    Messages:
    598
    Likes:
    3
    There is no reference to CFS or context in which it is clear that CFS is the subject of the cartoon ....therefore it's only speculation and by complaining without the context, only gives them ammunition to suggest PWCFs are paranoid and in all likelihood PWCFs are thenuts the psych lobby paint.

    Do not give them that opportunity.

    ISO
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Forbin

    Messages:
    252
    Likes:
    250
    "Chronic-Fatigue Irritable-Bowel Syndrome"

    Perhaps the joke is that both CFS and IBS end in the word "Syndrome." Now that's comedy.

    I can hardly wait to see one on "Chronic-Fatigue Irritable-Bowel Acquired-Immune-Deficiency Syndrome."
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page