Cartoon by Bill Leak, published on 21/09/16 in The Australian
A possible national referendum on same-sex marriage is being considered in Australia for 2017. The opposition has already announced that it will block the referendum on the grounds that the Bill must be passed in Parliament. The latest polls say that almost 60% of Australians support same-sex marriage
And Bill Leak had no better idea than to compare the activists to Nazis. It is understood that, by extension, to the whole collective. Something that now seems to be the latest fashionable official resort to the crude and gratuitous attack.
I think it’s time to find a specific name for the idiots who can’t find a better argument than to relate everything they dissent from, are uncomfortable with or annoy them with Nazism. Although plain idiot might do the trick.
The cartoonist depicts them parading as members of the Waffen-SS. They wear the colours of the LGBTI flag and carry a spiked bat over their shoulders. He also adds the caption “SSM”, same sex marriage.
I don’t know if anyone can make sense of it. The hidden twist of social criticism or even the direction of the joke (if that was his intention) in this drawing, let him know.
And the response was the usual, he was showered with criticism for homophobia, racism, and blowhardness.
One of the best reviews was given by the comedian Ben McLeay in his article “The joke”For Bill Leak’s benefit: Why it’s not okay to compare gay people to Nazis”
I think it all boils down to something very simple. Bill Leak has got the hang of the bottomless provocation and exploits it because it works. And because both the author and the medium see results in these recurring polemics.
Moreover, Bill Leak usually justifies himself by pulling a contradictory template argument: “it’s simply about having a civilised debateon a sensitive subject that is being silenced by rabid opposition and censorship”.
In other words, as it is a sensitive subject, he shits on the subject and its protagonists and already has arguments to label his reactions as rabid.
In August, Bill Leak already had his share of polemic for another cartoon for which, on 19 September 2016, Survival International, an organisation that defends the rights of indigenous and tribal peoples, included him among the four nominees for their racist of the year award.
While on that occasion there were some options left for satirical advocacy, on this trip I think Bill Leak has run out of saddlebags.
Related: too many cases in other countries