Don't Tell Me to Shut Up!
I just got the last copy of the June, 2006, Harper's magazine over at Borders. I was over there first thing in the morning (10AM). I don't know whether they've sold out or they're only putting out one copy at a time.
As you may be aware, this is the copy with the twelve cartoons of Muhammad. I've got to say that Harper's relies heavily on the First Amendment. Not only did they publish them, but they included a careful critique by Art Spiegelman explaining and evaluating each according to its artistic merit as a political cartoon. Instead of stars, he has awarded little bombs to each cartoon -- zero to four according to its merit toward warranting a fatwa. Border's claimed they weren't going to put these things out
I greatly admire Art Spiegelman, famous for his graphic arts depiction of the Holocaust, the Pulitzer winning Maus. He started a graphic arts phenomenon with that book. You can read an interview with him about the cartoon jihad here. He's basically a reasonable guy, rare in the world of political cartoons.
I'm going to subscribe to Harper's now just because they had the nerve to print the cartoons. Believe me, most of what they print sets my teeth on edge. The first article in the issue also tests the limits of the First Amendment. It is basically a rancid diatribe by Ben Metcalf against President Bush. It is so graphically violent that I think he must be a pulp novelist. It ends with an explicit threat against Bush. He’s hoping to be arrested, I think. I’m hoping no one’s dumb enough to give him the publicity. It’s no accident that Harper’s put this in the same issue.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the few American papers to print the cartoons, is also on my purchase list, though it would have been anyway. Yesterday's column by Trudy Rubin is an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the bravest opponents of Islam's tendency to violence.
6/2/2006 10:42 AM