If you still remember Garry Trudeau, you recall what a smug, delusional hypocrite he is. But nothing could have prepared you for this.
Normally, Trudeau’s tedious, hamfisted harangues run the gamut: conservatives, people who hold conservative views, Republicans, right-wingers, and anybody who isn’t a liberal. And now he’s branching out to attack a whole new set of targets: left-wing atheists who were butchered at their desks by religious zealots.
Last week, Trudeau won a journalism award [pause for laughter] and gave a speech. Here are a few excerpts, in which he sounds a lot like his own critics over the years:
Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.
By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech, which in France is only illegal if it directly incites violence…
As you know, the Muhammad cartoon controversy began eight years ago in Denmark, as a protest against “self-censorship,” one editor’s call to arms against what she felt was a suffocating political correctness. The idea behind the original drawings was not to entertain or to enlighten or to challenge authority—her charge to the cartoonists was specifically to provoke, and in that they were exceedingly successful. Not only was one cartoonist gunned down, but riots erupted around the world, resulting in the deaths of scores. No one could say toward what positive social end, yet free speech absolutists were unchastened…
It’s not easy figuring out where the red line is for satire anymore. But it’s always worth asking this question: Is anyone, anyone at all, laughing? If not, maybe you crossed it.
When was the last time you laughed at Doonesbury? When was the first time?
Garry Trudeau — who, thanks to his right to free speech, has become a multimillionaire by hiring other people to draw his hamfisted political cartoons — just slammed a tiny newspaper in France for being massacred by Islamic terrorists.
The Charlie Hebdo staff was the real power, you see. Not the guys with guns, who slaughtered their enemies in the name of the second-largest religion in the world. No, no, no. Those poor terrorists were so powerless and disenfranchised, what choice did they have?
They were forced to punch up.
At the cartoonists.
When Garry Trudeau pisses people off, it’s the means to a “positive social end,” as determined by Garry Trudeau. When other cartoonists literally pay with their lives for their right to speak freely, well… Did you see what they were drawing?
If a pack of right-wing loons killed a bunch of people and blamed a Doonesbury cartoon, do you suppose Garry Trudeau would blame “unchastened free speech absolutists”? Would the actions of madmen somehow provide proof of “hate speech”? Would Trudeau take such a travesty as his cue to start
bothering challenging somebody else?
Only if he were capable of intellectual honesty. So, no.