Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Which picture is most insulting?

Category: [Satire]

Make sure to have a good look at both of them first (click to enlarge). Both pictures are politically sensitive in the Low Countries (at least in Flanders). The left one is called the Macaque, the right one is in the Lion’s Cave (In het Hol van de Leeuw). Just follow your gut feeling, and make sure to click on the poll at your right first. Then read on.

The left picture is a Filipino friend (looks a bit like a Moroccan) and we did the picture with his full consent in the Zoo of Davao's Filipino Eagle Center (thanks, Steve!). In Flanders, this picture might be offensive since the degrading nickname for Moroccan non-Caucasian immigrants is Makak. It’s a term that can be compared with Nigger for African Americans in the US.

The right picture is a poster for the most recent show of stand-up comedian Kees Meerman (the last performances of his show are on July 28, 29 and 30 in 't Fakkeltheater in Antwerp) (©Meersman, permission to use by email). The poster might be insulting to some since the Lion is the Flemish national symbol, and also the symbol of the successful ultra nationalist political party Vlaams Belang. Since the latter one is also ethic-right and stands for ‘moral’ values, the suggestion of an act of sodomy on the Lion might be extra offending. Compare it with a poster of Bin Laden taking the Statue of Liberty from behind and standing on an American flag.

Are both images insulting some? Certainly; at least they might be considered provocative. Are they of good taste? Maybe not, but this is what Free Speech is all about. Could they be displayed in public in Belgium? Well, the Lion actually was, but I'm not so sure about the Macaque.

My point was to illustrate one of the implications of Bart Croughs Two Laws of Liberal Thinking: the West is always wrong, and "oppressed" minority groups should be protected, also and especially from Free Speech.

The poll was closed with 40% for the Macaque and 60% for the Lion on a total of 102 votes.


Anonymous Karel Jansens said...

Well, if Meerman's intention (can't say that I know the poor fellow) was to insult members of Vlaams Belang, he got it all wrong: "Their" lion doesn't have any red. So whomever he thinks he's fucking there, it's not the Vlaams Belang.

Poetic justice, eh?

(Hey, notice the formal "whom"? To be frank, I have no idea whether it's correct or not, but it sounded posh in my head. Then again, many things do...)

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Emmanuel Wildiers said...

There are indeed two lions: the first is the red and black one in the picture, and is the symbol of the Flemish region.

The other one is all black, symbol of Flemish-nationalism, and therefore used by political party's and movements like Vlaams Belang, N-VA, VVB, etc.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm quite convinced that Kees Meerman does not want to aim particulary at Vlaams Belang, but indeed to everything Flemish. He claims tot be an 'engaged comedian'. What that means is quite obvious.
Links lullen, rechts zakken vullen.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to my earlier post:
Meerman zelf is zich van geen kwaad bewust. “ In de eerste instantie vond ik het een goede grap. In tweede instantie doe ik het omdat ik me erger aan die Vlaamse Leeuw. Het is een lelijke agressieve vlag en het stoort me dat extreem-rechts die vlag heeft ingepalmd. Alsof de twee met elkaar iets te maken hebben.”

source: http://www.gay2day.be/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1716&Itemid=157

2:41 PM  
Blogger VH said...

Eigenlijk ging het bericht niet over Meerman, die me als een coole gast overkomt per email. In feite was het bericht ook een beetjke publiciteit voor hem.

Wat ik eigenlijk wou aantonen is dat beelden vaak een eigen leven gaan leiden, en een impact hebben, los van de bedoeling van de makers. Beelden kunnen gewoon "pakken" en provoceren. Dit was dus gewoon een sociaal experimentje.

De affiche van Meerman vind ik prachtig, zonder meer. Krachtig idee en goed gephotoshopt.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Karel "de Jazz" Jansens said...

Isn't it nice that we, Flemish nationalists, haven't learned from Muslim fundi's? That we can look at Meerman's picture, even appreciate its satire, without immediately considering "bustin' a cap in da muddafucka's ass"?

7:05 PM  

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