Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mini-Ministry of Truth
Cute chicks, if nothing else.
The above excerpt is from the current storyline of "Judge Parker." Steve Shannon, an attorney working in a firm... No, life is too short to explain why there is almost never a character named "Judge Parker" in this strip. Anyway, Steve used to be a Marine JAG in Afghanistan. He investigated charges that Americans had killed a village elder, and found the real culprits were evil warlords. In revenge, their militia planted a landmine outside his tent (again, don't ask), which is why he now walks on prosthetic legs, which you can't really see here.
But the revenge isn't over yet. Samira, pictured in the attractive black and mauve hijab, blames heroic Steve for the death of her father. Here she's determined to blow Steve, his sickly mother, his plucky secretary, an untold number of first responders, and herself sky high.
All this makes for some campy entertainment if you don't take it too seriously. It's also part of the "Muslims want to kill us! Kill us all!" meme that does so much to keep our foreign policy from approaching anything rational. Newspaper comics are mostly read by people who are somewhat older than average. Judging by this, maybe more conservative too. You can look at things from a lot of levels.
I often hear laments about how there was a moment of unity after 9/11, but now it's gone. But a good part of that unity had to do with a sudden upswing of xenophobia. And part of it was a façade, based on fear of not seeming patriotic. Amiable disunion may be a more realistic hope.