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TRAGICOMEDY GOLD; SHORT BUT HARDLY SWEET.

I gather, from a Facebook post this morning, that another cartoonist has joined the ranks of those afflicted by Shmuckholm Syndrome.

Oh, well.

In this regard, in reaction to a recent post, I was angrily unfriended and blocked by a fellow cartoonist, who, when given the choice I provided in that text between being a fool, a hypocrite, or an antisemite in regard to his support for those describing the response to the Hamas murder/rape/assault as genocide, presumed and insisted I regarded him as a fool, because he apparently couldn’t countenance the latter two options.

This came to mind this morning as I was clearing a pile of notes, and found material relating to a one shot anthology I had planned, a project which I had casually discussed with him.

This book was intended to feature three short pieces—eight pages each—that would address my feelings about organized religion. To be clear, these feelings would never under any circumstances be mistaken for charitable in regard to the troglodytic supernaturalism of such stuff.

The first story was epistolary, a series of escalating spirited exchanges between Pontius Pilate and Emperor Tiberius in regard to funding and billeting issues in Jerusalem, and Pilate’s solution to the financial hemorrhage of the Roman military presence there.

The second was about a beloved Jewish Moscow cabaret artist, well known for his irreverent  performances across the country, who is brought in to punch up The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, presuming as he does that this crude and risibly comic forgery was satire.

The third…well, I never quite got there.

Try as I did, I couldn’t find a hook to do to or for Islam what the two previous pieces did to or for Christianity and Judaism.  There’s a longstanding history of irreverence attached to both of those foolishly faith-based belief systems, both of external mockery, often from apostates, and internal self deprecation, deployed by those who still worship and practice, from WHEN HENRY FORD APOLOGIZED TO ME, to LATE NIGHT CATECHISM, and so very much more, running the gamut from affectionate to scathing.

Not so much for Islam, I am afraid.

Very afraid.

The best I could come up with was the sad tale of a middle eastern fellow, inspired by satellite viewing of RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE, who couldn’t get a niqab to work its magic for him, and ended up getting forced sexual reassignment surgery because that’s just the way things play out thereabouts.

Of course, in our modern world, any attempt at so irreverent a treatment of that third faith would be stigmatized by progressives wielding that all purpose modern cultural death sentence, “…phobic…”

And, of course, that death sentence has all too often been demonstrated to be quite literally the case in cases such as this.

God knows I tried. (A figure of speech, of course.  There is no god.)  But, as above, each concept I investigated was more horrific than funny, even in the darkest sense.

And then, of course, I remembered that I am a physical coward.  I’ve never won a fistfight in my life.  And then I further recalled that satire of any kind in regard to that third faith all too often did far more than close on Saturday night.

Just ask Salman Rushdie.

Or maybe you thought he had it coming, big time free speech smarty pants that he is.

Of course, these days, “free speech” is what you say, not them.  Of course.

So, maybe next time you find yourself stirred, cheering the bullhorn shouts of “Globalize the Intifida,” give a brief thought to the staff at CHARLIE HEBDO, shot dead by religious extremists whose feelings were hurt by cartoons defaming their prophet, killers who share the social politics and religion of those on those bullhorns—who were doing just that, Global Intifada’wise.

Or maybe, just maybe, you thought, perhaps only secretly, that those cartoonists had it coming, too…

…You know, micro aggressions, trigger warnings and all that.

And hey—they were French, right?

Of course, I am all too aware that “problematic” and “controversial” fill the same rhetorical space for many of you as “blasphemous” and “profane” do for the sexist, racist, homophobic, aspiring to Taliban adjacent levels of autocracy culture you identify as the heroic resistance—you know, like in Star Wars.

The cruel comedy of the rush by the disenfranchised of all designations to shout their support of a society that would gleefully defenestrate these disenfranchised for their own chuckle filled entertainment is a tribute to the brutal removal of irony, self-awareness and actual curiosity, in lieu of a superhero action figure based reactive misunderstanding of real life and reality, encumbered as it is with a disappointing pall of gray area experiential nuance.

Not to mention simple garden variety Jew hate.  Call it by its new brand name, but it remains a classic.

Just a thought.

That brutal murder of cartoonists and journalists happened in Paris.  And despite all your narcissistic guilt over your privileged lives, convincing your easily manipulated ass to performatively protest in the name of terrorists who regard you with all too justified contempt, it’s likely to happen here.

To Jews.

Not Zionists.

Jews.

Not like most of you give a shit, of course, because, like those French cartoonists, an alarming percentage of you think Jews have it coming, too.

And then there’s the disenfranchised.  Despite your willfully ignorant misplaced idealism, identifying with the aggressor isn’t going to save you.

The society you have chosen to revere reserves its homicidal loathing for Jews, of course.

But they treat women as chattel, all too often insisting on cliterectomies—not to mention legally permitting honor murder, and that all time favorite of religious extremists of all stripes, enforced child marriages.

It’s not just for Alabama anymore.

It’s easy to mock the truly idiotic franchise of QUEERS FOR PALESTINE, and I have succumbed to this more often perhaps than I should.

That said, the homosexuals who don’t get thrown off roofs are frequently castrated and sexually reassigned as transwomen, because this culture thinks all queers are trans, or certainly should be, whether they want to be or not.

This, while you’re wondering whether you should burn your beloved children’s books in protest of their author’s beliefs.

Just remember all this at the PRIDE parade when you make a big performative thing about not allowing gay Jews to participate—because, you know, inclusion only goes so far.

Like free speech.

It goes without saying, but say it I will…If the above hurts your feelings the way those murderers’ feelings were hurt by CHARLIE HEBDO, here’s the perfect opportunity to unfriend and block me on the social media platform of your choice, but please, leave the automatic weapons home.

Trust me on this.

As ever, I remain,

Howard Victor Chaykin, a prince.

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