Thursday, February 09, 2006


February 20th is the date past which I cannot accept any more submissions for Spell magazine. The work I've received so far has been quite disturbing, somewhat weird, and definitely inspired. There is room for more, just make sure it can be expressed in the second dimension. Yes, this is an old fashioned, flat sort of thing. But I think Spell's inaugural issue will still manage to push forward into the future, an exciting place. So send me work in which you are pushing yourself to your very limits, even if you are unsure of it. I'll even publish a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed if you've got one, because I believe in freedom speech. Send your files to Thanks.


Blogger John Sakkis said...

ha! i was thinking of doing the mohammad thing for both both...

when my printer starts working i'm going to send something directly for you to consider...


10:49 AM  
Blogger House Press said...

Eric, I like your commitment to freedom. You should write a book called "Of a Free Town". MS

4:43 PM  
Blogger House Press said...

send it here!

nice title MS

is nice


3:47 PM  
Blogger House Press said...

The Mohammed riots have nothing to do with free speech, but everything to do with the nature of being insulted. Those who expect a kind of 'maturity' from the muslim world, just because Christians didn't burn theaters down for Monty Python (oh wait- they did didn't they? See the story of 'L'age D'or') are expecting a kind of honor that the history of masses has never been able to accomplish. It's insult added to injury (which both sides are actually suffering from- the injury being partially perceived) Those who try to take the events into the realms of free speech (which no Western country should even think of altering), are not interested in actually talking why they were as insulted as they were. It has nothing to do with religion in a way, but everything to do with a history of humiliation.
So on the one hand, we have Western commentators bragging about a freedom that they so rarely utilize, think about, or consider.
On the other, a group of fundamentalists that know how to use the question Muslims have consistently asked themselves for centuries: "What did we do wrong that we now live in an armpit of the world?". It has now become "Look at what they have done to us!", and being able to use that for their own goals.
Sorry everyone. Being muslim born, I've been riled up a little lately, and it seems everyone is constantly talking about this free speech 'issue' which never should have been one. Why the West is so inflamed about it I don't understand either: how could they not foresee this? Are people really that blind to how different the world is? Especially people who work for newspapers?

10:39 PM  
Blogger House Press said...

The Danish cartoons have everything to do with free speech. When any linguistic or artistic expression is returned with violence or the threat of violence, that is an infringement on one's right to freely express an idea or position. A writer should not have to wonder "will this cartoon or essay or article return violence and intimidation", and when he or she has to work under those strictures, then it is an issue of free of speech. I actually agree with the sentiment in the last post, with the exception that he or she is trying to marginalize the issue of free speech - it can be about free speech and all the other complications mentioned (it's not "either-or"). As one can expect from the media, the issue has been simplified to stupidity, but that does not mean that the result of it's simplification has been to reduce it to a free speech debate - it's central to the issue. MS

4:13 PM  
Blogger Tawrin said...

The question of 'free' speech can be broken down into two parts: the government censorship and social censorship. The former is not at issue here. Eric G. says "self-censorship born of fear is far more pernicious than censorhip imposed by the government", and while he may be right, it does not mean that one should never censor oneself.

The stunt was created to be provocative, a PR stunt; the cartoons are drawn with that in mind. So here's what is fucked up about the situation: they presented the cartoons (some of which were clearly designed to be insulting) in order to get a reaction. It's like walking down the street and deciding to insult someone who you know will get violent when insulted, just to prove a point about the ridiculousness of their easy provocation. Of course, one shouldn't be so easily offended. But the insult is not what is said, but the fact that it was intended to provoke. The unsaid communication is "my attitude is superior to yours."

Saying this to a society that has had much of it's region colonized, has been humiliated in the past, is just not cool. The Islamic community as a whole was given the opportunity to say "actually, our attitude is superior to yours" by taking the situation with grace (and the issue was on the verge of dying down until a handful of influential clerics -- and these are terrible people -- raised a ruckus two months after the first publication); but what the hell is one to expect from the masses in any society? The issue, I think, to many Muslems is not free speech -- Mohammed is drawn all the time in western countries and occasionally in middle eastern ones -- but whether the west can intentionally insult them on top of the generall opression that they feel (rightly or wrongly) they endure at the hands of the west.

To recap: for christs sake, don't refrain from depicting Mohammed if you want, but why would you do it agressively? Who are you trying to provoke and why? And why put a bomb in his turban? I mean, that's really, really insulting. Also, whatever might come of this episode (and it might end up having a positive effect in the long run), I know this subject could have been approached in a better way. So there's a guy who's touchy, who gets violent when insulted, and is easily insulted. If you're so concerned about his attitude, maybe you should get on friendly terms with him and then talk to him about it. Or something else, anything but insulting him and then feeling righteous once he starts kicking your ass.

Also to MS: if part of your 'art' is the intent to provoke violence from a volatile entity, you're a mean, nasty artist -- I will defend your right to be free from government censorship, but don't cry if things get violent, and certainly don't ask me for help when it does.

5:57 PM  
Blogger House Press said...

a sense of humor or any common sense might help here. satire. discrepency. perspective

now you see the power of art!

9:39 PM  
Blogger House Press said...

I don't understand what House Press just said.

12:25 AM  

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