Posted by: nastypen | April 12, 2007

Whip Me, I Produce Garbage and Am Irresponsible!

(insert:  Oh my goodness, you HAVE to read the comments of this blog entry!  What a doozy!) 

Hello, people, just dropping a quick one here. Too much stuff going on. Anyway, I just checked my blog for any messages and I had a slightly increased traffic from this blog entry who castigated my recent comic strip.

This is the comic strip in question:

ooooh my bad....

He wrote:

I never thought I’d see this kind of foul language in the Philippine Star. Kids read this stuff, for crying out loud, and you have the gall to publish this garbage? The joke is off-color to begin with, and then you have to use foul language to tell it?

I know the media is never about responsibility, but I didn’t know they’d be THIS irresponsible.

I just left him a message:

hey, thanks for the mention.

“to each his own” is all I could come up with, I guess. It’s the good old adage of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. One man’s humor is another man’s affront to decency.

No. I am not angry. Please. there are worse things in this world to be indignant about. Like corruption, vote fraudulence, inept and corrupt government officials.

In fact, when I read it, I thought, “Hey, I have readers?!” Seriously.

I was bemused by this. Foul language? this person has not heard me stub my toe.

I have been accused of this before and was raised the “kids read this” card. It’s a broadsheet. It has comic strips, yes, and, more importantly, the kids can just flip a couple of pages and voila….stories of rape, scandals like concubinage, plunder, mass murder, and other despicable criminal acts and news bits.

It is just that insulting thing to posit that comic strips are for kids. which is a disservice to both comic strips as just infantile and to kids’ level of intelligence. So, what are you trying to say? Comics must be an escape? No tackling of gritty reality allowed? Read Garfield. It may not have foul language, but it tells the kids to enjoy Garfield hitting Odie and abusing Jon Arbuckle for kicks. And Garfield is soooooo popular with kids.

My goodness. I have been called “unfunny” and “useless.” So, I’m pretty much used to the mudslinging. But what I don’t get as I scour the blog of the person who riled against me, this guy is a Christian. What did Christ say about judging others?

Anyway, I find it ironic that one of my best friends in the world is an ultra religious Born-Again Christian and IS a fan of the strip. So, HUMOR IS RELATIVE.

Foul language? Hey, kids are encouraged to read the Bible, right? I remember reading it when I was younger. The part that disturbed me when I was seven was when Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt and then Lot slept with his own daughters. And there are more. The Bible IS an interesting book, I sleep next to it to read my favorite book of Ecclesiastes to comfort me, and occasionally read some disturbing bits as well.

In a related note, one of my favorite cartoonists Johnny Hart recently passed. He was the creator of the comic strip B.C. and I remember reading a case against him, click the links to get to the “offensive” strip:

When Johnny Hart of Creators Syndicate did one of the episodes of his popular B.C. comic strip in the spring of 1993, he certainly did not think that his innocent joke would send two Indian editors to a Saudi Arabian prison. Balaram Menon, who worked in Jeddah for the Arab News for the past 11 years, on March 7, 1993, allowed a “B.C.” cartoon to be published that Saudi officials felt questioned God’s existence.

Check out witty world for a cache of stupid but oh so true accounts of comic strip censorships. Hey, I’m the Filipino desk editor there ehem ehem.

Anyway, I’m just a cartoonist, I don’t have delusions of being the funniest person ever nor have I an inkling for fame nor infamy. I just beat deadlines and get paid a pittance over something I really like to do. I don’t yearn to have a fanbase and a gigantic merchandising machinery. I seek and hope for substantial discussion and thought provocation in the strips that I do. I respect that guy’s self-righteousness, so please respect my graphic depiction of reality.

To close, I’d like to quote another friend of mine who is infinitely wiser than I could ever yearn to be, “One man’s concept of morality may very well be a whole world’s shackles… self-righteousness beats foul words any day. I’d rather have a filthy mouth than be called a narrow-minded bigot.”

Amen.

—-|||||—-

I just read this.

Kurt Vonnegut is dead.  He is one of my favorite authors.  He wrote black comedy and satire with such prodigious aplomb that the people who belong to the self-titled “normal machinery” as offensive and obscene.  He was a graphic artist and cartoonist, too, by the way.

He wrote and didn’t care what people thought and if people thought he was trying too hard.  He did what he did and now is immortal.

Amen.

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Responses

  1. i’d almost forego the wisdom and aspirations of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression if the commentator raised this much ruckus over the GMA-Garci shenanigans. ALMOST.

  2. How gracious of you to still respect that guy’s self-righteousness. Such is the burden of being civilized. But remember that the guy who is full of opinions should also respect yours. Kids read the papers? Great. So naturally they read about rape and murder and such. I doubt if parents give just the Comics page to their kids. And, if they do, they can choose to cut out the so-called adult-themed strip. But I doubt parents do that. So, in all likelihood, kids know that the world is messed-up even before they get to the funny pages.

    The point is, where does one get off imposing his opinions on the rest of the world? Wake up, man. Wake the hell up. And please don’t use Christianity or any religious affiliation as an excuse for intolerance and narrow-mindedness. You don’t agree with the humor? Fine. Then don’t publicize it. Stop preaching from your ivory tower.

  3. Bitch you totally missed the point of that reader. He was not talking of the horrors of crime news or the Sadistic quotes from the Bible, he was commenting on the inappropriateness of your use of language in a Comic strip, which children usually reads. Oh and you think people don’t detect sarcasm?

    Even the two above missed the point. “Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression?” Who ever said that you can’t use garbage in your comic strip? Of course you can. But your reader has also has the freedom to express his dismay to your comic strip, get it bitch? And oh my! “where does one get off imposing his opinions on the rest of the world?” Remember that you publish something and that people read, it is natural that people will say something about it. Are you so stupid to think that you will only get rave for it? If you can’t handle critics then you shouldn’t write anything at all!

    The thing here is you just can’t take responsibility and you just have to point fingers elsewhere when you should just point the finger at yourself. Point it at the Crime news? At the Bible? Please Bitch! Own up to what you have written and take responsibility!

    By the way, the joke and the use of those words is not only inappropriate for a comic strip, it wasn’t funny as well.

    Don’t ask people to whip you for producing garbage, whip yourself bitch!

  4. My dear AB, at what point in my blog entry did I castigate him for expressing dismay over my strip? In which part did I impress upon you that I “can’t handle critics?”

    I DO take responsibility, AB. I was just merely citing points on the veracity of foul language/ acts as found in the broadsheets and in the bible. I don’t cover and hide. Hello. And I won’t apologize for the strip either.

    “Remember that you publish something and that people read, it is natural that people will say something about it.” Uhhhh….. in what point did I say otherwise? Was I angry at the comment???? was I raising hell that I was seen negatively? It was the comment of the reader and you have to respect it just as we respect your comment.

    but respect does not mean agreeing with it, right?

    And, that is exactly the problem, AB, who gets to tell what is appropriate and inappropriate in a comic strip? If you have a rule book on that please reserve me a copy and I’ll read it.

    “Don’t ask people to whip you for producing garbage, whip yourself bitch!” I guess sarcasm is dead to you.

    Like I said, what is funny to others is not funny to some.

    So what is it with this name-calling? You know the saying “if all things fail, call names.”

    But anyway, I AM a bitch but you make it sound so negative. Better a bitch than an asshole, right?

    Tsk tsk.

  5. OMG chong you are popular! You go girl, bitch, diva whatever. Ignore the holier than thou attitude of these fartholes. If kids read garbage (not your strip though) then why do their parents allow them to read those in the first place?

    Your strip is funny and it is their problem if they found it otherwise. Problema nila yon. Hahahahahah

  6. To AB:

    By the way, I sent you an email thanking you for the comment and appreciating the discussion at hand. I really do. No bullshit. I usually email people (when their emails are properly indicated) who comment and thank them for their time to read the blog. It seems more personal and heartfelt than just an anonymous comment right?

    Anyway, in your case, It is great to have this sort of divergent ideas.

    But the email you indicated does not exist. The message I sent bounced back.

    How easy it is to be brave and predatory when you are not seen, no?

    But, anyway, I’ll just post the message here:

    Dear AB,

    Thanks for the comment. You added a necessary different point of view. Like I said, we respect you but that does not mean we agree with you? Ok?

    So, peace on earth and be indignant at things and issues that really need our passions and anger to try to change the world.

    Peace, wo/man.

  7. I hate my laptop. I was posting a lengthy comment and it died on me. I dunno if I was able to save it. Ugh.

    Basta you go girl. Deadma sa mga inggitera. Hahahaha

  8. hay nakooooooh!!!!

    anuvayan!?!?!? Wag mo nang pansiyin yang AB na yan….. rat-rat na lang nang rat-rat….mali-mali naman thoughts nya! halata di nya binasa nang maayos blog entry mo noh!!!!

    bitch ka daw??? ganohn!?!?!? buti na lang ang bitch kaysa TANGA divah?!?!?!?!?!

    Siguro mahina siya sa reading comprehension class niya…. nakakatawa siya….

    Love kita at ang strip mo!

    sorry wala akesh blog but read ako nang read sa iyo…now lang akesh magcomment kasi naman katangahan na yang pinanggagawa ni AB.

    Siya ang na-“miss ang point!”

    parang gusto kong humalakhak!

    NYAHHAAHAAHAHHHAAHAHAHHAAHAHHAAHHAAHAHAHHA

  9. i work for a broadsheet myself and i’ve censored some strips i find MIGHT offend some readers and i would have run this strip. i hear ‘bitch’ on primetime comedies all the time and they were uttered carelessly and not to make a rather pointed commentary on an absurd situation.

  10. fine. it may have some foul words but duh! as if kids dont hear that in some tv shows and VIDEO GAMES?! reality check please haters…as long as kids have access in the media..they’ll never get away from these stuffs. i dont understand why people have to focus on the negative side. yes it may offend some peeps because of the words “bitch” and “horny” but behind all those foul words and sarcasm is a lesson (for kids and morons). whats the lesson? “if you do bad things, you’ll go to jail PERIOD” i bet not half of the comic strips in philippine star doesnt even have a lesson. PURO KALOKOHAN LANG.

    anyway.. dont mind those narrow-minded haters sir chong, baka masira lang ang bangs mo. hahahaha!

    stay fabulous!

  11. “i bet not half of the comic strips in philippine star doesnt even have a lesson. PURO KALOKOHAN LANG.”

    correction: erase the word “not” hahaha!

  12. for someone with a lot to say, AB seems to choose anonymity and not own up to his/her opinions by identifying himself/herself. maybe he does not have the balls…ooops sorry AB! i meant testicles. (or if he’s a she, you don’t have the vagina)

  13. Lizzle Sizzle, I have to confess that I laughed when I first read this entry. It reminded me of the time you got accused of being devoid of “a particular set” of values for demanding honesty and professionalism by a woman who wouldn’t admit she lacked both. (Did you have that letter framed yet, by the way?)

    AB is an exemplary example of what Palabok Freak and I have been stressing about the past weeks: there are some majorly effed up people out there who lack critical thinking skills and are in serious need of boxes of iodized salt and glutaphos.

    Oh, to live in a world where realities don’t have to hurt. But at this day and age, the only way narrow-minded idealists can get that utopia is to start their own commune on another planet (I think we’re out of deserted islands) where hostages, prison bitches, horny prisoners, evil media, smart-asses and the internet don’t exist.

    Fifi’s right. It’s not like your comic strip flung “bad” words around just to exercise/spread bigotry and intolerance. It’s not your fault that evil exists and people don’t know how to explain and prepare their kids for such things. Unbridled and expansive censorship is just so much easier.

  14. The question I have is what exactly does Asiancross (and I guess AB; are they one and the same? who knows) find “garbage”? the fact that Chong takes a potshot at Jun Ducat, or the fact that he uses the word “bitches”, or that he finds the strip unfunny? I’ll address each scenario one at a time:

    1) JUN DUCAT – This guy makes me sick. “I’ll highlight the plight of children by……. taking them hostage!!” And here I thought America had a patent on all the crazies. I can and have said worse about Ducat on my own, and quite frankly Chong took it easy on the guy. He deserves much, much more punishment in my opinion.

    2) THE WORD “BITCHES” – Bottom line, if it was really that bad a word, it wouldn’t have passed the editor. The b-word has been removed from Geroge Carlin’s “7 words you can’t say on tv” as you can hear it being utterred on network TV, in the radio, and on the street. It’s 10 years too late to be complaining about that.

    And puh-LEAZE don’t go by the “kids read this stuff!” defense, because it’s NOT a comic book aimed for preteens, but a newspaper. A NEWS. PAPER. Bought by adults. Read by adults. If someone starts demanding that they sanitize the newspaper (or television show or music) because they say that it will somehow corrupt their kids, the answer there is that instead of trying to dictate the choices for everyone else, maybe you should try taking care of your OWN kids first instead of asking us to do it for you.

    I won’t even go into the issue that comics ARENT just for kids, and they can and should address topics beyond how much Mondays suck, because it’s very obvious and you’d have to be an idiot not to know that. And AB isn’t an idiot, riiiiiiiiight?

    3) BEING UNFUNNY – simply put, humor is in the eye of the beholder. Besides, if being deemed unfunny merited a comic strip being cancelled, then Baltic & Co. would have been history years ago. (Yeah, I said it!)

    What no one is addressing of course is the BIGGEST issue of all: that Chong is now famous enough that he gets talked about and discussed in blogs other than his own! Congratulations, sweetie! Just make sure they spell your name correctly 😉

  15. hi! chong,

    wow u really increased your blog traffic because of this. i like your comics because they are not shallow and they tackle current issues and mix it with humor, sarcasm, whatever.. and it makes it more interesting than editorial cartoons or funny comics. Comics are not JUST for kids and comic writers/creators are not nannies.

    there are more horrible stuff taht can be found in a newspaper such as rape, incest, and other horrors. If someone finds this offensive, at least it educates about current issues and gives a stand. : )

  16. Pre, minsan na we-weirdohan ako sa comics mo, but still iba siya.

    Astig ka, pare. Ok lang yan may bumabatikos sa iyo…you can’t please everyone naman diba?

    Pero, I have to agree that mejo may foul language nga but meron din naman sa TV diba? Eh mas ok pa nga strip mo kaysa nakikita kong mga babae naka-hot pants sabay split on noontime shows eh nanood mga pamangkin ko dun….so what is appropriate diba?

    so ok lang yan, pre….more power.

  17. Whoa….. salamat sa mga nag-comment. The blog owner of the one that castigated me commented in his blog this:

    I do not want to write a reaction to this, but I feel that a point must be proven.
    I speak out against what I find indecent and I am called judgmental. Furthermore I am accused of being petty and not indignant over corruption. I am indignant over corruption.

    I’m on the government payroll. I FEEL those effects in my stomach. I feel the sting of their inefficiency and the emptiness of their promises quite personally.

    Instead of channeling that indignation into writing, I channel that indignation into my work. That’s why I teach. And because I teach, I AM concerned about the example given to the next generation. I will gladly be called judgmental if it means telling the next generation what is right and wrong in a world that is quickly losing its foundations, in a world that thinks right and wrong are so stifling to its freedom, a world that gladly drags its freedom through the muck of licentiousness just so that it can experience random fleeting pleasures.

    I nitpick these little things because I know Pinoys gloss over “little” things like these. This is why corruption so easily gets hold of our officials. They start with a little.

    Just a little.

    The reason why I become so incensed by the little things is because that’s where I go wrong too. The big, hideous monsters are easy enough to spot and keep away. It’s the little compromises that slip by, erode the foundation and make the fortress fall.

    and this was my reply:

    hey, you and i are both government employees and teach. and, I feel, as a teacher we must guide students to their own realizations and revelations and not really push down our own definition of what is right or wrong.

    Why just focus on the little things, when you can tackle the big and little monsters at the same time? It’s more difficult and proactive to our society. Smal problem. Big problem. Still problems.

    So now you are equating this comic strip to the culture of corruption. That is strange! I am on your side but I fight in a different manner. this is how I channel my indignation, aslan.

    About right and wrong, aslan, and the erosion of the foundation, might I invoke history that women who wanted to learn or study are seen as witches and burnt at a stake. Because that WAS how it was then, it was right to burn the strange or abnormal people and wrong for women to be educated. Educated women, then, are seen as an aberrant and an erosion of the foundation. So the concept of right and wrong is all relative.

    the thing with life, it is not black nor white but a rich range of shades of grey.

  18. In closing, I would like to ask humbly ask AB to pardon me/us for my/our opinions…because I/we wholeheartedly pardon him for his.

  19. Yo. I’m Aslan’s co-teacher and friend. I am not here to speak on his behalf. I just find this debate mildly interesting.

    Well, that comic strip is not something I’d cut out and show in class. But that’s about it. I see where Aslan is coming from and in some ways agree that it is inappropriate.

    As to the choice of word, I’m looking at it relative to your other work. They’re pretty good! I’m getting your humor. You’re a straight-shooter and I could see the context of the ‘bitch’ in question. It actually works and I couldn’t think of any other word to replace it — going by your style.

    As for the comic in question, the joke itself could use some work, but that’s only my observation after seeing better stuff from you. The scene wasn’t set up well, causing confusion as to where the character is. Is he in a prison? A strip club? More visual clues would’ve helped set up the horny gay prisoner (if that is a horny gay prisoner) in panel 3, establish that we’re in prison, and provide appropriate context for ‘bitch’. Just some thoughts from a big comics fan. 🙂

    Anyway, I remember the last time something like this broke out over the internet. In Frank Miller’s “All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #2”, Batman yelled at a terrified Dick Grayon (whose parents just got shot, and is now riding shotgun with a man dressed in a leather bat outfit), “I’m the goddamned Batman!” That made a lot of people uneasy, but we eventually got it. It’s freaking Frank “300” Miller. And Batman was scaring the bejeezus out of the kid in order to numb him from the grief. It was weird and not how many other writers would do it, but then again Frank Miller is not many other writers.

    (Wow. I just compared you to Frank Miller.)

    That is the metaphor I used to ‘judge’ your work. Won’t work for all and is bound to be inevitably offensive, but it does work for you as the artist. It’s not really about the relativism of right and wrong. What’s working against you here is context, or more precisely, the lack of it in both the strip and in how people on both sides of the debate perceive each other.

    Cheers and good luck!

  20. Martin, bless his insightful personality, totally gets the concept of protected speech (in this case, artistic speech). Speech cannot always be ascetic, nor uplifting. Speech, in serving a social function, sometimes need to depraved, numbing and shocking. Like a bitter pill.

    Once in a while there are people, like the artist, who uses the comics as a spoonful of sugar..

  21. thanks, martin, for the comment. well, a cartoonist can only say so much within the confines of two to four panels in a comic strip. 🙂 It is not easy to limit words sometimes, no?

    Medyo naloka ako sa Frank Miller invocation!!!!

    Hay nakoh, kaya stop na ang debate, aslan and i are both right and wrong. This is not being defeatist nor even pacifist; it is just there is a necessary dialectics here. There are two opposing forces dead set and unflinching on their views. However, this exchange produced quite some interesting insights on absolutism, morality, views on humor and personal (that affects social) expression.

    I respect Aslan’s views but not agree with him, as does he to me.

    Intriguing be the concept of seeing this to its reasonable conclusion, i find that this issue, for now, be put to rest. The exercise has been fleshed out and i am content.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the part I wave to the crowd and coo “….and world peace!!!”


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