The Man

Friday's Editorial Cartoon   —   Posted on October 21, 2011

Question(s)

1.  To what news topic does this cartoon refer?

2.  What is meant by the term “the Man”?

3.  Define the irony in this cartoon.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Cartoon by Glenn McCoy
























Answer(s)

1. The cartoon refers to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests taking place across the country.  The crowd is generally protesting “greed” and “the rich” and using Wall Street as the symbol for the wealthy.  President Obama has made comments about understanding the frustration of the protesters, which is perceived as support/sympathy for the protesters.  During an October 18th interview with ABC News, President Obama stated, in reference to the Wall Street protestors, “The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side…”

2. The term “the Man” is a slang phrase referring to the government or to some other authority in a position of power.
In the 1960’s this term was used by counterculture groups [“hippies”] in their battles against authority.  “The Man” was their term for the system of government.  The phrase “the Man is keeping me down” is commonly used to describe oppression. The phrase “stick it to the Man” encourages resistance to authority, and essentially means “fight back” or “resist.”  (adapted from wikipedia)

3. The cartoon plays upon Barack Obama’s previous experience as a community organizer, a role in which he might be envisioned participating in protests.  The irony here is that
Mr. Obama, as the President of the United States, is now the ultimate symbol of “the Man.”