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Ok, so yesterday I said I would let Charlie Brooker talk for me when it came to the whole Park51 mosque situation. But then I saw this video:
This is madness. In the past few weeks, these people have created the best Al-Qaeda recruitment videos ever. They have made this into an issue in which we lose either way. When the building goes up, it will surely be terrorized and harassed. If the location is moved, it shows how ignorant and reactionary this country has become.
Beyond the fact that they are crazy assholes, this is why they infuriate me. I turn on the TV and there they are spewing nonsense. I go online and there they are spewing nonsense. If I decided to take the R train downtown, there they would be spewing nonsense. You can’t escape them!
They say that it will be “insensitive” to 9/11 victims, families, and responders to put the “mosque” there. But I’m willing to bet money that:
- These are the same people who would support the right of the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazis to march through a town. Freedom of Assembly! The First Amendment! Lynchings were a long time ago, and so was the holocaust, get over it already!
- These are the people who complain about Native Americans being lazy drunks who live off of government aid. Get over it and integrate! It’s not our fault you guys let us completely decimate your entire culture, no fair that you get cheap cigarettes and we don’t!
- These are the people who, if a woman told them she was raped, they would ask what she was wearing and then tell her she shouldn’t have been out so late/living alone/having a life. You’ll get over it, hon.
- These are the people who when any person of color or woman mentions feeling disrespected, treated sub par, or even blatantly discriminated against because of their race/ethnicity/gender, they say “Don’t pull that card. Get over it.”
Well, I for one am tired of the 9/11 card and all that it has been used to justify, and now it’s my turn to say it: GET OVER IT.
I could say many things about this whole stupid debate, but I would end up angry and annoyed and with not much to show for it. I do have an interesting idea: we should start turning water hoses on the mosque protesters. If they really believe in their cause, they’ll show up day after day top be blasted with a high-power hose, like those people who used to protest something back int he day that apparently isn’t important for us to remember anymore since Obama got elected…I can’t remember what they were protesting though, it was probably totally unimportant.
Anyway, Charlie Brooker has an excellent post up at The Guardian that pretty much takes everything I feel about the mosque situations and wraps it up in a nice, bitingly snarky package. I’ve pasted it here because everyone should read it and I know sometimes I’m too lazy to click through:
Things seem awfully heated in America right now; so heated you could probably toast a marshmallow by jabbing it on a stick and holding it toward the Atlantic. Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a “victory mosque” slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.
The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.
I’m exaggerating. But I’m only exaggerating a tad more than some of the professional exaggerators who initially raised objections to the “Ground Zero mosque“. They keep calling it the “Ground Zero mosque”, incidentally, because it’s a catchy title that paints a powerful image – specifically, the image of a mosque at Ground Zero.
When I heard about it – in passing, in a soundbite – I figured it was a US example of the sort of inanely confrontational fantasy scheme Anjem Choudary might issue a press release about if he fancied winding up the tabloids for the 900th time this year. I was wrong. The “Ground Zero mosque” is a genuine proposal, but it’s slightly less provocative than its critics’ nickname makes it sound. For one thing, it’s not at Ground Zero. Also, it isn’t a mosque.
Wait, it gets duller. It’s not being built by extremists either. Cordoba House, as it’s known, is a proposed Islamic cultural centre, which, in addition to a prayer room, will include a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool. Its aim is to improve inter-faith relations. It’ll probably also have comfy chairs and people who smile at you when you walk in, the monsters.
To get to the Cordoba Centre from Ground Zero, you’d have to walk in the opposite direction for two blocks, before turning a corner and walking a bit more. The journey should take roughly two minutes, or possibly slightly longer if you’re heading an angry mob who can’t hear your directions over the sound of their own enraged bellowing.
Perhaps spatial reality functions differently on the other side of the Atlantic, but here in London, something that is “two minutes’ walk and round a corner” from something else isn’t actually “in” the same place at all. I once had a poo in a pub about two minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace. I was not subsequently arrested and charged with crapping directly onto the Queen’s pillow. That’s how “distance” works in Britain. It’s also how distance works in America, of course, but some people are currently pretending it doesn’t, for daft political ends.
New York being a densely populated city, there are lots of other buildings and businesses within two blocks of Ground Zero, including a McDonald’s and a Burger King, neither of which has yet been accused of serving milkshakes and fries on hallowed ground. Regardless, for the opponents of Cordoba House, two blocks is too close, period. Frustratingly, they haven’t produced a map pinpointing precisely how close is OK.
That’s literally all I’d ask them in an interview. I’d stand there pointing at a map of the city. Would it be offensive here? What about here? Or how about way over there? And when they finally picked a suitable spot, I’d ask them to draw it on the map, sketching out roughly how big it should be, and how many windows it’s allowed to have. Then I’d hand them a colour swatch and ask them to decide on a colour for the lobby carpet. And the conversation would continue in this vein until everyone in the room was in tears. Myself included.
That hasn’t happened. Instead, 70% of Americans are opposed to the “Ground Zero mosque”, doubtless in many cases because they’ve been led to believe it literally is a mosque at Ground Zero. And if not . . . well, it must be something significant. Otherwise why would all these pundits be so angry about it? And why would anyone in the media listen to them with a straight face?
According to a recent poll, one in five Americans believes Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though he isn’t. A quarter of those who believe he’s a Muslim also claimed he talks about his faith too much. Americans aren’t dumb. Clearly these particular Americans have either gone insane or been seriously misled. Where are they getting their information?
Sixty per cent said they learned it from the media. Which means it’s time for the media to give up.
Seriously, broadcasters, journalists: just give up now. Because either you’re making things worse, or no one’s paying attention anyway. May as well knock back a few Jagermeisters, unplug the autocue, and just sit there dumbly repeating whichever reality-warping meme the far right wants to go viral this week. What’s that? Obama is Gargamel and he’s killing all the Smurfs? Sod it. Whatever. Roll titles.
This song is so amazing. I think it’s going to change my life. Instead of letting my anger turn into blinding rage, from now on I’m just gonna sing this song and everything will be alright.
Please don’t be turned off by the title, it’s an amazing song!
I haven’t posted for a while, buti”ll give you a quick update of what’s been up with me for the past two weeks.
- I went yuppy camping, and it was really fun. We hiked, cooked over an open camp fire, and communed with Nature. I also learned that, in the middle of the night, frolicking chipmunks sound remarkably like a crazed maniac stomping through the underbrush and headed right for your tent with a sharpened machete.
- The next weekend we went to Cape Cod to visit Zack and Nick. Getting there was disastrous, but we had an awesome day on the beach drinking beer, playing bocce ball, peeing in the frigid ocean, and making fun of French tourists. This was followed by a seafood feast prepared by Chef Nick. Unfortunately, Randy’s feet got sunburnt beyond recognition and walking around the next day was a Little Mermaid-type hell for him. Never forget to put sunblock on your feet people! Speaking of hell, the brunch spot we chose declined to tell us that we would be blessed with the stylings of Bongo Boy and the Hot Memaw Choir, as they were having a gospel brunch. GOSPEL CHOIR. BONGO. We booked it out of there.
- I turned 28. Someone broke my kitchen table. I got trashed and threw up all over Randy (I think). I guess we can cross that off of our Kink Bucket List. It was not as good for him as it was for me because I got to have my memory erased by tequila shots and he didn’t.
Hopefully, I’ll be posting more soon. Until then, I’ll leave you with this:
I may not like all of her songs, but Janelle Monae is definitely my girlcrush of the summer. In a perfect world we would have slumber parties and stay up all night talking about bouffants and the new world order.
Stupid video for Cold War won’t embed. Very Sinead O’Connor-esque:
Talk amongst yourselves.
After reading about so much stupidity and hatred in the news over the past few weeks, it’s nice to see something positive. This is huge!
This is an oldie but a goodie. A couple of years ago, my friend bought a flyer into work that his wife found hanging at the grammar school where she taught. It was time for the annual science fair, and they had made these flyers to alert the parents:
At first I didn’t understand what was so special about it. Wait–what is that project displayed on the left?
YES. “The Mathematics of Cunnilingus.”
Someone obviously did not examine the comic they stole off of the internet before copying and pasting. Or perhaps it was a passive aggressive hint to their faculty lover. The world may never know…