Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Al Nisbet’

A taste of racism…

9 January 2014 6 comments

This item was Stuff (the Fairfax news media) caught my attention,

.

'Racist' label angers Kiwis in AustraliaSource

.

Having lived briefly in Australia, I can vouch for the racist attitude that many Australians have toward migrants. New Zealanders are no exception, and also suffer the wrath of prejudice from some of our Aussie cuzzies.

Which is ironic, as we ourselves have a long way to go, to examine our own racist attitudes and how desperately we (or some of us) cling to prejudice to preserve our place in society’s hierarchy.

Nisbet’s cartoons, published mid last year (2013) are a case in point;

.

290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

.

Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

.

Those who did not see Nisbet’s cartoons as racist and offensive could be placed in two broad (sometimes over-lapping?) groups; those who are ordinary racists and who saw the cartoons as a validation of their views; and the Uninformed who – whilst not consciously racist – probably didn’t recognise the nature of the images and the messages they were conveying. They simply had no political consciousness that could *switch on* a light-bulb in their minds and instantly recognise what Nibet’s cartoons represented.

And really, any one of us can fall into that particular trap on occassion. An image that might seem innocuous to one person might be utterly reprehensible to another.

The difference between the racist and the uninformed is that the latter can learn and when understanding comes, the *lightswitch* comes on.

*

For a cartoonist to be truly subversive, their art should express  critical attention on society’s unpleasant prejudices; irrational contradictions; and those who exploit  traditions to maintain positions of power. These are the things that demand to be challenged.

Nisbet’s cartoons did not challenged popular prejudices – they reinforced and gave credence to them. It gave “comfort to the enemy” – the enemy being ignorance and bigotry. It reinforced rather than scrutinised or challenged.

The cartoonist below, on the other hand, challenged the knee-jerk mindlessness of parroted bigotry,

.

racism-cartoon-go-home

.

The unknown (American?) creator of the above cartoon subverted the “logic” of the racist, showing it to be what is truly is; untenable when taken to it’s ultimate, ludicrous conclusion.

*

Returning to the Stuff article above, it’s not often that white New Zealanders get a taste of what racism feels like. Experiencing it at the hands of others suddenly widens our perception as we find ourselves walking in someone elses’ shoes.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 2 January 2014.

.

*

.

References

Fairfax media: ‘Racist’ label angers Kiwis in Australia

.

.

= fs =

Advertisements

The mark of a true cartoonist…

Dominion Post cartoonist Tom Scott has had one of his cartoons re-published  in French newspaper Le Monde. His caricature of  Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad, has won him accolades,

.

Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

Acknowledgment: Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

.

A cartoonist pokes fun at positions of authority; those in power; and established social “norms”. A cartoonist is a critic , or at least exposes contradictions so the public reader can see an issue or problem from another vantage point.

A cartoonist can also create images that reinforce evil such as racism and other discrimination – but then that raises the question; what is the point?

Reinforcing prejudice is easy-peasy; just repeat what the previous bigot said. No original thought required.

Al Nisbet’s openly racist cartoons in the Marlborough Express and The Press are examples of reinforcing preconceived prejudices. Nothing is challenged. Only reinforced.

.

Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

.

290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

Acknowledgment: Marlborough Express & The Press

.

That’s not cartooning. That’s propaganda.

Speaking of “propaganda”…

On 31 May, Deputy Editor of Christchurch’s The Press, Ric Stevens, made this comment defending Nisbet’s cartoons,

“On the wall of my office in Press House in Gloucester St is a drawing by New Zealander David Low, described by Britain’s Guardian newspaper in a 1963 obituary as the “dominant cartoonist of the western world”.

The cartoon I look at every working day, which sadly does not belong to me, is an inoffensive thing.

Canterbury’s founding fathers reach out from a book – the pages of history – to a young couple of 1950, congratulating them on reaching the Christchurch Centenary.

Judging by a furore over our cartoons that blew up yesterday, it seems some readers would want all our cartoons to be that nice.

But not all Low’s cartoons were as gentle. His acerbic Rendezvous of 1939 depicts a meeting between Stalin and Hitler, who are shown politely bowing while describing each other as “the scum of the earth” and “the bloody assassin of the workers” respectively.

After World War II, the British-based Low found his name on Hitler’s blacklist of people to be rounded up should the Nazis ever successfully invade the United Kingdom. But he had enemies at home as well as abroad – the British press once decried him as a warmonger.

Low was knighted in the end.

Low was an exponent of a long tradition of newspaper cartooning which has always tended to push boundaries. Unlike the editorial which often sits alongside them, cartoons do not necessarily represent the view of the newspaper, but very much that of the artist.”

Acknowledgment: Cartoon row misses the point

Low’s cartoon’s vilified dictators like Hitler and Stalin,

.

david low cartoon (1)

.

david low cartoon (2)

.

david low cartoon (3)

.

david low cartoon (4)

.

david low cartoon (5)

.

david low cartoon (6)

.

david low cartoon (7)

.

david low cartoon (8)

.

david low cartoon (9)

.

david low cartoon (10)

.

None of these cartoons vilified the victims of  Stalin, Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini.

Therein lies the difference between Lows cartoons with Nisbets.

Which makes Ric Stevens’ attempt to associate Nisbet with Low as wholly inadequate.

.

*

.

References

The Press: Cartoon row misses the point

Dominion Post: Kiwi cartoonist published in Paris paper

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Media Tags: , , ,

Al Nisbet’s next little ‘gem’…

Al Nisbet, cartoonist and panderer to  racist rednecks, presents us with these little ‘gems’…

.

290513 The Marlborough Express Al Nisbet cartoon

.

And this…

.

Al Nisbet's racist cartoon (2)

.

Well, I guess if we, as a nation, are so fucking pathetic that we can’t address child poverty without a sizeable portion of the population begrudging a bowl of weetbix and milk for the children of the poorest families in the country (because, as we all know, every child has a choice which family they were born into) – well, we might as well poke fun at them.

Nice one, Al.

I’m looking forward to your next cartoon about religion and kids. You know the one. Where a priest is raping a child and you’re making a really witty and “satirical” comment about it.

Ho ho ho…

Funny as, dude.

And screw all those leftie whingers eh? They should just LIGHTEN THE FUCK UP, eh?

Hah! Who sez you can’t laugh about child poverty.

Also looking forward to your next cartoon about solo-mums. Maybe depicting them as lazy crack-whores milking the State?

I’m sure Paula Bennett will get the joke.

Now… what can we draw about cartoonists and their families?

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Various Tags: , ,