We’ll always have Paris…

Well, it is the first Fabulous Furry Friday of the year, but I feel like I need to take a moment for reflection on the essential nature of cartooning and satire, not to mention freedom of expression.

Yes, I am referring to the tragic events in Paris this week, when three radical extremists  thought it was a good idea to invade a newspaper office and gun down 10 (or is it 15?- there were conflicting reports) of the writers, editors, and oh yes, cartoonists that wrote for the paper.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me all the time. But the nature of writing, making art, or making comics is essentially about telling one’s own truth. It’s about taking a hard and sometimes humorous look at things that make us uncomfortable.  Personally, I mostly try to stay away from making fun of religion, not that it couldn’t use a poke in the side from time to time. I’ve seen some pretty funny comics that have skewered some aspect of the trappings of religion. But maybe I have a more well developed sense of self preservation than some people.

You should feel free to disagree with me or stop reading these cartoons if I’ve offended you. We might even have a civilized discussion on our differing points of view. It’s been known to happen, and the people with whom I’ve had these conversations feel closer and more real to me.  I appreciate their willingness to discuss things rationally.

It sends a shiver of fear up my spine when I remember that there are those in the world who think that differing philosophies  dishonor their beliefs, and that that is punishable by death.

I thought about what cartoon would honor those who died this week for exercising their right to free speech and I couldn’t think of one that I had done that would fit that bill.

So I thought a better idea would be to do what I do best, and make you laugh.

pass the cookies, okay?

pass the cookies, okay?

well, if I can't carry it through security, can I eat it now?

well, if I can’t carry it through security, can I eat it now?

Who says real life can't be funny?

Who says real life can’t be funny?

Be kind, be true to yourself, but most importantly, be the bear. We’ll always have Paris.
Bob T. Panda

10 thoughts on “We’ll always have Paris…

  1. Teresa

    Your vignettes have made me forget a moment of this terrorist nightmare, I think all good people are shocked by the terrible events. Thanks, Bob T., we’ll always have Paris …

    Reply
  2. Jayelle (@GreenEyedLilo)

    I love comic art–I learned to read on the Sunday comics page as a small child, and I learned so much about the world outside of Florida from Mad magazine. It’s no exaggeration to say that comic art expanded my world. So to think of it as something to fear–even terrible, often racist comic art–upsets me. I am grateful for artists like you, and for the freedom you and others have to share your visions of the world. I’m even grateful for Funky Winkerbean. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      Peanuts and Mad Magazine definitely shaped my world view too. The world of comics is wide and deep. I don’t like much of what is out there: violence, racism, sexism, all the bad stuff. I choose to ignore that part of comics. I like to think I’m on the side of the angels, but of course that’s how some people slip over to the dark side. Thinking their way is the only way.
      But me, I’ll always have pandas. I am grateful for your friendship as well as your readership. Together maybe we can make the world a less terrible place.

      Reply
  3. Sandy Reuscher

    Yes, you did make me laugh. Remember a bad day in Paris is better than a good day anywhere else. Peace & love to all.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      I think about all the dark times of my life, and how they led me to art and pandas. Glad I could make you laugh. The ability to laugh makes us human. (Or pandas…I’m pretty sure that pandas laugh too.)

      Reply
  4. Vicky V

    I’ve always been political. When I have had to suffer through hideous governments – like the one we have now – I’ve turned to our political cartoonists to shine a light on the darkness. They’ve made me laugh and given me hope that one day we will get back on track and be the Australia we once were – loving, giving, friendly and not afraid of the world’s most vulnerable people.
    Thank you for making us laugh Bob T.

    Reply
    1. Panda in Chief Post author

      It is a narrow edge to navigate…I don’t mind annoying people ( ha ha…ask my brother) but I don’t like the idea of inspiring violence against me. I figure I am willing to poke fun at my countries politics when I think it needs pking. Sometimes humor helps people understand the absurdity of one position or another.

      Reply

What does your inner panda think?