Saturday, February 11, 2006

53. Simplicity



Ok, this is a shameless plug for a friend's new floral boutique. It's located at Plaza Damas, at the Dorchester apartment building. You can check out more here. Since Valentine's is round the corner, you'd do well to check out some of the stuff they carry. Pretty neat. Good prices too. Oh ya, be sure to check out the Swedish kickboxing delivery boy they've got working for them, he's pretty entertaining to watch.




Tuesday, February 07, 2006

52. Free Speech?

Well, what a week it's been. While we've been off revelling during the Chinese New Year holidays, gambling and loh sang-ing and drinking ourselves retarded, the world has apparently gone to hell again.

So unless you've been off digging holes (of the ass variety) somewhere in Brokeback Mountain this past week, you'd surely be aware of the whole brouhaha concerning some rather controversial cartoons published by a right-wing Danish newspaper depicting a revered relligious icon in a not so flattering light (I'm not talking about Jedi Master Yoda here to all you registered members of the Jedi out there).

Cue violent protests the world round...flags burning going on in the streets, embassies being firebombed, people blowing shit up, people blowing themselves up, babies being roasted, nosehairs being pulled, etc. Yawn, boring. What else is new? Would we have expected any less?

You know, I just wished that, for once, the mainstream media would report on something that's actually newsworthy. Like this for instance. Ahhh, just the kind of article that'd make all the pedophiles of the world rejoice! Doesn't it just speak volumes of the state of the world we live in that an eleven year old girl with F-cup sized boobs could possibly bring an end to the Japan-China row that's been simmering for decades?

Back to the toons. If you're curious, you can look them up yourself. Judge for yourself whether they're offensive or not. And what about the reaction eh?

Right, so maybe torching a nation's embassy to express outrage at something one of that nation's newspapers printed isn't the best way one can express themselves. That'd be comparable to say, setting fire to your Calvin Klein undies 'cos you hate the fucktarded way George Bush speaks.

And asking the Danish government to apologise for something they didn't do probably isn't the most sound idea either. Again, that'd be like asking George Bush apologise to the world for America giving us the likes of Tom Cruise, the Olsen twins and errr, George Bush...now wait a sec here...

But hang on a minute, what actually is the issue here? Some Muslims in Denmark woke up one morning to the cartoon image of the founder of Islam with a bomb in his turban. They got pissed. Word got round, soon other Muslims got pissed. They set fire to a lot of shit. Then a bunch of European newspapers reprinted the image just to show that there's no big deal. So more shit got blown up. The papers tell everyone not to wet their panties, it's only free speech. The cartoons were meant to be satirical. A satire of what? Well, relligious extremism and terrorism dummy!

Interesting. Is it just me or does it strike you as odd that if the toons were meant to be satricial, why they would choose to depict a relligion's prophet instead of a known terrorist like Osama bin Laden? That would be equivalent and as offensive to showing Jesus dressed up as Rambo chopping up some hapless Mayans to comment on the Spanish conquest of Yucat√°n.

So, we could possibly specalute that the editors of the newspaper knew what they were doing. That they were smart enough to gauge what the reaction would be. And that the cartoons were nothing more than an attempt to offend and insult a relligion and it's followers, all hiding under the pretext of satire and free speech.

But that's a moot point. That the cartoons were intentionally offensive or not is irrevelant to what the actual argument is, which is of course free speech, and the notion that it need be defended at all costs. So strong is this sentiment that countless papers across Europe reprinted the cartoons in an act of soliditary for their Danish counterparts.

Opinion on the net seems to be divided, but some sites make the very strong and well-argued stand that everyone should have the boundless right to say anything they want, whenever they want. In fact, some make it sound like to think otherwise would make you a bona fide communist. You know, like Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and George Clooney.

Well, of course we know that if we don't defend free speech, then democracy and civilisation as we know it would all coming crashing down on us.

So, I suppose if the NY Post were to print a cartoon of the Pope getting his ass rammed by Elton John as a commentary of homosexuality in the Roman Catholic church, Catholics should all just shrug their shoulders, be politely offended and say; "Gee whiz, it's ok that they're insulted the highest authority of my church because they're entitled to do so, I'm so happy that I can burst into a thousand butterflies that they're exercising their right to free speech! Wheeee!!!"?

How bout if a paper were to lampoon the Holocaust? Yeah, we could have laughing and dancing Jewish women and children getting high while being gassed in Auschwitz! I suppose Jewish people all the world round should just live and let live eh, because of course, it would be barbaric to try and stop people from doing that kinda stuff. Remember, the fall of democracy and civilisation as we know it.

No apology required or expected because that's free speech right? And we, as defenders of democracy and the civilised world (well, at least the Western model of democracy and civilised world), should just grit out teeth and maybe protest a little (in a civilised manner of course!) or do a nice boycott of the paper. Yeah, perhaps that makes sense. Perhaps it's the most reasonable thing to do.

But say if someone were to come over to your house one night, and describe in graphic detail over a loudspeaker how he'd like to have a foursome with your momma, your wife and your 5 year-old daughter, what would you do? What would your first instinct be? To call the police and wait for them to come while you and your family sit around and hear all the vile and sickening things he had to say? Or would you grab a baseball bat, go outside, and turn that fucker's face into jello?

Think about it.