I, Chickenhawk

A few months ago, the second anniversary of our Accidental Blogging happened to coincide with “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, so we outfitted our customary Joyride Jalopy with a special guest from South Park. Which is about all the attention we paid to the event at the time, except to note a few weeks earlier that the event’s instigator had chickened out.

And now she has — let’s capitalize this — Disappeared:

[Molly Norris] is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program — except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. It’s all because of the appalling fatwa issued against her this summer, following her infamous “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” cartoon.

Whoa. We’re gonna need to retrace a few steps here.

But first, about that fatwa: It was published in June by Anwar al-Awlaki, better known as the spiritual adviser to the Fort Hood shooter and Underwear Bomber, and more recently as the U.S. citizen whom the Progressive Obama Administration wants to kill in cold blood. Which explains why the FBI is taking it seriously.

And how did a Seattle cartoonist come to the attention of a Yemen-based terrorist? Well, it’s not entirely her fault. She just did her job too well.

Last spring, South Park revisited the issue of depicting Mohammed over two episodes, and Comedy Central censored the gag, as it had previously. So Norris published her cartoon in response, declaring and dating “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” as part of her own satire — not as an event she was seriously promoting.

“As a cartoonist, I just felt so much passion about what had happened,” she told a Seattle radio station. “It’s a cartoonist’s job to be non-PC.”

Norris obviously wasn’t above getting some local coverage for her work. But from what we can tell, she wasn’t expecting it to go viral. She didn’t launch the very popular Facebook groups — also now Disappeared — that took up the cause.

And she certainly didn’t expect to provoke the kind of reaction that led Comedy Central to censor Mohammed depictions in the first place.

But maybe she should have.

We indulge in the occasional fanciful satire ourself, and we publish the even more fanciful satire of others. We’ve been doing this off and on, in one form or another, for thirty years. When we did it in college, the local newspaper editorialized against us, back when that meant something. Our dad was highly displeased.

But satire ain’t beanbag. Done right, it’s a serious moral argument, masquerading as outrageous comedy. If you’re going to make that argument — especially if you aim high — you damn well better own it.

That said, nobody’s ever issued a fatwa against us. We haven’t had the FBI advise us to change our name and skip town. (Although frankly, our ridiculously common name guarantees us a fair degree of anonymity as it is.) We’d like to think that if we wrote something really vicious — and really funny — we’d put on our Man Pants and stand by it.

We’re just lucky it hasn’t happened yet.

On the Advice of the FBI, Cartoonist Molly Norris Disappears From View [Seattle Weekly]

Okay this bums me out. She gets a fatwa issued against her but nothing against Yosemite Sam the Florida Koran burner media whore? Where’s the justice in this world?

OK, here’s a non-PC comment. I’m not opposed to Obama firing a Stinger missile up the ass of the guy who threatened this cartoonist with death, whether he be American or not.

I am incredibly offended. You might say outraged. I merely stumbled upon this site while searching for news of a non-political, non-sectarian nature. I do not approve of satire. Particularly when it tries to ridicule religion. Particularly true religions. That is wrong on many levels. Also my phone number is unlisted and I’m moving out of the country to Bolivia. Thank you for your time.

@Benedick Arnuldsson: You know, it’s “Benedict” Arnold. I don’t expect you Brits to be up on your Colonial War traitors, but still. And by the way, did you see the charming photo of your Queen with Pope, uh, Benedict in the paper today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/16/popes-visit-benedict-queen-text

Yeah, it’s almost as if they feel like two brothers from different religions or something.

@Dodgerblue: Yes but I’m Benedick from Much Ado, “Here comes Benedick, the married man.” Benedick being another word for a newly married man. So that’s like a joke. I thought the combination might cause a slight, dare I say, frisson – as our friend at Wired might put it.

Oh, and no, I don’t know Salman Rushdie. I don’t even read him. I can never approve of blasphemy. He’s a good friend of Christopher Hitchens. You can find him at 212/666-shit. And if there were any pictures of the Prophet around – which there are NOT – I wouldn’t look at them.

PS. I have nothing to do with choosing topics for this site, most of which I disapprove of. Especially anything to do with the Prophet, peace be upon him and also Howard Keel.

Today is “Everybody say Yahweh out loud” day.

Happy Mexican Independence Day, amigos!!

I wonder if the bicentennial of Mexico’s independence will inspire a flurry of more than usual anti-Messican rhetoric by blowhards.

The protest was purile anyway; the moral equivalent of having a gourmet meal to protest world hunger. But she doesn’t deserve this, and I have a feeling that the threats have more to do with her being a vagina-American than anything else.

@Benedick Arnuldsson: Perhaps the Arnuldsson joke was too subtle for me. I was confused as between the Faroes and noted turncoat Benedict Arnold. So I went with what I knew.

I hear that Ralph Fiennes is doing Coriolanus. Heard anything about it?

@Dodgerblue: No. He always seems very dull to me. Makes me think of the junior history master who likes to play rugger and has been engaged to Cynthia for the past seven years. Perhaps he isn’t on stage. Tough play. Almost the best part is Volumnia. You get to read a lot in your dressing room and walk off with the notices.

BTW Have you attended any of the live broadcasts from the National, the Met, etc? Very good. Saw that Alan Bennet play The Habit of Art which is pretty terrific. Really is kind of like being there.

I should probably have gone with Arnulfsson and avoided that whole traitor vibe. It just amused me and, well…

TJ/Shameless self-promotion dept: THough you font geeks might be interested in this article I wrote: http://www.booktryst.com/2010/09/other-man-behind-private-press-movement.html

‘Scuse me while I panic. In less than one hour, i am scheduled to attend a bar program at which The Asshole will be speaking. It has been a year since I last saw him when he promised to hire me. I’ve already paid for this program and can’t find someone else to attend on my behalf. Plus, food. So off I go, fearing confrontation. Thus, I ask of the male population here, is it true he will be more scared of me than I am of him (which is to say I’m not. I fear my possibly unladylike, unprofessional reaction to him)? Is my plan to arrive late and hide in the back of the room with my head buried in my sandwich, a sound one?

Oh, also. I’m recovering from a two day Migraine. I’m not sure how the out of doors with its Light and Heat will affect me. This state needs more fucking shade, gawddamnit.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Me, I’d sit front and center and smile pleasantly. But that’s me.

@nojo: But if some chick did that to you, would you think “ohmygod, STALKER!”?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Yes, he will be more scared. But at those times when the only thing you can do is behave beautifully that is your best option. Don’t try to deny your nerves that always makes them worse in my experience. Just acknowledge that you’re most likely oversensitive and do your thing. Cordial yet cool always works.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Sit directly in front of him and casually wag your tongue at him at random moments with a completely blank expression.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I wouldn’t sit in the front row. He’ll think you’ve got a gun in your bag. I’d sit somewhere out of his sightline so you’re not offering any challenge. Seriously, take the bull by the horns, if you’re near say hello, don’t linger, don’t go private, and do be professionally cordial. I don’t even sit front and center when it’s a friend. There are plenty of choice seats a few rows back on the aisle.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Maybe I would. But you can’t go in there worrying about him.

Second option: Sit where you always would. Don’t make any special arrangements either way.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

Do orgasms help with migraines? ‘Cuz I think I have a manual for your bits, somewhere, if you think that would help. I’d have to brush up on it first, though. Very out of practice with one of those.

I’d go to the speech and sit in the front row with one of those masks from Eyes Wide Shut on. Just for the lulz.

If I had an accomplice, I would totally take ChainSaw’s recommendation. However, I see the wisdom in nojo and Benedick’s advice and will play it as cool as possible. I’m off, gentlemen. Thanks for everything.

@Tommmcatt Cannot Be Arsed To Think About Sharon Angle: Tried that. Alas, it doesn’t work.

Am back. It went well. I found my sweet spot in the last seat of the last row by the window. Score! I’m sure he saw me come in but I didn’t take my eyes of the buffet. Why do green beans taste better when somebody else makes them? Answer me that! Interesting tidbit? His better looking older brother was present. When The Asshole asked if he had a question, Brother of Asshole told him to call his mom. Ha! Ha! It’s funny cuz he still lives with her.

And that completes this week’s Jamie Sommers’ Freakout. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ:

You handled that much better than I would have–well done!

@¡Andrew!: Thank you. That makes me feel better.

@flippin eck: Doubtful. I couldn’t even successfully seduce The Asshole. Anyhoo, BoA is very married and homey don’t homewreck. I’ve given up on the idea of revenge. He’s too strong politically and everyone thinks he’s the nicest, smartest guy. Lately, even a hero for taking on Sheriff Joe. One lady called him “the most eligible bachelor” in AZ in a profile for the state bar mag. Ugh. Vomit. But what is to be done by a nobody such as myself? He chose his doormat well. One can only move on, hoping for cosmic comeuppance.

Okay, I know, it was lame, but I wasn’t expecting crickets, it was like, you know, in the old testament, it is forbidden for jews to speak god’s name, just like in islam, its forbidden to draw a picture of Mohammed, so I was like saying, hey look, we can say yahwah without jews declaring fatwa against us, ha ha.

OK, not funny.

@Promnight: It was, needless to say, interesting to see ADL come out against the “Ground Zero” “mosque” (I hate scare quotes, but what can you do).

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