Mood: accident prone
Topic: "Two Americas" (4)
As a general rule, Frodo avoids the daily topical, preferring, instead, to reflect back at a later time, in order to add perspective, or humor, to something that may not be quite as serious as talking heads or partisans may proffer. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule and, as Gomer Pyle frequently stated, "Surprise, surprise, surprise," hither follows an exception.
THE NEW YORKER magazine is a "slur," and it is so because that is how it is viewed by the subjects cartooned on the cover. From a similar perspective, religious people felt that the iconic presentation of the Prophet Muhammad in Dutch newspapers was a religious "slur." What is truly unsettling about both of these instances is that extremely intelligent, creative, artistic people responded defensively to the criticism.
George W. Bush, it may be argued, is therefore fully justified to show offense at the comic portrayals of his "eagle beak" and "pointy ears." Frodo would argue back that making fun of a person's appearance is an automatic denial of credible substance. On the other hand, to reflect a burning flag, or a place of honor for a portrait of Osama bin Laden, with one of the cartooned portrayed as bearing an automatic weapon leaves too much to the imagination, and too little to the belly laugh.
People, good people, are going to say and do things that offend, intentionally or no. It is the adults who recognize that they have stepped on the proverbial toe, and who have the wisdom to excuse themselves and to go on. That is what characterizes the goodness of a man like Don Imus, whose motivations will never be questioned by Frodo. It is the juveniles who talk about "artistic license" (if they live in New York City), or "getting a tee shirt with that cartoon on the front" (if they live in Texas).
Frodo often reads magazines, and not always in the dental waiting room. Occasionally, he finds himself reading an article in PLAYBOY, or looking at the pictures in THE NEW YORKER. He resents the fact that anyone would infer that he needs to look at either, differently. Frodo knows obscenity when he sees it.