Friday, February 03, 2006

Drawing the Line

The story of the Danish cartoons blew out of proportion. This would be a good thing, in the best tradition of the cartoonist profession (take the subject to the extremes; highlight your subject matter through magnification of its characteristics) if human lives weren't suddenly at stake.
And that's where i draw the line.
Every coin has two sides, and sometimes oversimplification can obscure significant parts of the subject matter.Cartooning at its best is aggresive polemic.And any good general will attest that when fighting a war,things like timing,target picking, battleground chosing and good estimation of the opponent's intentions are the factors that can win or lose a war.And these are things that every artist, in every cartoon should take into consideration, including the Danish colleaques.
But.
This is a discussion for a quieter time and a safer setting. For now,the important thing, the target where i would choose to concetrate my firepower, is protection of the right to free expression.No asterisks, no "yes but" and no neutrality is allowed here.
This right must be protected at all costs.For everyone.This is not as simple as it sounds.It means also the right of someone to print any crazy thing he likes about the Holocaust.It means the right to cartoon pedophile Catholic Priests when the situation needs it.It means my right to schedule my viewing of "the Last Temptation" according to the theater's timetable, not the religious mob's whims.
And it also means that everybody, big or small, in the news business, will see to it that views opposite to ours will be given equal opportunity to challenge our certainties.Are we so sure that we can be subjected to the same acid test we put others trhrough?
We can talk the talk, can we walk the walk?

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