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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mohammed cartoons and the NYTimes

The NYTimes chose to show a disgusting painting of the Virgin Mary in a piece about religious images provoking violence. It's an odd choice, since that painting didn't result in violence.

The NYTimes chose NOT to show several cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in articles about cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed provoking violence. That was an odd choice for self evident reasons. So why didn't they publish them? Here's what they said:

The New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them. That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols, especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.

First of all, the cartoons were not gratuitious. They were a way to express the fact that Danes were self censoring out of fear. They were a way of publicizing the fact that Theo van Gogh's murder was WORKING. Leaving that aside, the NYTimes position still makes no sense.

There are 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed, and all of them need to be individually described. The picture of The Virgin Mary, however, is but a single picture, and is very easily described as "A picture of The Virgin Mary made out of shit," since that is what it is (and that's really all anyone needs to know about it.) The Virgin Mary picture is therefore more easily described, and it is at least as insulting as most of the cartoons of Mohammed, and much LESS insulting than many of them.

In short, the NYTimes doesn't mind gratuitious assaults on religious symbols, they are just scared that crazy Muslims will kill them so they are self censoring. They aren't scared of crazy Christians so they aren't self censoring.

The NYTimes has chosen to go C-3PO rather than Good Will Hunting.

Artoo immediately reaches up and taps the computer with his stubby claw hand, causing one of the holographic creatures to walk to the new square. A sudden frown crosses Chewbacca's face and he begins yelling gibberish at the tiny robot. C-3Po intercedes on behalf of his small companion and begins to argue with the huge Wookiee.

C-3Po: He made a fair move. Screaming about it won't help you.
HAN: (interrupting) Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.
C-3Po: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
HAN: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their socket
when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
C-3Po: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, Artoo. Let
the Wookiee win.

Contrast that to Will Hunting:

Will: My father was an alcoholic. Mean fuckin' drunk. Used to come home hammered, looking to whale on someone. So I had to provoke him, so he wouldn't go after my mother and little brother. Interesting nights were when he wore his rings...
Will: He used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the kitchen table and say, "Choose."
Sean: Well, I gotta go with the belt there.
Will: I used to go with the wrench.
Sean: Why?
Will: Cause fuck him, that' why.

I already thought the NYTimes sucked, but if you thought different, there you go. What a bunch of hyprocritical cowardly DICKS!


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