(UNASSOCIATED PRESS) Widespread rage over recent Family Circus cartoons erupted violently into the streets of America yesterday, when angry protestors violently displayed their disapproval of the patronizing comic strip by looting and firebombing local stores.
Beyond the United States border, equally livid international protestors demonstrated their violent discontent as several U.S. Embassies on European soil were stormed and those inside were dragged into the street and beaten to death.
Over 17 fatalities have been reported as of printing, and the violence has shown no signs of dissipating.
An estimated 50,000 strong crowd gathered on the Washington National Mall in the early afternoon, ballooning earlier estimates of no more than 3,000. At least 3 protestors were trampled to death during the proceedings.
The restless crowd threw bottles and debris at police guards in riot gear while chanting “Death to Keane, Death to King!” for over an hour. It was is a reference to Bil Keane, Family Circus cartoonist since 1960, and King Features, the company that syndicates the comic strip to over 1500 newspapers worldwide.
“I just don’t understand,” said Keane. “I’m sorry if I offended anybody. I just want to express my views.”
National leaders have expressed shock and dismay at the recent violence. White House spokesman Scott McClellan reiterated the president’s stance on the cartoon and the riots.
“Although the president understands how many might consider the mindless inanity of Billy, Dolly and Grandpa to be beyond reproach. But that is no excuse for torching your city’s newspaper headquarters or publicly hanging their editors.
“President Bush reaffirms his dedication to upholding the first
amendment which specifically allows such denigrating images to be produced and viewed.”
Critics claim the cartoon has a mind-numbing affect on the millions that read it every morning, and it is demeaning to anyone with half a brain. Jeremy Higgins, president of Americans for a Strong Society, spoke at the Washington protests-
“Nobody talks or acts like Jeffy or any other character. A family like that is a myth, and every strip is an insult to real human beings like us. Look at this one. Jeffy says to the other kids, ‘I heard that out of the corner of my ear.’ What the f*ck? The cartoon’s patent cuteness is beyond nauseating. We declare a jihad on Family Circus and anyone who supports such insipid filth!.”
Violence against cartoonists unrelated to the publishing of Family Circus has officials up in arms. Dik Browne, cartoonist responsible for Hagar the Horrible, was found bound and gagged in an abandoned warehouse. Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, both the present caretakers of the Dennis the Menace strip are reportedly missing. Dean Young, cartoonist hired to continue the Blondie comics was beaten senseless with a tire iron before being run over repeatedly with a Hummer.
Experts like Harvard English professor Charles Thomasen believe the controversy is not settled.
“Cartoonists who perpetuate idiotic comic strips well beyond their prime just to make a buck will continue to be hunted down and killed. There will be riots, and more innocent people will die. It’s really the fault of the artist. Keane should have retired Family Circus years ago; instead he insists on demeaning the American public daily.”
Sources say Keane is considering going into hiding due to the Fatwa put on his head, similar to the one put on Salman Rushdie in 1989. “We’re hot on his trail, the bastard,” said a protestor. “We’ll just follow that dotted trail he leaves wherever he goes!”
Source by Mark Reiley