Monday, January 30, 2006

From Now On, We Only Run The Family Circus

Danish citizens all over the Middle East are being attacked because a Danish newspaper ran some satirical cartoons of Muhammad, including this one:

This is so depressing. How do we expect to build a democracy in a part of the world where the idea of free speech is so non-existent? In the Arab world, the individual hardly seems to exist at all as a philosophical construct. Why else would you blame an entire nation and its government for the speech of an autonomous individual or organization like a newspaper? Does the concept of autonomy from the state even exist in the Middle East?

Maybe the only thing more depressing is how quickly some of the Danes in this article agreed with censorship. When the right talks about "political correctness run amok" in America, unless they are standing within the city limits of Berkeley or Cambridge, they are usually full of shit. But one wonders about Europe sometimes. I know it's polite not to offend, and the Danes are usually very polite, but when radicals half a world away are dictating what you can or cannot run in your newspapers, you are giving up something very precious, a very sense of the long tradition of the enlightenment values that should animate you.

Besides, who could really hate the Danes?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m completely appalled! Who would have the audacity to print such filth? Would anyone seriously believe that the author of this horrible picture qualifies for the Richard Pryor Exemption ? Oh I’m sorry, they are making fun of Muslims, not gays. Ahahaha yeah that’s some funny sh*t. By the way, how do you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-y-t-e?

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good question, anonymous, how do you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Oops.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A better question: how do you define hypocrite? It doesn't mean what modern pop-culture thinks it does, ie.simply failing to do what one says (we are none of us perfect and so we all do that)- it means thinking oneself above reproach and so exempt from just judgement for the things we consider wrong. The distinction is not merely semantic - it is real. To think otherwise is to abandon moral critique, and consider all behaviours as equally valid. This attitude of moral equivalence is not only destructive of the notion of morality itself, but of the rulef law and civilization itself, which flow from it.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By all news accounts, the Danes will slowly loose their country to religious fanatics by being ashamed of and not understanding the tenants of their own democracy. Where is the outrage of the Danes at the violent attacks by Muslims at gays in Iran and in Amsterdam? Where is the outrage at the violent attacks of extremits against women in Jordan who choose to control their own reproduction and sexuality? The disgust over these cartoons is misplaced and ill timed.

9:56 AM  
Blogger said...

Just to be clear, I don't like this cartoon. Then again, I fucking hate Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, but I'm not demanding that George Bush do anything about it. Nor am I randomly assaulting the citizens of the country that produced it. That's the difference. And no, this cartoonist doesn't get the Richard Pryor exemption.

12:54 PM  

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