Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Uselessly Yours aka Look Who's Back

Mr Black Felt Tip Marker Penner is back and rather than feeling indignant or affronted by his acts, I am feeling mighty twangs of sympathy instead.

He has been lying dormant for a while – at least I think he is because good gracious golly gee is my Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets full of stuffs he’d blackened out swifter than the Flash could blink – he is back in action with The Economist being latest to feel the brunt of his mighty blotting.

Not the Sports Illustrated. Not the Maxim. Nope, not FHM either. Nor an issue of the National Geographic featuring a never-before seen human tribe yet to discover the wonderful invention of clothes.

(I am kidding on the last, okay.)

Nope. We are talking about The Economist.

To be precise, some texts’ lines in an article “Taken to the cleaners — an overzealous government response to an opposition rally” in the latest issue of The Economist.

Sympathy because I cannot imagine the tedium of going through whole stacks of the issue to the exact sentences (not even whole, mind you) deemed offensive.

Yep. Usually the black pen is a moralistic answer to all that is society (ours) offending. Or used to, going by the proliferation of girly (manly?) magazines at newsstands, generally speaking.

Sympathy because despite all his effort, the offending texts are not only still read, the blotting out is pretty much posthumous in that people would’ve already read the article in whole elsewhere.

Sympathy because his effort will only block the offending texts from the eyes of less than 9,900 readers (unless you count those lazing away at office lounges waiting for their turn in appointments), the reported circulation of the Economist in Malayia 2010.

Sympathy because in the day and age of the Internet, even those who don’t usually read the Economist can gain access to the article simply by asking Mr Google.

Sympathy that instead of being seen and justified as a moral guardian, he is now treated with disdain as yet another sycophant of a government gone bonkers.

Once upon a time, you could still justify his existence by way of the moral high ground argument of providing something akin to (though cursory at best) a filter against the unfettered, liberalization of so-called artistic endeavors.

Alas, those days are long gone.

Imagine being yanked from retirement to do something that is ultimately useless, and you realized how much Mr Black Felt-Tip Penner deserves our deepest sympathy.

Thus, scorn him not.

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