Scott on March 14, 2006 at 11:42 am
To me, my blogging partner John is a model of civility and even-handedness. I am often impressed with his ability to NOT go straight for the throat of an issue (or a person) and to, instead, dialogue in a manner both calm and dignified, pedagogical and tutorial.
I hope to be more like John some day, when I grow up. But for now, I feel the need to let my more aggressive, less beneficent nature express itself in regards to this issue. So about this whole “Capitalist Piglet” cartoon and the surrounding furor
Jeff MacDonald is the cartoonist responsible for the charming image of Jesus
in a compromising position with the Capitalist Piglet. Yes, this image is REALLY disturbing AND disgusting. Yes, this image is offensive. Yes, I question the moral paradigm of the person creating such a “comic” image. I don’t think it takes a brain surgeon to see how disgusting, disturbing, offensive, and morally repugnant the cartoon is.
What amazes me is how Jeff MacDonald (or Y!ph as he cleverly calls himself) has tried to justify his actions, changing his attitude and his arguments from one day to the next about the cartoon and the related outcry and objections.
To be honest, though I can’t say for sure, my impression is that Jeff is a kid, a young, immature, naive boy (relatively speaking) who speaks with the arrogant confidence of youth. No wisdom and insight. No maturity and life experience. Instead, there’s a lot of ignorance and overstatement combined with a heaping helping of chutzpah and jumbo-sized coconuts. (Oh, to be that young again)
Perhaps this is a great chance for Jeff to learn from an experience. Maybe Jeff can take the time to consider the situation that has unfolded and to give some thought to the part he played in the unfortunate situation. Then, perhaps, he can grow up.
Am I being hard on Jeff? Maybe. Why am I being hard on Jeff? Because that is how someone like Jeff will learn to NOT be like Jeff. How else will people learn to think first, speak (or draw cartoons) later? How else will people get a clue as to how the real world works with real actions and real repercussions to those actions? How else will people learn to step up and accept responsibility without trying to pass the buck off to everyone else?
Over the last week, I’ve had the chance to get to know some of Jeff’s thoughts through his exchange with my blogging partner John and through reading his response to the cartoon uproar as it appears on Small Dead Animals. I would like to just walk through some of these by identifying his thought, where I get that thought (a quote in his own words), and my reaction.
At various times since last week Jeff has said:
1. He is REALLY pressed for time, even to deal with the situation he created.
Posted on Small Dead Animals: “I don’t have time or the sufficient sanity after the irrationality which I have been reading all morning to respond to everything on here ”
Posted on Verum Serum as a reply to John: “I’m sorry I don’t have time to address all of your comment ”
Again from Verum Serum (same post): Sorry I don’t have more time
Reaction: My grandfather used to tell me to watch out for people who want others to see how busy and important they are. Chances are, those people are accomplishing nothing but are looking busy doing it.
2. Showing this cartoon was necessary and good for society and for the dialogue connected to the Islamic cartoons.
Posted on Small Dead Animals: “I won’t say much about how necessary something like this was ”
Reaction: Yes, Jeff, yes! It was SO necessary to add another offensive, insulting cartoon to the mix! Your cartoon, in fact, brought EVERYTHING into focus. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
3. He never intended the cartoon to be seen by the public.
Posted on Verum Serum as a reply to John: “It (the cartoon) was intended for them (the editors) and only them, in order to show them how some things are just not fit to be published
Reaction: But earlier (#2 above) you expressed how necessary it was for this cartoon to be put out there for viewing. You seem to be contradicting yourself, Jeff. Is your argument that showing this cartoon was necessary -or- that the cartoon was intended only for the editors? You can’t play both sides of that coin.
4. He created the cartoon as a tool, used to instruct and enlighten the editorial staff.
Posted on Verum Serum as a reply to John: “When the comic was drawn, there was a strong chance that one or some of the offensive Mohammed cartoons were going to be reprinted, and it seemed the editors didn’t understand why that was a bad idea. With my comic, I thought I could help them empathize. Empathy is something which a great deal of people lack ”
Reaction: But in #2 above, you seem to be indicating that there was intent for it to be seen in publication, NOT just for instructional edification. Perhaps you should look up empathy in the dictionary.
5. “Capitalist Piglet” is not driven by hate AND is not just there for shock value.
Posted on Small Dead Animals: “Capitalist Piglet” is quite obviously not a hate driven comic, and it is undeniably about more than just shock value ”
Reaction: To use the word “obviously” would connote the idea of something being easily seen and/or understood. Jeff, you were obviously wrong in your assessment of your cartoon’s “obvious” worth. It seems that to most, the cartoon’s intent was driven by hate/contempt/religious bigotry/etc.
To say that the cartoon is “undeniably about more than just shock value” is to WAY OVERESTIMATE your skill as a cartoonist and to WAY UNDERESTIMATE the shock value of having Jesus engaging in oral sex. If you intended some larger/grander/deeper meaning to “Capitalist Piglet,” you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY missed the mark.
6. His two-frame cartoon is so good and has such a unique quality to it that it has some sort of transcendent value.
Posted on Small Dead Animals: “Capitalist Piglet” is quite obviously not a hate driven comic, and it is undeniably about more than just shock value. If it was shock value, I’m sure it would have been more graphic, and it wouldn’t have contained such a unique quality as two punch lines in only two frames â€“ that is cartoon gold.”
Reaction: Cartoon Gold?!? Jeff, you should really consider another line of work (or another hobby). There is no gold in this cartoon. It isn’t clever. There are no punch lines that carry the weight of the humor or of the satire/commentary/comedy. I’m thinking that this cartoon carries with it a different element from the Periodic Table of Elements like Pb (lead).
7. If you don’t live in Saskatoon, you don’t understand the situation.
Posted on Verum Serum as a reply to John: “Do you live in Saskatoon? If not, you might not understand that the Muslim population here is pretty much a terrified minority which is rather repressed by the racist white bigot majority ”
Posted on Verum Serum as a reply to John: ” I still stress that the situation just is not the same here as in a lot of other places. So again, that is part of the “perspective” difficulties that are out there.”
Reaction: I was not aware that Saskatoon was such a hotbed of racial and religious tension. In fact, I grew up in Seattle and spent a lot of time in B.C. and my impression was always that Canadian society was very tolerant and open-minded.
I was curious, so I looked up the demographic data for Saskatoon. To read Jeff’s description that the Muslims are “a terrified minority,” I was expecting more of combination of “Mississippi Burning” meets “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” Instead, I found out that:
In terms of ethnicity, minorities make up nearly 15% of the Saskatoon population. True, Saskatoon may not be the cultural and ethnic melting pot of Saskatchewan, but a 15% minority population is also a considerable number that carries a lot of weight politically, socially, and economically.
In terms of religious affiliation, Christians (Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, et al) comprise nearly 79% of the population. Those residents identified as No Religious Affiliation make up approximately 19.5% of the population. The remaining .5% – 1.5% is divided up between Muslims (.005%), Buddhists (.006%), Jews (.0015%), Hindus (.003%), Sikh (.0008%) and miscellaneous other groups.
So yes, Muslims are a minority in a largely Christian area, but there are other small religious minorities in Saskatoon and they don’t appear to be under massive amounts of oppression. If there were white, racist, xenophobic bigots all over Saskatoon, wouldn’t the Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists all have problems?
Perhaps it isn’t that the Muslims are having the problem with the “racist white bigot majority.” Maybe the problem is with the assumptions that Jeff is making. Well, as my grandfather used to say, “You know what happens when you assume. You make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” Well, since I didn’t have anything to do with the cartoon, I’ll let Jeff take the label of “ass” on this one.
This isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. Christians didn’t riot. No buildings or flags were burned. Nobody died. And yet, it is a big deal because whether intentionally or not, Jeff MacDonald took an issue that IS quite serious and frightening (the whole Mohammed cartoon controversy) and detracted from the debate. The “Capitalist Piglet” got him noticed, which he enjoyed. But it offended and demeaned the person and position of Jesus of Nazareth, the man and Lord worshipped by people around the world. Jesus, his teachings, and his transforming power have been responsible for more good in the world than any other single force or religion. Millions upon millions of lives have been transformed, literally and spiritually.
And yet Jeff reduces all of that awesome, amazing influence and power and love and sacrifice and redemption down to one thing Jesus giving a blowjob to a pig. That’s class.
Here’s a tip, Jeff. It doesn’t take someone who is intelligent, or wise, or educated, or funny to create the crap that you did in this cartoon. It takes an individual who is so devoid of self-meaning that they find themselves needing to demonstrate to others how clever they can be. In reality, their cleverness is just the sad, pathetic attempt of a chimpanzee trying to get the attention of the more civilized, more evolved trainers who feed it and toss it a treat from time to time.
In short, Jeff, your REALLY BAD, disgusting, offensive, non-humorous, non-clever, non-intelligent cartoon is the equivalent of a monkey tossing its own shit at the bars of its cage hoping that someone notices.
Congratulations! You got noticed. Now, after tossing all of your shit around, you should probably go wash your hands.
Category: Absurd & Outrageous |