Potentially Obtuse Bun Toons

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We’re all enraged this week.

Let’s make the rage rational.

charlie hebdo

When I first heard of the Paris shootings, my first thought was horror, and my second thought was “…some Muslim cab driver is going to get knifed over this later in the week”.

My Third Thought:  I wanted to reprint every Charlie Hebdo cover that ever featured Mohammed on my blog, just to spit into the eye of those monstrous religious extremists that feel they can control OTHER PEOPLE’S free speech.

Fuck religious people who want to control you.  Fuck religion.

But some of those covers were clearly racist, and I realized that to feature those Charlie Hebdo covers again as a knee-jerk reaction would also be spitting in the eye of every other Muslim, just because of the action of a small group of psychotics that do not represent them or their religion.    And I cannot, in good conscience, punch back at every brown skinned middle eastern person of faith because I’m enraged.

I still drew Mohammed up there. It was part of the story so fuck fear.

And fuck labels that spread the blame to an entire culture.  No one deserves them.

Unless all you white protestants are all willing to apologize daily for Custer and the Klan and the Green River Killer.

Ty the Guy OUT


The “Charlie” in CHARLIE HEBDO is a reference (partly) to Charlie Brown.

Today, as the bonus moment:  My favourite Charlie Brown strip of all time.  It’s useful information to folks who believe this world was formed with a religious plan.


Let’s never forget, that the most religious member of the Peanuts gang (Linus) is the one who cannot let go of his security blanket.


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24 responses to “Potentially Obtuse Bun Toons

  1. Just as a technical note, I think it’s part of the definition of a terrorist that he targets defenseless people. Clearly, the people Custer attacked were not defenseless. Colonel John Chivington (Sand Creek Massacre) wanted to be a terrorist, but even he took over 10% casualties. A group in which every able-bodied adult male doubles as a soldier is never 100% defenseless.

    • A terrorist is someone who targets civilians. There’s no definition of terrorist that doesn’t fit ol’ Curly Hair.

    • Where “every able-bodied adult male doubles as a soldier”? That’s like saying any draft-era or selective-service era US citizens can be attacked, murdered, and it’s not innocents killed because, well, clearly, they’re doubling as soldiers or they wouldn’t be draftable. Nor, did Custer and his troops attack or kill only men or only soldiers.

      • I think you have something to learn about the social organization of Indian nations. Also, if you’ll read carefully you’ll see I’m referring to a situation (the Sand Creek Massacre) where an outlaw militia attacked a treaty-sanctioned encampment thinking it defenseless and even then took significant casualties.

    • The Battle of the Little Big Horn was an armed engagement between the United States Army and the Arapaho, Lakota and Cheyenne nations. It was part of a larger war, the precipitating event of which was the impromptu invasion of the Black Hills by gold prospectors. Custer was part of a larger army and was acting under orders. The war didn’t begin with him and it didn’t end with him. There were between 1500 and 2500 Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors present, and Custer’s entire command of 275 was killed. Contemporary Americans, who benefit from the spoils of the Indians Wars every day of their lives, attempt to soothe their consciences by making figures like Custer scapegoats. It’s cheap, cowardly and dishonest. The federal government had made peace with the nations involved in the Great Sioux War. It was the people of the United States who demanded the war.

      • Yup, yup, yup. All true. Though there was a ghastly body count that suggests Custer’s white supremacist mind set while hunting down women and children of the Lakota nation in the months leading UP to the Battle of Little Big Horn (Custer has a longer history than one battle, and he was carrying out his monstrous campaign in support of miners, at t he time in the territory illegally). There is no doubt he was the product of, and the tool of, the white protestant culture that put him at the tip of their sword. He is a symbol and scapegoat for that white protestant standard, yes, and not the sole agent of its abhorrent racist agenda. But my larger point is that calling someone a religious terrorist is ultimately reductionist to WHOMEVER it is applied, no matter if the terrorist is Christian, Muslim or Spaghetti Monster-ist. It is a pointless, broad brush stroke that is NEVER applied to white christian terrorists, and constantly applied to brown folks who behave atrociously.

        Forget Custer for a moment. The Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway (America’s most prolific serial killer) murdered well over a hundred people whom he felt were insufficiently religious when he asked them about bible verses and didn’t like their answers. I don’t blame other Christians for his behaviour, I’m fairly comfortable with calling his behaviour aberrant, atypical and bugnutty, even though his serial killing and terrorist behaviour was completely wrapped up in his relationship to religion. He was NEVER called a “Christian” Serial Killer, a Methodist Mass Murderer, or a Terrorist for God. Never. Not once. And it was central to his entire motivation as much as Custer’s belief in the superiority of the white protestant race was to his.

        That was my point.

        • My point is that the Indian Wars were wars. These wars had an aggressor, but then, so do most wars. One set of nations was sitting on top of a treasure trove and a bigger and stronger set of nations came along and took it. If a rationale were needed white supremacy would do fine, but if they didn’t have that they would have found another. The point of the exercise was the treasure.

          I remember back when Marty Peretz in The New Republic wrote something about life being cheap in the Muslim world, and my reaction was, “How long ago do you think 1945 was?” All of the great civilized nations set about mutual destruction in their eminently civilized ways, each applying their national virtues of discipline, self-sacrifice, good humor, productivity, organization and technical prowess.

  2. Nicely drawn and said Ty. 🙂 I concur!
    Oh and lets not also forget that the most religious character in Peanuts will not let go of his security blanket but he is also the smartest most accepting and kindest in comparison to all the rest. 😉

  3. If the point is that you can’t believe what you read in the popular press, consider also that
    a) the real Koresh/Waco story is WAY different to the official story, and
    b) the Qur’an doesn’t forbid depictions of the prophet, just the worship of idols. The “no Muhammad” rule seems to be a Taliban thing (similar to the way Christian leaders keep inventing rules that aren’t in the Bible). Newsweek apparently also figured this out & posted a piece on it yesterday.
    I’d also like to say that I’m more than a little offended that there’s no bunny in this Bun Toon. The header doesn’t count.

  4. If you only see their Muhammad cartoons, Charlie Hebdo looks racist, but as Charb said, “Although it is less easy than in 1970, we will continue to laugh (at) priests, rabbis and imams, like it or not.” They were equal-opportunity offenders of ideologues of all stripes.

    That said, nice cartoon! If you want to expand it, there’s always Anders Breivik.

    • Although Breivik was a Lutheran, his madness was politically and culturally racist in nature, and not particularly motivated by nutty religious beliefs.

      • You could say the same about a number of the folks on your list. Breivik did say, “I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe.”

        I’ve been doing more reading about Charb. He did a poster for MRAP, the Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l’amitié entre les peuples (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples). People who conclude he was racist have to ignore the body of his work.

        • I haven’t enough information to conclude that Charb was a racist, nor did I say he was. I merely suggested that some of the covers of Charlie Hebdo were.

          • When I thought they only mocked Muslims, I agreed about the covers—from the earliest coverage, I’d gotten the impression Charlie Hebdo were a bunch of rightwing Islamophobes. Instead, it turns out French racists like Le Pen hated Charlie Hebdo—Le Pen announced, “I am not Charlie” and said the dead were “enemies of the FN”. Do you think their cartoons mocking rabbis and priests are also racist?

  5. To some extent, the images of the Rabbis have been the traditional hooked nose, crooked teeth, physical exaggeration common to European cartoon depictions of Jews. (Asterix has a similar problem depicting Africans, but I’m not sure I’d call Uderzo racist…though some of his imagery is…)

    • The shorthand of cartooning is often misinterpreted in different times and cultures. Several members of Charlie Hebdo were Jewish—including the only woman who was killed at the offices—and they fired a cartoonist in 2009 for anti-semitism.

      • A story of the shorthand of cartooning:
        Decades ago, I was watching Fantasia with a group of friends at college. The scene where the mushrooms turned into Chinese peasants who began to dance, really offended my Chinese friend at the time. I kept telling her the costumes were authentic, and that there was nothing demeaning in the depiction, it was historically accurate to late 19th Century dress (though the film was made in the 40s, so it was at least out of date). I saw a depiction of her culture, not an insult to it. She couldn’t be swayed, and was greatly offended by that sequence. She found the sequence where the beautiful white centaurs were attended to by nappy headed black centaur maids as offensive as well, but slightly less so, as it was authentic to American history.
        American history with Centaurs.
        So…the shorthand of cartooning is often misinterpreted, yes. But if communication is the point of art, and the communication fails to be correctly interpreted, then it’s best if we look for another way to communicate that offers less noise to the signal. I don’t know the motivations of the artists at Charlie Hebdo any more than I know the motivations of the animators of Fantasia. I only know the perceptions of the images I was discussing, and not the broader context of everything that went into their creation.
        There were elements of the images from the Charlie covers I didn’t want to reproduce on my blog. Perhaps I misunderstood the complexity of the images, but I’m comfortable with not reproducing them here.

  6. Yes this article talks about the context of the racist cartoons. http://67-tardis-street.tumblr.com/post/107589955860/dear-us-followers

    Remember this New Yorker Cover?

    Without context it could be viewed as a racist cover. The cartoonists was actually showing what the racists are saying in a cartoon format to show how stupid/ugly it is (if that’s a good tactic is another debate). As per the article, the racists cartoons were taking racist stuff that other people said and showing how bad it is.

  7. Thank you I totally agree with you on this, but I am sure other western religions have done horrible things in the name of religion. None of them are innocent, not even the Buddhists.

    • Yes. But I was aiming this satire at the predominantly white protestant culture in which I live, and in which I likely have readers. Pointing out that there are Buddhist monsters and Aboriginal ones might have the opposite effect of the satire, which was to up end the power structure against the dominant class. (Balance is the enemy of satire by the way. Very few really good jokes include the phrase, “on the other hand, to be fair to all concerned….”).

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