Writing for the Web: The Limits of Satire

Crawford Killlian blogs his Tyee article ‘The Limits of Satire’ on the
Danish cartoon frenzy.

I agree with most of what he says in general terms, but I am not sure that it fits the actual circumstances. The cartoons were not intended for an Islamic audience and were apparently commissioned to address the issue of fear of reprisal for benignly intended artistic expression – to which the artists responded in various ways with only four of twelve actually appearing to attack any aspect of the Muslim world or faith and two or three appearing rather to rebuke the editor.

Killian’s point about mockery being a more appropriate tool for the powerless than the powerful is well taken, but power is largely in the mind of its holder, and those who appear powerful are often fearful. In Europe with an Islamic population of growing size and stridency, the fear of those adjacent that their freedom may be at risk is perhaps more credible than it might be in Canada right now.

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