Thursday, September 30, 2010

Musings on Lat & Zunar

I thought Marina Mahathir was on the nose in her “musings’ (Star, September 29, 2010, p N43) that today the powers-that-be have totally lost the plot.

She wrote about how cartoonist Lat “pokes fun at our attitudes towards driving, queuing, eating and our relationships towards each other? Or the way we interpret government policies?” – and that Lat has never gotten into trouble for his cartoons.

“It may be because we once had a better sense of humor, or our politicians were once more secure.

But it was certainly unheard of to prosecute a cartoonist for anything”, she maintained.
Today, we know this is not the case – I am referring to Zunar’s unhappy brush with the law, and which as Marina says, is “a sign of paranoia gone to extremes”.

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But I do not quite agree with Marina that Lat be compared with Zunar.

About the only thing both of them have in common is the fact that they draw cartoons – but when we examine their cartoons, we can easily appreciate that Lat is a social commentator while Zunar is a political cartoonist.

Lat’s cartoons will draw knowing smiles but certainly, I don’t believe they will invite any retaliation, not even mild rebukes. They’re harmless, some may say they’re sterile even.

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Zunar’s cartoons bite because they sear our consciousness and strip away the phony layers of half-truths and falsehoods that we constantly wrap ourselves in, in order to hide away the many troubles afflicting our beleaguered country.

It’s like intentionally locking ourselves away in a closet of self-denial. We do not want to know because we couldn’t care less/we can’t be bothered/we’re just not interested. And we know that if we do free ourselves from this self-imprisonment, then our next step is to act!

But how many of us will take action?

Zunar already did us a favor by revealing to us an ailing Malaysia, whose raw wounds bleed and fester because of the greed-induced shenanigans of a rapacious political fossil whose sell-by date has expired long ago.

I am referring to BN – this governing coalition of disparate forces who are already disconnected from the electorate that now they seem hopelessly out-of-touch and out-of-place.

Zunar’s cartoons make us sit up and be concerned. Zunar is giving us a much-needed dose of reality.

Arsenal maintained their 100% start to this season's Champions League with a 3-1 win against 10-man Partizan Belgrade.
Andrey Arshavin fired Arsenal ahead (15) before Cleo levelled for Partizan with a penalty (33) after Denilson's handball. The Gunners produced a second goal from Marouane Chamakh’s well-placed header (71) and finally the third came also from another header – this time by Sebastien Squillaci (82).

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