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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not [7x]
nettime's cartoonist on Sat, 11 Feb 2006 10:33:28 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not [7x]

Table of Contents:

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>                                     

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     Lennaart van Oldenborgh <lenny {AT} desk.nl>                                         

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not...               
     John Hopkins <jhopkins {AT} neoscenes.net>                                           

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} uni-bonn.de>                                          

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     Jamil Brownson <jambro {AT} mac.com>                                                 

   RE: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     Joe Lockard <Joe.Lockard {AT} asu.edu>                                               

   Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepr
     David Irving <dirving {AT} box.net.au>                                               


Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 17:41:39 +0100
From: Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

Am Freitag, 10. Februar 2006 um 11:12:51 Uhr (-0500) schrieb Andrew Bucksbarg:
> There seems to be a problem with extremes in either direction here.   
> We tend to forget, in our examples of democracy, that the freedom  
> FROM something is just as important as the freedom TO something.  

The freedom "from" refers to not be coerced into acts. Since these
caricatures appeared in a newspaper people were free to buy or not to
buy, I fail to see how these caricatures were forced upon onto anyone.
It would be a different case if they had been course material in
schools, for example.

> There are no clean divisions  
> between symbolic and physical action, otherwise burning a cross in  
> someone's yard or burning the flag are pointless acts.  

I certainly see it as anyone's freedom to burn whatever flag s/he likes
(as long as they bought that flag themselves and burn it in their own
yard). Burning in a cross in one's yard indeed oversteps this freedom.
But those caricatures were not put up in the yards of muslim people.
Most people who demonstrated against them hadn't even seen what they
were demonstrating against, just like the militant Christian groups that
rallied in front of movie theaters against Ingmar Bergman's "The
Silence" in the 1960s or Martin Scorsese's "Last Temptation of Christ"
in 1988.

- -F

- -- 


Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 17:30:54 +0000
From: Lennaart van Oldenborgh <lenny {AT} desk.nl>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

wow it took a while for this debate to surface here but it's good to 
finally hear a subjective Danish point of view from Louise Moana 
Kolff; I wholeheartedly agree with her statement that

>So in the light of this political and public climate, the cartoons 
>have less to do with the freedom of press, and more to do with a continuation of 
the role the press has been playing in general in hyping the issue of "the Muslim 
threat" and "the foreign invasion" to an all time high.

and we all know - especially in the Netherlands - that this isn't 
applicable in Denmark alone. surely if these if these publications 
are prosecutable (and that's a big *if*) it should not be under some 
outdated blasphemy law but rather under some anti-racism or anti-hate 
speech act. but if they may not be prosecutable then at least they 
are despicable and the muslim protests in denmark (though not 
necessarily elsewhere) deserve our solidarity.


- -- 
- -----

Lennaart van Oldenborgh
26 Oxford Road
London N4 3EY

tel +44 (0)7768 610016
lenny {AT} desk.nl


Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:13:45 -0700
From: John Hopkins <jhopkins {AT} neoscenes.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not...

on the issue of 'rights' -- Simone Weil suggested that people who are 
driven to demand everything from the society they live in by a 'bill 
of human rights' would instead be better grounded morally to consider 
and act upon their 'human obligations' towards their fellow humans...

and also a side note to ponder -- that it was at the Ecumenical 
conclave in Nicaea in the 7th century when the Christian religion 
definitively broke from the traditions of the middle east -- when the 
iconoclasts were defeated by those in the Church who wanted to allow 
representations of Christ and the saints into the Church ideology. 
Previous to that time, Christianity largely followed a ban similar to 
Muslim -- against any form of re-presentation of the Spirit or flesh 
of God.    It is hard to imagine the 'look' of the modern Christian 
society without that core value of re-presentation of the human 
visage -- fundamentally different...!



Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 22:39:15 +0100
From: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} uni-bonn.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"


Florian Cramer wrote:
>   This is why I
> am opposed to the fact that a film like "Triumph of the Will" is banned in my
> country.
Everybody should have seen this movie. The party 1934. The stupid 
Germans, an idiot of "Fuehrer", maybe the worst: extremly bad music!

The Fuehrer in an airplane, above the clouds, bla. bla. bla, the quality 
of the Pathos, I was expecting some magic, that would explain something, 

Not to mention that I dont remember any relevant insults, compared to 
what happened later. Maybe I overlooked something, trying to find out 
how they did it.

The most important propaganda trick seems to be, this is still common: 
short speaches with simple messages.

But what has this to do with those tasteless danish cartoons? This is 
freedom of press???



Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 01:43:29 +0400
From: Jamil Brownson <jambro {AT} mac.com>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

OK, so religion is a complex socio-psychological phenomenon that science does not
understand, whatever parts of the human bio-computer and genetic code that connect
hard wired behavioural aspects of the species and individual to socialisation and
acculturation ... nuff said, it exists, and is not, nor ever was, nor ever will be

So when we attempt to bring such phenomenon as beliefs and perceptions into the
realm of rational discourse we step into the domain of metaphysical philosophy, or
further abstractions in contest with human emotions. Carl Jung discussed such
phenomena as psychological realities that cannot be proven nor disproven yet
remain embedded in the human subconscious as archetypes and symbols, dreams and
myths. Such phenomena may lie at deeper levels of brain function, perhaps in
concert with the lymbic system of neurological networks connecting response
behaviour to muscle-skeletal reactions that work faster and at more profound
levels of connectivity than the so-called rational or consciousness or cognitive
levels of awareness.

moreover, visual symbols are always effective triggers of visceral emotion,
socially constructed and culturally embedded, perhaps as deep as infant and early
childhood imprinting.

so... issues of free speech or artistic license, are rather moot to behavioural
neuro-psychology, existing as no more than metaphysical values with no cross
cultural validity or encoding into the human biocomputational program.

from Levi-Strauss on, structural anthropology has recognized patterning and
reversals that have no analogous ground in Cartesian rationality, such phenomena
as "Tropicality" a sensual trans-neurological "mystical" phenomenon shared cross
culturally among human populations long adapted to the intense complexity of humid
tropical ecosystems, and which is an example of non-Cartesian emotive behavioural
patterns. Herein lies the communicative force of Marquez' "magic realism" as an
expression of "tropicality" best understood by those sharing that experiential /
existential perceptual reality, however nice these writings translate from Spanish
and are read and appreciated by so many outside that paradigm.

another phenomenon that is necessary to situate the reactions in the Muslim world
and counter-reactions from those trapped in Cartesian paradigms, is honor and
shame, a topic well discussed and studied in literature on post-Neolithic
Mediterranean value systems. Standard reference comes from Pierre Bordieu=92s
fieldwork in the Algerian Berber highlands =93Notes toward a theory of practice=94
following in the footsteps of Germaine Tillion=92s much earlier groundbreaking
studies on the connection of honour and shame with patriarchal systems holding
members as reproductive capital to be exchanged in ways that preserved land and
capital within the social unit. That surface phenomenon is well explained in a
recent article by Jane Smiley, http://www.HuffingtonPost.com =93Why Islamic
rioters in the Middle East and Europe are like South Carolinians during the
American Civil War.=94

CARTOONS AND THE HONOR WARS http://www.alternet.org/story/31884/

j. m. jamil brownson, visiting professor =97 government, policy, urban studies
unit: college of humanities & social sciences, united arab emirates university -
al ain, pob 17771 uae m.jamil {AT} uaeu.ac.ae


Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 16:34:19 -0700
From: Joe Lockard <Joe.Lockard {AT} asu.edu>
Subject: RE: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

- -----Original Message-----
From: Jamil Brownson [mailto:jambro {AT} mac.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 2:43 PM
To: nettime-l {AT} bbs.thing.net
Cc: Joe Lockard
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not =
"freedom of thepress"


To reduce your argument to its basic terms: visceral deep-level 
emotional responses govern reaction to visual stimulae, and free speech 
is a social convention rather than a primal instinct.  Thus since 
freedom of expression is not encoded into "the human biocomputational 
program" it has no cross-cultural validity and claims for the protection 
of speech are moot.  Biologism so trumps legalism.

While it's wonderful to see Old Carl being brought back into action from 
dinosaur days, that won't do.  Your argument is a psychological version 
of stating 'this upsets me and that means you will not say it'; it 
posits censorship rather than freedom as psychological governance; it 
would provide argumentative licence for all manner of competing claims 
to control human behavior; and it ignores the role of educational, 
social, and legal systems in shaping speech. 

Jane Smiley's analogy to antebellum South Carolinians defending their 
honor was poorly chosen.  A far better analogy to the Danish cartoons 
situation within US history would have been the assault on Elijah 
Lovejoy for his free speech exercise, breakage of his presses, and his 
eventual murder in 1837.  Even that is a limited analogy that attains 
only to the establishment of free press traditions, and cannot speak to 
the social context of the present controversy. 

Let me illustrate the consequences of indulging this sort of censorship 
by popular demand. As part of my academic work on the literature of 
slavery, I have published digital editions of a small handful of 
proslavery novels from the 1840s and 1850s in the United States. These 
appear within the context of a larger project devoted to antislavery 
literature, in order to illuminate and document the often-forgotten 
existence of an apologetic counter-literature that represented slavery 
as a social benefit and positive good. These novels are unquestionably 
racist, but our project publishes this small selection in order to 
historicize a literary conflict and ensure that we do not forget how US 
prose fiction was complicit in support for race slavery and racial 
hierarchies. Yet it is the same legal protection that covers our 
project's right to re-publish these texts and that of some hypothetical 
white supremacist press if they were to take an interest in these 
materials for quite different reasons. To accept arguments of offended 
cultural sensitivities in order to determine which texts or images are 
'acceptable' for publication would lead to no end of censorship, and 
that simply is not acceptable.

I do appreciate this controversy, however, for raising afresh the 
unending question of the constitution of free speech.



- -------------------------------------------------------------------

Joe Lockard
Assistant Professor
209 Durham Languages and Literatures Bldg.
English Department
POB 870302
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-0302
Tel: (480) 727-6096
Fax: (480) 965-3451
E-mail: Joe.Lockard {AT} asu.edu


Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 11:39:58 +1030
From: David Irving <dirving {AT} box.net.au>
Subject: Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

Bill Leak, an Australian cartoonist (for "The Australian" newspaper) 
agrees that these cartoons shouldn't have been published, but _only_ 
(unless I misunderstood him completely) because they are:

a. not funny; and
b. extremely poorly drawn.

I have to say I agree with him. I'm not big on pandering to other 
peoples' sensibilities.

Ronda Hauben wrote:

> Whatever the reason for the republication and defense of the cartoons,
> in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, newspapers which republish them in the
> name of "freedom of speech" or "freedom of the press" are seriously
> misrepresenting what "freedom of speech" or "freedom of the press" mean. 


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