Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 12, 2014

Missed It: Canadian Newspaper Apologizes For Nazi Cartoon

Alan Gardner over at Daily Cartoonist caught a story that I completely missed. A paper called the The Advocate in the small town (3500 people) of Pictou, Nova Scotia, ran a cartoon bluntly comparing the proponents of an economic plan to Nazis. I followed the links and could not get to the full apology, which is too bad because I was amused by the excerpts.

When people apologize for the use of Nazi cartoons they always seem to apologize as if they accidentally brought up Nazis at a party whose host had an uncle they didn't like that happened to be a Nazi. I would imagine that what people find offensive about using Nazi imagery to make political points isn't that they just don't get that there's a satirical point being attempted, it's the insanity of providing a public imprimatur on a crude equivalency between whatever policies the "satirist" doesn't like and actual Nazi polices, which included exterminating entire groups of people. As someone who's been on the Internet since the early '90s, I certainly even understand using the Nazis or Hitler as an abstracted super-evil to test out a rhetorical point that aspires towards absolute truth and utility, as strained and goofy and tedious as that can be. This is something different. It's not the reader that fails to pick up on the satire; it's the maker that fails to understand it.

It's also amazing to me that a town of 3500 people has a newspaper with cartoons in it. God bless that town and that newspaper.
posted 2:25 am PST | Permalink

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