I think this defense of free speech rights from Bill Maher nicely echoes my recent explanation for participating in Everybody Draw Mohammed Day:(via)
I love Maher, I really do. But that was a series of easy shots.Religions are the easiest things in the world to make jokes about, because by definition they don't make a lot of sense.Everytime I come back to this beat-up I get a stronger feeling that everyone is being taken for a ride. That this is being turned into some ideological signpost that it really doesn't rate. The Branch Davidians weren't Islamists. Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland is not something that happened only back in the dark ages.Indeed sectarian tension in the form of whether a Catholic and a Protestant can even intermarry is something my own parents still remember. We finally defeated that as late as the mid 20th century. Religion doesn't, on the balance, make for a happy world. Nonetheless there are people for whom it is privately important, and I'd not condemn for that (some militant atheists would and do).This whole bandwagon sounds to me like the triumphal celebration of a set of cultural values (which I happen to share) more than any stand against anything that is a genuine danger.Sure there are extremists who'd happily kill the cartoonists. They'd happily kill me too. And you. And kill other extremists they have some stupid religious schism with... because... they're extremists. It's not that complicated.They're not reporting to some global Blofeld-like mastermind who's directing a concerted attack on secular freedoms. They're just psychotic dickheads out on the fringe. And all this Everybody Draw Mohammed Day is doing is adding to their shadow and instilling bigotry against Muslims.Showing "we're not afraid" while actually giving every indication that "we" are pissing our pants with fear. Fear that if we don't all act tough the sky will fall in. It's a farce.
Sitting here with a glass of wine from Hermann Mo. and enjoying a few moments with JBW at Brain Rage. Doesn't get any bigger then this. You wouldn't like this wine JBW. It tastes good and you being an afficionado wouldn't like it. I think Maher is using his comedy as a way to stand up to or expose extremists. Extremists look for reasons to be extreme anyway so in the end, if the world stood still, they would get pissed off at the peace and quiet. This is true for Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Tea Baggers, any extremist. I'd just a s soon have something to laugh at that pisses them off.
Word JT101, laughing at everyone is always a good policy. I'm not endeavoring to pick on any one religion and I've already said that every religion has its wacko extremists but my point is that Islam seems to be the only one that corporations readily cower before. Perhaps a discussion about whether that's because Muslims seem to more readily embrace violence or because corporations seem to have an irrational prejudice against Islam is in order but frankly I'm just not in the mood to have it right now, mostly because I'm now thinking about wine.You know JT101, "aficionado" doesn't always mean "stuck up asshole snob", although sometimes it does. I'll tell you what though: one of my favorite sippin' chardonnays costs only $1.99 a bottle and is quite delicious with a smooth oakey finish. Doesn't make it any better or worse than the hundred dollar bottles sitting in my wine rack because they all make me more clever and good looking the more I drink; I assume they all have the same effect on yourself. I'm popping a bottle right now, so cheers yo.
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