Sword and Satire
When a little known Danish magazine published its series of cartoons satirizing Islamic historical figures,
"this led to protests across the Muslim world, some of which escalated into violence with police firing on the crowds (resulting in more than 100 deaths, all together), including setting fire to the Danish Embassies in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, storming European buildings, and desecrating the Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and German flags in Gaza City. While a number of Muslim leaders called for protesters to remain peaceful, other Muslim leaders across the globe, including Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas, issued death threats. Various groups, primarily in the Western world, responded by endorsing the Danish policies, including "Buy Danish" campaigns and other displays of support. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the controversy as Denmark's worst international crisis since World War II" (wiki)
When a little known Swedish magazine published a blood libel against the state of Israel, it led to the journalist being awarded some fame and fortune for "Excellence in Journalism". It also led to some horrendous violence being perpetrated by some Israeli punks in what is the mediatic equivalent of hissing and sticking out one's tongue.
Here is the youtube (careful, graphic content!)
(primi- primi- primi-tive and phlegmatic
Soul of a troll, brain the size of a nut
Always a repugnant putz...)
Apparently, sticking out the tongue is a civilized evolution to the more effective measure of spitting at someone by way of demonstrating contempt.
According to Simply Jews the video
"became an instant success in Scandinavia, where thousands of viewers were followed by hundreds of indignant commenters - in all languages. Quite funny and educational at the same time.
So, what is the lesson of that story? Sometimes, it appears, a swift grass roots slap in the face reaches the desired goal much quicker than a slow and ponderous diplomatic demarche that hasn't any chance to start with."
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sword and Satire