Wednesday, February 08, 2006

long live satire

Excellent post by Joe about the cartoon controversy.

I particularly liked this bit:
I am a very devout Seventh Day Cartoonist; I worship at the Cartoonist altar almost every day and believe in the Holy Trinity - Tom, Jerry and Bugs Bunny. I believe in the literal truth of the Complete Crumb Comics. I believe Matt Groening and Fred Quimby were sent down from Cartoon Heaven to be the Great Animator’s disciples on Earth and show us the way to a better, more tolerant and relaxed society by using satire, humour and cartoons. As such I resent the way some Muslims have attacked the Cartoonists. Where are my rights? These unbelievers deserve our wrath - fortunately we Cartoonists don’t believe in burning down buildings, books or threatening the safety of individuals, but we shall be writing to Steve Bell and Ralph Steadman about this. Eat our ink, unbelievers!


emile said...

all cultures enjoy humour. children smile and laugh naturally. but not all humour is at someone else’s expense. in fact it is easier to do insider satirizing than satirizing other cultures en masse. when we laugh at ourselves we laugh well. the absolutism in westerners of a christian, or islamic or judaic tradition comes out in different ways, but is very often there. if it is not in the absolutes of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, it is in absolutes such as ‘the intent of this cartoon is exactly as i intended it’, innocuously good natured or whatever, ... and if the viewer takes it the wrong way, that is his fault. this could be called ‘the declaration of independence of content’ (as in ‘the sound of one hand clapping’). it is pure abstraction. sartre wrote about how it lacked realism in ‘la résponsibilité de ‘écrivain’ in 1946 and how utterances can continue to transform the social dynamic in nasty ways. anyhow, did you hear the one about the ventriloquist who was doing ‘dumb blonde’ jokes when this amazon, articulate blonde in the audience stood up and gave him a real dressing down? she cut him down to size with such authority that he started muttering an apology when she interrupted, saying; ‘you keep out of this mister, i’m talking to that little bastard sitting on your knee.’.

Yvonne said...

dear emile

I understand where you are coming from, but your analysis omits the fact that there were people issuing death-threats in response to the cartoons - surely a disproportionate reaction?

It's hardly surprising that someone would be offended by the cartoons - the problem is the extremist nature of their reaction, threatening to cut people's heads off, setting fire to the Jyllandsposten offices, and so on.