Anthony McIntyre admires The Nib for taking a stand in support of a censored political cartoonist.
The action of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette pulsates with an echo from 2006 when political Islam launched a campaign involving considerable violence, the purpose of which was to suppress political images by Danish cartoonists. The purpose of the cartoons was part of an exercise in exploring fear: why people were afraid to draw images depicting Mohammad, Islam's prophet of choice. The then editor of Charlie Hebdo was to the fore in challenging that nefarious campaign of censorship by political Islam. The staff of Charlie Hebdo, including a later editor were subsequently massacred by religious fascists in Paris. Charlie Hebdo had a well established reputation for producing cartoons often acerbic, that specialised in mocking religion and holding a mirror up to clerical power.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette in similar vein as political Islam is seeking to protect the image of US president Donald J Trump, he of J is for genius renown.
It has taken to suppressing the work of former Pulitzer finalist Rob Rogers on the grounds that it is too critical of Trump. In three months alone, nineteen cartoons or ideas for cartoons were spiked.
The Pensive Quill is not going to take up the Skibereen Eagle role of "keeping an eye" on Trump. But it will make its own contribution to opposing those who try to suffocate artistic expression and satire.
Over the next ten days in place of its usual A Morning Thought, the suppressed cartoons will feature in TPQ as an act of appreciation for both the censored cartoonist and The Nib for providing breathing space for art that some powerful forces want smothered.
When Robert De Niro took to the podium to say one thing, Fuck Trump, he started a trend. While he did not elaborate to the almost Niemoller point of saying fuck Trump before he fucks you, there is no reason to feel he meant to convey something else.
Trump will not only fuck you but will fuck every progressive value society has nurtured and drag it back to some form of biblical immorality, within which every unspeakable cruelty will have its day and say while you will be silenced:
I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.
Even when the writing on the wall is not what everyone wants to read, the right to write and draw on the wall remains of critical importance to society. It is not some trivial pastime to be occasionally indulged by officialdom, but a vital intellectual function that fuels both reason and imagination, without which, any status quo remains unquestioned. If we cannot reason it we deprive ourselves of imagining how it might be made better. Creative license is not something to be trumped by Trump or his Omega Man backers, writing their own script to suit a world where rights exist for Ourselves Alone.
In the spirit of the freedom to think, inquire, write, draw, reason, imagine, TPQ shall feature the censored cartoons.
Anthony McIntyre blogs @ The Pensive Quill.