Tuesday, February 07, 2006

cartoon riots and globalization

"It's not censorship, it's editing. Just because a society has almost unlimited freedom of expression doesn't mean we should ever stop thinking about its consequences in the real world." -- Garry Trudeau, creator of the Doonesbury comic strip

to read the latest on the "cartoon riots" copy and paste this link in your browser: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/02/07/MNGBRH41HF1.DTL

when i used to be a hard hitting reporter in college, i personally implemented my own system of editing. i am naturally curious and prone to asking questions that i feel are relevant, but i remember writing an article about a student's death and being aware that there are some things that as a good reporter i need to know, and there are other things which are just getting into the sensationalized side of things. i remember specifically setting aside and filing away some of the questions i was curious about in that article, out of a respect and sanctity for the grief being expressed by the student's family.

i think sometimes we forget that we live in the united states where freedom is the rule of the day. think about it- one of the reasons the colonialists came over to america in the first place was freedom of religion. and don't get me started on the freedom of the press. regardless of what you think of the media in america today, we still have the freedom to report and expose the truth in our media outlets- look at what watergate did- it brought out the truth about president nixon- can you imagine what that might have looked like in the middle east? Do you think for a minute that that would be allowed to happen there?

so i am not surprised that muslims are up and arms about the desecration of muhammad through a caricature- muslims wrap the koran, their holy book in velvet and place it in a high place. they often kiss it when it is unwrapped from the velvet. so why should we be shocked and surprised when they react this way to a caricature of their prophet? then again most christians are fine with the "buddy christ" and "jesus is into hiphop" paraphernalia- for us perhaps the line is more fine or maybe it's because we don't want to seem like sticks in the mud. not sure.

this is an interesting debate because it calls into question whether or not there are things too sacred to satirize. i am interested in hearing your thoughts as well as seeing how this plays out. apparently there is now a "holocaust cartoon contest" going on at an iraqi newspaper... talk about hitting below the belt to prove a point.


Blogger Andrea said...

was chatting with friends about it earlier... how we found it ironic that the REASON you do not make icons of the prophet Muhammad is so that he does not become an idol, so people do not worship the image. Instead, in this situation, people are worshipping the "lack of an image" so much that they are willing to burn embassies for it... as if they are in effect idolizing a negation of matter... hmm.

And I'll get around to your Blogger link code soon ! Work has been insane.

3:15 PM  

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