Thursday, February 09, 2006

normal transmission

The problem with blogging is that somewhere, somehow, someone has said it better than you could and faster.

You bastards.

The problem with my blogging is that I tend to jot down some paragraphs, then get bored and wander off to look at the pretty lights unless I'm shackled down. So this is one of my never-quite-finished-posts that I started a few weeks back and that I know I'm never going to complete ...

Right, so, in no particular order these buggers have said some stuff that made me think:

Maria von Trapp: Heavens Rewards - although I the best bit I thought was in the comments:
MVT: who exactly is saying that these cartoons have influenced society's views of Muslims? Only the reactions to the cartoons will do that.
Bingo. The cartoons were caricatures of Western views of Islam/Muslims. They don't tell us anything new or interesting. Some of the actions of some of the protestors (and some nations - hey, I'm looking at you Iran. Yeah, have a funny-holocaust cartoon competition, that way you'll occupy all the moral high-ground) - well they reinforce our already rather negative views of the Middle East and of adherents of Islam. These are the things doing damage - they make you all look like you're stuck in the greasy mire of the European Dark Ages and you're quite happy to wallow there for a while (cf the protest march in Auckland, that seemed pretty reasonable and restrained).

What I'd quite like to see is the views of lapsed Muslims or relaxed Muslims - you know, the equivalent of Christians who only go to Church at Christmas and Easter, and have plenty of sex before marriage with condoms and don't feel guilty and are really quite comfortable with teh Gay people. Where are those Muslims, and do they have a blog? I know they are out there, but they aren't in the news media often for some reason - of that's right, because they aren't blowing shit up, so they're no reinforcing our stereotypes. Hmm, maybe here's one here. At least Apathy Jack is fighting the good fight.

On the amusing side of things, Keith Ng channels Matt Nippet and himself in Goddammit, Holy See Reports 4Q Loss, and Blasphem-A-Thon. Whatever happened the Matt Nippet anyway?

Public Address is such fertile ground. Russell Brown has several posts on the subject, but I like Makes Waitangi Look Innocuous, Doesn't It? the best. Intriguingly enough, the link to the cartoons on doesn't work anymore. What could it mean? But the bit that set me thinking was this:
... here's where I part company with No Right Turn. I do not think that marching the public street with signs threatening to behead or otherwise murder your fellow citizens, promising "Europe's 9/11" or a "new Holocaust" constitutes free speech, no matter what offence has been taken. The British police told reporters that they were photographing those involved. I would hope that they were also following them home and keeping them under surveillance henceforth. You lose a certain right to privacy when you incite the murder of those around you.
I'm of two minds here. I certainly agree that if you make extreme statements in public about mass killings, then the Police should be taking a good look at your weirdo ass. But should you be charged with a crime and put in jail for it? The oft-quoted restriction on free-speech is the "shouting fire in a movie theatre", where misuse of free speech could lead to deaths from panic (presuming of course, that they isn't a fire in said movie theatre). But does this really apply to inflammatory statements on banners at street protests? I seem to remember in my younger days requesting that a certain Vice-Chancellor of a certain University that I may have been attending at the time be roasted on a spit for daring to raise fees. We had a chant and everything. It was quite catchy. It certainly shouldn't have been taken seriously, and hopefully no one got too offended by it. Is it all about the context? A protest in New Zealand is to be judged differently to a protest in London is to be judged differently to a protest in Syria (for one thing we end up burning slightly different things at the end ...).

Speaking of NRT, he links to some Fisk on the issue: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. Bobby makes a good point that we in the West aren't always the doyens of Free Speech that we preen ourselves to be (protests about The Last Temptation of Christ, various anti-semitism initiatives - Hard News also makes a similar point about the Virgin in the Condom not a few years back).

Weird Thing: Blogspot's spell-check doesn't recognise "blogging". ???

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