Commentary on
Terrorist Tornado Composition

A fan wrote to me about my Terrorist Tornado composition, "Maybe I'm just a little dense, and I know most of your cartoons have a point... I can't figure out what point you are trying to make with this cartoon..."

My immediate response was, "Never thought about it in terms of having a point. It seems to have several, although mostly I was just having fun when I did Terrorist Tornado. It's an excellent question."

Now, I'd like to give a more complete answer:

When I read that a tornado had touched down at FLW, I began thinking, "Hmmmm, what if terrorists are behind this?" "Ridiculous!" you say. Perhaps, but, haven't we been exhorted again and again to see terrorism everywhere we look; or as Jeremiah put it, "Terror on every side." So why shouldn't we see terrorism in this too.

In fact, the FLW tornado is the result of terrorism - our own. It's undeniable. Greenhouse gases and the warming of the Earth make extreme weather events like December tornados in Missouri more likely. And isn't the US military the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases? - even more so if you include all the industries which feed the military. And don't those who knowingly contribute to this increase in extreme weather events spread terror on every side? Perhaps this is the point of the Terrorist Tornado composition.

Or perhaps, the point is best summed up in the words of Voltaire, "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." (Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.) One of the biggest absurdities of all time is that one can attain security through militarism. Many societies have tried; all have failed. Rome is probably the best example. We have committed so many atrocities in our search for security through militarism; but, In fact, day after day, year after year, our efforts only serve to make us less secure.

So perhaps this is the point of my composition. I endeavor to expose absurdities for what they are. And once an absurdity is exposed, it loses its power to make you commit atrocities.

If you prefer compositions with a clear point, check out my Martin Luther King Day post.