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"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Allow me to make an amendment! 

The Co-Editor sent me an email, which I shall print in full, as he would like to make a correction to an earlier post of mine. That post was an examination of how I thought he felt about the right's reaction to the Left's descent into Mooreville. I was slightly off course. Allow me to let Fugstat speak for himself:
Re: "My co-editor thought blablahblah" on yer blog.

Well no, not quite.

I'm saying America's far left reacted to messianic American exceptionalism
(my country's always right) by going to the other extreme (always wrong) and
that the far right reacted to that by bouncing back to the always-right
position, where they pretty much always were anyway. BOTH sides are wrong,
but the truth is in the unsexy pragmatic middle -- namely the Enlightenment
tradition of reason, debate, free thought and pluralism.

The real positions of far right and far left are a disaster if clearly
stated to the Muslim world, but the position of the center is pretty damn
hard to clearly state. (The Enlightenment tradition is complicated and a
threat to hierarchial control by religious authorities.) It's a hard sell to
the Muslims, and seems wishy-washy and weak.

So, I imagine each side making their case on Al-Jazeera ...

The far right point of view:

GENERAL JACK D. RIPPER: (chomping cigar) Listen up, Mr. and Mrs. John Q.
Towelhead. (removes cigar, takes sip of water) You�ve all heard our
president saying �this is not a war against Islam.� Well I don�t believe it
any more than you do! OF COURSE IT�S A WAR AGAINST ISLAM! �Religion of
peace, my ass.� Osama and the rest of those head-cutters aren�t an
aberration of your filthy, heathen cult, they�re the purist expression of
it. But don�t worry. The Lord Jesus Christ himself has personally informed
me that he has chosen America to destroy your way of life. There � I�ve put
my cards on the table. Isn�t that more honest? You�ve got your jihad, well
we�ve got our crusade. Now let�s fight.

The pragmatic centrist�s point of view:
(BOB NEWHART as his psychiatrist character)

Dr. Bob Hartley: Mister, that is General Ripper certainly has a right to his
opinion. I disagree with his opinion. Anyway, here�s my opinion.

Nobody�s trying to destroy your religion. You�re free to choose, that�s the
point. You can choose to worship Allah, or nothing. That�s what democracy is
all about, which goes back to the Enlightenment. What that means � well,
it�s complicated, but there�s a documentary on PBS that explains all about
it and we�re working on an Arabic-edition DVD as fast as possible.

The point is, if God or Allah speaks to you in your head or a sacred bush,
that�s fine. That can be the law in your head, but reason is the law of the
state. In other words, everybody gets to have his � or her � opinion, then
there�s public debate, then laws are passed. Or sometimes they�re not
passed. Anyway, that�s the theory.

In America, we call this the �separation of church and state.� It�s an
invisible line, nobody�s exactly sure where it is, but it�s there. You�re
free to worship in the church of your choice � or � or mosque of your
choice. Or not. Think of it as. Well, our society is like a video store.
There�s Mel Gibson�s �Passion of the Christ� on one aisle, pornography on
another. Or a cooking show. You�re free to choose. Nobody�s forcing you to
watch � well that�s a bad example. Let�s just say nobody�s forcing you to
eat pork. Or whatever. Or you could say our society�s like the Federation on
�Star Trek,� I�m told you get that over here. We respect the differences of
each other�s society � unless your society doesn�t respect the differences
of other societies. So you�re free to be a Klingon, just so long as you
don�t act like a Klingon. This is not to say Muslims are like Klingons just
that. Well, as we used to say in the �60s, �You go your way and I go mine
and if we meet that�s beautiful.� Anyway, that�s my opinion. As I said,
we�re working on that DVD.

The far left point of view:

MICHAEL MOORE: Your anger is entirely understandable. I know why you hate us
� in fact I hate us. America is evil. The sooner you destroy us, the better.
(makes fist) Power to the people!

***

Here I agree with Bob Newhart. His position just seems wimpy, but how the
hell do you sell it?
And of course you wanna downplay the abortion/gay marriage/Piss Christ (or
Piss Mohammed) stuff that results from this position. Gotta take yer target
audience in mind.


As always, Fugstat is better than I am in making his case.

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