August 26, 2007

Forbidden Opus

Carroll Andrew Morse

Kudos to the Providence Journal for running the Opus comic strip deemed too controversial for the funny pages by a number of major newspapers, including the Washington Post.

The spiked strip can be seen here, at the Salon magazine website.

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I can't imagine how that was any more controversial than Hillary Clinton talking about the political benefits of a terrorist attack or this week's episode of Mad Men.

Posted by: Greg at August 26, 2007 1:43 PM

I had to go hunting to find what the controversy was:

"Wyson said some client papers hesitated to run a sex joke and others won't publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con. "They just don't want to touch that," she said.

Violent protests took place after a Danish paper in 2005 published cartoons picturing Muhammad. ..."


It's a pretty tame sex joke; the "problem" is the Islamic reference.

The bigger problem here is consistency. The installation of the foot bath at the U. of Michigan falls into this same problematic category. If Lola had become an evangelical Christian, would those same newspapers have refused to run the cartoon?

While I'm not particularly into ridiculing any religion, this cartoon doesn't cross the line with me. It's not clear, in this case and others, why we are being more deferential towards one religion.

Posted by: SusanD at August 26, 2007 5:15 PM

If our society can tolerate blasphemous behavior that only a few might call art, such as the infamous "Piss Christ" by Robert Maplethorpe, then I fail to see why this comparatively mild and gentle comic strip should have been a problem.

Further, last week it was OK to kid around about Jerry Falwell, but this week they spiked a joke about radical Islam? I think the Post has more than a few screws loose somewhere.

Posted by: Jacob Brodsky at August 27, 2007 8:00 AM

Hey, people of all political persuasions can enjoy a "richard" joke, right?

Posted by: Rhody at September 2, 2007 10:50 PM
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