04
May
08

cartoons that aren’t funny

Recently, one of our readers (Thanks Elaine), emailed us concerning this highly offensive cartoon. I find this kind of propaganda disheartening. I also find it to be a huge waste of creative ability. First, lets get some things out in the open. Yes, I am a raging hippie and therefore a huge environmentalist. While I may not agree with the ELF’s methods (i.e. burning down empty buildings or spray painting hummers), I understand the sentiment.

Secondly, the comparison of environmental activism to terrorism baffles me. Terrorism, by all definitions, is not about method but about purpose. The goal of “terrorists” is to instill fear into people in order to further their ideological goals. Terrorist groups are cohesive and clear in their objectives. The Earth Liberation Front is at best a disbanded group of men and women who share a general concern for the environment. They act as individuals, and not as a group. They aren’t trying to intimidate people into becoming tree huggers. Believe me, environmentalists are smarter than that. They know they can’t change views by burning down buildings.

Calling this terrorism seems to be a stretch for me. These environmental activists take great pains in not harming people and their goal is not to instill fear, but rather to punish the fat wallets of multimillion dollar corporations who profit from the environment’s destruction. It amazes me what deliberate use of words can do to skew the facts or detract from them all together. By making corporate CEOs the victim of terrorism, it makes them void of all wrongdoing in the matter. It also gives cartoonists like this moron the freedom to buy into the hype and to attract more readers. How sad.

 

What is even more disturbing about this cartoon is the idea that earth liberation is a fat vs skinny issue. The artist makes it seem like being fat and caring about the environment somehow make a person hypocritical. I want to make one thing painfully clear. We live in a society that divides people into polarizing categories and then assigns some unrealistic physical stereotype to each one. So, environmentalists must be skinny, white, upper class people living the “green lifestyle”. Let me tell you, I am not skinny, nor am I white, and being a student makes it impossible to be upper class, but I care more about the environment than most people I know.

 

As an environmentalist, this kind of propaganda makes “green living” a divisive issue, which is the last thing that we need. Caring for the environment should be unifying. After all, we all have to live in this world together. As a supporter of the fat acceptance movement, it perpetuates this notion that fat people should live their lives in secret and render themselves invisible as it relates to the issues that affect our society. We have to stop allowing people to continue to ridicule us because we are people who want to live purposeful lives. So, with that being said, I am giving this cartoonist and people like him a collective finger from all of us. We’re not going to take it anymore.

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10 Responses to “cartoons that aren’t funny”


  1. 1 Piffle
    May 4, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Mmm. ELF isn’t Al-queda, but it is a terrorist organization, attempting to get their way by violence rather than persuasion; and I don’t buy for one minute their concern for human safety. At a minimum the firefighters who have to come put out their mess are put into danger needlessly. They also burned down our UW gardening research center and thousands of books, some of which were irreplacable. As a gardener I am furious with them, and find myself much less likely than I used to be to even consider supporting causes even tangentially related to theirs.

    I consider the weeds. I wear clothes until they have holes in them, I buy from garage sales and used book environment; I recycle, I compost, I vermicompost, I don’t use pesticides or herbicides, I dig up noxious stores (a form of recycling). I am fat too; but I’m still too angry at ELF to worry about a damn cartoon. They damaged knowledge, reason, and research. Barbarians. Alexandria on a petty scale.

    Furthermore, burning down houses won’t stop the builders, it merely creates pollution.

  2. 2 Piffle
    May 4, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Sorry the first part of the second paragraph got messed up. It should read:

    I consider the environment; I recycle, I compost, I vermicompost, I don’t use pesticides or herbicides, I dig up noxious weeds, I wear clothes until they have holes in them, I buy from garage sales and used book stores (a form of recycling).

  3. 3 intellectualfeminist
    May 5, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Piffle, I completeley understand your point. I don’t condone the ELF’s actions in any way. But I hardly think that makes them terrorists. If that is the case then all arsonists would be considered terrorists. I just don’t think the ELF is at that level of mass human violence. I’m glad you brought up the point about buying used things and not being wasteful. I think that’s awesome. Despite all the hype about going green, not creating waste is what’s most important.

  4. 4 Karen
    May 5, 2008 at 8:50 am

    I disagree with the idea that the act of burning a building makes one a terrorist. If you burn a building with people in it for the joy of power over another’s life, or start a fire because you just like fire and it gets out of control, or burn down a building because you want the insurance money, you aren’t trying to make a political point, and you aren’t trying to intimidate someone into doing something about anything, you’re doing it for your own amusement or personal profit. This makes you a sicko, but it is an important point of terrorism that the terrorist is, in fact, trying to influence people’s action on political issues through the threat of violence. It is a feature (or bug) of fire that we don’t really control it once unleashed. By definition setting a fire is presenting a danger to everyone and everything around it, which is why the fire department is not given the option of not responding to fires in empty buildings where only property damage is threatened. That is why setting fires for ideological purposes is terrorism.

  5. 5 Bri
    May 5, 2008 at 9:27 am

    did you cut and paste any of your post? That can make the font do weird things.

  6. 6 ccampbell
    May 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Hear, hear.
    I agree with you on all that you have said. I’d like to see all humanist causes like feminism, fat activism, environmentalism, etc. work together and fight against portrayals of any of us as “other”, especially “terrorists”, the current boogeyman othering term meant to justify all manner of inhumanity and abuse. It’s the modern day “communist” writ large.

  7. May 5, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Good point, Bri. I have no clue if IntellectualFeminist actually copied and pasted. What’s interesting, however, is that the font change isn’t visible on certain computers. My mother has a desktop comp, and the font was fine on hers. I have a laptop, as does my co-blogger. Maybe that’s why it looks wonky.

  8. May 6, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Whoops! I screwed up the formatting myself. Here’s the better version:

    Thank you for writing about this. Your post is excellent!

    I particularly agree with two points. You wrote:

    We live in a society that divides people into polarizing categories and then assigns some unrealistic physical stereotype to each one.

    Absolutely! This is so frustrating because it invades and harms every movement.

    These environmental activists take great pains in not harming people and their goal is not to instill fear, but rather to punish the fat wallets of multimillion dollar corporations who profit from the environment’s destruction. It amazes me what deliberate use of words can do to skew the facts or detract from them all together. By making corporate CEOs the victim of terrorism, it makes them void of all wrongdoing in the matter

    At first I didn’t like your use of the word ‘fat’ as something negative. But after looking at it and thinking about it, I like your twist. You make the points that
    1. words are powerful, particularly words like ‘fat’ with negative connotations,
    2. reclaiming those words goes hand-in-hand with assigning responsibility for negativity to the truly negative things and people.
    Fat people aren’t the problem. And environmentalists aren’t the problem. Greedy corporations and unfair power systems are the problem.

    About the formatting – I looked at the code and there is a style change. Here’s a simple way to fix it: Copy the entire post into notepad (not wordpad or word or anything else, just plain text) and then copy that again from notepad and then paste it back into your wordpress editor. That should remove the paragraph and span styles.

    If that doesn’t work, look at the HTML code and remove the superfluous code. If that sounds confusing, get a computer geek to help 🙂

  9. 9 intellectualfeminist
    May 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks Elaine! I tried the wordpad trick and although it came out a little smaller, which I can’t seem to fix, it is all the same size.


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