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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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26 Responses to 927

  1. Forrest says:

    How many times is one’s extreme the other’s normal?

  2. Miriworm says:

    I don’t know that sounds a bit extreme to me! :-)

  3. chris says:

    maybe if he’d set those words to music…

  4. andy amoss says:

    I’m normal, it’s the rest of you who are the dangerous extremists!

    All things in moderation. Including moderation, surely?

  5. Caroline TOO says:

    please sir, could I be extremely peaceful?

  6. linus says:

    I’m not sure that most of the world does want to live in peace. I think most of the world wants to live in comfort. Its not the same thing – how much am i prepared to sacrifice my comfort for other people’s wellbeing? When i’m not prepared to do that, that’s often where violence and exploitation begin.

    Jesus’ behaviour is pretty uncomfortable, pretty extreme in a lot of ways. He certainly didn’t toe the line of the culture he found himself in – he didn’t keep his head down for a quiet life or refuse to rock the boat for the sake of peace and harmony. And yet clearly he’s an extreme example of pacifism, refusing to lead a rebellion against the Romans, declining to resist arrest and choosing to suffer rather than live in comfort at others’ expense. Gandhi, Martin Luther King – their choices and lifestyles were very much radical ones. The peace they advocated was far from mainstream.

    I’m all for pleading with extremists to stop acting out of hate and perpetuating violence, but i think that paying more than lip service to that idea and actually acting on it, or choosing peace over our own comfort is itself an extreme (and extremely good) course of action in our society. Thanks for the challenge that this cartoon has given me; I will aim to be more extreme in my desire for peace from now on =]

  7. linus says:

    I’ve just realised i’ve said in an extremely(!) longwinded way what all the above commenters, and probably the original cartoon also, were saying… sorry. I’ll leave you all in peace now.

  8. herbeey says:

    linus – I actually found your musings rather interesting concerning peace not necessarily being nice and peaceful but at the expense of personal comfort.

  9. jonbirch says:

    i too enjoyed your rant linus… as someone who believes that jesus lived a radical life, i’d have to agree with you. :-)

  10. jonbirch says:

    also, my heroes tend to be pretty radical and extreme. ghandi, martin luther king, mother theresa, + the odd moment from peter tatchell. :-)

  11. subo says:

    just read a top article on supporting parents to empathise with their autistic child. i love the writer’s commitment to bridging the differences and helping us to find our own limits and extremes from which we can understand others.

    it’s refreshing to find empathy and understanding prized in this way, against a culture that’s tried to label and categorise, box, and order as though this was ‘science’ – basically just plain scape-goating

    I believe peace making is about unravelling the mystery of God’s world, and entering into each others experience. at times this means relinquishing our obsession with being leaders, and coming alongside each other

  12. kate says:

    Supposedly today is “International Day of Peace.” Well, at least according to my planner from Barnes & Noble. Perfect timing.

  13. Wulf says:

    I think the Ku-Klux-Klan guy forgot to cut eye holes in his hood. Talk about blind hate. Sorry for the pun. I couldn’t help it …

  14. subo says:

    or, like prince Harry, don a Nazi suit and get noticed?

  15. JF says:

    Mother Theresa???!!!
    ..who took stolen money and built hundreds of convents, while the poor children of Calcutta (born to poor parents told by MT not to use contraception) lived in ramshackle & dirty ‘hospitals’ that never saw any of the donated $millions?
    I must have missed her heroic deeds? A life of serving the catholic church, but not her fellow man.

    As to why people are ‘extreme’… I guess they are all just made in the image of a jealous & tyrannical god?

  16. jonbirch says:

    jf… hmmmm… you missed out some questionable stuff about martin luther king and ghandi and i doubt whether you’d have to scratch the surface too vigorously to find fault in wilberforce. imperfect people in an imperfect world. 600 missions in well over 100 countries, with hospitals and orphanages (whether or not they are all perfect or whether corruption exists, or regardless of my disagreeing with her over contraception etc.) is one hell of a lot more than i’m capable of achieving. :-)

  17. Wulf says:

    I think I’m with Jon on this one. JF, do I sense a case of extreme finger pointing?

  18. JF says:

    I know full well that the world is imperfect and that people are imperfect. I simply have a distaste for the veneration of people who have made this imperfect world even less perfect than it might otherwise be.

    Mother Theresa’s image was carefully cultivated by the church (and leveraged by the then Princess of Wales) but I’m afraid she did precious little (if anything) for poor children in Calcutta and everything for those catholic “missions” that she founded in order to spread more poisoned dogma (e.g. anti-contraception and therefore more poverty-bound children) around the world. This was done with money (a lot of it stolen) donated by people who were probably thinking it would go to the poor, not to the church.

    If that is heroic, then I am misunderstanding the concept.

    I am humbled by the thought of the work carried out by nameless volunteers for organisations like Oxfam and Medicins sans Frontiers. who give so much and demand nothing in return. Oxfam are truly in the business of trying to put people in a position where they no longer need aid. This is the top rung of the eight degrees of charity.

    Maimonides wouldn’t even recognise what Mother Theresa did as ‘charity’ at all. She simply feathered the catholic nest.

  19. beckyw says:

    @18 jf, I would be interested to know how you can be so sure about Oxfam, Medicins Sans Frontiers and Mother Theresa? Have you been involved in these places or with the organisations mentioned?

  20. jonbirch says:

    hey jf… i’d say your view is an extreme and polarised one. the truth, i suspect is somewhere in the middle. there is also a pretty careful and calculated undoing of mother teresa’s legacy too… the catholic church has enemies (sometimes with good reason), but don’t for one second think that the undoers don’t have their own agenda. and what of the ‘nameless volunteers’ working in those orphanages… should they not get an honourable mention?
    you could equally criticise both ghandi and martin luther king. or do you take the view that catholicism is only bad and nothing else?

  21. JF says:

    Wikipedia is certainly not the be-all-and-end-all of factual knowledge, but its page on Mother Theresa seems well sourced and would be a good starting point to read about her life and the controversies it contained.

    The two charities I named (as examples) are similary written up on Wikipedia as a starting point for further reading. Their own websites also state their aims and give details of their work. Their accounts are also in the public domain (unlike Mother Theresa’s!).

    Sorry to report that my beliefs about these organisations are not entirely based on first hand experience (does that matter?!) although I assure you I have read a little beyond Wikipedia…!

  22. jonbirch says:

    the wiki ref for mother theresa is, i would say, pretty balanced. i found it interesting reading what bob geldof had to say about her in his book.

  23. JF says:

    Yes, Jon, the nameless volunteers in MT’s orphanages may certainly have been selflessly trying to save lives and offer comfort to the sick and poor, while receiving little in the way of funding from the organisation itself. I am not denigrating charity, but could not help but bridle at Mother Teresa herself getting any more ill-deserved veneration than she already got in her lifetime.

    Sure, people are imperfect… so should we have imperfect people as “heroes”? I wouldn’t. Maybe Ryan Giggs… :-)

    As for the catholic church… definitely not “only bad”, but considering what it claims for itself, it is far, far short of being good enough for purpose. Shamefully so. Needs to sit in the naughty corner for a while!

  24. jonbirch says:

    i’m afraid i do have a few heroes… all of them imperfect… dennis bergkamp, anyone? :-) anyone who i find inspires me to be, or want to be, a bit better than i actually am.

  25. Andy Dodwell says:

    I really like the ‘um’ in the cartoon- its like the speaker is trying hard not to be an extremist in advocating peace… ‘i really appreciate the sincerity of your extremism…but could you maybe lay it aside?’

    And i agree with linus (no6)- its comfort we all too often crave when we ask for peace… and discomfort we’re often not willing to endure as the path to deeper peace…

  26. jonbirch says:

    andy… your punchline which you put in quotes is better than mine. :-)

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