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.
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