Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ali Farzat is a great Syrian political cartoonist. Recently he was kidnapped by paramilitary thugs (believed to be working for Pres. Bashar Assad) and brutally beaten. They deliberately broke both of his hands.

(click for larger version)

I was going to write a long tract about the metaphorical dimension of this horrible attack, but it’s all pretty obvious, really. Farzat spoke Truth to Power and met a fate similar to so many who do. I’ll just add that Farzat’s cartoons are awesome, and he’s obviously a man after my own heart, my very favorite type of political cartoonist. Google him some time. It’s purely visual storytelling – no patronizing labels or captions, none of the gags based solely on dialogue or wordplay which have made our own editorial pages so trite and boring. What’s even better, Farzat seldom caricatures specific individuals. He rarely, for instance, draws the tyrant Assad. Rather, he seems to draw “types,” the archetypal plutocrat, politician, pauper, or proletarian. This is such a great way to de-emphasize transitory “personality politics” and keep the focus where it should be, on the long-term conflict of classes.

By the way, on the off-chance that somebody wants to read my cartoon right-to-left, here’s the Arabic version:

Get well soon, Ali. Get well soon, Syria. Ash-sha`b yurid isqat an-nizam!