Notes on the ongoing Cartoon Controversies

In what is a rather depressing turn of events, news came earlier today that cartoonist Guillermo Torres and writer Manuel Fontdevila have been fined €2.500 each for their cartoon, on the cover of satirical weekly El Jueves, back in July, of the Spanish Crown Prince and his wife in doggy-style position. “Insulting the Crown” is the offense, and they risked a prison sentence. Absolutely ridiculous (more on why I think so here). I sincerely hope the debate this has sparked in Spain will eventually ensure that this kind of verdict is never passed again.

On the other hand, it seems that the authorities in Sweden are handling the fallout over Lars Vilks’ childish Muhammed cartoons rather well, despite the temptation towards an inconcilliatory hardline stance that the usual, moronic death threats received by Vilks, as well as assorted flag-burnings in Pakistan might otherwise have provoked. Let’s hope this imbroglio dies the quick, quiet death it deserves.

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