First we had the controversy over the Danish drawings of the prophet Muhammad and now Indonesia and Australia are locked in a cartoon shoot-out. Samuel Huntington really should have clarified that his so-called “clash of civilisations” would be fought between duelling cartoonists.
The Indonesian cartoon depicting Alexander Downer and John Howard as fornicating dingoes only highlights the yawning cultural gulf between Islamic nations and the West.
It was designed to offend us out of revenge for the offence we caused Indonesia by granting asylum to a group of West Papuans. But far from firebombing our local Indonesian consulate, most Australians seemed to think the cartoon was awesome.
I’m sure it’s displayed prominently in every student union office in the country. And I’ve stuck it up on my fridge, because there’s nothing I like better than visualising two of our nation’s pre-eminent political leaders as copulating dingoes whenever I get a glass of milk.
My only objection would be that given Downer’s efforts over the years, the image isn’t quite graphic or offensive enough.
It’s not all fun, games and shagging wild dogs, though. Bill Leak has entered the fray with a racy picture of President Yudhoyono buggering a Papuan. And our embassy in Jakarta has been put on high alert ahead of possible reprisals.
But must Indonesia respond with crude explosives when it can instead respond with more offensive cartoons?Downer and Howard were barely fazed by the dingoes. Obviously, Indonesia’s illustrators need to lift their game.
If they want to offend the PM, they should invoke the two things he holds dear – Don Bradman paddling his bare buttocks with a cricket bat while the Queen looks on, perhaps. And if they want to offend Downer, they could … actually, forget it. A guy who’ll willingly pose in fishnet stockings had no sense of shame to begin with.
Let’s hope things cool down and nobody gets hurt. Otherwise we may have to bring out the ultimate weapon: Ginger Meggs.
Even Yudhoyono is small fry compared to Tiger Kelly. Consider yourself warned, Indonesia. You may have started it, but with our arsenal of tepid satirical cartoonists, we’ll finish it.
PHOTO: David Mariuz