Wednesday, February 08, 2006

satire or not?

The Danish cartoon-gate story has brought to mind the question of satire or not. What is the relevance of satire and when is it productive? I finally saw the much discussed cartoon by Kurt Westergaard and frankly, I don't think it is funny. Maybe I just don't get it. The issue really is the reasoning behind such a cartoon. Who is its audience? In this day and age - the whole world. What is its purpose? and Why?

I'm all for a good laugh but I really question the motives behind this particular cartoon. Shouldn't satire in the media be a way to make light of dysfunction common to all in society, like collective constructive criticism? Rather than to mock a particular group or way of thinking? Now, the competition to find cartoons that satirize the Holocaust is a knee-jerk reaction at best. I do not condone the violent reaction opposing the cartoon. This is just it - has the cartoon sparked any real, meaningful dialogue? From all the hoopla, probably not. There is much discussion about Islam but not much in a reconciliatory way.

Here's an article by a Danish Muslim from the Guardian We have lost our voice that presents another point of view.


Anonymous AU said...

The cartoons clearly overstep the line between satire and "race-baiting" (for lack of a better term). What is unclear to me is whether this was simply the case of a misguided editor overstepping his bounds or whether it represents the views of the wider Danish population. It worries me that it is likely the latter. I suspect that this is all a delayed fallout of the Theo Van Gogh assasination from a few year's ago

1:33 PM  

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