Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cartooning: The Most Deadliest Career

I always knew you could piss off a lot of people with a well-drawn, witty cartoon.

But who knew, you could get assassinated for it?

Yesterday, I came across this article concerning the arrest of three people who are suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists who drew political cartoons poking fun at the Prophet Muhammad.

Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, 73, and his wife Gitte, 66, have been living under police protection because of this cartoon:

According to Islamic law, any depiction of the prophet Muhammed, even favorable, is looked down upon in the Muslim community. To some, it's even grounds for execution.

I'm sure Salman Rushdie can definitely sympathize with this guy.

I picture Westergaard and his wife in an old VW with a carload of Muslim extremists firing AK-47's at their vehicle. As Westergaard's wife fires off a bazooka toward the Muslim car, Westergaard is in the back seat (with his flak jacket on) dodging bullets and giddily drawing cartoons of the prophet Muhammed. All the while, attempting to make tomorrow's newspaper deadline.

"Hold 'em off honey," he yells to his wife as she pulls out a grenade, pulls the pin out with her mouth and tosses it out of the car. "I've got some cross-hatching to do!"

Eat your heart out Jason Bourne.

Talk to any political cartoonist, and they'll tell you that they appreciate the hate mail more than the praise mail.

In an odd sort of way, it makes them feel like they're doing their job.

In my opinion, it's even a bonus to raise the ire of an entire community. It's even cooler to get them so pissed off that they won't rest until your severed head is on a platter. That's a political cartoonist's wet dream.

Think about it. All this hubbub over a couple doodles placed on a piece of paper with a pen and ink.

Behold the awesome power of political cartoons!

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