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August 18, 2006

Between pop music and the Puritans I am not neutral

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Writing for The New Republic Online, Elspeth Reeve has attracted attention and criticism for her defense of Ann Coulter. While the Flea's comment section has been a bit muted this August holiday season, I would like to deflect any Coulter-themed bun fights as I have no interest in defending her pronouncements or indeed Reeve's defense of them.

Excepting this bit of the apologia which is spot on.

Writing about her friend's death on September 11, she finished her essay with, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." Wow, that's pretty indefensible. The United States could never--would never--do such a thing. Instead, we've invaded their countries, killed their leaders, and are desperately trying to convert them to secularism. (It's not like mullahs appreciate the difference.)

Reeve's observation has the advantage of being exactly right. First, in the question of the explicit aims of the great ponderous technocratic mass of the Western world's managerial and diplomatic classes. We are fine with Islam provided it is an attenuated strain of the memeplex; an Islam long on colourful folk costumes, possibly some multicultural dance and, we can only pray, cogniscent of the full equality of women. Which is to say to the Puritans among the Ummah, a respect for an Islam which is no Islam at all. Which brings me to the second point of view most often obscured by academics and media authorities alike, that being the perspective of those Muslims who feel threatened not by post-colonialism or poverty but by what we Westerners have become. It is women's liberation, gay marriage and rock and/or roll looming over the Muslim world not the sometimes hokey faith of darkest Red America. The imperialism so troubling to the Taliban is the same which nettled the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School of the 1920s and continues to vex their latter day counterparts. It is this shared hatred and fear of democracy, whiskey and the sexy which brings "progressives", their equally anti-fun Stalinist allies of convenience, white power morons, latter-day Coughlinites and fascist supporters of Hezb'Allah together in street protest.

I continue to believe it is Britney Spears, not bombs, that will win us this war. If not Britney Spears then her sisters in that monstrous regiment of Madonna, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, etc. and so on until the fight is done.

Which brings me in a round about way to my point. If you are a mullah or self-styled sheik at war with the West it is handy to sum up your foes as "Jews and Crusaders". Such have been the Satans of choice since the days of the Recitation. The Jews certainly present no challenge to the categories of a contemporary Nazi/Taliban worldview. Hezb'Allah policy, for example, is to maintain a state of "open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth." Something to remember the next time Hassan Nasrallah is lionized in the streets of Toronto and Montreal. I expect Hezb'Allah must have missed the memo about how anti-Zionism is not anti-semitism.

No, it is the "Crusaders" who must must worry the wrinkled brows of Qom. Michael Moore and Co. may play gotcha when the President misoverestimates the utility of "crusade" as a metaphor but as Crusaders go he is no Lionheart. Every six months the man thwarts the will of Congress by continuing the Clintonite policy of keeping America's embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. If anything is slouching its way to Jerusalem to be born it is taking its sweet time about it. The mullahs and sheiks may look at us awry, squint hopefully and see Templars but in their hearts they know it is a mirage. The West has long since stopped believing in much of anything, let alone the idea that a billion or so Muslims should accept the Trinity. Hell, more than half the Western world has yet to notice the emirs and imams have levied war at all. Blood-curdling threats, thousands massacred on morning television and dozens of niche market snuff videos have failed to convince we ersatz Crusaders to take up the sword.

Then there are the Mohammed cartoons. The greatest indignity, the final insult, the square-on kick to the nuts of the jihadi worldview. Sure, to the West this may have seemed some inexplicable street pantomime of rage directed at the Danes (?) and some Danish newspaper not one in a thousand people outside Denmark had ever heard of. Even now I expect fewer than one in ten Canadians could easily point to Denmark on an unmarked map. How the mullahs must have raged. With a knife to our throats we continue to insist jihad represents inner struggle; even with his dying words Theo van Gogh still managed to suggest, "We can still talk about it!" Talk about soldiering on. Sure, hawks of the blogosphere have long pondered just what it is going to take to convince our fellow citizens to take the jihadis seriously. Now imagine how the jihadis must feel.

"I know," some Twelver devil must have thought, "if they no longer care about their Christ we must hit them where it hurts. We will mock their sacred Holocaust... then they will have to pay attention to us!" But not so fast. While the opening of the Holocaust International Cartoon Contest has attracted passing interest in the press I had to "Google Search" to find any of the cartoons in question. And let me tell you what I found was a disappointment. I was expecting Der Stürmer-grade vitriol at the very least but for the most part the contestants have little to offer beyond undergraduate leftist cant (here is the cartoon index by country) [Oops... wrong list! See below.*]. Sure there are some hook-nosed caricatures, I have mainly found those amongst the Iranian entrants, but for the most part the themes are anti-American and "anti-imperialist". As a for instance, the sole American entrant does not even rise to the level of coherence let alone offense. And as for Uzbek-hopeful, Makhmudjon Eshonkulov's suicide-bomber Easter Island moai statue I can only fall back on formal art criticism and suggest he is "taking the piss". I chose a piece by Cuba's Aristides Hernandez-Ares to illustrate this post both because it is graphically strong and because there is something retro about it in these (hopefully) twilight days of Cuban bondage. Plus freedom is surely a heavy thing for all that it costs a buck-o-five.

This CTV review of the exhibit offers no illustration of the would be offending cartoons though it does make mention of one by Indonesian Tony Thomdean showing "the Statue of Liberty holding a book on the Holocaust in its left hand and giving a Nazi-style salute with the other." Yet when I made my way through to the appropriate page on-line all I find is a broken image link. For all the death threats and war whoops and hooplah only fifty people bothered to turn up to the opening of this cartoonish excrescence. It is enough to make me suspect the mullahs lack the courage of their convictions.

First amendment Update: I note the exhibit has an on-line photogallery which allows unmoderated comments. Just saying.

Coke-sniffing Crusader Update: Kate Moss and Calvin Klein are said to have offended the usual suspects. Good. They will have to pry a naked Kate Moss from my cold dead hands.

*Oops, my bad Update: A Flea-reader writes to observe I am linking to the wrong anti-semitic cartoon contest! Here is the appropriate page, regrettably link-free. This latter fact might underline my belief the Mullahs may be squeamish about publicizing their views too widely to a Western audience. Though it also suggests the Der Stürmer aesthetic may be in full force.

Blue Shirts Update: Is this the face of Canada's only hope for Holocaust Cartoon victory? (with a psychic hat tip to Temujin)

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I sent the following email to Québec/reality-based cartoonist, Marc Pageau and all I got for the trouble was a permanent failure notice from his email server.

Cher M. Pageau,

I notice someone with your name is listed as an entrant to the international Holocaust cartoon contest:

http://www.irancartoon.com/110/index3.htm

As you are a comic artist, it struck me that you might me the same person included in the list. Is it true that you have submitted a comic to the contest? If not, is it possible someone submitted one of your works without your knowledge? If you did make a submission to the contest, would you considering making your entry public? Regrettably, the list of entrants does not currently include links to submissions.

Merci,

Flea

Flea-readers should feel free to consider the non-Holocaust themed cartoons at Pageau's blog and judge for themselves. Non-Canadian Flea-readers should feel free to consider checking the list for their own fellow countrymen; there is no reason the Pageau on the list should take the contest in a walk. Small sidebar to James, Alan and Jay: You have noticed this fellow belongs to the Blogging Alliance of Non Partisan Canadians, right? Feel the pride in non-partisanship!

Hergé at Le Soir Update: Temujin writes with another update. Steve Janke was on this days ago. It turns out the Marc Pageau of the list is the same as the one pictured above. So, who does this guy work for?

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 18, 2006 11:23 AM

Comments

Actually the present bloated state of Britney Spears could probably benefit from a mandatory burqa. Ditto her greasy undergroomed husband.

And Madonna is not winning anything these days unless it's a prize for best drag-queen impersonation of herself.

On all other counts and substantive matters, I agree. =)

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:01 PM

I am relieved you have granted me Paris Hilton. Let there be no fundamental parting of the ways between our analyses of the world situation.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:07 PM

This is another excellent post and one that earns you another gin when we next do meet. But you do raise a question that is within me which I share aware that you may find this shocking in its fundamental conservativeness.

I find the use of "progressive" above to be entirely incorrect. The protest against secular materialism is a form of conservativism that has an ethical root related in one way or another to the pacifism of the Christian faith. We have as the western world, as you say, so abandoned belief that we are in effect advocating what maybe twenty years ago would be considered licence. So it is not the Crusade of one faith against another so much as a Crusade of the secular against the the sacred, a battle that was essentially lost in the Christian West in the 1950s - if not the trenches of WWI - even if the protestant religious right in North America did not get the memo.

Apart from the violence being evoked in this present situation by those who would undo the West, this is an entirely valid tension. The sacred will reject the secular just as the secular rejects the sacred. I acknowledge that on top of this there are levels like the battle between tyranny and democracy which really ought to be the only battle and I also acknowledge that there are other battles being played out that have nothing to do with this, in which category I include the Palestinian question which is a local conundrum over two nations and one parcel of land and so a one-step game of musical chairs with guns. I could acknowledge other things but as this is a statment of my quandry and not my answer I trust you will appreciate my failure to provide other worthy acknowledgements.

So what is my point, the reader might rightly ask right about now. One point is that until we create an attractive place for the religious argument to be played out without violence, it may well only play out with violence. Unless we have a society that allows and understands voluntary use of the burkha in the way that we allow voluntary submission to Mennonite rule, we have to assume that folk will fight for that right to be themselves. I suppose another point is that until we have created an argument that sucessfully deflates the passion over cartooning about Mohammed, we cannot expect that we will not be understood. It will not be enough to encourage folk to embrance secularism anymore than we can ask them to embrace Christ. It is only a poorer faith - which I again acknowledge is rich coming from a guy who runs a beer blog.

But I am reminded of another way than the way of beer and other Faustian delights. The other day I read a post on fighting the jihadists at another inferior spot I will not name and all I could think of posting by way of reply was that in any understanding of the faith that I know, the argument presented in the post was indistinguishable from the words that a character playing the role of Satan in a Dostoyevsky novel. Which is a pretty good indication that I felt I was at a point of fundamental dispair...which I think of as a fairly constant state for the conservative as opposed to the progressive.

I will stop now for your thoughts if you have any and feel free to question my principles as I certainly am.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:12 PM

Two quibbles to be getting on with. First, there is no necessary disjuncture between the sensual and the sacred. I point you to Kama Sutra by way of example. And my Christianity includes William Blake.

Second, and on a related note, there is no necessary opposition between beer and belief. I will be sure to point the next Odinist I meet toward your Good Beer Blog; assuming s/he is not already a reader.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:23 PM

#1 - agreed completely. There is a difference between the profain and the dead sexy as The Song of Solomon proves.

#2 - ditto. I was assuming the whole pagan/Christian thing my clan is into would be thrown in a bit early if I put it in up there. Yet, there is still the question of Coors Light.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:28 PM

Coors Light is clearly Satanic in origin.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:30 PM

The conservative is never in despair, Alan. We are too busy stealing from the poor and jackbooting the oppressed (or as we prefer it, holding down a day job and getting things done) to let clouds intrude on our sunny disposition.

That aside, human civilisation already has an attractive place to fight the battles of sacred vs. secular -- the battlespace of ideas in the public sphere: religious pulpits, print and broadcast media, public debates and legislatures.

The problematic thing is that as the Flea points out, to jihadis the brand of Islam that submits to public-sphere debate and individual interpretation is no form of Islam at all. Their Islam seeks to stand astride the world and will brook no other interpretation.

This is not an argument that non-adherents to Islam can possibly fight and win. The best we can do is to keep the Islamic civil war from spilling over onto our shores, by aiding and abetting the side least inimical to our own secular brand of immamentised eschaton.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:35 PM

Also I invite you to speculate on the conspiracy theory possibilities of Paris Hilton's musical launch on August 22nd and the supposed jihadi immolation of the west on the same date.

There is massive marketing potential there but somehow I doubt Paris's media flacks will use it effectively.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:42 PM

The August 22nd link is blindingly obvious now you point it out. Flea-readers should rest assured a post-Rapture edition is in the works lest I vanish abruptly.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:48 PM

A Flea-reader has just sent me a note suggesting I may be linking to the wrong cartoon contest! Developing...*

*Though possibly not developing terribly quickly. I have to run some errands; back immanently.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:50 PM

I am having GoF admin issues now. I hope you are not under robot attack.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:55 PM

Wow. Self-healing servers.

Anyway, I was going to say that - given I have two cousins working to make Dubai taller and also as I have a kid in soccer who we watch next to a family of another, the ladies in abayas - that there has to be a better answer based on a real relationship. Better than hoping the civil war goes well. That was a poor decision in Spain.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 01:59 PM

The family in abayas has already made something if a choice; at the very least they opted for the prosperity of the West and its debased secularism versus lesser prosperity chained to ascetic fundamentalism.

The question is how do you establish a relationship with fellows across the sea who are guided by a religious duty to be something far less amiable than your pal? This requires them to become infidels by embracing an Islam that is less than all-encompassing. Not too attractive a choice, and I fail to see how we can help them make it in their own homeland -- unless we are prepared to 1) station ourselves in there to protect them from retribution by those who think otherwise, or 2) accept a certain amount of illiberal behavior from them here at home as they acclimise to our cultural norms.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 02:39 PM

1) station ourselves in there to protect them from retribution by those who think otherwise, or 2) accept a certain amount of illiberal behavior from them here at home as they acclimise to our cultural norms.

I think we have gone some way to #1 already and not only in Iraq and Afghanistan but also the Dubais of the world. Probable Lebanon and Somalia would benefit from a measure of it was well.

On #2, I have to accept illiberal behaviour from Mennonites already as they are quite conservative. New Brunswickers, too. As long was we recognize that we will accept other forms of conservatism maybe we will be OK. But that requires our conservatives accepting that they are not the only way, a change of attitude I can never imagine coming forward.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 02:54 PM

Flea: I love your writing, been coming to the flea for several weeks. Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you wrote, if so, sorry, but can you explain to me how Western pop-culture secularism is going to triumph over radical Islam?

Posted by: Joshua H. [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 02:56 PM

Let me amend that to violently illiberal behaviour, Alan. There is no analogue between pacifist Mennonites and decidedly unpacifist jihadis. They may both have decidedly illiberal behaviour, but only one of those religious groups has shown any inclination to take up arms if you happen to disagree with their illiberalism.

I think it is safe to say that homegrown conservatives are willing to accept many forms of imported conservatism so long as the practice of such does not materially affect the safety and security of non-conservatives. On that there can be zero compromise with anyone, and that is the root of the issue -- not mere acceptance of other illiberal religious beliefs.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 03:10 PM

Agreed that violent jihadism is the anti-Chirst (or, on an instant's reflection, whatever is a better way of putting it) but, then, ought we not only fight for the moderate, tolerent and diverse democracy but actively proselytize as well? I say get into the marketplace of ideas and do not leave it to pop media to do it for us. We cannot wait to see who wins the civil war and cannot take this on armed with Britney Spears. That would take, however, a determination that the moral relatism in secular material consumerism is not the strongest suit the west has, though it make take some reflection and revision...or reversion even.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 03:25 PM

Hi Joshua, I am glad you are enjoying the Flea. First, I hope you will allow me to back-pedal a bit. I should have said Britney Spears AND bombs but my rhetoric overtook me.* We may have many more Iwa Jimas ahead. My point is that a military win - even the string of them thusfar - are insufficient to defeating jihadism. What we need to do is destroy, or at the least enervate, their ideology and way of life. This critically includes women having access to the work-place, a formal education, etc. and alongside this all the small freedoms we take for granted.

It is my conviction that, given any choice whatsoever, most people have always are are likely to always choose somthing in the vein of booze, gambling and babes over sobriety and straight-backed pews. Not everybody, certainly, but certainly most people. The reason the West presents such a threat to the jihadis is that our popular culture offers temptations too numerous to mention. Most of these temptations have become so commonplace to us we no longer even think of them as temptations; having a nice green lawn, for instance. Remember, one spur to this latest uptick in centuries of war against the West was Sayyid Qutb's visit to that hotbed of sin, 1950s Colorado. Even the Taliban could not entirely stamp out their fighters' habit of listening to (forbidden) Hindi (forbidden) music on their (forbidden) radios. In a free-market of ideas - in even a radically skewed market of ideas - what the West has to offer is so much better than the medieval austerities of our opponents I am convinced our victory is inevitable. Let us hope our children do not have to endure several centuries of occupation first.

*By a peculiar reflection of our English tongue, Britney Spears use to BE the bomb, but that is another story.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 03:52 PM

On first blush I would like to agree with you... and on the face of it it seems unlikely that Britney Spears is going to win any devout Muslims to the cause of secular democracy.

What might is someone with Islamic religious legitimacy; not an Irshad Manji but an Ayatollah Sistani. But by the jihadis own internal logic, a Muslim cleric arguing for an Islam with smaller purview (i.e. an Islam of the mind and spirit and not territories and principalities) loses whatever legitimacy he had prior to making such a statement.

I don't think any jihad-inclined clerics will start making the hearts and minds argument until it becomes manifestly clear that winning the territory and principalities of the West is simply not going to happen no matter how much blood is spilled. But getting that lesson imprinted on the subconscious might take a hundred years of fighting and an awful lot of bloodletting. Christianity took a while to take it to heart, too.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 03:59 PM

Sorry my brain is fried after a long week. I meant that any Muslim cleric arguing for an Islam with smaller purview (i.e. an Islam of the mind and spirit and not territories and principalities) loses whatever legitimacy he had after making such a statement ...

And while I agree with the Flea that young people will generally flock to the cool grooves and hot babes, there are certainly periods of the West's own history that show we can also be inclined to bursts of religious enthusiasm and publicly-enforced piety (like say Prohibition). This is a propensity of the human spirit, not so much a failing of any one particular faith -- although the highly evangelistic faiths of Christianity and Islam are more doctrinally vulnerable to it than others.

I would argue that we need not just bombs and Britney but Muslim clerics of our own to make the argument that one can be a devout Muslim abiding in a decadent society, limiting any jihad to the battlesapce of ideas -- and in so doing remain a true Muslim and not a corrupted traitor to the faith.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:09 PM

Another fine post!

Posted by: Montieth [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:12 PM

I am all in favour of right on Muslim clerics and look forward to the day the whole proposition has descended to the level of farce embodied by the Church of England. That said, I think the response of the common people to Prohibition rather supports my argument (not to mention Canada's valiant role in that chapter of American history). H.L. Mencken has a great piece on the subject of prohibitions against cigarettes in rural America being grounded in the conviction that pipes were manly while cigarettes were something smoked by the wrong sort of people in New York City. Just as soon as the boys came back as cigarette smokers from WWI the bans were lifted without comment; but such is the effect of "gay Paree".

I would also like to point to the end of the Protectorate in England. It is not as though the common people were thrilled by the royal family but they rather liked the idea of once again being able to enjoy the simple, non-Puritan pleasures of Christmas and bear-baiting. I am not saying pop culture is pretty, only that it is a semiotic steamroller.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:16 PM

While I am moving my Risk pieces around the board I should add that our strategy is doomed so long as the oilfields remain in the hands of the Iranian mullahs and our supposed allies in Riyadh. We have thusfar been resolute (more or less) in liberating the Ruhr and the Sudetenland but are for some reason mystified at Nazi fighters crossing in from Prussia. Dispense with Prussian arms and treasure and the picture may be set to change dramatically.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:22 PM

I've swallowed my paranoia so I can point out that Tommy Thomdean's (real) Holocaust entry can be found here. I found it via the brilliant method of substituting Tommy-Thomdean-Indonesia for Gatto-Alessandro-Italy in this URL. Unfortunately, that's the only one of the listed participants that trick seems to work for (although I only gave it the old kindergarten try).

Posted by: Angie Schultz [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:25 PM

Angie: Thanks first for letting me know I was reviewing the wrong cartoons! Second, thanks for this latest direction and third, thanks for signing on to my infuriating comments registration system. I went with TypeKey because I had already signed up so I could leave snarky remarks at INDC Journal. I thought TypeKey would take off but I am not certain how many people are using it...

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:29 PM

Could we maybe bring back bear-baiting but substitute hippos instead? They are the worst sort of bloodthirsty carnivore hiding in blubbery, somnolescent herbivore clothing. Where do I get the forms to declare a hippo fatwa?

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 04:46 PM

If that is some sort of crack against me I can assure you that I have begun the winter sit-up program.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 06:12 PM

Thanks again Flea.

I thought I detected some Churchillian flare in your post title, along the lines of "I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire."

Posted by: The_Campblog [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 07:39 PM

I knew I could rely on you to catch the reference, Mike!

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 08:08 PM

And a quick perusal of Pageau's comments at AngryGWN shows he is trying to be non-partisan.

But he comes off sounding a little non-sensical, IMO.

Posted by: Temujin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 09:01 PM

His comments do have that distinctive reality-based feel to them. The man is obviously ashamed of his submission or I expect it would be posted somewhere obvious at his blog. Unless there is some obscure regulation that governs Holocaust denial cartoon contests preventing him from sharing it until September.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 09:09 PM

He seems to enjoy employing the "free speech" defense. I'll be the first to defend a persons right to free speech, but my preference would be rational, intelligent free speech, even if I disagree with the viewpoint (case in point: GenX!).

As opposed to blind hatred and personal attacks:

http://acecartoonpilot.blogspot.com/2004/10/real-almighty-god.html
http://acecartoonpilot.blogspot.com/2004/08/god-bless-america.html

Posted by: Temujin [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 09:25 PM

Must I be partisan amongst my non-partisans?

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 11:08 PM

I must have missed the Canadian political party that is in favour of Holocaust denial...

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 11:15 PM

What a grand post flea. And dead right comments as well.

I am not at all sure I'd back Britney as the soverign cure for jihadis; rather I would back the fact that in the West we long since ceased giving a rat's ass. Or, more specifically, we have developed the capacity to laugh long and hard at people who insist that Ms. Spears is the end of civilization as we know it.

The huge problem in the Medieval world of the mullahs is that they think any of this matters. Let's face it, a serious God would have cracked up at the Danish cartoons and damned to Hell any bunch of lunatics who thought killing 3000 people with technology they barely understood was a good thing.

Our mistake in the West may well be that we treat these people as adults. Why should we? They have slearly demonstrated the behaviour patterns of three year olds denied a toy.

Pop culture is inherently ironic. Ms. Spears in her school girl uniform was making fun of the pervy bastards trying to look up her skirt...or at at least the director was. We know stuff here in the West. Useless, silly, ineffectual stuff and how to make a 747.

I'm afraid that I have come to the conclusion that the seething Arab street and the jihadis and the Islamofascists need to be given the contempt we have reserved for our own dangerous baffoons like Mussolini and (the still dead) General Franco.

Perhaps the tragedy of Islam is that Ahmadinejad looks a bit like Yogi Bear. But it is also the West's most basic defense.

There is no reconciling the Koran's demand for the slaughter of Jews and pigs with any sort of Western, liberal, tradition. Nor should we make the least effort to make such reconcilliation.

It is long past time for the West to say: "Right, you people need to get a grip. You need your own Reformation and, more to the point, Enlightenment. You need to drag your dreary asses out of elegies for a lost 13th century and get with the program. You will be running out of oil in fifty years and clout sooner than that. The Chinese and the Indians are eating your lunch. You are a pathetic, violent, sad bunch of people and the sooner you igure out how to live in the future rather than the past the sooner you will stop having to use your babies as sandbags."

As if.

Posted by: Jay Currie [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 02:37 AM

Hello!

This is me, the horrrrible Québécois cartoonist who dares to enter an International Holocaust Cartoon Contest in Iran that narrow-minded people would rapidly identify to evilllll!!!

Bewaaaaarrrrre! I will contaminatttte aaaalllll of yoooouuuu!!!


;0)

Seriously, I will answer all of your question if you have some.

My e-mail is also available on my blog for those who wants to communicate with me!

Thanks for your attention!

Posted by: Marc Pageau [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 10:01 AM

Hi Marc, thanks for stopping by. You could start by posting your cartoon entry to your blog. I assume you do not believe you have anything to be ashamed about, after all. Plus, posting your cartoon would allow your fellow Canadians to see what humour you managed to find in the mechanized slaughter of millions of Jews. While you are at it, perhaps your wit might extend to the massacre of the Roma or medical experiments on gay men and twins.

Not to prejudge your work.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 10:12 AM

And I much prefer Québec to Alberta so you can spare us your identity politics: That dog won't hunt around here.*

*But for the rest of you, please feel free to mock Alberta.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 10:16 AM

I was overly clever or at least attempting cleverness beyond my reach. When I wrote "[m]ust I be partisan amongst my non-partisans?" I meant "must I identify equally with all of those others who do not identify with partisan political politics?"

That is the problem with non-allignment, I suppose - people take it for a movement with it is really just disorganized reaction...which is pretty much my lot in life, come to think of it.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 08:34 PM

I think you are asking the wrong question. I do not belong to a political party and so am in some technical sense non-partisan. That said, I do not belong to the same blog-group as a guy who has submitted four cartoons to a Holocaust denial competition.

So, the fact the blog group is called the alliance of non-partisan something or other pretty much makes no odds to me.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 08:37 PM

I think you have it.

Posted by: Alan McLeod [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2006 09:13 PM