Yeah, cartoons are evil, but those cartoons you're thinking about are not the ones I'm thinking about. I spent way too much time today looking through 228 comics about the holocaust. These are the cartoons called for in the wake of the mohamed cartoons in the Danish newspaper.
We all remember the story, the Danish newspaper that ran comics featuring the islamic holy man mohammed. The comics incited the crazy part of the muslim world to freak out for a few days and throw bombs. Apparently, to prove a point, the muslims then called for retaliatory comics regarding their disbelief in the holocaust.
What struck me most throughout my reading was the mindlessness being hurled back and forth. Conspiracy theories were the norm in addition to the racism and hatred. The hatred seemed driven by a combination of religion and racism.
I really don't know what to think about the middle east. I know some amount of the tension is oil driven, but the oil isn't helping that many people there, and I wonder sometimes why anyone would stay. It seems insane to me who has picked up and moved a few times over the years. I suppose that's one of the beauties of not being born in that area.
I might be able to tell you a thing or two about living in the southern US, but I know so little about Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Egypt or any of the other countries crammed into that tiny, arid zone. I was once fairly oppinionated about the area with my baptist past teaching me its own judeo-christian view, and I have to make an effort not to let that continue to color my thoughts on the area now.
A perfect example of this inability to understand is the Iraq civil war. We in the US are certainly somewhat to blame for the crisis, but what is it that makes neighbors turn guns on each other based on doctrinal differences within the same religion?
We can try the issue raised in the comics. What makes Israel and Palestine get stuck in this endless loop of violence? Is it all oil? British and now American imperialism? Superstitious fucking nitwits? Is there really a zionist plot? What kind of people put bombs on kids?
It seems sometimes as if a certain part of the muslim world is stuck in a whole other time period from the rest of the world. One thing that stands out to me. Over the years, I can think of any number of US military incursions, and for the most part, we seem to go in and do whatever the guvment tells us they do, and then we get out. What international news I can remember over my short time on the earth has always involved the middle east and jews and muslims regardless of whether the other stories were Kosovo or the Philipines or Nicaragua. Who the hell even remembers Imelda Marcos anymore?
I'm done writing with I don't know, otherwise this post will turn into an anti-religion rant. I try not to hate it, to try to let people have their things, but it gets hard when diverging dogmas seem so often to result in killing and more killing. I just don't get it.
Hat tip to Orac at Science Blogs
Go here if you really want to sit through a bunch of racist cartoons that don't even have the decency to be funny.