Saturday, March 17, 2012

Doonsbury Confronts Texas Governor with humor and insight

G.B. Trudeau Does It Again. Hits The Target. Reveals Truth with an artist's brush.

Like it or not: press freedom requires the exchange of ideas

If you ever wonder if America’s press was free -- just take a look at last week’s Doonsbury funny pages strip. (It can be found on many Internet web sites.)

Newspapers in this country are free to censor what they do not like or are unwilling to discuss and talk about. G. B. Trudeau, the brains behind this long-running progressive strip, is used to this kind of treatment.

If you are among those who do not know of which I speak, here is what’s going on in the comics. A number of newspapers did not run this week’s Doonesbury strip that skewers Texas Republican politicians for the law they passed requiring women to undergo a sonogram before they can have an abortion.

There is comedy (sad to say) in the reaction to this week’s strip. Right here in Texas, under our very noses, the wanta-be U.S. president, who sits in the governor’s mansion in Austin, signs a bill to be invasive of pregnant women by making them law-breakers if they do not submit to sonograms and worse.

Our middle-aged state legislators created the bill and the governor signed it some time ago. The governor of Virginia got in the same hot water and is struggling for his political life.

Our governor may not be in as much trouble because of the huge numbers of right-leaning Christians and non-believers who want to ensure we do not forget women are second-class citizens.

A mother from Seattle wrote the following on the Doonsbury pages of “I am a mother of five with three grown daughters and two daughters-in-law all of child bearing age. Thank you for trying to protect their right to choose when and how and if they start a family by bringing this issue to light for so many. You have a way of explaining things to even the stupid people.”

Another brave soul from Philadelphia submitted this wisdom born out of experience:

“Thank you so much for addressing this farcical legislation in the manner it deserves. I had a good chuckle. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it makes me sick that many Republican politicians believe sticking probes into women's bodies for no medical purpose and against their will is anything other than a traumatic and unconscionable violation.”

Then there were those of a different opinion as this e-mail from Illinois: “Your comic strip appears to be liberal tripe masquerading as entertainment. Much like Bill "the Muppet" Maher.”

A guy in Oregon wrote: “Your "cartoon" is disgusting and way out of line. You should switch to commentary and get out of the "cartoon" business. Go to church.”

So we are free to express our impartially, our views, biases, hate or love without danger of going to jail or being run out of town. Our daily paper does not run the 40-years running strip on a daily basis, depriving (in my weird view) our readers of a minority opinion in this Texas town.

Government invasion into the private lives of “We the people…” has gone to extremes the last 20 years. It is the very political party (especially the Tea Party element) that wants to reduce government intervention into our lives, pushing this. That is the amazing part. They appear to be all for this invasion of women claiming it will prevent abortions. They are for “life.” I respect the free exchange of ideas.

It has been said that there is a reason that God gave us two ears and only one mouth. Listening is such a crucial activity yet we devote so little time to it. Listen twice as much as talking or think twice before opening the mouth, or writing a piece like this.


No comments: