Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Satirizing God

After the murders of cartoonists on the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris, and the attack on a right-wing conclave in Dallas inviting cartoonists to draw the prophet, Muhammed, the subject of whose prophet or god is okay to satirize came up. Some cultures are pretty touchy about their deity and prophet, to the point of killing those who mock.

In our culture we don’t censor a cartoonist from razzing a creator.

The New Yorker takes on prophets as well as gods.

As far as I know, for their efforts author Andrew J. Schwartzberg and artist Drew Friedman were not killed by hooded men with machine guns for producing this three-page feature in Mad #347, from 1996. But what would have happened had they poked fun at another god, and not the Judeo-Christian god or prophets? And you know what “other god” I am speaking of, don’t you?

So I don’t have to risk waking up to find a group of armed men in my bedroom, insert the name of that god here: ____________. Shhh. No shouting it out, now.

And while we are at it, it is worth mentioning that the god featured in “What If God Were One of Us?” is pictured as none other than William M. Gaines.

Gaines, publisher of Mad from its inception in 1952 until his death in 1992, was certainly a god to some. A god of iconoclasts, that is.

Do you remember the song by Joan Osborne that was the springboard for the above article? As always, if the screen is dark on this YouTube video it is not due to an act of god, or me taking a lightning strike from above, but because YouTube withdrew it.

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