It is an insult to my integrity and to those of us involved in comedy to be limited in scope with regards to what we can say. To name just two TV shows notable for causing a news-worthy outcry from the Muslim community, South Park and Family Guy regularly show Jesus Christ with little or no comment from the more extreme Muslims. Even though it is blasphemous to portray any of the prophets, it only seems to cause real trouble when that prophet is Muhammad. Thus we find that like in most other religious endeavors, the faithful reserve the right to cherry-pick those transgressions over which they will be offended.
One does not have the right (at least in this country) to “not be offended.” Those who insist on this right might be happier in places which enforce blasphemy laws. One of the greatest comedians of our age and a personal hero of mine, George Carlin (to whose memory this cartoon is dedicated), had some interesting thoughts on this topic. In his 1990 HBO special Doin’ it Again Carlin said:
“Some people don’t want you to mention certain things. Some people don’t want you to say this, some people don’t want you to say that. Some people think if you mention some things they might happen. Some people are really fucking stupid!”
I bring this up because the first three of these cartoons are considered acceptable cultural tropes while the last is considered insensitive and out of its “cultural context.” (A moral cop-out if ever there was one!)
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