Friday, 17 July 2015

Comic Composition

The present blog post is a case of indecent advertising on the new edition of International Journal of Comic Art, vol 17:1 in which Søren Kierkegaard, Per Marquard Otzen, Peter Klæstrup and I inhabit a few pages with the article "Comic Composition; or When Kierkegaard and Cartoon Art Took to the Streets "

Below is an excerpt on the definition of Comic Composition:

"Yet, we can guess at the main outlines of Comic Composition and consequently formulate the rest. Kierkegaard's intention for it was straightforward. Ridicule on its own is empty and grim and is nothing beyond the duration of the laughter. The humor, which has a structure for itself, may prove to be of value.

Per Marquard Otzen, Politiken, July 7, 2007.
"I suspect this is how the world will come to an end to the general applause
from wits believing it is a joke". (LCL transl, Kierkegaard, Either - Or, 1843.

Hegel for one had already given his view of the matter. Whereas tragedy, the grandiose, addresses what lies beyond time and space, comedy relates to what is man-made. In other words comedy puts the light on the norms that encompass our way of living and seem so obvious to us that they appear as if bestowed on us by a higher order. Norms can thus be reversed with comedy as a place for creating awareness and for potential change. Comedy creates action.
Peter Klæstrup, Corsaren, Jan. 30, 1846, No. 280.
- It is Kierkegaard to the right.
Which was the part the young (editor of the comic magazine Corsaren) Goldschmidt had not yet understood. When first confronted with the Kierkegaardian task he understood it as the application of sharp wit using the tip of his pen to wound. That would to his mind equal the intellect being specific rather than showing off intellectual wit in the general. In his eagerness to have Corsaren addressed on print by Kierkegaard, he saw an example of such wit. Goldschmidt gave back all he thought he had in him.

But the philosopher was not advising a tennis game. On the contrary the Hegel-inspired Kierkegaard had at one point added according to Goldschmidt that Corsaren lacked "seriousness, reverence, awe".

Kierkegaard for one did not invite Corsaren to harm anyone but himself. His daring to be the almost intentional self-mutilator as described by Camus was not a role, but part and parcel of his striving and one which resonates with his readers 200 years on. The most ardent of whom are teenagers. In Denmark we read Kierkegaard in our teens. We read him at the age of brooding when all words sink in, finding a resonance in his passion, his questioning being the unfit in a dysfunctional world, feeling the pain in everything. We see him as an ideal of being unfit".

The rest of the how and why is to be seen and read in the International Journal of Comic Art.

International Journal of Comic Art, Ed. John A. Lent, Vol. 17, NO. 1, Spring/Summer 2015.

The Cartoon shown by Per Marquard Otzen is courtesy by him and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Nuclear Intimacy

Today's khartoon on the Iran nuclear deal highlights how Khalid Wad Albaih outdistances any standpoint of pro or con of the deal. Something is achieved and there is to come something of it, a something which cannot as yet be labeled as an outcome.

In every sense an embryonic situation on the fusion of the smallest of particles. Not yet able to live on its own, but nurtured as it is on expectations, it is the epitome of that staged declaration to the world of the sort we know oh, so well and its exhibition of intimacy and trust.

Khalid Wad Albaih, July 15, 2015.

The Khartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Humor is a Love Story

"Humor lets the windows remain open, invites to contradiction, enters into discussion where everyone has something to gain by convincing or being convinced, by seducing or by being seduced. It is a love story in which the roles are interchangeable".

Or that used to be the case when French culture was at its highest in the 18th century, as stated in Malaise dans l'inculture (Grasset, 2015) by Philippe Val, chronicler and essayist, and former editor of Charlie Hebdo. And when the love on humor is declared, this blog is all ears: What signifies the writings of Voltaire and Diderot is their playfulness, Val continues. Their playing with ideas resembles a dance conducted with the grace of Mozart, their contemporary.

In conversation with the sociologists of today seriousness is the omphalos. Serious in the meaning of thinking consensually, no one differing from others in their opinions and what goes beyond is seen as being suspect. That sociologization of society is the illness disclosed in the title of the book; the very same sociologization which lead to Charlie Hebdo being isolated after 2006, targeting them and ultimately leading to their massacre.

Amine Labter
(Prime Minister) Sellal acknowledges the severity of the crisis!
- You shall no longer laugh!

Back in the century of Voltaire and Diderot life was no fun. There was no such thing as freedom of expression, men and women were tortured and executed for their freedom of the mind, Voltaire was caned, Diderot imprisoned, Condorcet condemned to death. There was hunger, epidemics and incessant warring. How was that funnier than now? Philippe Val asks polemically. Still, they were frivolous and devil-may-care contrary to us, who are serious and responsible? They risked their existence but not their fantasy, Val concludes.

They were not even published in their own day. "We have become stupid to the point of crying censorship when the law punishes the racial hatred of a (in Sweden Dan Park to mention one). In other words the dizzying decline of the struggle for freedom in which we execute the sociological self-censorship". And moral censorship never lasted long in history.

Following the massacre in January French Jews contemplated leaving or indeed left the country, but each of their leaving is a symptom of difference leaving France and each time we lose France, in the words of Philippe Val. We need an ecology of the diversity of ideas, he states with the proposition: Humor shall be taught in schools exposing the children and the young to humor all along their formative years. Val lists Molière and Shakespeare with Coluche and Wolinski with whom they shall learn to laugh, learning what is a joyous affair while being cardinal and character building to them. Humor will be a composite subject, proving its non-conformity:

"Let us call it education to democracy".

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Amine Labter and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A Word on an Image of a Word or The Other Way Round

At once the violent eruption of the line spelling "Egypt": the explosion of which we have had another in Cairo today and the political implications and necessity for all to see.

Now, any discussion of philosophical aesthetics would argue the impossibility of seeing all of this at the very same time and how what we see and interpret is coordinated. Which part of recognizing the image before us is subordinated to the other: the haywire or the word? In this case I would say it is not so much what we see, but our recognition that it is all there; this is an analysis of something amiss, playing on calligraphic elegance, only all order has gone wrong and yet there is a perspective of the before and after in the longer line of that very word of the country.

In fact, I would say admiration is very much part of our recognition. We acknowledge the eye and the interpretation of Khalid Wad Albaih to create something this specific to tell us this much.

And yes, this Khartoon creates for a greater liaison along with Khalid's use of that very same word on the murder of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh.

Khalid Wad Albaih, Egypt - 10 soldiers killed and injured at Sinai by IS/Daesh,
July 9, 2015.

The Khartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Wad Albaih and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Friday, 10 July 2015

On Need and Necessity

"Do you not see how necessary a World of Pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?"

- Keats wrote in a letter in 1810 on the schooling of the mind, and the visual poet of today takes it upon him to create understanding through seeing. The World of Pains is reflected through a photo of the devastation as if it were a glass negative of 120 years ago while the tip of the key is transformed into a mended tent for the fleeing.

Need and Necessity are etymologically linked to poverty and torment on the one side and obligation and duty on the other - suffering and the duty to act in the very same word. The cartoon acts as the key with the bow turning to us: Where is the political solution?

Fadi Abou Hassan, July 9, 2015.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Fadi Abou Hassan and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Monday, 6 July 2015

"The struggle of man against power...

... is the struggle of memory against forgetting".

As stated by Milan Kundera in his The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and a textbook example on the notion of the color white.

White as in a blank nothingness such as the surface of a piece of paper without anything scribbled on it. To the artist at once the space of infinite possibility and the fear that it shall remain a nothingness.

The white thus challenges the ink. The meeting of pen and paper is a concrete one and where the cartoonist's pen is considered a danger, the white is the easiest counterattack at hand to erase all memory of the ink. Such as the repainting of the ruins of the villa of a nephew of Ben Ali. Its graffiti walls have been a symbol of free expression:

Nadia Khiari, WillisFromTunis, May 28, 2015,
The bucket contains the privilege to walk free from prosecution.

The cartoonist's answer is right at hand making the whitening the active force that it is visible for all to see. In Tunisia as in Morocco where Amnesty International keeps pointing out that torture is still taking place. It is the deslenguaje of power to conceal and distort, but the shadow cast since Abu Ghraib is each time a degradation of each and everyone of us as humans:

Khalid Gueddar, Amnesty International: Morocco tortures... !!!
February 27, 2015.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of their artists and must not be reproduced without their permission.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

"Prepare your cells, we are ready"

"As there isn't a real opposition, the regime thinks that we are the opposition. That isn't our role. This means there is something wrong with the system"

The words above were spoken two months ago by Ali Lmrabet, a journalist and former editor of the satirical magazine Demain. Demain was met a long row of obstructions from the regime, ending Lmrabet in prison at one time before finally prohibiting him from publishing for 10 years. 2015 was to mark a new beginning and he was contemplating opening a new satirical magazine of which Khalid Gueddar would a key participant, only once again "the system" to stay in the lingua answered back. This time denying Lmrabet a renewal of his national ID.

The ID has been denied on a technicality, promising for another long row of legal battles, securing him from publishing all the while.

Now the turn has come to Khalid Gueddar, who has been sentenced to three months in jail for a fictional act of misconduct. The sort of random accusations to pull out of the drawer when such a thing is needed, veiling that is an act against his profession and his freedom to carrying it out.

But of course it is. This is another attempt to silence him. Beneath is his communiqué of today, telling his story in his own words and a cartoon on that very situation. Note the half concealed star of the flag, which created such problems to him not that long ago:

Khalid Gueddar, re-published on Facebook July 5, 2015 ,
with the following words by Khalid Gueddar:
"Drawing the King is a sacred thing
Prepare your cells, we are ready".

By Khalid Gueddar

First of all, I wish to thank each and everyone, who have expressed their solidarity and support to me.

It was by chance that I learned the news of my sentence of three months imprisonment by the trial court in Kenitra. Neither my lawyers nor I have been notified of the conviction. Worse, no summons was sent to me not by this court.

Indeed, I attended two sessions of the trial, which began in 2012. I subsequently decided not to appear before the court of the judge. The case was postponed.

Three years have passed and now they dust off the record. I am under no illusions about the matter: this sentence is my freedom of expression. It happens at that very moment when my colleagues Ali Lmrabet, Ahmed Senoussi and I are preparing to launch a new satirical magazine. Long awaited by our team, this magazine would mark a new beginning for my colleague and friend Ali Lmrabet in the clipboard, after being sentenced to a prohibition on practicing journalism for 10 years (2005-2015).

Also, this magazine will offer a space of freedom to my friend and colleague, the comedian Ahmed Senoussi (Bziz), banned from all scenes and tribunes of the country.

Immediately after the announcement of the launch of this magazine, the Moroccan authorities decided to deprive Ali Lmrabet of his papers that will allow him to renew his identity card, and thus remove the legal record of the new media. Today, he continues his hunger strike he started it a few days ago in Geneva.

It is no secret: the Moroccan regime is afraid of humor and professional journalism, and its animosity against journalists is increasing day by day.

Seeing that there is no justice in Morocco, especially not in the courts, I declare today that I shall not present myself at meetings of the appeal trial, which will start on Wednesday, July 15.

They judge me as they wish. They will never take my freedom.

Sunday, July 5, 2015.

The cartoon shown is courtesy of Khalid Gueddar and must not be reproduced without his permission.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dish of the Day

Recipes are the making of a blog and since this blog is utterly lacking of those so far, let us specify the ingredients needed to the making of a "System" by Lotfi Ghariani.

- to the drawn accompaniment of Per Marquard Otzen on the letting out bombs far from home with the one hand, while keeping the door shut at home with the other on those fleeing the bombing. Note the tragic grandeur of the fleeing. They are the choir of an Antique drama singing the tale of man as opposed to the antics of bureaucratic enterprising. As performed by Danish governments since 2011 of which we had a new one Sunday week. Nothing good is expected to come of it:

Per Marquard Otzen, Doors of Perception, January 2, 2015.

By Lotfi Ghariani:

Dish of the Day: "System"

Recipe: A little bit of "Discrimination(s)" according to the guests, put in some "Division(s)", but rinse them beforehand with liquid "Democracy"!

"Media" are added to the mixture with a tweezer formatted with "Freedom" and stir gently with the "Elite" (choose a local brand) on a low heat to avoid losing the taste of "Culture" of the "Herd".

The preparation time is unlimited! The main thing is to obtain the final composition of happy "Imbecility".

Enjoy your meal!

The words and cartoon shown are courtesy of their artists and must not be reproduced without their permission.

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