Thursday, February 16, 2006

Deadly Danish (or "How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love Cartoons")

Step back folks, I've got my rantin' hat on.

Ok, you've all heard about them. If you're at all curious, you've seen them. Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban. The insinuation being, apparently, that Mohammed was a terrorist. I'd like to say a few words about this.

First off, the idiot who drew this cartoon is a jerk. No question. The moron who decided to print this cartoon in a newspaper was also a jerk. Even then, the cartoon was printed almost a year ago, and the backlash was limited largely to Denmark. But then, some jackass in Germany decided to reprint the cartoon, and that's what sparked the world-wide controversy.

Was the cartoon tasteles? Yes. Was the cartoon idiotic? Yes. Is the cartoon considered offensive by a large number of Muslims? Obviously, yes. So now, everybody and his brother has jumped n the bandwagon to condemn the people responsible. They have been labled racists, bigots, hate-mongers, and worse.

Get the fuck over it.

Guess what? This the price we pay to have free fucking speech. Free speech means exactly that - free. Its a simple word, and one we should all be able to understand by now. Free speech would be easy if no one ever said anything that anyone else disagreed with or found offensive. But this isn't a butterfly and lollipop world filled with universal friendship and love. Its a real world, filled with hard opinions and ideas. Some of these opinions and ideas are anathema to one another, and as such stating these opinions publically tend to piss some people off. Its a sad fact of reality, but it is a fact.

Has anyone else noticed the irony here? Let me illustrate through an anecodote. When I was in high school, my grandfather came to me and said "You're so smart, tell me what 'belligerent' means". I told him that it meant "War-like, prone to violence or confrontation". I asked him why he was interested, and he told me what had happened. Apparently, a guy at work had called my grandfather belligerent. So my grandfather punched him.

My grandfather realized the irony of punching a man who accuses you of being prone to violence.

So now, we have a cartoon depicting Muslims as violent. Their response? Death threats, bomb threats, and actual deaths. People have been killed in protests, including a 7 year old boy. One has to wonder, do the idiots responsible realize the irony of threatening terrorist activities against someone for drawing a cartoon that depicts them as terrorists?

People are dying because of a cartoon. Fuck me sideways. How fucking stupid are we as a species when we start killing each other over a cartoon? Even the phrase "Anti-cartoon protest" sounds idiotic. What's next? The Care Bear Million Man March? How about a sit-in to protest Fred Flinstone's misogynistic treatment of his wife Wilma?

Yes, the cartoons were blasphemous. But when is the world going to start to understand that you can't kill someone for insulting your deity? Its wrong. Hell, if I popped a cap in someone's ass every time they blasphemed against God, I'd be surrounded by corpses.

In a perfect world, we would all be respectful, and never ever do anything that anyone else found offensive. In this perfect world, bunnies and wolves would frolic together, nobody would ever swear, and no one would ever kill someone because of their religious or political beliefs.

But its not a perfect world.


Rach said...

Ash- yup the entire thing is ridiculous and now "they" want to rename that lovely pastry treat the Danish to something else. Give me an f-ing break. Political cartoons are meant to push the envelope and spark controvesy, I don't see this one as being any different then when they made Chretien into a half-donkey.

Seriously people turn the page.

Monkey Diarist said...

Freedom of speech is unheard of in 90% of the world. In fact, most predominantly muslim nations do not have basic human rights much less the right to speak freely.

As far as the controversy itself, i think the issue was less about the fact that the cartoon depicted Momo as a bomb-hatted terrorist and more to do with the fact that Islam forbids ANY depiction of their prophet (any depiction at all whether caricature or portrait).

samuel said...

HAHAHAHA! Oh man, I love your rants. I love them. I love this blog.

Great post, Asher. As always, you've seemed to sum up everything nice and neat (and with a little sarcasm!)

Once again, excellent entry!

Kim Ayres said...

I must admit that I found this one rather amusing: