tag : bright yellow-green apples: the funny pages

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

the funny pages

I wasn’t quite sure whether to add to the mountains of comment about the recent furore over some cartoons published in various newspapers. But there are number of things which bother me, about the coverage, and the principles of the various protagonists, that I need to set down. Plus the comment here goaded me on.

(1) The headline image is not an attack on Muhammad, that much is plainly obvious – but an attempt to satirise those who use him as an inspiration to harming others, and go about destroying innocent lives through their zealous violence. (There is, thus, a lot of irony in the protesters who called for bombings and killings of those they feel have affronted them). But the majority of the protesters have thus got the wrong end of the stick...

(2)...as much as the media coverage, which has been fascicle enough to help people imagine that there hasn’t been a long tradition of portraying Muhammad in Islamic art. The mere presentation is not an affront to the sacredness of religion, despite what some Muslims may say. There has been a lot of sanctimonious rushing to understand, without actually get a grip on the sheer diversity of Muslims around.

(3) This isn't really a matter of defending free speech, apart from in the fantasies of a few ideologues that manage to presume it's best to show how valuable our social openness is by using that chance to whip up trouble. Most of us need offending, to keep us on our toes. But it's an abuse of our press to use it for attention-seeking self-indulgence. Most of the cartoons that were fussed-over tried to make up for how dull their satire was by just being deliberately bad taste. They were just piss-poor humour. Like the Pete Kay skit where he has some "alternative comedians" with an act that consists of swearing at pensioners.

(4) The genuinely subversive cartoonists out there, please sharpen your pens and set to work - we need better than this extreme stupidity. Indeed we deserve the best our cultures have to offer, at this time more than ever, when some seem to want to spark off the supposed clash of civilisations.


Blogger hatchris said...

That site is awful. Thought I might as well try the link.


Yknow, when I made up my possible scenario for WWIII, Danish cartoons didn't feature. I daresay things will be back to 'normal' in a little while, or a close approximation.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Martin said...

Life's full of surprises, isn't it, Chris...

I'm not clicking on the link, I just came here to register my admiration for the cartoon again (yours, obviously, not the stupid one).

11:41 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Martin -

I should note I've also had commendations from someone who didn't want to give her name, lest she be accused of bias ;) Thanks again - and very sensible of you not to follow said link...

12:31 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Chris -

It's all a bit crazy at the moment, but we can only hope that everyone moves onto something else that might catch thier attention, in due course...

12:32 AM  
Blogger John said...

The cartoons are awful timing as we are trying to civilize these people.

Still, buy Danish! As the anti-boycott campaign says. As long as Danish embassies are getting torched, I'm going to scarf down Harvati.

3:13 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

John -

Hellow there, and how nice to have you popp over. I'm thinking I might have to try out some of this cheese now - it sounds rather pleasent.

Perhaps you could explain further who you're referring to as "these people", and what this civilising involves?

11:27 PM  
Blogger hatchris said...

Oh gosh, yes. Harvati is lovely cheese. Really yummy stuff. Ate lots whilst I was in the US of A.

Still, I rather think we need some civilizing of our own before we can think about civilizing anybody else.

Don't forget, the Middle East gave us Algebra, and Astronomoy, and Dates!

2:20 AM  
Blogger hatchris said...


' Life's full of surprises, isn't it, Chris...'

Yup. Like the by-election result? Super!

2:21 AM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Bravo. You hit the nail on the head!

4:02 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Why thankyou - if the humour crossed both the virtual divide and the atlantic ocean, then there must be summit in it!

And yes, Chris, dates are one of the greatest contributions to the state of the world :)

12:37 AM  
Blogger John said...

Well, what I mean is that it is many practices are acceptable in the Muslim world that those of us in the West consider barbaric, such as slicing off the clitorises of little girls, killing women because they have been raped -- well, just about everything that they do to women over there.

Not to mention their rampant paranoia about the Jews and general willigness to riot with the slightest provocation. I mean, people have died because of these cartoons. It's like so many Muslims have any sense of proportion or control over their anger.

It is somewhat comporable to the 'Christianity' of Francisco Pizarro or Hernando Cortez. Thankfully, that Christianity has transmuted, over time, into something far less genocidal.

So what we're trying to do in Iraq is into introduce a retrovirus into Islam that will pacify it -- make it less willing to go flying off the handle and killing people.

And it's very important that we do so now. Because once nuclear weapons become accessible in the Middle East, London, Washington, NYC, and many other cities are going to get vaporized. And that will require a massive response in kind.

A crazy civilization without nukes is more or less managable. We can put them in a corner and be alright. A crazy civilization with nukes will force us to obliterate it.

In the long run, people will be able to make a nuke from chemicals under their kitchen sink. So we cannot simply stop the nuclear clock. Technological progress will eventually put nukes in their hands.

So, what do we do with a crazy civilization trying to get nukes? First, we do our best to keep nukes out of their hands and do whatever we can to uncrazify them.

10:52 PM  

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