A cartoon of the cartoonist: Cartoonist Painted by God 2000. I can talk to Muhammad. That’s right, I can do that. He’s in the house right now, helping me with this short essay. He’s happy to help. Believe it or not, Muhammad tried to warn the USA prior to 9-11 that America was going to be attacked. He used me to work through, since I was already being monitored by the Feds for my God connection, and we were both on the ‘non-violence’ side of the street. It doesn’t matter to me that you believe it. My life isn’t driven by whether someone believes me or not. He’s not a traitor and neither am I.
We both simply want the same thing: peace. I was born wanting peace. He’s an animal rights advocate like I am. He hates to see anybody suffer, just like me. He was a little shy in the beginning; so am I. Frankly, I don’t have the same type of brain stamina I used to have to see patterns of activity and behavior in the underworld posing potential threats. In order to connect dots, one must be able to remember the dots. So we’re going to circumvent, using what I do have. That’s why I’m writing this word warrior. I retired it years ago, thinking someday I might write a small book out of the segments of thoughts I write down: A Plan For The Planet.
There were so many thoughts, that I couldn’t possibly put them in any kind of meaningful sequence. So I decided not to. After reading a note written a few years back that said to write the book in no particular order, I was okay with it. Before long this current word warrior was turning into this small book. I realized that there really is such a thing as the ‘fierce urgency of now’. That’s how I always wrote anyway, as if it would be my last written word. Upon seeing the candidates in the USA using word warrior mission statement as part of their platforms, I knew the time was now to give the plan to the world. But, more importantly, its purpose is to stop the violence now. The violence that’s about to erupt worldwide. I can feel it and I know you can too.
But unlike before my brain injury when I could be specific, now I need to stop the violence by relying on all of you, not to snitch on your neighbor, but to change the direction of the world by changing yourselves and being the example set to all who would do harm. I’m doing this by connecting you with your own God. I’m giving you the words to replace the bullets, and a plan to replace the delivery system of the gun, and showing you how to access the God in you, your own private power source to be your personal trainer and motivating force to change the planet by changing yourself. If I survive this project, then next comes the cookbook: “top shelf animal-free recipes”. The animals need me. Oddly, my brain injury didn’t interfere with my ability to create animal-free recipes, and it suits my limitations just fine. Cookbooks are all about segments, so I don’t have to remember what I wrote ten pages previously in order to write the eleventh page.
So let’s get back to cartoonist.
Freedom shouldn’t mean anything goes. Freedom really does come with responsibility for one’s actions in all areas of one’s life and the effects of those actions must be considered. That means everybody, in case for whatever reason or based on whatever status, somebody thinks this doesn’t apply to them. I’m only going to focus on one cartoonist, Lars Endel Roger Vilks. He’s the one who depicted Muhammad as half human and half dog. Lars Vilks’ knew, as he was drawing those cartoons, that he was humiliating and insulting Muhammad and all Muslims. He was angry and gleeful at once, knowing he was going to stab in the heart all those people whom he hates.
Artists get away with that, because it’s art, and especially in the case of cartoonists or comics, who claim only to want to make people laugh. Personally I have never laughed at a cartoon and rarely find laugh out loud funny comedians. But maybe that’s just me, because I do see a lot of people laughing at comedians on TV. Frankly, if one needs to go to a laugh doctor to get a dose of laughter, I figure that the person is lacking in a sense of humor and maybe takes their own selves so seriously that they can’t find anything funny about the circumstances in their own lives. Regardless, when you make people laugh, by doing, saying, writing or drawing something outrageously offensive, peoples’ defenses drop, so the knife goes in easier. The insult is felt deeper.
Lars Vilks was making a political and a religious statement through his art by demeaning the Prophet of the Muslim people, with the purpose of taking away their hope. When several newspapers refused to print the cartoons, he became even more motivated to find one that would. He not only found one, but then several other papers in Europe also printed it. People died as a result of those cartoons being printed. I fail to see the humor in that. Later, when they were reprinted, more people died. Again, where was the humor? Lars Vilks has blood on his hands and so do the newspapers that reprinted his obviously offensive work. When they knew what the result would be, they once again stabbed every Muslim in the heart. The desire was to hurt. The desire was not to entertain.
Oppressed people are closer to their Gods than those not oppressed. Their religions, their Gods, their Prophets, are what makes them strong; that’s from whence they draw their power, their inspiration and their instruction. When someone knows in advance, that an action directed at that which the oppressed hold dear, will result in an uprising, then the sane person tries another method to bring down the anxiety level, while still getting the point across without the use of humiliation. Every Muslim in the world is not responsible for all the violence in the world. Most Muslims have nothing to do with war violence, yet the cartoon was directed at the Prophet whom they all hold holy.
The world should have learned this lesson when Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, armed with a security force, knowing well that the oppressed Palestinians would rise up in violence. You don’t trample on oppressed people’s religious icons. It’s like you’re saying, we not only own you, we own your God too, and yes your Prophet belongs to us as well. Ridicule along with prejudice is a dangerous mix. We all see the ripples and tsunamis of repercussions throughout the world. These newspapers didn’t really have freedom of expression. How many articles and art works get rejected by staff for personal views or public agendas every single day?
Every person involved in this cartoonist conflict contributed to the slaughter, which all began with prejudice. The point of art is to let each person viewing it, interpret it in their own way according to their own life experiences. When millions of people see the same thing in a work of art, then the artist meant to present it in exactly that way. It was drawn with the purpose of incitement. The European newspapers that reprinted it, had the exact same motive of incitement. They wanted the Muslims to rise up in violence. They knew they would, and stuck by their right to say, draw and print whatever they wanted to say, draw and print.
Once again, with freedom comes a personal and social responsibility to consider what the consequences might be, if you do print. Do you all feel good about yourselves and the results? What purpose did it serve? Got you a little vengeance did it? Feel liberated? Look, everybody should be able to express themselves freely, without the threat of harm. But, would you all have printed an equally offensive cartoon about the Jews? Let’s not kid anybody and act all self-righteous. How about a Jew being depicted in a gas chamber choking in front of Hitler as he laughs uproariously? How about depicting a black man hanging by a noose, while the white man lights up a cigar and laughs. Would you have done that? I didn’t think so.
To those Muslims offended by the characterization of Muhammad. Don’t you think your Prophet can handle the criticism? Was it the dog that offended you? Now you’ve offended me, since I raised a pack of dogs and a few cats as my own family. Look, your own Prophet was an animal lover. Obviously, the person who put the head of a dog on Muhammad was also disrespecting the dog, and, unfortunately, judging from your response, you also were disrespecting the dog. According to legend, Muhammad thought black dogs were evil. He knows now that that isn’t true. Through this artist he was showing himself to you. The artist had no control. No artist does. All they can control is what they do with the piece of art. Muhammad was counting on this guy’s prejudice, his hatred, and was counting on the newspapers with prejudice to print it, so that Muhammad could communicate directly to you. We are all animals.
I don’t like it when people disrespect others or disrespect animals. The greatest prejudice on earth is against all those animals. What, you think I didn’t consult with all the past Prophets as well as all the animals as I developed the Five Principles to a Better Life? I couldn’t have done it without them.
I painted a picture once, on the same night that I painted ‘Cow Going To Slaughter’. When I recognized it as the devil, even though it was a great work of art, the next day I destroyed it. It wasn’t an image I wanted to display to the world. The devil was in the slaughtering of the cows, so I didn’t need that other picture, I had one that was more appropriate, that gave the same message, more effectively. The devil by the way was depicted in human form. I won’t even tell you the famous person it depicted, because I know it would offend a lot of people. I didn’t choose to paint the devil; it just worked out that way. I had set out to paint a pink rose in full bloom that I had seen in a sky above an Angus cattle ranch. What came out on the canvases were ‘Cow Going To Slaughter’ and the ‘Devil’. It was my choice what to do with both paintings.
People worldwide fear you when you go into a mass rage over a piece of paper. They fear you when you shake your fists behind masks and threaten to slaughter someone like a lamb. Stop slaughtering lambs. Stop slaughtering everyone. Every time you go into a rage the anxiety level of the world rises. Raise that level too high and you’ll be looking at a nuclear weapon coming your way. People commit irrational acts when they become fearful. Make the world less fearful. Where’s your humanity? If you think the Jews are your problem, and Lars Vilks is part Jew, then offer an olive branch. Don’t bring someone to their knees by demanding an apology. Did you apologize to the families of the people who died in the massive protests? What purpose is there in killing the cartoonists? The good feeling of vengeance? Then your anxiety level is too high. His certainly was.
It’s time to retire satire. Satire is a tool used by the elite to cover up acts of vengeance and their need to control by the use of humiliating art, directed at the target which opposes the agenda of the elite. Satire, like torture, has no rules. It’s financiers are usually highly influential people without well-known faces or names who pull the strings of the masses via art in order to steer public opinion. In simpler terms, it’s the elite’s way of striking down with vengeance people they don’t like. They do it by ridiculing people in public. It is a subterfuge method of control, without responsibility for consequences, thus a cowardly way of expressing disapproval and exacting vengeance.
Responsibility comes with satire. Artists, writers, scientists, and all people in power positions need to be reminded that just because they possess the ability to do something, doesn’t give them the moral authority to do it. You never know where someone’s at in life and what trigger of disrespect will push them over the edge. Everybody treating everybody else with respect will allow everybody to get a better grip on their own behavior. Begin by respecting yourself, even when others don’t. They will eventually. The cartoon of the cartoonist is a prophecy, meant to be stopped, not fulfilled. That’s the holy part.
In the end, we all must change the way we react, even though we don’t necessarily change our view.
You don’t fulfill a prophecy and call it holy by starting a war that was predicted. Once you know the prophecy, you stop the war before it starts. That’s the holy part. Right now, I feel like insulting all parties to all prophets, but I won’t. I know it’s predicted that I will do that. But, fulfilling the prediction serves no useful, positive, forward moving purpose. It serves only to divide what needs to come together.