Now Reading
Claytoonz: Burning down the Maus

Note: This story is more than 1 year old.

Claytoonz: Burning down the Maus

"Maus" is a graphic novel about the Holocaust by Art Spiegelman. It’s very dark and disturbing, you know because it’s about the Holocaust. A proxy for the author is a mouse who interviews his mouse father about his experience in the Holocaust. The Nazis are depicted as cats. The McMinn County school board in Tennessee has pulled the book from the eighth-grade curriculum because they believe either eighth-graders are too young to learn about the Holocaust, they want to protect Nazis because 60 percent of the country are Trumpers, or they’re all cat people.

Trip advisors advise that the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. is fine for 12-year-olds, though there are parts of the museum that has been determined safe for ages as young as eight. I think kids in the eighth grade would be fine with learning about the Holocaust from "Maus." In fact, I think that’s an excellent way to start being educated on the subject. Besides, kids in the eighth grade have the Internet. They all have smartphones…OK, maybe not in Hooterville, Tenn., but I bet they at least have Animal Planet and they’ve seen how giraffes jump on top of each other. I bet half of them have seen Inglourious Basterds. If they can handle giraffe sex and Brad Pitt bashing Nazis’ brains in with baseball bats, then they can handle "Maus."

Can the school board in Tennessee at least appreciate the irony of banning books about people who banned books? Hello? Is anyone home?

The Tennesse troglodytes aren’t the only thuglicans running amuck. Neil Young has been standing on his principles for decades, long before Joe Rogan realized he could turn a failed acting career into a successful racist conspiracy-theory-spreading podcast career. And now, the troglodytes have canceled Neil Young in favor of Joe Rogan.

Many years ago, Mr. Young wrote a song called “Southern Man” which covered racism in the southern United States. The song was so strong that it pissed off Lynyrd Skynyrd who wrote the greatest answer song in music history, “Sweet Home, Alabama.” Funny enough, there was never a feud between Young and Skynyrd. They had fun taking shots at each other but were actually friends and fans of each others’ music. Lynyrd Skynyrd defended the South, but also wrote their share of anti-racism songs, and at least one anti-gun song. I digress. The point is, Neil Young has principles.

Now, Spotify is singing it doesn’t need Mr. Young around anyhow, because Old Neil put her down.

Neil Young demanded that Spotify remove his music from their service unless they removed Joe Rogan’s racist and ignorant podcast, which Spotify had just signed to an exclusive multi-gazongo million-dollar deal. Rogan’s podcast is wildly popular and might be the number-one podcast in the nation, and in close competition with Steve Bannon’s among racists. Neil Young has written great music for decades and has influenced bands like Pearl Jam, but it’s not like the kids are buying his albums anymore. C’mon, he’s 76. So, guess which one Spotify picked.

Despite moving poisonous content from its platform in the past, Spotify chose to stick with Rogan and his racist conspiracy theories. Did you catch the show earlier this week when white Joe Rogan led a rant explaining what does and does not define a Black person? According to Rogan, they can only come from the “deepest and darkest” places of Africa. But yeah, Spotify kicked Mr. Young to the curb. But so what? Give us some more of those Rogan explanations why African Americans aren’t Black people, Spotify. That’s good stuff (this is heavy sarcasm, slow kids).

Of course, all the cancel-culture whining mofos are in euphoria over this. They’re still pissed off at Mr. Young for denigrating racists in “Southern Man.”

I’m a casual fan of Neil Young’s music. I’m a bigger fan of the person he is. I was in a band once that played a pretty good version of “Down by the River” and I was in another band that played a crappy version of “Rocking in the Free World.” I love a lot of his music, most of all, “Harvest Moon,” which I covered all by myself on acoustic guitar. Neil Young kicks ass. I just realized that I’m not a casual fan of his music. I’m a huge fan. And being a sloppy guitar player, I should be.

Neil Young has what we’re lacking in this nation. Principles, ethics, and dignity. He stood his ground and lost money. Spotify traded in its principles for profit and in the process, contributed so much ignorance and poison to the nation. And who said the Swedes can’t be capitalists? Ban books? We need to bring in more books that are disturbing and educational. We need more education, not less. There are too many Joe Rogans out there and not enough Neil Youngs. Hey, have the Tennessee goons banned Neil Young’s “Southern Man” yet?

I hope Spotify will remember that a cartoonist man don’t need them around anyhow.

Music Note: It was Neil Young. Duh.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at

— 30 —

Top headlines

Best in Internet Exploder