art & music
If it wasn'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 really don't want to live in a world where we have to walk on eggshells and watch what we say because it might offend the sensitivities of some religious wackjobs. (See the Roman Catholic Church's inquisition of Galileo). If we can't handle discourse without breaking into a fistfight, then 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 accoutrement 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 make pictures of "the Prophet Muhammad". Just like it was bad to make pictures of "Jesus Christ" a long time ago. Some "Jesus" follower 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 really 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. Sometimes 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 try and understand stuff better and not act like as much of an asshole. If you are a member of some kind of middle-eastern terror organization and you're reading this, please think for yourself. It's preferable to taking orders up your ass from the ghost of Bin Laden.