A screenshot of search terms that brought users to In Contempt yesterday:
“Orangutan masturbation” — surprisingly, not a feature of my recent work. An orangutan does appear in a couple strips last year, so at least one strip got a hit. Sorry to disappoint the ape fetishist who sought more prurient fare.

Speaking of ape fetishism: Yesterday’s In Contempt strip on racist cartooning drew the highest number of hits ever for one of my strips. Big thanks to Barry for linking to it not once, not twice, but three times: two separate posts at his own blog and as a link in the comments of the Daily Cartoonist. This inspired at least one other person to link to it; eventually CNN and two other blogs put in a link, too.

Of course, much of the attention is due to the outrage over Sean Delonas’ racist cartoon, which my strip comments upon (as well as David Cohen’s much worse, but more obscure offering.) It’s great to have new visitors and hear new voices comment upon my work — even if one of them confused me with Rick Sanchez. (It’s easy to get high profile news anchors and obscure lefty cartoonists confused.) Still —

I feel there is something disproportionate about the attention and outrage paid to the Delonas cartoon, at least in the larger context of racist violence our government and allies visit upon the poor people of the world via aerial bombardments in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan. People are protesting outside the New York Post, demanding it get shut down. By whom? The government? Sorry, folks, but unless you want to repeal the First Amendment, you are stuck living with newspapers and other media that will offend you occasionally. Small price for democracy and having your own voice heard, ya see. If you really want to shut something down, how about the military-industrial complex? They keep sending our fellow citizens to die and to kill people oppressed by corrupt governments and criminal factions our tax dollars support. For what? Cheap labor? Wal-Mart?

To anticipate a likely rejoinder: If I feel this way, why did I draw the cartoon at all? Well, because this problem keeps arising in cartooning and humorist circles. A white guy says or draws something offensive, provokes a strong reaction, and responds in a petulant, self-aggrandizing fashion. I felt it necessary to throw a wrench in the works, to mock this cycle and offer a few actual constructive criticisms. I doubt most cartoonists for whom this strip applies will take it in a corrective spirit. I bet I’ll get at least one “No – YOU’RE the racist!” because I target “white cartoonists.” One of these days I might do something on sexism; that way I can offend all men — white AND of color.

Kumbaya, baby.

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