The Assad Test

As per the Encyclopedia Cartooniensa: "The acid test of cartooning; for a cartoon to be of quality, it must stay clear of any authoritarian setup; in cartooning known as the Assad test":

If a cartoon (advertently or inadvertently) serves the intention of dictator/ruler/regime XX in directing the attention away from what ought to be addressed, the cartoon has taken a wrong turn. 

Bashar al-Assad made puppets of his population, such as forcing them onto the streets demonstrating. It is a strategy to great effect. Masses shouting in anger letting out their frustrations directed at an outer enemy, making it next to impossible to have a thought of one's own. Demonstrations furthermore make for great imagery, consequently leading all interest away from Assad's own rule.

The strategy has been verbalized since the Roman Empire (bread and circus) and continues to be the most popular game plan of despots, in fact it may be a proof of a despot when detected:

Zunar, September 21, 2015.

The Malaysian government-supporting red shirts take to the streets as if by one impulse (cough!) shouting "Pork-Eaters!" directed at the Chinese part of the population, who are allegedly tearing the country apart.

A noise screen carried out almost to perfection in directing the attention away from Prime Minister Najib Razak, who are stealing away, giggling that he and his mega-millions are safe. He is greeted by his wife, who has by now metamorphosed into her 30+ carats diamond ring.

Zunar is the cartoonist to expose the many-layered hoax within one picture plane and proves thus yet again his status as a cartoonist of blue blood.

Zunar is still awaiting trial, facing 43 years of imprisonment if he is convicted. As always he asks anyone to share his drawings to let his situation and with him his countrymen be known or - as he underlines - you will convicted under the Act Cartoon Zunar 1911 that whoever does not share his cartoons on the social media will be accused of sedition and sentenced to drink ink.

Special gratitude goes to Jakob Holm Hansen for this post's linguistic twist.

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