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Looney Toons

The news today is full of people fighting. Some over a cartoon. Some over a sunken ferry. Oh yeah, there’s still that falderahl in Iraq as well.

I don’t understand the ruckus about the political cartoon. It’s just a fucking picture … is it worth having a riot over? Yes, they’re angry, perhaps justifiably so. And, quel surprise, it’s over religion. Well, allegedly it’s over religion, but it’s quickly morphing into politics.

Again, not surprising. People are mad and now there are riots and there must be retribution. Against the oh-so-evil Danish people. Bloody Vikings.

An eye for an eye. Come on kids, have we learned nothing from Munich, besides that Eric Bana is yummy? The only benefit from an eye for an eye is that the Braille Institute gets more work. Is this really worth a riot? What’s the harm in letting it go, drawing an equally offensive cartoon about God or George Bush (oh wait, that’s been done, and there are no riots … it’s called freedom of speech) and being done with it.

Speaking of freedom of speech, it’s not as tolerated over here in the UK as we’ve learned to take for granted in the States. Watching the news this morning, 97% of voters (well, Sky News viewers, which are really just Fox News viewers who drink bitter ale and tea instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon and instant Maxwell House) think that the government should arrest “threatening protesters.” A quick check on the at the site reveals that number’s decreased to about 79%.

I guess the bigger question is what constitutes threat? And who decides that? Is carrying a sign that says “Death to the Capitalist Pigs” an indictable offense? Probably not. But “Slay those who insult Islam” – well I’m no expert, but I’d say that’s not very tolerant. Nor do I think it’s very Islamic.

Would the US arrest and deport people carrying signs? Or would they just send them to Guantánamo Bay?

I understand belief. I understand passion. I understand the need to be right, and can almost empathize with those who think “my beliefs are better than yours.” After all, to admit someone else’s beliefs are equal to or better than yours (as opposed to just different) might be misconstrued as saying, “gosh, if their beliefs are as good as mine, how good could mine possibly be in the first place?”

I do not understand the “I’m insulted so I will kill you and all your people, even if they had nothing to do with it.”

Maybe Paul McKenna needs to do a new tv show: Paul McKenna Can Make You Tolerant. This would certainly be very different from the bespoke course he’s doing for Geri Halliwell: Paul McKenna Can Make you Tolerable.