Saturday, February 11, 2006


I can't find the cartoons that everyone is upset about. I thought that I would pop through to see them for myself through Google. After a few quick searches, it came to occur to me that it would be harder than I thought to find them, that's why people are so upset, eh?

I don't want to start political-punditry here, but I have to point out the obvious irony that there are so many people upset about the depiction of The Prophet as a violent figure (bomb-shaped headwear, I have heard) that people of the Islamic faith started killing people.

I went to a Catholic school for a few years and had religion class every semster. Unlike a Bob Jones sort of experience, I had some of the most elightened nuns on the planet. Talk about an oxymoron. When you are a 17 year old, angst-ridden teen, there's nothing better and a cool nun. Sounds weird but there you go...

We learned a lot about other religions. What I took away from a lot of the studying was how close all world religions are. The nuns (School Sisters of Notre Dame, SSNDs) taught us how almost all religions, pagan and monotheistic, all had similar sorts of myths about creation (two people started it all, temptation in paradise, flood-related Noah stories) that all arose from an early mass historical-consciousness that evolved through an oral tradition (or something like that).

I learned that Islam was a beautiful, peaceful religion whose Great Book held a lot of the same values as the Bible. This set of values allowed me to really devour the Autobiography of Malcolm X and know the end of the story while reading about all of the crap that he went through to get there. His own visit to Mecca was meaningful to me as well.

It bothers me when any religion is co-opted for political purposes. You see it in the US ALL THE TIME when people talk about religion, it's usually just justification for some sort of politics of exclusion. The knuckleheads in the KKK claim to be some sort of religiously-afilliated group of dudes doing stuff that is moral and just. Leave it to idiots to grab hold of something that can be beautiful and just murder it.

The same thing happens when people use Isalm as a justification for violence. There is NEVER a reason to resort to violence as an individual (international political norms sometimes require it, and I use 'require' loosely). One thing that we should have all learned in gradeschool is how to deal with people we disagree with or when we want a turn on the slide.

Granted, all of this cartoon anger is really just part of a global condition that needs some serious attention. We can't forget that we started attacking the Middle-East during the crusades and those crazy Romans started a lot earlier than that. I have a great amount of respect for the people that invented beer and distilling (modern-day Iraqis) and I think the majority of people who live in that region want nothing more than peace and prosperity under their own terms and brand of freedom. I just wish they could have electricity all day and jobs and police-recruits who aren't constantly getting killed.

I'm not going to expound on whether being in Iraq is right or wrong. I don't like how we got there, but I do think it will be better, eventually. Despite all of the mis-information and outright lying by the knuckleheads in the Bush administration, I supported going into Iraq when the cruised on over to Kuwait.

So, I can't find the cartoons. I searched for about three minutes. As we all know, you should be able find whatever you are looking for in a matter of seconds, certainly under a minute. Google posts how quickly their search returns results for a reason, right? So this self-imposed censoring sucks. I thought all of us adults out there were supposed to be able to make up our own minds. I'm sorry that people are afraid of upsetting others, and I'm certainly not FOR upsetting people, but we all need to learn to talk and work things out without killing.

Hey, we could just go on a bike ride and sit down all tired and talk about it over burritos and a beer... or falafel and a turkish coffee.


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