Thursday, January 8, 2015

Reflections on Charlie Hebdo

The day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, I am still angry and confused by this insane, malicious act. 
Over a cartoon.

Back when I was a freshman in high school, I was talking to a junior about my biology teacher, Mr. Ignatin. This kid says, "Oh, you have "Popeye" Ignatin? He's pretty cool" I asked about the nickname and he explained that all the kids thought Mr. Ignatin looked like Popeye the Sailor because of the cleft in his big chin and, well, his eyes kinda looked like that, too.
Well, that was all it took to get me started. I used to have notebooks full of cartoons that I had created full of caricatures of my teachers and friends in all kinds of cartoony situations (something many of you are learning right now for the first time). So I bought a new little notebook for my Adventures of Popeye Ignatin cartoons. By day, he was a mild biology teacher. By night, a crime fighting superhero who could make a criminal's mind explode by spouting things at them such as, "The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell!" SPLOOSH!!!

One day, I left that book behind in his classroom after the bell rang. When I realized it was missing, I ran back to the classroom but the book was gone. So was Mr. Ignatin. I sweated out the rest of the school year knowing he had seen and read it - waiting for the day I got in trouble for it. He never said a word about it. And somehow, I ended up with a B in biology.

Apparently, he either liked my cartoons or just didn't consider them when passing out grades.
Nevertheless , I decided that year never to become a cartoonist for fear I might leave a sketchbook behind some day and hurt someone's feelings with my caricatures or sarcastic sense of humor. However, I never dreamed it could ever be a fatal career. I guess that's why this incident in France has me so shaken.

I am Charlie. One of many.

No comments:

Post a Comment