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