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February 10, 2006

Krauthammer Nails It

As you may have surmised from the tone and content of my recent comics, I think the entire reign of chaos surrounding the satirizing of Muhammad is ripe for comedy. Nothing quite mocks a moralist like a satire of his revulsion to satire. But into such chaotic times the voice of moderation is too worth of mocking, and nobody nails it like Charles Krauthammer in today's editorial.

A true Muslim moderate is one who protests desecrations of all faiths. Those who don't are not moderates but hypocrites, opportunists and agents for the rioters, merely using different means to advance the same goal: to impose upon the West, with its traditions of freedom of speech, a set of taboos that is exclusive to the Islamic faith. These are not defenders of religion but Muslim supremacists trying to force their dictates upon the liberal West.

And these "moderates" are aided and abetted by Western "moderates" who publish pictures of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung and celebrate the "Piss Christ" (a crucifix sitting in a jar of urine) as art deserving public subsidy, but who are seized with a sudden religious sensitivity when the subject is Muhammad.

I have no particular soft spot in my heart for the eternal smirk. The fact that Charlie Hebdo has managed to get itself sued a dozen times by Christians is a strange distinction indeed. Freedom of speech is different from freedom of spite or freedom of spit. Nobody likes a wiseguy. So agents provocateur are not blameless. Nobody in their right mind loves an equal opportunity offender. But it does seem that the rowdy minions are going out of their way to be outraged. You've got to be really looking for trouble to find it in Denmark.

I'm all for the conflict. Let's get it out there. If there are people who are willing to die over matters as pathetic as this, I think we're well rid of them. I mean we suffer through Ted Rall without coming apart. Days like this, I wish I was king of a small island nation whose primary business was that of an international prison colony. Business would be brisk, and I would oblige those civilized nations.. You know, maybe I'm a little carried away here. I'll stick to ribaldry in comic form.

Posted by mbowen at February 10, 2006 09:51 AM

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you sound like my dad. he says that if we could only put some millions of people on an island somewhere,the rest of us could live in peace. oh, absalom, absalom (that king david mourning for his wicked son. of course david was no saint himself).
I like the jeeves and wooster series. it's perfect escapism. the books i find unreadable. the tv show does away with alot of woosters snobbery and prejudices.

Posted by: Anita at February 10, 2006 12:35 PM

Re: the eternal smirk. C.S. Lewis said (IIRC) that among flippant people, the joke is always assumed to have been made.

I'm distressed by the news that that Danish newspaper previously refused to print cartoons of Jesus on grounds that it would offend readers. It's clear that their motives were not pure, and the suffering of people from the various boycotts is a result of irresponsibility, not of any championing of free speech.

Anita, I've thought that too. I thought that if a bunch of us nice people went to Mars and founded a nice colony, within a few generations our descendents would be stockpiling poison gas. We'd take human nature with us, alas.

My daughter found the Wodehouse novels a great antidote to the heavy, depressing, and boring reading she had to do for high school. They are silly but they're great escapism.

Posted by: Laura(southernxyl) at February 10, 2006 05:50 PM

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