Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Credit where Credit is Due

This is getting a little too close to politics, but riots are a crime where I'm from, so let's be clear:

If Newsweek prints something and some insane zealots go batshit loonball and start killing people because they are fucking nuts, it is not Newsweek's fault. It's their own goddamn fault for being such whacked-out dipshit maniac moron lunatics that something printed in a newspaper about something that happened to a book is enough to drive them over the edge into Total Fucking Wack-ville. Newsweek made a reporting mistake. Other people went into a murderous frenzy. Who's the goddamn criminals?


Anonymous Joe said...

I'm not even convinced yet that Newsweek made much of a mistake. One week, their anonymous Defense Dept. source tell them about flushed Korans. That's news where I come from. Later -- notably, after stupid and deadly riots -- that source says he's not sure about what he said before. Oh really? Could that be because the president is your boss?

Nobody comes out looking good in this one. The government, Newsweek, and the rioters. Everybody's an asshole.

However, on the rioting... it generally doesn't happen on purpose. You have people who want a good reason to protest. Flushing their holy book down the crapper works just fine for that purpose. Then the protest gets big and rough, and inept police try to do something about it, and by the sheer law of probability there are a few Serious Assholes in the crowd, and Serious Assholes love riots, then it gets ugly.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Henry Garfield said...

Hey, if we flush enough Korans, maybe the Muslim fanatics will riot themselves out of existence! Just wishful thinking I guess.

4:10 PM  
Blogger The Bookhouse Boy said...

You know, if an anonymous source burns you this badly, you ought to be able to identify them. I mean, isn't there a contract between anonymous sources and journalists? The journalists don't name you, you don't use your anonymous status to lie. Seems fair.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Probably the source deserves to be outed. The problem with burning an anonymous source is that all your other anonymous sources tend to dry up soon after.

So I was talking to my Iraqi friend about the riots. I asked why there were no riots when the U.S. was actually physically torturing people, and you flush some paper down the toilet and people go batshit. He said that flushing the Koran is worse than the torture of individuals, because it symbolically violates a whole religion.

There is a major cultural gap here. I can't even fathom his side of it. You have actual violations of human rights versus symbolic violation of a religion. This is a major difference in values that may never go away.

I really hope that if I am imprisoned one day, that my captor's idea of torture is flushing the pages of the Bible or any book down the toilet. I would dig that kind of torture. Just keep those electric wires and attack dogs away from me.

2:02 PM  

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