Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pen meets sword

If any further proof were needed of the evils of the worldwide cartoonism, the current furore over a Danish newspaper’s dirty dozen depictions of Mohammed should convince even the most sceptical of observers. Are the images crude? Perhaps. Insensitive? Maybe. Funny? Alas, no.

WARNING - those of a culturally sensitive disposition should not click on this link in case their heads explode.

“How would you feel if someone drew Jesus with an erect penis?” wails one anguished commentator, too distraught even to butcher his helpless hostages in time-honoured and culturally sensitive fashion. Well, actually, Jesus has had to put up with a lot worse than that over the last two thousand years. For a start, he was played by Robert Powell in “Jesus of Nazareth”. If that wasn’t enough to earn us all a smiting I imagine nothing is. But more to the point, we believers didn’t go around torching cinemas either. OK, we firebombed “Gigli”, but everyone did that, including Ben Affleck’s mum.

Ahmed Qureia, lame duck Palestinian PM, sets the tone: “We hope that the concerned governments are attentive to the sensitivity of this issue. We warn that emotions may flare in this very sensitive issue.” Warn? Emotions may flare? I’ve spent enough time on psychiatric wards to recognize that tone. That’s what all the really sick ones say after they’ve let rip – “look what you made me do!”

Too many Muslims seem determined to confirm everyone’s worst prejudices. It reminds me of my father’s favourite joke – as an Irishman (and a drinker) himself it was one he loved to tell when he had a pint in his hand. Michael sees his friend Paddy walking disconsolately down the street a full half an hour before closing time. “What’s up, Paddy? Why are you out so early?” “They wouldn’t serve me, Michael! They said that us Micks always end up causing trouble.” “Sure that’s terrible, Paddy. So what did you do then?” Paddy hangs his head a little lower. “Aaah, I wrecked the place, o’ course…”

Sadly there were never any Muslims in the pub to hear it.

Plantu of Le Monde puts his paper firmly back on the itinerary of all truly discriminating headhackers.


Anonymous said...

Europe should consider itself lucky they didn't invite Damien Hirst to give his rendition of the Prophet. If his past work on the topic is any indication, Europe would be all aflame now:


Gorilla Bananas said...

Would burning the cartoons be a valid way of expressing outrage? Or would burning images of the prophet, however blasphemous, also be blasphemous? Tricky one for an ape figure out. I better ask Muttawa.

PI said...

Seems to me that the difference between Muslims and Christians is that Christians have the ability to 'rise above it'.
'I have spent enough time on psychiactric wards' arouses my curiosity but you don't have to enlarge.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi Des - if they start with Mr Hirst, I'm ok with that. All that formaldehyde should go up a treat.

Hi GB - excellent point, but I think their innate desire to burn stuff will overcome any qualms they might have on that point. Might be unfair to ask Muttawa, on account of him not being a headbanging lunatic and so poorly placed to provide the proper perspective.

Hi Pi - It was my tendency to enlarge that got me introduced to the wards in the first place :)

Anonymous said...

According to these guys, depictions of the Muslim prophet aren't that unusual, much less blasphemous:

At any rate, the message should be: it's just a cartoon! Get a fuckin' grip!


Ivan the Terrible said...

And none of those cartoons were funny, either. Apart from the Dore one for Dante.