Archive - Feb 10, 2006

Toon In, Turn Out, Shut Up

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Let me begin by stating the obvious. Rioting and burning shit down over an editorial cartoon is fucking dumb. Editorial cartoons are a stagnant, nearly-worthless art form so entrenched in their stylistic rut, antiquated form factor, and caricatures of elephants and donkeys that they should be ignored.

And I don't give a damn whether the Danes were going out of their way to be insulting, or if the Syrians are going out of their way to act pissed off. That's a topic best left for complete dickheads to argue about. I'm much busier with my own personal conundrum right now. Two established principles of You Are Dumb Dot Net are at loggerheads here.

The first is the Guilt By Association Principle, which states that if you are willingly affiliated with a group (nerds, Southerners, game geeks, Catholics, etc.) that you don't get to bitch too loudly when you get lumped in with the majority of the group that engages in less-than-optimal behavior.

The second is the Edina Principle, named after a whitey-white suburb of Minneapolis, but applies universally - people who write letters to the editor bitching about Muslims are fuckin' idiots.

You see the problem here? What the letterfucks are doing are essentially applying the GBAP to Muslims, anytime any number of Muslims do something stupid or violent. But they're doing it to such a degree, in such an obnoxious and, frankly, racist way, that they still deserve the kick to the nutsack.

Case in point: Rev. Michael Stelmach, a Catholic Priest in Minneapolis: ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"We are told by the adherents of Islam that it is a religion of peace. But in the past few days, Muslims have shown the West that Islam is a religion of intolerance and hatred. It seems that many Muslims have betrayed the very faith that they are standing up for."

OK, first of all, could we agree to hold Islam to the same standard of living up to its PR that we offer to presidents and toothpaste? Is that too fucking much to ask? Every time an incident happens, some smug motherfucker has to break out "I thought Islam was a religion of PEACE". Yeah. Jews never shoot people, Christians never get in bar fights, and Buddhists don't get cranky on Mondays. There haven't been any outright "religions of war" since the pantheons went out of fashion.

These are not religious riots. You notice any American Muslims burning shit down? No, you do not. Hell, in Denmark, where the cartoons were published, it hasn't been that bad. These are not religious riots. They are geopolitical riots. They are cultural riots. The fact of the matter is, for good or ill, it's a lot tougher to get ANYONE to riot in the West, no matter what the religion or provocation. So you can take your "oh ho ho I've caught Islam in a contradiction, guess they'll have to all convert to contradiction-free Midwestern Catholicism" bullshit and shove it up your mitre.

Same day, next letter, SAME FUCKING MISTAKE:

"It is about time we expose Muslims across the world for who they are -- oppressive and against any freedoms or democracy." - Leslie Fitzgerald Doll, of Burnsville. Muslims ACROSS THE WORLD. All of 'em oppressive, all of 'em against freedoms and democracy, even the ones here that just go to work and vote. I might as well extend Leslie the same courtesy and assume that, based on her last name, she lacks genitalia and goes around giving young girls body-image complexes.

And since we've got people on their high horse, we can't possibly escape without a taste of the old "We're victims too, but we handle it with grace and dignity" canard from the horribly persecuted majority, here represented by Bruce Montgomery of St. Paul:

"And, since we're talking about insults, look at the cover of the current Rolling Stone with rapper Kanye West dressed to look like Jesus Christ and see what Christians have to put up with."

In other words, implying that your religion's prophet is a black rapper is just as bad as implying that another religion's prophet is smuggling bombs in his hat. That tells me a bit more about Mr. Montgomery than I really wanted to know.

Hm. I seem to have resolved my dilemma. Thank goodness for my guiding truth - even if they may try to wield the same rhetorical weapons I employ daily, stupid people still piss me off.