The old, politically incorrect Trudeau

. . . before he realized it was wrong to “punch down”:

db080113

h/t: Hempenstein

35 Comments

  1. Posted May 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Surprise, surprise.

  2. E.A. Blair
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Since this is the year 1436 in the Islamic calendar, that was only 49 years ago. Furthermore, since the Islamic calendar is lunar, and has a year of 354 days, 1387 would have been the Gregorian year 1967-8 (48 years by a solar calendar). Not only have I heard of familial grudges lasting longer than that, I’ve experienced them.

    • Posted May 8, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      …but you’re assuming Trudeau knew than, which I doubt.

      • E.A. Blair
        Posted May 8, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        What makes your supposition (that he didn’t know that) any less probable than mine (that he did)? Trudeau may be acting like a jerk over this Charlie Hebdo thing, but he’s neither stupid nor uneducated, and the Islamic calendar is hardly esoteric knowledge.

        • Hrafn
          Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Even if Trudeau did know, there’s a reasonable expectation that he’d use a Gregorian calendar anyway, either (i) because the Shiite character speaking was doing so to an an American who would likely not be familiar with the Islamic calendar, and/or (ii) because Trudeau would have known that the bulk of his audience would not be familiar with it.

          • E.A. Blair
            Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            I respond to your points this way: i. Making the American character culturally ignorant makes Trudeau’s point in this strip more trenchant ii. when did Trudeau ever give a shit about whether or not something would go over his readership’s head?

            To which I will add this: I will accept your and Karl Elvis’ exuberant insistence that I cannot possibly right when you call or send an email to Trudeau himself and ask him what the situation is with the date in this strip. Otherwise, all you are doing is arguing over a point that can never be proven without the intervention of the originating party. In that, you remind me of people who argue in favor of the inerrancy and truth value of scripture, another point that can never be proven without the the intervention of the originating party.

            • Diane G.
              Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:19 am | Permalink

              It seems achingly obvious to me that Trudeau expected the bulk of his audience (which certainly included me) would assume he meant what we think of as 1387–or 700+ years ago, whether he knew of the Islamic calendar or not.

            • Posted May 9, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

              I thought you were joking at first.

              So you’re interpretation is that the joke is *not* about the cartoonishly absurd culture of honor, vengeance, violence and tribalism in some parts of the Islamic world, but about cartoonishly ignorant Americans who should be aware that 1387 was only 49 years ago according to one of many calendars?

            • Timothy Hughbanks
              Posted May 9, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

              Umm … don’t you think that the entire point of the strip is to depict the craziness of the Iraqi’s vendetta? The joke doesn’t really work at all if the murder he wants to avenge isn’t 600+ years ago. As Diane put it, it seems achingly obvious.

              • Posted May 9, 2015 at 11:15 am | Permalink

                This part of Mr. Blair’s comment:

                “Making the American character culturally ignorant makes Trudeau’s point in this strip more trenchant”

                makes me think that s/he doesn’t see the joke being about the Iraqi’s vendetta at all, rather about the “culturally ignorant American”. Which I think is a wildly mistaken interpretation.

              • Posted May 9, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

                Oops. I was careful not to assume gender with the pronoun. Dropped the ball with the honorific.

                Sorry.

              • E.A. Blair
                Posted May 9, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                Of course it never, ever occurred to you that maybe Trudeau was working both sides of the street? Creative people do that all the time. When you work with writers, artists and designers, you get used to this and expect it. Maybe that’s a bar that’s a little too high. Go listen to some Firesign Theatre.

              • frednotfaith2
                Posted May 12, 2015 at 6:17 am | Permalink

                I think some people are seriously over-thinking and that the point of Trudeau’s cartoon had nothing to do with the Islamic calendar and everything to do with grudges based on events that happened over 1,000 years ago.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      So the joke is that a blood-feud persevering for >only a half-century is reasonable?

      The most infamous such feud in American history, the one between the Hatfields & McCoys, lasted less than half that time. That feud is universally considered the canonical example of how not to settle an inter-family dispute. Neither party is esteemed for its equanimity or held up as a paragon of neighborly virtue.

      If the time calculation is as you propose, Trudeau’s cartoon loses much of its ironic edge. But it hardly gives rise to an obverse punch-line.

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    People like this always turn out to be hypocrites. We shouldn’t be surprised.

    • KD33
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      People like this?? You mean, like one of the greatest humorists and satirist of the 20th century?

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted May 9, 2015 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        No, people who have a self righteous certainty.
        People who have forsaken examining evidence but instead cling to doctrinaire positions.
        People who ready to condemn others for the slightest perceived misstep within that doctrinaire evidence light rigid world view.

      • Diane G.
        Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:19 am | Permalink

        KD33, I’m SO with you. It really hurts to see him thrown under the bus like this.

        • Nick
          Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink

          I think he climbed under there himself

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted May 9, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          Live by the pen, die by the pen, unless you punch in the wrong direction, then die by bullets.

  4. John Perkins
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I thought you meant Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal Prime Minister of Canada in the 70s and 80s,who took delight in being politically incorrect. Now his son Justin has been leader of the LPC for a couple of years and is sooooo PC that he gives me the dry heaves. He has forced me and my wife, and countless others I suspect, to cancel our memberships in the LPC. LPC = Liberal Party of Canada. I guess I should have known whom you meant, given all the brouhaha over Charlie Hebdo.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Old Pierre had a young wife name of Maggie, used to party with The Stones, right? Whatever became of her?

      • merilee
        Posted May 8, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

        Maggie’s still around.

      • Diane G.
        Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:22 am | Permalink

        Don’t confuse her with Bianca Jagger.

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what new Trudeau would think of the old Trudeau?

    • John Perkins
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I have never, since he assumed the leadership of the LPC, been able to decipher what the young JT thinks of PET. I suspect that he, genetically at least,is much closer to his mother than his father. Justin T. was certainly not my choice for leader !

      • Posted May 9, 2015 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        But compared to “Our Fearless Leader”, Stevie Harper??

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Now there’s the Tanner ’88-writing, disabled-vet-helping, Jane-Pauley-marrying cartoonist I liked and admired!

  7. Posted May 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I remember this excellent one!

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I’m against “punching down” (personally, and in principle; I don’t think there should be any legal penalty for doing so). But anyone who thinks that Islamic terrorists, or the Muslim offense-and-insult mongers on campus, are “down” is spatially disoriented.

    Both groups have arrogated privilege to themselves — the first, through their exclusive use of private, retributive violence; the second, by endeavoring to place their ideology above criticism — that makes them ripe for skewering by any means available.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I could not agree more with your post.

    • Richard C
      Posted May 8, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      I wonder is demonizing the life’s work of several murdered unarmed cartoonists counts as “punching up” or “punching down”.

      • frednotfaith2
        Posted May 9, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink

        It’s definitely punching down as those cartoonists cannot punch back in any way now, and cowtowing to a bunch of overzealous thugs who are prone to murdering to anyone who disagrees with them in any way. Gary Trudeau has lost his mind if he thinks mocking such thugs is in any way “punching down” and I’d guess the Gary’s younger self of a decade or more ago would be ashamed of his elder self.

      • harrync
        Posted May 9, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        If you are attacking someone who is six feet under, seems obvious that you are “punching down”.

    • frednotfaith2
      Posted May 9, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      My feelings too, Ken.


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