Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wednesday Bacon Bits

* The outrage over the cartoons/caricatures of Muhammed continues unabated, escalating into death as well as destruction. The mysterious addition of unpublished cartoons to the initial binder(s) circulated to Egyptian Islamic officials by the catalytic Islamic group from Denmark that seems to be key to this sequence of events is the most curious aspect of this emerging story. Where did those images come from (rumored to be more provocative than the cartoons that were published), and why were they included? More research, comments to follow --

* I'm wrapping up, at long last, two scripts I've been tinkering with for some time. It's been fun working on them -- respectively, the second and third of five -- and working up my appetite for something more expansive. That'll have to wait, as I am also deep into the rewerite and expansion of my 1990 book ms. We Are Going to Eat You for publisher Harvey Fenton and FAB Press, along with the necessary cataloging of illustration material for that project. I have gathered literally hundreds of illustrations since 1988, when work began on this in-depth analysis of cannibal movies (prompted by my gut-reaction to Cannibal Holocaust, wondering "where the fuck did this come from?"), so that listing process alone has been a fairly major undertaking. Still, given Harvey's track record publishing some of the most lavishly illustrated horror film books of all time, it's worth it! This book will be a corker; it'll also be nice to have this obsession behind me, as I've held on to and been accumulating materials and research for this venture for nigh on 20 years. Soon it will be "Cannibale Addio"...

* With Carl Icahn hammering away at Time Warner -- Icahn, you might recall, actively hammered away at Marvel Comics in his bid to rally stockholders and usurp Ron Perlman in the 1990s -- I can't help but wonder if this might eventually impact upon DC Comics. In a related development, yesterday's New York Times reported the pending sale of Time Warner's book division; again, that prompts me to wonder how this might impact on DC, if at all. The value of DC's licenses and lucrative boxoffice yield and potential of DC properties for Warner Bros. film division may provide all the shelter necessary; time will tell.

O my friends -- and we are all friends, sharing as we are yours and mine the incredible, but very near, future! -- it is time once again for that child of Indiana Criswell to spellbind us all with another of his uncanny predictions:

"I Predict... that England will solve her growing welfare problem by paying only in scrip, which will not be acceptable for hard liquor, ale or gambling and, any one spending for this, will face charges of treason against the Crown! The scrip will merely be vouchers for exact food, exact clothing and exact amount of rent!


Blogger HB3 said...

I'm assuming you saw that the most offensive "cartoon" is in fact a faxed AP photo of some French guy squeeling like a pig. If not, well....

Blogger HB3 said...

hmmm...try this...

Anonymous Jeron Konig said...

The past is NOT a window to the future. I AM THE ONLY WINDOW into the future.

Blogger SRBissette said...

Per usual, the further I look into this shitstorm, the more the same-old censor/outrage tactics emerge.

That photo -- an AP shot from a French "pig squealing" contest -- hasn't anything to do with the cartoons (almost all of which were commenting ON self-censorship, including the one of a nervous caricaturist looking over his shoulder as he draws Muhammed), and was evidently (no proof as yet) incorporated into one of the binders sent to Egyptian Islamic scholars when the Danish Islamic group, dissatisfied with the lack of response from Danish government agencies & officials, decided to press the issue further and reach out further.

The incorporation of that photo -- which I've yet to read anything of when and where exactly that was included/associated with the catalytic dozen of cartoons -- elevates this to a whole new level, and may be clear evidence of the desire to foment outrage, just in case the 12 cartoons (which, in the context of the original newspaper article on self-censorship, were quite mild, and in fact satirized the possible motives of the paper and the author whose book prompted the contest) weren't offensive enough.

Just as, in 1954, the UK communist paper THE DAILY WORKER distorted one of EC's anti-McCarthy horror stories into somehow representing American comics promoting the murder of suspected communists; just as, in the 1970s, Canadian church and pro-censor forces misrepresented a shot of li'l Oskar from THE TIN DRUM with his head on a woman's lap as being from a (nonexistent) sequence of a child engaged in sexual acts with an adult; just as the Christian fundamentalist author of a 1990s book on comics saw no problem with 'censoring' panels reprinting in his tome in such a manner as to suggest more explicit elements than actually appeared in the comics themselves -- well, you get the idea.

If the actual work of art isn't provocative enough, it's a tried-and-true tactic to "spice it up" for easily-provoked masses who won't bother to check the original material for themselves, and thus foment the desired outrage in spades.

Caricatures of Mohammed not provocative enough? Add a shot of a man and a pig positioned so as to suggest bestiality, and let 'er rip.

Memories are short: In March 1977, armed African American Islamists seized 100 hostages at the Washington D.C. B'nai B'rith, protesting the pending national release of the forgotten movie MOHAMMED: MESSENGER OF GOD. They threated to KILL the hostages unless the film's exhibition were prevented -- even though the film was made BY a Syrian Islamist, shot in Morocco, its completion financed by Libya.

The outrage was provoked by the supposition the film "showed" the Prophet and his family -- when in fact, the entire film was carefully crafted (though not well) to AVOID showing as much as the shadow of the Prophet, and none of his immediate family (all sacred, thus it would have been an offense to depict them in any manner), settling on a warrior uncle (played by Anthony Quinn) as the unlikely protagonist.

After heated international exchanges with (note) Egyptian Islamic scholars (who had reportedly previously approved "every page of the script" and thus sanctioned the troubled production), the hostages were released -- as was the film a week or so later, to universal critical pans and negligible boxoffice returns (it had already done better in the UK, where fear over the use of the Prophet's name in the title prompted it being retitled THE MESSAGE).

Who remembers either the film or the controversy today -- despite its relevence to this current situation?

Blogger SRBissette said...

BTW, please note: I am not suggesting the AP photo implies or in any way shows beastiality -- it in fact is a photo of a man in a pig guise (plastic ears, nose, and hood) squealing into a microphone.

I'm just noting that is the most likely candidate among the circulating images for the claims earlier last week from a number of news sources that among the offending images was one featuring, or implying, "beastility."

Blogger Marky Mark said...


Blogger HB3 said...

no, as I recall -- I saw this, but don't remember where -- one of the "cartoons" of the same quality as the the grainy french guy -- shows some guy nailing or being nailed by a pig... sorry, that's all I remember, but it's a different image than the squeeling French person.

I've noticed in debate that unless you directly connect this to US policy you're just another ignorant American hater.

Anonymous steve perry said...

One truely must question the validity of a faith that derives its ferver from forbidding its believers to see. Why prohibit depictions of Their Messanger? What is really being hidden here? Perhaps its the falseness and fragility of this kind of blind faith. This falsity seems to manifest in a willingness to shed blood for ones belief -- something never uncommon with any zealot -- and this is nothing but the flip side of the Bush administration. The world is involved in a true holy war nowadays, with the zealots of both sides -- Western Christiandom and Muslin Fundamentalists -- each claiming:
"Believe what I believe or I'll fucking kill you." While these ideas have been around ever since some Gigiantopithicus who might have been named Varnae the danger of such a way of being has never threatened the entire world the way it goes now. We are in the most dangerous of times. A Muslin on Hannity and Colmbs last night called Bush "the biggest killer on the planet" and good old Ollie North, that wonderfull criminal of our youth, had to shut him up quick. "Do you believe in bloodshed!? Do you believe in bloodshed!?" They all do, the sick twists.

I predict: when Iran finally gets their bomb -- and they will -- we'll see some real bloodshed.


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