Monday, February 06, 2006
Post Super Bowl Musings.
Hola Amigos. It's been a while since I blogged at youse, and here is a quick rundown of the news: Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy has submitted the biggest budget in history. And this guy is the new House of Representatives Majority Leader. And Attorney General Abu Gonzales "explained" why it is necessary for his criminally insane boss to illegally spy on ordinary Americans.
But I’m not here to discuss these matters right now. Instead I’ll focus on a string of email messages that confronted me when I logged in at my wage-slavery containment facility. The first message was sent by a colleague in the technical support center, and it dealt with the recent controversy surrounding the cartoon of the prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb on his head. This colleague opined that the Muslim community are A) a bunch of crybabies, B) a bunch of savages, and C) we’d all be better off if Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy would stop being such a thumb-sucking, bed-wetting fairy and bomb the shit out of each and every one of them because of what they did to us on September 11, 2001.
Mr. Colleague copied at least thirty (30) people on this initial message, some of whom I know well, most of whom I either barely know, or don’t know at all. One of the recipients, fed this fresh red meat, replied back with a “HELL YEAH!” style message, which was picked up on by a couple of others who felt the same way, and who added their own twisted twists on the matter, such as "I will not be subservient to their religion", as if that was what was actually at stake.
Mr. Colleague’s son also replied, but his was, in my view, a fairly solid and articulate repudiation of the previous messages. Well that got a reaction from the first respondent who basically came back at Colleague Jr. with an incoherent ad hominem attack.
I dislike this type of communication because it is A) almost never constructive, and B) it distracts one from doing one’s wage-slavery assignments. However, I did reply solely to Colleague Jr. to let him know that he was not alone, and to hang in there, all the while tossing the various thoughts around my head that will eventually make up the meat of this post. But I do feel a need to reply, and what better forum to make my statement than this humble blog.
So, in the immortal words of Jules from Pulp Fiction in the memorable early scene in the apartment, “Well, allow me to RETORT!!!”
Point A from the initial message: To react with outrage at the fact that one’s country is under attack for the flimsiest reasons is NOT being a crybaby, it is stone cold sanity. The insane ones are the ones attacking a nation that had nothing to do with the events of September 11, 2001. The idiotic dream the Bush team sold us about how we would be greeted with flowers and songs has been as far from the grim reality of what has happened as you could possibly get, but somehow, the message has yet to be received by these people.
Point B from the initial message: These "savages" are descended from a people who had a flourishing culture that was miles ahead of its European counterparts in the arts and sciences. They were master architects, and, unlike their opponents in the Crusades, showed much more tolerance for other faiths in the lands they occupied. That is not to say that at times those people did not commit what we would view as atrocities, but rather, to say that on the scale of things, the Crusaders acted with much more savagery and cruelty than their Muslim foes. Example: Beginning in 1209 the Albigensian Crusade was launched to exterminate an entire group of French CHRISTIANS. These were the Cathars, and they were brutally massacred by their fellow countrymen and brothers in Christ, so please, if you want to examine savagery Mr. Colleague, you don’t need to look at the horrors perpetrated by other faiths when the Christian faith has more than enough to go around.
Point C from the initial passage: We attacked a country that had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11, 2001. That fact cannot be repeated often enough. Osama bin Laden is still at large (which is why Abu G was selling his line about the Preznit needing to illegally spy on Americans). Saddam Hussein, while a monster, was OUR monster. We set him up with a shitload of weapons and turned a blind eye to his excesses in savagery because he was fighting Iran. The first Gulf War neutralized him, but that wasn’t good enough after September 11th. Saddam was a diminished, convenient target, and the Fox News crowd got right in line with Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy on his neat little Mesopotamian adventure. Of course, now that he has completely fucked things up in Iraq, that country is now a powder keg. The only reason the people who still support this travesty of war do so is because it makes them feel good to push around someone weaker than themselves. I feel quite certain that, if the positions were reversed, and that if WE were the ones dying by the dozens every day, that this attitude would somehow be a bit different.
There really isn’t much more to add than that. I have no hope of swaying Mr. Colleague, Mr. First Replier, or the others, one of whom is a close friend, that their positions are frighteningly similar to those held in what we would consider fascist regimes. They delight in the use of the ad hominem attack, the empty slogan, the attack on those who even slightly disagree with imperial policy, and a complete and utter distaste for rational analysis. It is almost as if they try to outdo each other to see who can act with the least amount of tolerance to an idea that they find to deviate even one-tenth of one percent from the norm.
I’ve purposely avoided the religious component of this story, because that isn’t really what this story is about. It is about intolerance, pure and simple. And the irony of Coretta Scott King’s death last week only serves to underscore just how little we have advanced in the area of tolerance. For all of America’s supposed enlightenment and sophistication, we still find ourselves far too easily manipulated by ugly little men who pretend to have easy answers about how to deal with the boogeymen they claim are ready to pounce and devour us. I can’t imagine a god or goddess who would look kindly on their creations under such sad conditions.