Wednesday, February 8

Cartoon Violence

I really didn't want to say anything more about the Danish cartoons. I really didn't. But then the New York Times went and did something really dumb and here I am again. You have the Grey Lady to blame for this post.

The New York Times has taken a public decision not to reprint any of the cartoons because it "refrain[s] from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols." Fine. This may or may not be the reason they don't want to republish them. I suspect that they really don't want to endanger their correspondents in Muslim countries, which is a perfectly acceptable reason. I suspect this because they have never hesitated to subject readers of other religions to offensive images in the past.

And, as if to prove my point, the New York Times chooses to illustrate a story on the cartoons not with the highly topical and difficult to find Danish cartoons, but with a reproduction of the Chris Ofili 'Madonna' made with elephant dung that caused a minor ruckus back in 1999. Talk about gratuitous assaults on religious symbols. I don't care about the Ofili picture--I've seen many Ofilis in various English galleries and museums and they don't do much for me--but there was no need to republish a work of art that offends many Christians in an article that mentions many examples of offensive art from history, many of which would offend no one today.

Ugh. I know that I'm deathly bored of this topic and suspect anyone reading this is too. Unless something important happens, this will be my last post on the subject. For which I'm sure you are grateful.