January 06, 2004


Leon Kofmansky sends a letter to the Melbourne Age:

Michael Leunig's first cartoon of the year queried the new year resolutions America had made for us.

As a refugee from the former USSR, I wish Leunig and other Age cartoonists would stop publishing one-sided caricatures of America and other nations of the free world, and attempt a balancing act to mock the various police states and terrorist groups.

Never going to happen, Leon. You’d have had better luck writing to the Kremlin.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 6, 2004 09:40 AM

Leunig, like all lefties, views the entire world as though it is part of our culture.

The capitalists, i.e., "imperialists, racists, sexists, etc.,etc.", who oppress the virtuous lefties, must by necessity oppress the entire planet.
To admit of other sources of evil such as genocidal communist or theocratic dictatorships, would complicate their simple worldview, which is of course, the heroic struggle of the left aginst the "evil" capitalism. (U.S.A. if you prefer)

Posted by: pencil at January 6, 2004 at 10:17 AM

Kofmansky will no doubt also have been irked by an earlier Leunig attempt to put the momentous Saddam spider-hole capture into 'perspective', offering solace to those devotees of his infantile scrawls who want to believe that there is a malevolent motive behind everything American.

Posted by: ilibcc at January 6, 2004 at 10:39 AM

The snake told him to draw it.

Posted by: Amos at January 6, 2004 at 11:01 AM

It's true; I live in the US, and I made a New Year's resolution for Leunig: LEARN TO DRAW!
I may even send him an old matchbook cover with more free information on lessons by mail.............

Posted by: Rob C. at January 6, 2004 at 11:25 AM

Tim I thought of you the other day - I know, I know, I'm only human - as I browsed a bookshop in the uber-lefty Melbourne suburb Eltham.

Under the section titled "literatue" there were all the usual suspects. Austen. Shakespeare. Tolstoy. Dickens. And one that puzzled me: Leunig.

I think we can agree that's wrong on so very many levels.

Posted by: Caz at January 6, 2004 at 12:12 PM

The best satisfaction I got in the bookstore the other day was seeing Chomsky, Pilger, Tariq Ali and co heavily discounted. Paul Keating's book was going for $9 too.

They'd sold out of Paul Sheean's "The Electronic Whorehouse" though.

Sorry Mr Adams, I think it sold more than "two copies".

Posted by: Quentin George at January 6, 2004 at 05:11 PM

Leunig is brilliant, draws beautifully, and is (I'm guessing) a pacifist. I don't agree with his politics in relation to Iraq because I'm a wild-eyed war-monger, but I can still appreciate where he's coming from, and admire his work.
And not all the Age cartoonists are anti-war. Check out Spooner's contributions.

Posted by: suzanne at January 6, 2004 at 07:12 PM

Dear Tim - there you are! I've been wondering what happened to you....
Re Leunig, and other assorted parallel thinkers. I presumed that the reason they spend so much time and effort sticking it to the US at the moment, and not other various unsavoury nations, is that it's the US, currently, that has the most influence over the rest of the world and Australia. It's a matter of relevance, surely? It's not Libya's star wars program we've joined, or China that Australia is offering cultural waivers to as part of a free trade agreement. You know. Regardless of left or right wing tendencies, it seems a little strange to wonder why Leunig's not picking on someone else...

Posted by: Fiona Scott-Norman at January 6, 2004 at 08:40 PM

Yeah Fiona, right on...any initiatives that actually protect us and make us better off economically really suck don't they?

If your culture is so weak that it needs to be protected then it's not worth doing so. And no one with a brain needs the media to define who they are.

It's not strange at all to wonder why countries like Libya, North Korea or China shouldn't be exposed to more Western criticism seeing as, you know, they're massive human rights abusers and all.

And if you're such a believer in protecting Australian culture, then I'm sure you must be outraged at all those Chinese and Italian restaraunts that are all over the place. You know.

Posted by: gaz at January 6, 2004 at 09:16 PM

Leunig "draws beautifully"? I've seen better drawings done by toddlers with crayons.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 6, 2004 at 09:44 PM

RE: Leunig's Drawing Skills

The planet is just about plastered in 'toddlers with crayons', but there is only one Leunig.

From this side of the world, he is the brightest light you guys have.

(Happy Summer Australia, it's minus thirty-something Celsius in Ottawa, Canada)

Posted by: Tim Thibeault at January 18, 2004 at 04:11 PM