Category Archives: Culture
Everybody knows President Obama was against same sex marriage until he was for it. He said he evolved on the issue. Justice Kennedy and four other members of the Supreme Court also evolved this week. Now that it’s a civil right, opposition to gay marriage could be considered bigotry.
When I was in high school I was told I could be whatever I wanted to be. I had no idea.
The train of public tolerance for LGBT issues left the station a while ago. Bruce Jenner’s sympathetic interview with Diane Sawyer helped move it down the tracks. In that appearance Bruce wore men’s clothes on the outside but felt like a woman on the inside. Now all of a sudden he’s Caitlyn in a corset on the cover of Vanity Fair.
Who wants to see a 65 year old of any sex in a corset? A lot of people apparently. Caityn had 2 million twitter followers by Friday. On July 15 Jenner will be honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on ESPN’s ESPY Awards. A reality show, “I am Cait”, premiers on “E” network July 26.
Now Cait Courageous is riding the gravy train of one the greatest publicity stunts in history. Not that there’s anything wrong with publicity stunts.
If somebody tells you you can’t draw something, the proper response of any self-respecting cartoonist is to draw that thing. Bosch Fawstin did exactly that and won first prize in the “Draw Mohammad” contest a week ago. In his cartoon a sword wielding Mohammad says, “You can’t draw me”, to which Fawstin responds, “That’s why I draw you.”
He also drew a response. Two heavily armed would be jihadis were gunned down by a cop with a pistol as they tried to turn “Draw Mohammad” into a “Charlie Hebdo” style massacre.
Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau’s approach is different from the Fawstin way. He explained it in his acceptance speech for a Polk lifetime achievement award last month. It’s the punching bag theory of cartooning. He says that satire must always punch up at the powerful and never punch down at the powerless.
Now they tell me. There are rules for satire.
I like Doonesbury but haven’t liked its politics ever since the entire cast cheered Nixon’s wage/price controls back in the early 70’s. But that’s no reason to not appreciate a good cartoon. Doonesbury has been like an ongoing play with well developed characters who grow over time. It’s witty too. Most of the time.
Steyn Punch Down
Mark Steyn, on the other hand, hates Trudeau’s guts. So I picked out some of the good stuff from his column A Contemptible Man Strikes Down:
“The Polk Award is named after a journalist shot dead at point-blank range in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. So you might have thought it would be in ever so mildly bad taste to use the opportunity of a Polk acceptance speech to piss on the graves of a group of journalists similarly murdered. Nevertheless, that’s what Mr Trudeau did:
Charlie Hebdo, which always maintained it was attacking Islamic fanatics, not the general population, has succeeded in provoking many Muslims throughout France to make common cause with its most violent outliers. This is a bitter harvest.
Ah, so Charlie Hebdo is to blame for provoking ordinary, peaceful, moderate Muslims into supporting the Allahu Akbar guys who killed them.
Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.
The Supreme Court is considering whether same sex marriage is a constitutional right. Many court experts think it’s already baked in the cake. American tolerance of homosexuality has improved dramatically in a short time. Does the tolerance go both ways?
LGBT activists recently shunned and boycotted a prominent gay couple for hosting Ted Cruz for a discussion about gay marriage and the Middle East. A Christian couple in Oregon lost their bakery when they refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding. Then a judge fined them $135000. They were kicked off GoFundMe where they were raising funds to pay the fine.
During oral arguments last week Alito asked if churches could lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to perform gay weddings. The government lawyer said it would be “an issue”.