March 21, 2016

"Talking about art without looking at art is difficult, but Navasky explained to his young audience that their teachers didn’t want them to see the cartoon he had just described."

"However, he said slyly, it was easily found on the Internet; just Google 'David Levine Kissinger.' Hundreds of high school students whipped out their phones, typed in the words, and – voila! – there was Kissinger, screwing the world. Needless to say, the kids cheered in appreciation."

From "A real lesson in freedom of expression" ("What if you were invited to a discussion about freedom of speech and part of your presentation was censored?").

13 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

A real lesson in freedom of expression

Oh, like Victor Navasky would have, ever, in a million billion fucking years have published that cartoon with the head of Kissinger being replaced by Mao or Khrushchev or Stalin.

Whenever VN comes up I'm reminded of the old saying "Don't believe the devil, even when he tells the truth".

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

It is considerably more difficult to find on the internet the Kliban cartoon of Albert Einstein having sex with the universe.

samanthasmom said...

It isn't so much that teachers don't want their students to see things like that as they'd like to keep their jobs.

Meade said...

Now do it in China.

Hagar said...

It also says something about the crudity - not to say "downscale" - quality of the intellectual left.

EDH said...

The world seems to be clutching the mattress in orgasmic ecstasy, if you ask me. So, who is the one imposing the negative connotation with sex.

But showing young kids a out-of-date suggestive cartoons is how these Pulitzer Prize types can relive their radical days as civil libertarians rather than as the communist totalitarian apologists they really were.

Had The Nation cartoon shown Kissinger consensually butt-fucking the head of a "US client state", say the Shah or Pinochet, in a homoerotic manner, is there any doubt that picture would have been self-censored today by this band of self-styled free speakers?

dbp said...

In addition to noticing as EDH did, that "the world" seems to like Dr. Kissinger's ministrations; I think the cartoon would have been better if the world was not represented by a woman's body and a over sized globe head. Why not have a regular woman but have her represent the world with continent shaped pictures on her body? Or flags of all the nations?

narciso said...

plus, besides fwiw, kissinger got along with jill st. john, among others.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

and – voila! – there was Kissinger, screwing the world.

Meh. Try this with the kids at a Madrasa in Saudi Arabia with an offensive cartoon of Muhammad, then you might have something interesting to say about censorship.

tim maguire said...

It's a not a very good cartoon, childish, but it is a great lesson in the limits of censorship. As in, censorship does little more than encourage creativity. It's generally recognized that Hollywood's golden age came under the thumb of censorship.

Google May 35th.

Sebastian said...

Theo van Gogh was not available for comment.

The Chinese kill millions of their own people. The Russians had killed millions of their own people. The North Koreans had put hundreds of thousands in concentration camps. Cuba had become a concentration camp. North Vietnam was trying. But Dr. K screws the world. The balance of power, and the end to the war, and the opening to China, and detente: yeah, that's some kind of screwing. Did VN explain why, in retrospect, the cartoon really spoofs the mad Prog obsession with Dr. K? (I say as a quasi-neocon opponent of Dr. K.)

SteveR said...

These stories are really only clever when you are smart -- and -- making fun of Republicans.

chuck said...

*Shrug*, another six year old with good technique and not much imagination. It's a common combination on the Left end of the political spectrum.