All posts tagged controversy

There is a tragic flaw in the modern American character. Would it be jingoism, world ignorance, or hypocrisy? No, I find all those to be but charming idiosyncrasy, as innocent as apple pie, and as harmless as a cute .38 snubnose concealed gingerly in an embroidered leather holster. I speak of a greater flaw: the inability to accept due responsibliity, especially when none is due.

My thread from my heart to my tearducts was strained uncomfortably this week, and my agnostic prayers go out to the fine community of Virginia Tech. Who would have known a crazy gunman would wreak havoc on their idyll lives. Actually, I would have guessed… Korean student going for an English Major? I can only imagine how much his asian parents approved of that.

But for all my sympathy, I can not stand the immediate scapegoating that followed. Suddenly, the university was to blame for not alerting 25,000 sleepy college students that they didn’t know a crazed gunman was loose since they only started investigating a domestic-dispute homicide. Maybe they were to blame for not knowing the exact location of the gunman on their 2500-acre campus, and making the silly assumption that he had made a run for it the way 99% of criminals do.

Oh but it got worse.

Infamy whore Jack Thompson, a leech, a pox, played the video game card before he (or the rest of the country) had a damn clue about what had transpired. It should have been blatantly obvious to the press that the uber-violent video games that the unknown gunman was not known to have MUST have caused this killing spree. The Washington Post demonstrated remarkable journalistic integrity by reporting the gunman was a hardcore afficiando of Counterstrike. A day later, that statement was removed from their article, surely with only the best intentions. Didn’t I just write about this?

Do we have to find someone to blame? Parents, games, guns, police, media, or whatever the hell is near any disaster, why is it we pick one and not all (or none) to blame? It’s like a need to put a face or identity to the blame. This kid was just fucked-up, and the gestalt of his recipe for insanity is at once everything and nothing. In fact, because it is everything, it is nothing. We need to focus on healing, acceptance, and have everyone learn pre-emptive empathy. It is nonsense to find sense in senseless violence. Let’s learn more about the victims and what they could have been, and not let the 15 minutes of each new accusation rob them of what is really their time. They have been robbed of enough.

So. This is the image that is the center of debate and riot? This is the image so horrifyingly insulting it resulted in death of young, promising Europeans and Middle-easterners worldwide?

Somehow, the arab media justified their anger, claiming that the depiction of Muhammad was tasteless (I'll give ya that) and that it is blasphemy to put his image in print. I'm not sure how the Danes, some of the quirkiest 420s in the world, would know that this:

and works like this (circa 1550 AD) were A-OK (even revered), but the former was not.

Somehow it is lost on the arab world how their own newspaper depictions of Ariel Sharon eating babies and rabbis reveling in human blood is a signal to very non-Muslim ignorant white folks that religious criticism is acceptable. The minor clause I guess the Danes missed the bulletin on was that you can't put Muhammad in print except in the circumstance that his face is veiled, nevermind the rest of the body and megaton captions for it basically translating to "THIS IS MUHAMMAD BUT HIS FACE IS COVERED SO IT REALLY ISN'T HIM SO THE KORAN SAYS GO FOR IT, CHUMS." Or in the case a muslim does it.

Globalization is inevitable, but it works both ways. Obviously we shouldn't go out of our way to insult a culture we hardly know, but hardly knowing them DOES excuse our ignorance in part. The newspapers are written for their host communities, not for Bumfuck, Nepal. It really doesn't help the cause of the victimized when, in this case, calls for every cartoon satirizing the Holocaust is made so Al Jazeera can satisfy its revenge. I've said before, revenge is a wonderful thing, but this childishness lacks such exquisite antihumanity, and has devolved into a game of telephone over who-said-what-said-that?-omfg-that-angers-me. Meanwhile, the Danes barely even know what a Qu'ran is.

One arab woman on NPR asked how Christians would feel if our media did the same with Jesus. To be honest? They wouldn't give a fuck. Did they not see Kanye West with a crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stones? The fecal Virgin Mary in the LA Times? No, it's not about religion. It's about freedom of speech, which they aren't used to and we aren't good at. Perhaps this should serve a reminder to muslims of the stereotypes the world possess of you. Perhaps you shouldn't reinforce that very stereotype by reacting immediately with fatal violence. Perhaps my use of the word "you" shouldn't offend personally since I'm using it in the plural neutral case, with no accusation intended.

And you silly Danes, stop feeding the troll, Mahmoud is pole-dancin' off your toite little ball hairs. Your cartoons just suck- I've seen all twelve, and they all were subliminally tokin'.

It's absolutely preposterous. And by preposterous I mean an adjective who's trademark encapsulates that three-ring circus of media, police, and San Francisco. Their respective roles, then, are ringleaders, clowns, and gullible spectating sight-seeking chumps. Regarding the recent shananigans of the SFPD, who recorded skits parodizing the homeless, the drunks, the taichi asian boxers in the park, and Charlie's Angels, the news had this to say:

"The controversy is growing as the city is in uproar over the video made by San Francisco police…[etc]"

This is after two weeks since the issue first came to light, and the report (and every report every day about it) goes on to repeat facts about this video that were known since day one. So, my literate consumer, what is causing this controversy to grow? Could the culprit be the evening newshour who chooses to play edited and out-of-context clips of this so-called "sexist, homophobic, and racist" prank at every opportunity? Or is the culprit the mayor and chief of police, who conspired to take this video out of the department and splay it across the whole city to whip up the pretense of critical scrutiny?

I can't tell what's the bigger joke, the video itself (a typical frat stunt whose participants include women and blacks) or the fact that it was taken out of the inner circle for whom it was at worst private tastelessness, and at best a much needed satire of the day-to-day realities of being a COP. I would like to break into the mayor's home, steal his kid's emails and find the word "fag" so that I can show how he's breeding homophobia in his own home. Unfortunately (rather fortunate for him) I have no political aspirations.

The funniest thing is when the NAACP rep said to the camera that these videos were harming the numerous low social status peoples who's daily realities were being mocked. God forbid if those are also a reality for a COP from SAN FRANCASTROCISCO or OAK#1PERCAPITAVIOLENTCRIMELAND who's job is to deal with said trash and still be warm and lovable and fist-fucking Mother Theresa's ashes. You should treat police like pizza men, except instead of a cold pizza you risk getting raped and shot by a flying nut. I guess in SF, you'd fire them, hold their pay, and invent a crime that they can now be considered to have committed… being a clown and carrying a nightstick at the same time.

I counter today's ridiculous protest by the Japanese community against Memoirs of a Geisha with this survey of 1.3 million voters, that proved that even asians have no idea how similar we look. The results of the survey? The average score was 38%, only 5% better than blind guessing.

Burkard explained that you would not cast people of African American or Hispanic heritage as Caucasians. "The perception is that we (Chinese and Japanese) look alike, and are the same, well we do not and are not the same and filmmakers should not make sweeping generalizations that are insensitive to our culture and heritage."

Quick! Name the best Japanese actress seen stateside! Only one I could think of was Tamlyn Tomita, who incidentally plays a Chinese-American in Joy-Luck Club. And her acting isn't quite a headliner act yet. Liam Neeson wasn't a jew, and I don't think Philip Seymour Hoffman is gay. Buckard might want to point out the "sweeping generalizations" being made in the movie, not by the casting director. Or how about the fact the original author isn't even Japanese. Miyagi is spinning in his American grave, mind you.

Anyways, this diatribe is now too long in the tooth. I'll apologize with the truest Penny Arcade comic I've seen yet: WoW Patch Notes 1.9

P.S. This picture is from Tokyo and unrelated to anything in this entry :rolleyes: