Athens, OH, February 10, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Too Windy to Walk the Cat Productions
Long before shows like "South Park" and "Family Guy" hit the air waves, the author of Too Windy to Walk the Cat began drawing his cartoons. For years his website has offered humorous cartoons, bumper stickers, greeting cards, etc. that many find "politically incorrect" or "culturally insensitive". Although many find the humor to be outrageous at times, there have been few complaints. Most people would probably find "South Park" more offensive than these cartoons (though Cafe Press did reject one particular bumper sticker for what they called "offensive content").
However, the new comedy song entitled "Hassan Chop! - Authentic Jihad Rap" has raised new questions concerning what constitutes unacceptable subjects of humor.
Many who have no problem with jokes made at the expense of Christians or Jews regard any humor involving the Islamic religion to be inappropriate - too sensitive a subject. "There is a terrible double-standard in this regard," says Howard Beebe, author of Too Windy to Walk the Cat. "The same people who laughed at my cartoons that deal with sensitive subjects, such as child-molesting Priests or Aids, are upset that I wrote a song that makes fun of Islamic terrorists."
Beebe maintains that not only is this hypocritical, it is actually insulting to Muslims: "Saying that some particular group should be treated gingerly implies that they're not intelligent enough to realize that it's a joke, that they are like children, incapable of understanding satire - or that they're not emotionally mature enough to take a joke. To me it's a very condescending attitude. How would you feel if your friends all kidded each other about being fat, bald, etc., but laid off you because they thought you were too delicate and might start crying or get mad? Wouldn't that actually mean that they respected you less?"
To those who claim that this brand of satirical humor is nothing more than "Hate Speech" in disguise, Beebe answers, "I can only speak for myself. I love Middle Eastern culture and have many Muslim friends. My wife is a Middle Eastern dancer and plays dumbek and violin with a Middle Eastern music group. We both love Middle Eastern dress and art - in fact, we recently redid our bedroom with a Middle Eastern theme. I have no ill will towards any group of people - Christians, Homosexuals, Feminists (all subjects of my cartoons). If I did, this would not be humor, it would simply be hatred - and hate is never funny. I give people credit for being smart enough to understand the difference between a joke and an insult. If anything, it shows respect - not disrespect."
Many feel that any humor involving Islam is a unique case, citing the possibility of violent reactions from extremists. Should we take a chance that someone could be harmed? Is a joke worth it? Wouldn't it be safer to just leave certain subjects alone? Beebe has strong feelings about that, as well: "Should a parent give in to a child who acts out in an unacceptable way? Some do and consider themselves to be kind; others know they shoudn't, but feel it's simply easier than dealing with the confrontation. Either way, doesn't that set a dangerous precedent that will end up causing more serious problems in the future, for them and their child? Aren't they in fact encouraging the child to behave in that manner? Who could really blame them for continuing to act that way, perhaps for the rest of their lives. I think you get my point."
Many will not care for Beebe's humor. "That's fine," says Beebe. "I certainly understand that it's not everyone's cup-of-tea. I also know that not everyone will agree with my arguments defending my humor. But I would like for everyone to realize where I'm coming from. I don't hate you. I don't mean any disrespect to you or your sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion. You may think I'm misguided, even dead wrong, but please know that I consider you all to be part of my extended human family, even if you don't consider me part of yours."
Examples of Mr. Beebe's humor can be seen on his web site: www.toowindytowalkthecat.com , where products can be purchased. He also has videos posted on his YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/toowindytowalkthecat . Mr. Beebe lives in Athens, Ohio, where he teaches Karate and works in the Home Improvement field. He is on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit Horse Rescue organization. He has a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Ohio University.
If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Howard Beebe, please email Howard at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call Howard at 740-594-8737.