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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Offensive cartoons

Soon, I will address the whodunnit aspect of the Charlie Hebdo attack. As always, "Cui bono?'' remains our first and best question. We should pay particularly close attention to the links between the attackers and the Syrian "freedom fighters." As we have seen in many previous posts, the pro-Al Qaeda rebels against Assad are largely a made-in-USA phenomenon.

Right now, let's talk about the cartoons.

Glenn Greenwald notes that Americans usually display a hypocritical attitude toward freedom-of-speech issues: We support the right to publish works offensive to Muslims yet we dislike or disallow cartoons which might offend Christians or (especially) Jews. I'm reminded of the Reagan era, when the First Amendment was interpreted as giving each citizen the right to criticize the USSR in any way that he or she desired.

A couple of weeks ago, I considered publishing some potentially offensive cartoons on Christmas morning, but chickened out. These drawings first appeared in a 1900 book called The Life of Jesus (La Vie de Jesus), written by one of my heroes, Leo Taxil -- the man who pulled off the greatest hoax of all time, a masterwork which still manages to fool conspiracy buffs. When not engaging in elaborate leg-pulls, Taxil (real name: Gabriel Jogand-Pages) published sensationalized works of pornography and satire.

I had heard about La Vie de Jesus years ago, but never saw a copy until recently. The book is a bawdy, goofy recounting of the Gospel story -- precisely the sort of thing you might expect to see on this blog on a Christmas morning.

To be honest, Taxil's humor hasn't held up. The big attraction of this book is the art, produced by an illustrator who called himself "Pépin." This unsung genius, previously unknown to me, inhabits an artistic space somewhere between Robert Crumb and Albert Uderzo (the creator of Asterix).

So why didn't you see these glorious drawings on the morning of December 25? Because, for reasons that will soon be clear to you, it belatedly occurred to me that these cartoons might offend not just Christians but Jews. Although most (though hardly all) Christians can take a joke, I wasn't sure how Jews would react.

But at this moment in history, "We are all Charlie." Right? Right. So let's show neither fear nor favoritism. Mesdames et Messieurs, je vous présente la gloire de Pépin!

 The Holy Spirit, as portrayed by Howard the Duck.

 Jesus reveals himself to a kind Samaritan.

 "Blessed are the imbeciles, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," says Jesus.

The woman with hemorrhoids heals herself by touching Jesus.

Bread and fish multiplied by Robert Houdin. (Houdin was the French magician who inspired Harry Houdini.)

This drawing illustrates the opening of Luke, chapter 14. Oddly, this scene is rarely depicted in religious art.

 "Take, eat, this is my body!" Pepin's masterpiece.

 The Gospels do in fact say that Caiaphas tore his garments.

 Uh...just what are those Roman soldiers doing...?

 Doubting Thomas wants to put in the finger.

Direct line to heaven!
Cui bono? Got to include the National Front...

This opinion piece in Haaretz is really something else. As Michel Houellebecq announces the death of atheism, secularism and the Fifth Republic, Sefy Hendler calls in Haaretz for what amounts to a power-sharing regime in France between Christians, Muslims and Jews.

So how are we going to do it, Sefy? Get rid of one person one vote and establish three estates in the national assembly according to the relative sizes of the religious groups? How about a triumvirate with a rotating chair? Or maybe three colours of seats in the cabinet, with occupants appointed by religious or 'ethnoreligious' leaders? Each community with its own security service, right?Vehicles to patrol central Paris containing one military police officer from each religious camp, reminiscent of the setup in Vienna with the occuping powers after 1945?

(Sefy probably isn't aware, BTW, that Napoleon converted to Islam, but I digress.)

No need to bother about the millions who don't see themselves as part of a religious community. I mean fuck them, right?

Here's what this nutcase says:

"The future of France will be decided in the coming days, weeks and months. The decision will be made in the triangle that France does not like to recognize the existence of – the religious trinity: Catholics (“French from their roots,” as they were commonly referred to in the era before political correctness); Muslims (“Children of immigrants,” as they are referred to – still – in France); and Jews (“Children of the faith of Moses,” as they were called in the days of Napoléon Bonaparte)."

(Yeah - and that guy in the turban, as my Aunt Fanny called the Sikh next door in the 1930s.)

"If these three, patently unequal, sides to the triangle produce an authentic, mutual voice, it is possible that France still has a future as a country with a universal message, for all mankind, as it has carried since the days of the French Revolution."

Fuck that!

Which isn't to say he's got a fucking clue what he's talking about. I mean one of the constants of the last few regimes in France has been precisely the separation of church and state.

Is there any serious reason to believe that the Zionist machine isn't bigging up the National Front?

And as for Netanyahu, security detail and all, being allowed into France for today's demonstration, alongside Cameron, Merkel, Lavrov and Renzi (and Steinerite nutcase Jens Stoltenberg of NATO), while he's explicitly telling French Jews that occupied Palestine ('Israel') is their home (sic!), the question I want to ask is whether there is any government that's prepared to say that no, a foreign country's role in protecting Jewish citizens is not required, because it's its own responsibility to protect all of its citizens.

Where were these hypocritical fucking arsewipes during the Gaza massacres?

Meanwhile, what are they going to do with <a href="é_M'bala_M'bala>Dieudonnné</a> - lock him up?
That Coulibaly video - like yeah, right, Breivik-style costume changes and 'lights, cameras, action' when a guy is singlehandedly holding nearly 19 people prisoner.

What did he do - bilocate?

Or was it only his girlfriend who had that skill?

Provenance of video?
Who ever heard of a funny Jew?
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