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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Harper's gets a pass

As Rondi noted the other day, Harper's Magazine is featuring the Danish cartoons in their June issue (confidentially: I knew they were planning it when one of their designers called my up a couple of months ago and asked where he could find the cartoons).

Anyway, the U.S. book chain borders—the one that refused to stock the magazine, Free Inquiry, for publishing the cartoons back in March, appears to have given a pass to Harper's.

I'm sure this won't be the only bookstore on the continent that makes an exception for Lewis Lapham's magazine. But to be honest, I don't mind. Bookstores are just that: stores. They're not supposed to have any more principles than a Sam Goody's or a Cinnabon should. I honestly believe that the officers of those corporations were fearful that something would happen to them if they carried Free Inquiry, or the Western Standard issue with the cartoons. Of course they did: all the hysterical news networks told them something would. The store operators may not have acted in the best interest of liberalism, or of Canada, but they only owe a duty to shareholders.

All I care about is that the cartoons are getting out there. It may be two months after the fact, and it may require the imprimatur of a mighty liberal like Lapham to make it happen, but anything that makes it clear that these cartoons are not something we should fear, is a good thing. Congratulations to Harper's, Borders and all of the Canadian retailers who choose to carry this June issue of Harper's, for acting normal.

Posted by Kevin Libin on May 21, 2006 | Permalink


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It is forgivable that most of the media were scared. But it is not forgivable that these same cowards maliciously attacked as racist anyone or any news outlet like the WS that printed the cartoons as news. The cartons exposed the Jihadists for what they are, barbaric. Following the Danish cartoon fiasco Arab-American Psychiatrist Wafa Sultan described on Al-Jazeera her thoughts that have been praised by Islamic reformers and damned by the Jihadists as causing more harm than the Danish cartoons …

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete."

It is also not forgivable that the Alberta Human Rights Commission would entertain complaints against WS for what is now the new normal, i.e. it is suddenly ok to print the cartoons in Canada and for bookstores to distribute them. The mandate of the HRC needs to be exposed, debated in legislature and re-mandated accordingly. Hopefully the new Premier of Alberta will campaign on freedom of the press.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-05-22 6:16:09 AM

Yeah, well, whatever, I hope those Canadian bookstores and their shareholders realize that, ever since they banned that issue of the Western Standard, they have a new role in my shopping habits. I now frequent their outlets only to note down interesting new books so I can order them over the internet. I probably spend more than a thousand dollars a year on books and I used to brouse the chains several times a week. I have changed my habits because of this cowardly and opportunistic anti-conservative incident. My frequent shopper cards are expiring unrenewed. Those bookstores made a statement and I heard it.

Posted by: calgarian | 2006-05-22 6:32:57 AM

or you could have just made REFERENCE to the tale. or given those of us who have no popular culture a LINK.

Posted by: lwestin | 2006-05-22 9:32:06 AM

Why would any place that carries the da vinci codes not carry these cartoons why is it ok to mock one religion but not others?

part of canadian style equality.

ps calgarian i avoid them as much as possible too. I used to like coffee at mcnalleys too.

I mean do chapters or mcnalley even put up a dreaded Merry Christmas sign?

Posted by: ghollingshead | 2006-05-22 10:15:17 AM

Calgarian, I do the same thing. I have been found inside a Chapters or an Indigo since the kerfuffle, but I haven't purchased anything. And I won't.


Posted by: RightGirl | 2006-05-22 10:59:25 AM

Thank-you Karol Karlak for the reprint of the old story about the Emperor's New Clothes. I gather Liberano/Dipper types don't read Hans Christian Anderson's stories to their childern (too violent) - the state indoctrination centres don't either. Children are perceptive and have no 'special interest' investments. I wonder if paule and the cretian had parents who read them Hans Christian Anderson stories? Did they read the quirky stories about two 'moms' or two 'dads' being normal to their own kids? The whole Dipper/Liberano crowd are shivering in the cool Canadian spring. Why? They didn't dress for the occasion! There is a fresh wind of Freedom blowing across this nation and while it is sweet to those of us who have been looking at naked greed and grotesque figures telling us what to wear, it is exposing and freezing the 'entitled to their 'entitlements' know nothings in the expensive clothes riding in limos and renting 'digs' in Paris on our $$$$.
Hans Christian Anderson smoked a pipe. I wonder if the new Liberano/Dipper type 'banners' have used this great politically incorrect habit as 'proof - is da proof' that this author is 'unfit' as a mentor for those under six? Those under six often have their own opinion about what they like so if you, as a parent, wish to get your child 'educated' in the Politically correct (lib/dip) manner -best not to expose them to such a rebel.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-05-22 12:10:48 PM

I can promise you that Lewis Lapham doesn't want your thanks. Fankly it's sites like the ShotDumb and the Western SubStandard that himself and his magazine work hard against.

Posted by: Justin | 2006-05-22 12:27:12 PM


What's your point?

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-22 12:40:21 PM

Justin's moral relativism knows no bounds.

Posted by: Angela | 2006-05-22 1:38:19 PM

Justin is a TROLL, get it himbly?

Posted by: Speller | 2006-05-23 9:40:27 AM

My point is you should read the article. Spiegelman decries the use of these images as a tool of the right to inflame the religious fervour of Muslims.

You know 'religious fervour'? You people are professionals at it (eg. Angela's reference to my 'moral relativism' would get a welcome nod from many islamofascists).

Posted by: Justin... | 2006-05-24 9:19:58 AM


Just so you don't have to wait until you get to Univ....

moral relativism - not acknowledging that there is a right or wrong. All moral decisions are relative. You decide what's right or wrong for you, in your circumstances.

Even you can see how this might not work out that well for the survival of a society. The 'nod' from the Jihadists would be the 'nod' of seeing an opportunity to move in - into the vacumn that secular humanism and moral relativism and post-Christian deconstructionism has left of the western culture.

For extra credit you can read "Without Roots - The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam" written in 'conversation style' between Joseph Ratzinger (Catholic) and Marcello Perra (secularist). They agree on quite a few points, the major one being that western society is at risk of disappearing.
Also informative is "Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures" by Ratzinger. (you might have to wait till 2nd or third year for that one.)

Posted by: lwestin | 2006-05-24 9:51:21 AM


Posted by: lwestin | 2006-05-24 10:00:39 AM

What makes you think Justin is able to get into University?

Posted by: Warwick | 2006-05-24 10:08:23 AM


Western society will survive with the figurative hacking off the heads of the trolls.

The trolls cannot conceive of a life beyond their immediate bodily pleasures.

And that is why a toll will be exacted on the self-destructive troll.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-24 11:15:06 AM

Indigo pulls controversial Harper's off the shelves
Firm fears offending Muslims with cartoons that sparked demonstrations


Posted by: anon | 2006-05-27 7:43:02 AM

Indigo pulls controversial Harper's off the shelves
Firm fears offending Muslims with cartoons that sparked demonstrations


Posted by: anon | 2006-05-27 7:43:57 AM

(sorry for the double posting above)

Posted by: anon | 2006-05-27 7:48:01 AM

In other news ...

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-27 7:58:41 AM

I too don't shop at Chapters/Indigo/Coles. Their selection is quite dumbed down and I'm not a collector of knickknacks.

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-05-27 10:08:16 AM

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