Monday, February 13, 2006

I'm not too proud to admit I could be wrong...

I've been participating in a discussion at Habakkuk's Watchpost on the uproar over cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammad. In that discussion I came out pretty heavily against the cartoons, calling them foolish at best, inflammatory at worst. I said that they failed as art and failed as commentary. I basically said that they sucked in every possible way.

That, of course, doesn't justify the violent protests and foolish boycotts which have followed. They're just cartoons, for crying out loud! Of course the response to them has to be understood within the contest of a broader dispute between (at least) two very different ways of approaching life. And, of course, we ought to try to understand the other before we try to judge the actions of the other. Those are givens.

But I'm starting to doubt my understanding of the situation, and I'm really starting to doubt my criticism of the cartoons themselves.

I just read this essay (which was originally a commentary on NPR's "All Things Considered") by the Lexington Hearld Leader's Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist Joel Pett, which has forced to me say that I could have misjudged this entire situation.

Interesting essay. Let me know what you think of it.


Brian Cubbage said...

I'm curious-- I read Bett's commentary, and what exactly about it moved you to change your mind? I might have been a bit more on the "side" of the Danes to begin with than you were, but he didn't sway me too much more in that direction.

Sandalstraps said...

I thought that the cartoons had no merit whatsoever. He convinced me that they may have some merit in some cases. Not exactly a slam dunk, but for me (since I leveled a blanket condemnation) it shamed me into admitting that I had overstated my case.