This last week's edition of the Austin Chronicle has been sitting on the coffee table for a week and I just tonight noticed the cover which made me laugh.
It didn't make me sick because I recognized it as humor. I don't consider it violence or cruelty to animals because it's obviously not a real viewpoint held by the publication or the artists, nor was a real loaded gun held to the head of a kitten.
Try telling that to some of the readers (or ex-readers) of the Chronicle. As I picked up this copy to put it in the recycling I noticed txrad had brought home this week's edition which came out today. I said, "Oh I'll bet there's going to be some nasty letters in there about last week's cover."
I am very disappointed -- no, that's the wrong word; I am very sickened to see your cover this week portraying a kitten about to be shot. Don't you know how many animals are tortured and abused in this world? Your cover is a disgrace. I don't need the threat of animal cruelty to get me to vote. I am not a PETA activist; I am not a Republican; I am not a Democrat. I am just a regular, responsible person living in Austin for the past 12 years and a person who used to read your paper.
I'll bet Tracy picked up a copy of this week's Chronicle to see if that letter was printed. And being pleased with being the first one, will continue reading. As if it matters.
Timothy Verret had also had an opinion. I'll just give you an excerpt.
It's shameful that we, as a society, have to resort to violence to get a point across.
Yes, it is indeed shameful. But this was not violence. It was a "portrayal" as Tracy pointed out, completely unreal and fictitious.
I'll be glad when we, as a society, can make a distinction between humor and reality. I'm happy to report that all the other letters to the editor this week related to important issues facing all of us.
It's quite simple. If McCain/Palin win the election (looking very doubtful) we are the kitten, and in this scenario the gun is real. If you could have registered to vote and didn't because you were too busy or too lazy, then you bear a portion of the guilt for the kitteh gettin' it. And ditto if you bothered to register and can't drag your lazy ass to the polls in November.
And even if Obama/Biden win the election, there's still a kitty and a gun in close proximity. Think economy. Or Afghanistan. Pakistan. American Muslims. Thailand. Racism. Darfur. Iran. Gay marriage or gay equality. Taiwan. Sexism. North and South Korea. Georgia. Discrimination against the transgendered. Kosova. (Shall I go on?)
Yes I shall. China. South Africa. Zimbabwe. Israel. India. Iceland for fuck's sake!
But at least with Obama/Biden, there's a chance we can put some distance between the kitten and the gun.
The choice is clear. The humor, while biting, was funny. The allegory is as real as it gets.