Hey Factory Fans:

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the massacre in France has hit the comics community pretty hard.  Whereas, creators were mostly loathe to put a Muhammed cartoon or image in their comic, now everyone’s doing it in a show of…well, I’m not sure.  Solidarity, I guess.  I find this a little weird for a lot of reasons.  The whole Muhammed image controversy really wasn’t a controversy to begin with.  Back in 2001, South Park did it with The Super Best Friends, portraying Muhammed as a superhero.  No one really cared.

It wasn’t until 2010 after the backlash in 2005 and 2007 in European papers for other cartoon pictures, that everyone over here suddenly got frightened in the U.S.  By the time I started doing the Antiwar Comic, I was thinking about doing a Muhammed cartoon as well.  But blaming the images, the cartoons or videos about Muhammed for “terrorism” isn’t any more accurate than blaming Muslims for 9/11.  It’s way more complicated than that.  The massacres are not the event.  They are a reaction to other events.  It doesn’t justify them (nothing does) but if you don’t look beyond the horror to the real complicated causes, that’s how you get 40% of the American people believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and plotted 9/11.  Think about how much misinformation you get from your own government and media, now just imagine you live in a place ruled by religious law and dictators.  If educated people in the West can’t even be bothered to research the root causes of these actions, if the technologically advanced people who run the world can’t get it right, then don’t be shocked when people who live and breathe religious dogma slide off the deep end because they feel trapped an powerless.  That doesn’t make the massacres right, it just explains part of the why.

So what should we do?  Well, besides honoring the poor folks at Charlie Hebdo for taking on controversial topics and dying because of it, we should also be remembering the people who do that now while they are alive.  We need to demand more of ourselves as an audience to consume more challenging fare like the kind Charlie Hebdo does.  We also need to understand the causes for the massacre and not just rant emotionally or react emotionally.  If you read the world news outside U.S. sources, it’s easy to see why some Muslims feels like the world (and specifically the U.S.) is out to get them.  The bombings, the war, the invasions, the regime changes, the sanctions—-  They all add up.  And while certain people and companies get rich, while certain politicians live off the fame (or infamy) and media outlets get ratings, there are still hundreds of thousands of people getting destroyed physically, mentally, financially, spiritually—

War creates blowblack.  The two brothers that committed these attacks had just returned from Syria, where they probably received their training.  That entire region is unraveling mostly because the U.S. uncorked the genie when we blew apart Iraq.  Now we’re trying to do it with Syria.  Would these brothers have gotten so polarized in the 90’s?  Possible, but doubtful.  One had already been arrested for “terrorism” a word that’s vague and inexact and has no place in any law book.  As David Cross said, “Having a War on Terror is like having a War on Jealousy.”  Terrorism can be applied to virtually anything when it’s illegal to make “terroristic threats” or “financially aid terrorists groups”.  One man’s terrorist is another man’s hero.  Just ask John McCain, Ed Rendell, Rudy Giuliani, Hillary Clinton and others about the MEK.

So if you really want to reduce the amount of violence in the world, then you need to work to reduce the amount of war.  And if you really want to honor the folks at Charlie Hebdo, then you need to do what they did and really think about what you’re cartooning about.

Don’t react, think.

Back to Business:

Today at Super Frat, it’s Flashback.

Validation is new.

Johnson & Sir is new.

And the Quote of the Day is from Noam Chomsky:

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.”