Buggery in the news

Seems you can hardly open a newspaper in this part of the world these days without being confronted by the sight of grown men fucking like dogs. First the Indonesians were doing it:


Now the Australians are getting into the action:


Much is being made of the portrayal of the leaders of Australia and Indonesia (and an anonymous West Papuan) as rutting dogs, but isn’t there a fait whiff of homophobia about these ‘toons? The depiction of homosexual sexual activity is deliberately intended to offend; the implication is that gays are unclean, despised creatures.

Rakyat Merdeka (People’s Freedom) is, we’re told by media reports, an “Islamic-leaning” newspaper, so I guess we have to take their insult with a grain of salt (and, in any case, it could be argued that the Indonesia artist has quite clearly drawn Howard and Downer as dogs, while Bill Leak’s figures have nothing canine about them).

I’m sanguine about this — these are cartoons, after all, and it’s the nature of that business to lampoon and, sometimes, offend. But I wonder why no-one else seems to have noticed that Rakyat Merdeka‘s rutting dogs have been subtly transformed into sodomites in The Australian‘s far-from-subtle response.