Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoons...Funny and Nice or Mean and Cruel

Originally Published: February 3, 2006

In looking at the headlines, it seems quite clear that we now have people who are just complete idiots. The folks in question are cartoonist. Two different situations have presented themselves that can certainly cause outrage and disgust. In Europe, the European press have published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. For the Islamic religion, this is seen as blasphemy.

Although we live in a time where Islam is seen as the enemy, it is quite clear that many people see religion as a whole as an enemy. The one source of comfort that people can find in the world is within religion. To make a cheap shot on religion can only show someone needs to go down to the lowest common denominator in order to get a point across. In fact, televised media has also jumped on this type of bashing with an upcoming episode of the show ‘Will and Grace.’ In the upcoming episode, pop star Britney Spears will be playing the role of a Christian Conservative who presents a television segment called ‘Cruci-fixins.’ Now, I will admit I work in a Catholic school and have already been sent an email requesting that I voice my opinion on the offensiveness of this particular scene. I cannot help but feel that an area of people’s lives that touches the deepest parts of their souls is an area of comedy. For those who want to know more on my views on religion, I advise you read my post on ‘Star Wars and Religion.’

The second cartoonist offense can be seen from the Washington Post. In this editorial cartoon, we see a soldier wounded in Iraq who has lost all of his limbs. The doctor is being portrayed by Donald Rumsfeld, who tells the wounded soldier he is no battle hardened. Now, where do I take offense? Soldiers who are wounded in action deserve respect and honor. To portray a situation like this with some kind of tasteless humor does not show support towards our own troops. A not of comfort though is that soldiers who have been wounded and lost limbs say they have a thick layer of skin and do not get phased by these things. However, I cannot help but feel that history is being repeated.

After Vietnam, veterans who fought there because their country asked them to were being spit on and called baby killers because the media portrayed them as villains. Although the media has not begun to do this kind of attack yet, I feel that there is the possibility that it could happen again. More importantly, it could happen by the time of our next presidential election. If a new administration comes in that is not in favor of fighting terror as rigorously as our current administration, any attempts by the military to show the necessity of continuing the fight will be seen as American generals are blood thirsty tyrants.

While this particular talking points is more opinionated than anything else, I can’t help but feel it is necessary to sometimes vent these things out.

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