Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost and found forbidden Daily Wildcat comic

In the comment thread of a recent post concerning the University of Arizona's absentmindedness about the First Amendment, I noted that when I went looking for a copy, either digitized or printed, of a controversial Joseph Topmiller cartoon in the Daily Wildcat, none was to be found.

Evan Lisull of the Desert Lamp dug up a copy on the Web. I thus finally get to see what the fuss was about. Offensive? No, just stupid, and not funny, and too stupid and too unfunny--too clumsy--to be offensive. The Keef "We're voting for the nigger" comic on the other hand was both hilarious and thought-provoking even if based on a true story, and whether or not one was offended was sort of a binary IQ test. Miss the point, get offended.

I'm an on-again, off-again go player. One of the more difficult lessons for a beginner in go is to learn to tell the difference between sente and gote moves, those which require response and those that do not. The Japanese (with stereotypical bombast) consider the goban to be a mirror of life, and there is a correspondence here. While that day's paper's disappearance from the Wildcat's physical stash and the removal of the cartoon itself from the archives is not a First Amendment matter, the events do speak to a general cowardice at the U in regards to free speech. We don't need to be protected from stupid--students should by the time they get to college be able to recognize stupid and have the confidence to simply not respond. Stupid is a gote move, not a sente move.

As for the Wildcat, the better response would have been "Joseph Topmiller has been fired because his cartoons are unfunny and he will be replaced by someone we force-fed LSD, locked in a closet, and convinced he was actually Arnie Bermudez."

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