Friday, September 21, 2012

The only cure for stupidity might be death, after all

Out of context translation: "Stupid. Really, just stupid."
You're right, you robotic blue kitty. I'm not thinking about your idiotic charge, but we're definitely on the same page right now. The world's just filled with idiots- it's getting so irritating as to almost justify a totalitarian dystopia. I'm not seething over the news that the jurors in the Apple v Samsung trial threw the judge's guide in the trash (metaphorically speaking) and directly disobeyed the judge's order that the judgment should not be intended to punish- no, nothing as petty as that. Heel, you brand slaves.

The first event would be the response to that stupid anti-Islamic video by the previously unknown Sam Bacile (apparently a pseudonym). Note that I'm more against the response to it than the video itself. Here's the major costs so far: one ambassador dead. Riots in 'Islamic' countries, protests in secular countries. Storming of embassies. Et cetera.

Never mind the world at large- things have been particularly annoying on the local front (Malaysia). One article on a major online news portal, describing today's protest outside the American embassy provided me with most of the fuel for my vitriol (link).

For one thing some of the protesters (a sizable bunch, most probably unemployed given that the protest was held on a working day- or just politicians) brought along a pre-independence flag, the same flag that was the centre point of a recent fuss where some people attended a rally calling for undiluted democracy, transparent clothing transparency and whatever goes along with it, brought said flag along and were accused and possibly even charged with treason or gross disrespect for allegedly wanting to replace the current national flag with it. The mob protesting today, of course, will probably be given free ice cream (halal, of course).

It was reported that some even brought the Saudi flag with them- what in blazes is that doing here, anyway? Did Saudi's join in the protest? That doesn't even matter, really- the real point in question is, what are you protesting against? The fact that you believe that your religion has been insulted? That the country where that Bacile chap lives in isn't doing anything about him (never mind that their laws say they can't, who cares about other people's laws, right)? Again, what does that have to do with flags? By extension, what does that have to do with your country (flag = national symbol)? Is the country itself offended? Is the reputation of the country tarnished forevermore? No? Then get those flags out of there. Back to the Saudi flag- if those weren't Saudis brandishing them- really. Go and apologise to the Saudis this very instant.

The rally was set up by two major political parties, PAS and UMNO (the former hopes to set up an Islamic state, the latter simply says 'we already are, but no we aren't'). But never mind them. Even some non-muslim (does spelling it without a capital letter count as blasphemy, I wonder?) politicians decided to join in the fun. PKR Vice President Tian Chua: "This is not just an Islamic cause, it is a human one. Anyone who insults any religion, it is an insult to humanity itself."

You better elaborate on that point. Is humanity so fragile as to be capable of being insulted? What is an insult to humanity? How do you define humanity? Is religion integral to humanity? When religion is insulted, does that make us any less human as a whole? Are atheists not of the same biological species as religious people? Is it religion that is insulted, or you? Does religion require of us to howl indignantly (and in a most undignified manner) in its defense?

Then there's this statement by the president of some race-based group (we've got a lot of them, apparently) that I've never heard of until today, Azmi Abdul Hamid of Teras: "America must take full responsibility for this issue. We will show that the patience of Muslims and the non-Muslims is limited. If they go on with this, we will take more action."

Less questions here, but what is there to question about a threat? I almost typed in 'veiled', vaguely thinking about the burqas many women in the Middle East don, but there's nothing veiled in this statement. It's as clear a threat as a duo of porn stars copulating vigorously in the basilica of St Peter's on a sunny Sunday morning. Firstly, why must America take responsibility? Do the views of one regular citizen (the word citizen is also doubtful, in this case) represent the view of the entire country/government? Does it represent its foreign policy? Obviously, they do not. What action do you have in mind? Flag burning (simple vandalism)? Embassy storming (looting)? Ambassador killing? War?

Elsewhere, UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin, after taking a jab at other political parties for not attending the circus, spoke the voice of reason (sarcasm, for those of you slow on the uptake): "Our enemy is not the United States, France (for the Muhammad cartoons) or any other religion, but those involved in the  film and the cartoon."

I daresay there are many people out there who don't share the same view as you. Say that again in the context of the fools burning paper copies of American and Israeli flags- presumably because they were too cheap to buy real ones- and surely we should be able to charge them with, oh, I don't know, if not some form of arson, at the very least littering? Otherwise, the entire statement seems reasonable- until you nitpick and zoom in on the word enemy.

Even in court, you do not refer to the other side as the 'enemy'. In sports, it is just the opposing team (never mind what the hooligans say). 'Enemy' is a word filled with anger, vengeance, jealousy, hatred, and other similar synonyms. I'm not saying that Bacile and his kind should be treated as a 'respected opponent'. They abuse the freedom of speech to vilify your religion, and for that they should be condemned, counseled, and vilified, but to say they are your enemies? To say such a thing is to say that Bacile and co. have succeeded in their mission, and your religion is now diminished as a result. Bacile may think of you and your religion as the enemy, but there's no need for you to bring yourself down to his level.

He continues: "We want both governments to take action against these people. The freedom of speech has its limits and must have a care for respect and responsibility". Well, if there are laws for it, by all means. Charge them. But if not- there it is again. They have their laws, which may sound stupid to you, but they aren't stupid to them. Can you respect that?

Sigh. I'm running out of steam. On to the second issue- the nonsense going on between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands. This one's a lot more complicated, involving issues such as treaties, land rights, international laws, secret inter-governmental deals, changes in regimes- quite simply put, a lot of confusing historical waggling.

Stupidity, of course, also manages to play a big role here, with most of the resultant damage, ironically, being in China- sure Japanese businesses took a hit and official relations have soured, but it's the Chinese citizens who're going through the worst of it (yes, I know- I'm putting aside the fact that Japanese in China are now living in fear- probably because there aren't than many of them when compared to the billion or so Chinese)- some have been trampled to death, one paralyzed, property destroyed, and their reputation as noisy violent yobs strengthened if not sealed.

Japan, of course, manages to get by with its radical right-wing (or is it left?) xenophobes adding fuel to the fire and the bat-crazy governor of Tokyo, Ishiharo Shintaro- and one of him is surely one too many.


  1. Bush...who was a fuckin goof got jumped on relentlessly because the post Katrina support was very an Ambassador was lightly protected in a country which has been historically very unfriendly to America....we leave that Ambassador with almost no protection and HE GETS KILLED and the news is about Romney and his 47% comment and not an outcry for answers as to why some in the admin are saying it's a terrorist event (on the anniv of 9/11...ya think?)...while the pres says it may not be...and the press is letting that shit fly...


    1. I dunno... aren't standard security measures pretty much inherited? If previously it worked well without any trouble, I guess they wouldn't think to fix any flaws. Unless of course they went and wonked up a perfectly good system...