...fucking moron. The cartoon's not all that funny, and the voice work is amateurish at best, but it does have the benefit of being witheringly insensitive and absolutely correct.
You've probably heard about the entire editorial staff of the New York Press walking off the job after an 11th-hour management decision not to publish several cartoons that have stirred up a bit of a hubbub lately. Well, after General Manager Peter Polimino came back from lunch and noticed everybody had gone home, he had somebody type this up for him:
RESPONSE TO WALK OUT OF EDITORIAL STAFF:
New York Press takes our responsibility to our community as a “Free Press” very seriously. We came to the same conclusion as many other responsible newspapers and media outlets that have chosen to not run the Danish cartoons. We felt the images were not critical for the editorial content to have merit, would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion and only served to further fan the flame of a volatile situation.
At the risk of being a bit vulgar, what a huge motherfucking crock of camel shit. "We felt the images... would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion"? First of all, you mean you thought not publishing the images wouldn't hinder the readers from making an informed opinion. (Where'd your editor go, dude? Ha ha, j/k.) So, you mean like an informed opinion about whether the cartoons are a suitable excuse for some rent-a-mobs to burn down embassies? Or whether one of the cartoons was even a cartoon at all? Or maybe an informed opinion about seeing that same "cartoon" in a story about some kind of French hog-calling contest? No, you'll just tell us why this stuff is driving a bunch of idiots apeshit. You'll describe a fuzzy photocopy of, well, it looks like a guy with a beard, and is that a pig nose? "Beard! A man with a beard! Shit, they're right, that must be the prophet himself! And a pig nose! They're saying he's a pig, or perhaps just enjoys the delicious taste of bacon! AAAIIIIEEEEEE!!! ...oh wait, now that I've gone online and looked at it, it's just some harmless Gaul having a laugh. Whoops!"
Jesus H. Mohammed. "[Failing to publish the images at the center of this little debacle] would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion." It's not like anybody reads the NY Press anyway, but this excuse, no matter how it's worded in whatever ass-covering editorial you read in any newspaper across the country this week, is going to come back to haunt these dummies.
Dear Whole Entire News Industry,
Please watch in horror as your ratings and circulation numbers continue to plummet, and don't forget to throw some more blame at the bloggers who keep picking up your goddamn slack.
P.S. You should at least use this one, guys:
Not only is it the one that closest approaches American standards of humor, but come on: that's just good math.
P.P.S. Click here for all my other awful opinions about this fiasco.
P.P.P.S. As a helpful reader points out, and Steve Silver mentioned the other day, the last time an editor of the NY Press left the building, it wasn't voluntary. The whole thing about the pope, remember? Personally, I didn't think anybody should have lost their job just because Matt "Here, Sean, Try This Red Cup" Taibbi couldn't think of one good joke so he wrote 52 atrocious ones. But it is an interesting sort of compare-and-contrast. Catholics wrote some letters and made some phone calls, a guy nobody really liked anyway had to pack up his desk, and then the Catholics went back to having lots and lots of babies. They didn't threaten to kill anybody, they didn't burn anything down. Hell, maybe they should start? It obviously works.
P.P.P.P.S. Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter, has been keeping up with the story.
If you were offended by seeing the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb for a hat, do not click this link. Remember: Your choice.
Update: Yet another unconscionable act of sacrilege.
Update 2: Hey, I thought of another caption for that first one: Bi-George, I think he's got it! No?
Okay, okay, so an Egyptian newspaper printed these supposedly blasphemous cartoons last year. During Ramadan. And nobody made a peep. You think that's a "gotcha," huh? Well, what you don't get is that they can show this kind of thing to each other. They get to do that. It's like if you're a person of, oh, Irish or possibly French extraction, and you go up to a fellow whose ancestors came from, let's say, a sunnier climate, and you refer to him by a bad word that rhymes with "snigger." What are you thinking??? You do not get to do that. But if that gentleman then turns away from your bleeding corpse and addresses one of his business associates by the same epithet, it's considered a term of warmth and respect. They might even share a bit of a laugh about it. It's their thing.
In sum: These cartoons are a Muslim thing. You wouldn't understand.
Personally, I think it's funny that one of the "blasphemous cartoons" is actually a bad photocopy of a French dude at a "pig-squealing" contest. Not necessarily because the American news industry is looking dumber and dumber for not showing these images so people can decide for themselves, although that's true, but because it depicts the French behaving like Americans.
For example, let's say you're composing the following sentence: "Muslims burned down the Danish embassy in Beirut today." Whoa there, pardner! That's about as appropriate as a bare-ankled woman in the country of Saudi Arabia! Try this instead: "Not all Muslims burned down the Danish embassy in Syria today." See how much better that is? Instead of describing something that actually happened, you're telling the reader how she (or he) should think. And isn't that your job, really?
So if you're about to write something that might offend somebody out there, just remember the "Not All" rule. Now go get 'em, cub reporters!
According to brainy newspaper-type guys, it's wrong to show an offensive image, but it's okay to describe it. Which is good, because just now I was walking down the street and the wind was blowing pretty hard and this piece of paper flew up against my leg and there was a cartoon on the piece of paper and the cartoon looked like this:
George W. Bush has a big grin on his face. Ear to ear, man! He's wearing a superhero-type outfit with a big cross on the chest, a cape, the whole deal. Looks like he's bathed in a ray of, like, heaven-light or something. He's surrounded by a choir of cherubic little angels strumming harps and stuff like that, and Jesus Christ Himself is looking on, smiling and giving a big thumbs-up. Oh yeah, and Bush is vigorously fucking the Prophet Mohammed in his blood-caked asshole.
Hey, I just described it, folks. Believe me, I'm every bit as offended as you are. Whoever drew this thing should be ashamed. And beheaded. Okay then, no need to burn anything down, right?
P.S. I just went for another walk (trying to lose weight), and another piece of paper found its way to me by way of a random breeze. This one had some jokes on it, and they really angered and offended me:
MOHAMMED IS A SILLY NERD
Why did the Prophet Mohammed cross the road?
To get away from the bar of soap!
What do you call 12 Muslims with smelly behinds?
A duck, a goose, and a Muslim walk into a bar. The Muslim has to walk back out because his religion forbids him to drink alcohol!
Why do Muslim women cover their faces?
So they can keep their husbands!
What do you say to an unemployed Muslim?
"Maybe if you had something constructive to do all day, you wouldn't be so angry at your cultural and genetic superiors!"
How many Muslims does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
None, they've declared a fatwa on electricity!
Just disgusting. Seriously, if I find out who in my neighborhood is leaving this stuff lying around, they're getting a stern talking-to and a sharp blade through the neck.
Isn't it interesting that:
1) In the pictures you keep seeing of that London protest, most of the "Behead the infidels" signs have the same handwriting? (Either it's not quite a spontaneous upswell of outrage, or there was only one person there who knew enough English. (Oops, is that racist or bigoted or whatever? In any case, it's shades of "Baby Milk Factory."))
1a) Somehow there's now a surplus of Danish flags to be burned?
2) Newspaper editors and TV news producers across the country are suddenly concerned with not offending their audience?
Per Amy's idea, click the flag for a list of Danish products you can buy to make up for the economic damage these assholes are trying to do. If you have a blog, pass it on.
...but those Muslim fellows really aren't too fondue those cartoons, are they?
So a bunch of Muslims wrote a sternly disapproving letter to a newspaper that printed some cartoons they didn't like, while the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff issued death threats and vandalized embassies and newspaper offices throughout Europe and the Middle East over a cartoon they didn't like. Did I get that right?