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"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Thought Police attack cartoonist!
Bill Leak, arguably Australia's best cartoonist has attracted the ire of offense seeking twits on social media with his biting comment on the Paris Climate boondoggle.
He has hit back in an excellent article in the Australian :
I don’t know an associate professor of sociology at Macquarie University called Amanda Wise, but she knows me. She knows me so well, in fact, that she’s not only able to tell me what my cartoons mean, but she’s also able to tell me what I was thinking while I was drawing them.
These and other startling revelations were included in an article by Amanda Meade in The Guardian on Monday. As well as being sternly reminded by the shocked Ms Wise that my cartoon would be unacceptable in Britain, the US and Canada (heaven forbid!), I was also told my cartoon was “racist” by no less an authority than Yin Paradies of Deakin University, whose research includes the economic effects of racism.
Professor Paradies didn’t think I’d made the people in my cartoon look hungry, either, but rather, in my own twisted, racist way, I’d managed to portray not only them but the entire population of India as “too stupid to handle renewable energy”.
I’ve been reliably informed my cartoon also triggered a hostile response from the sanctimonious but bloodthirsty mob who spend their time trawling the internet looking for anything they find offensive to provide them with an opportunity to join the orgy of competitive compassion and moral grandstanding that is Twitter.
Such people, understandably, are probably on a bit of a high at the moment having just spent a couple of weeks watching heroic and revered climate scientists such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Sean Penn and Robert Redford spouting a series of hypocritical platitudes in Paris that culminated in world leaders signing up to an agreement to meet again in five years so they can sign another one, thereby saving the world from an impending environmental catastrophe. Again. No wonder they’re angry. First chance I get I spoil the party by reminding them that, back here, in the real world, there are billions of people who not only lack food, health, water and education, but also have no access to electricity, and more than 20 per cent of them live in India.
And there’s something obscene about the fact that there are billions of others who’ve had all those things all their coal-power-driven lives and they’re now distributing solar panels to the world’s poor because they think that provides a virtuous, if inadequate, form of electricity for which they should be grateful. I think that’s racist, I think it’s condescending, and I think it’s immoral. But it’s also the truth, and when an impertinent cartoonist dares to tell the truth these days he’d better watch out because telling the truth is a dangerously subversive thing to do.
It has the same ability to simultaneously shock some people while amusing others that four-letter words used to have when Lenny Bruce discovered he could use them to such devastating effect that his audiences would still be laughing while he was being dragged offstage by the police and arrested for obscenity.
In court, Bruce argued he was being denied his right to freedom of speech, and so he was. But I can’t help thinking he had it easy, living at a time when the only people who had to stand up for their rights to freedom of speech were comedians who wanted to say f. k in public.
And not only that, but the only people he had to worry about offending were undercover coppers in the audience whose job it was to be offended so they could arrest him for doing his job.
These days, the undercover policemen in the audience waiting for him to swear would be the least of his worries. They’d be outnumbered 100 to one by members of the Politically Correct Thought Police Task Force, all armed with iPhones and Twitter accounts, ready to pounce the moment he said something that might not necessarily offend them but could, potentially, offend someone else.
There’s no doubt the cartoon I drew for Monday’s paper offended a lot of people. While they might not have enjoyed looking at it, I’m quite sure they enjoyed using it as an excuse to parade their moral vanity.
And, while I prefer to discover there are people who think my cartoons are funny, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t derive a certain amount of pleasure from discovering they enrage the ones that don’t.