Thursday, 10 January 2008

52 - Church outing 1987 (part 2)

When the General Synod convened, the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie refused to be railroaded by extremists. Instead the Synod was led to take a moderate approach which effectively fell between two stools. The Synod condemned “homosexual genital acts”, but refused to approve any expulsion of homosexual clergy from the Church. So homosexuals got a public beating from the church, but homosexual clergy got to keep their jobs. As “The Sun” so charmingly summed it up the next day, “Pulpit Poofs must stay”.

Stanley Franklin in “The Sun”, 13 November 1987
Stanley Franklin goes for the transvestite motif, and also gets to reuse the “Sun”’s own blatantly offensive phrase. Why think up something new when you can whip up someone else’s thick-witted second-hand vitriol.

Michael Cummings in “The Daily Express”, 13 November 1987
Michael Cumming’s strikes a slightly more moralistic tone. References to Sodom and Gomorrah being slightly more up market. Lot’s Wife is a strangely superfluous and touch, although I suppose it’ll jog the memory of any who can’t quite get what the caption is alluding to. Archbishop Runcie is the driver of the confessional car. This is about the only cartoon to put the event in any sort of context for the Church of England, and what it signifies for Runcie’s leadership. The rest just go for easy comic stereotypes about poofs. Cummings has though chosen to go for the twinkly eyed theatrical stereotype of homosexual.

Mac (Stan McMurtry) in “The Daily Mail”, 13 November 1987
Not an actual homosexual in sight. Just a comic situation. Although it could suggest that homosexuals are so predatory even young bridegrooms have no powers of resistance, or just that she had the wrong sort of taste in men. Anyway, if that’s the way Mac draws his matronly women, no wonder his transvestites look so damn odd.

Bernard Cookson in “The Sun”, 16 November 1987
I honestly don’t know whether to be offended or just contemptuous.

Jak (Raymond Jackson) “Evening Standard”, 16 November 1987
Again, 26 years later JAK reverts to the same blatant show of big-titted heterosexuality to sweep away the gayness as he did in #21
An interesting piece of gossip about JAK. You’ll notice the cartoon conspicuously features “Benson & Hedges” and “C.S.T Wholesale Meat” – which are both real business enterprises. You might think this is just for a touch of realism. But it was revealed that companies who featured in JAK’s cartoons would then buy the originals at surprisingly high rates, so that the companies were effectively rewarding JAK for advertising their brands in his work.

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