If it weren't for a person's willingness to speak up and offer alternative points of view about anything, we would still be looking for dragons at the edge of the earth, swatting at the images in our minds with a sword. I don't want to live in a world where we have to walk on eggshells and watch what we say because it might offend some religious wackjobs' sensitivities. (See the Roman Catholic Church's inquisition of Galileo). If we can't handle discourse without breaking into a fistfight, we are a society of children.
As a person who makes a practice out of communicating with images and Art, I see the recent events in France* as an even greater call to take that practice seriously. In America, we have a culture of non-discourse. Art is thought to be something that should match the furniture in your house. Or worse, it should convey something about your perceived cultural prowess and wealth to visiting guests. It's a narcissistic accouterment or "status symbol." Most of the time, it's not considered at all. An artist is competing against a cacophony of football talk and media banter. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is on fire, and we're here eating Cheetos and passing out on the couch.
Apparently, it's bad to draw pictures of "the Prophet Muhammad." Just like it was bad to make pictures of "Jesus Christ" a long time ago. Some "Jesus" followers would have probably yanked my fingernails out for making a picture and calling it "Jesus." This is old news. How old? I don't know, over a thousand years in all likelihood. I could care less about all the religious mumbo jumbo. It's a distraction from assessing what's going on in the real world. Questions like "what makes up the universe?" and things like that. But you have these crazy bastards running around threatening you if you entertain objective observation as a critical part of your decision-making process while leaving behind superstitious nonsense. I've been dealing with it my whole life. It's annoying. I mean, if I refuse the consultation from the ghost of a guy that died over two-thousand years ago, that's my prerogative. If you want to take advice from Allah, that's up to you. Just don't get in my way, and I won't get into yours.
Well, there's a rub, History. If any civilization has a right to file a grievance against the United States for exploiting them for their resources, then maybe the people of the middle-east have a point. But, shooting innocent people and cutting off the heads of journalists for whatever reason is missing it entirely.
Sometimes images piss people off. Occasionally other people piss other people off. But, that's often the beginning of reaching an understanding of something or someone. Lots of things piss me off. People being assholes - that pisses me off. I'm often infuriated by social injustices like the ones depicted in the goofy drawing above. Hopefully, it pushes me to understand stuff better and not act like as much of an asshole. If you are a member of a middle-eastern terror organization and you're reading this, please think for yourself. It's preferable to taking orders from the ghost of Bin Laden.
* I recently learned that France, while accepting many immigrants from the middle-east, has a record of being horribly intolerant of the cultural and religious practices of the refugees/immigrants they accept. Much attention has been paid to the deplorable violence perpetrated by the attackers in cases like "Charlie Hebdo," etc. But little attention is paid to France's cultural and political secularism, which outlaws some pretty simple and basic lifestyle and religious practices, any reasonable and free society would permit and should tolerate. Think how hostile you would feel if every time you wanted to pray, wear a burkini or do whatever you wish to, there was an armed police officer there to enforce laws that oppose it. People of different walks of life contribute to a society's diversity, which should be celebrated instead of condemned. - Wednesday, December 9, 2020