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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who cranked the Hyperbole setting to “11”?

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom."

-Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays (1950), "Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

I am thinking the blogosphere is ripe with content about the Danish editorial cartoon debacle. I am trying very hard to empathize with the people who are protesting so vigoursly against those cartoons. Are these the same cartoons that put the black man in his place when slavery was legal in North America? Is this akin to the propaganda used so effectively during the world wars to demonize enemies?

What is making this difficult to simply come out on one side or the other is the overarching systemic structure that is surrounding this issue. It is the internal superstructure of culture ideals that may be obfuscating the truth in this feverish series of events?

My first instinct is to decry the violence that is being perpetrated by the protesters. Who cranked their Hyperbole setting to “11”? Good heavens. It is just a cartoon. A cartoon in poor taste indeed, but is it worth threatening the western world with another 9/11 (even considering that the US has perpetrated multiple “9/11’s” as a vital force in its foreign policy over the years)? It just seems all so grossly overblown and out of proportion.

I think a little insight into one of the precursor issues that has not been examined is that these cartoons came out on September 30th of last year. Where was the furor then? Why the almost 4 month lag-time from printing to protest? I’m hypothesizing that when the media initially published the cartoons they were probably just taken for what they are, a visual commentary in bad taste, especially so in the Muslim community. However, once organized religion got its pernicious meat hooks into the cartoons, amazingly now we have uproar and riots in the streets. Fomenting righteous anger requires time and dedication, a system to spread the wrath. The addition of an organized religious pulpit, always an egregiously wonderful event, to whip the masses into the frothing frenzy, once again completes the dark circle of religion. (The religious right in North America does this all the time… Terri Schiavo etc.)

This was not supposed to be my next article on how religion makes the world a worse place to be, but lo and behold! Poof! It has become the much talked about part 2.


Blogger Richard said...

"I am trying very hard to empathize with the people who are protesting so vigoursly against those cartoons [ ... ] Who cranked their Hyperbole setting to '11'? Good heavens."

Your moral relativism runneth over. Hyperbole? Hyperbole is when you say you want to burn my house down, but you have no intention of really doing it. They are actually torching buildings for this, people have already died, and I don't for a minute think their death threats against cartoon writers and press publishers are for emphasis purposes only. "Good heavens," you say? Nothing stronger than good heavens?

7:26 p.m.

Blogger Richard said...

UPDATE: Via UK Telegraph: "A Turkish teenager arrested yesterday for the murder of an Italian priest reportedly said he had been angered by the cartoons. The 16-year-old suspect was reported to be carrying a 9mm pistol when arrested in the Black Sea port of Trabzon. Andrea Sartoro, a 61-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was killed on Sunday as he prayed in a church that serves the city's tiny Christian community."

"Witnesses said the killer shouted "God is Great" in Arabic before firing two bullets into the priest's back."

Good heavens.

9:52 p.m.

Blogger Sardeth said...

Would the situation be any different if the roles would be reversed? What if instead of the Prophet being rendered, we had 9/11 cartoons. Would the feverish clamor and calls for death/revenge be any less tumultuous? Would it be justified?

Getting past the standard knee-jerk reactions and thoughtfully contemplating issues is important when dealing with charged issues such as this.

Perhaps before grandiloquently posting on the purported weaknesses of a post, one should take the time to consider the cultural framework we exist in, lest one be guilty of cultural relativism.

10:48 a.m.


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