November 10, 2010
It’s amazing the things you learn when you listen to people you disagree with.
It seems I’ve been a murderous psychopath for most of my life. After years of watching horror movies and seeing kids get dismembered, I finally snapped and went on a killing spree that left hundreds dead. The gore and viscera clung to my machete as I inspected the grim scene before me. Exposure to this one obviously isolated part of my life had turned me into a mindless killer.
It all made sense!
And then I stopped watching Fox and remembered how stupid Bill O’Reilly can be. For the last few weeks, he’s been going on about this “Muslim problem” in the world. It goes something like this: most of the foreign danger right now comes from terrorists who are Muslim. Therefore, Islam is contributing to our problems and those of other nations. Moderate Muslims are not speaking out, he says, and so the religion itself is the problem.
If you believe that, then you also believe we have a science problem, a white guy problem, a black guy problem, and a myriad of other problems in this country.
And by the way, moderate Muslims HAVE spoken out against extremists.
Taking a small sample of a whole and using it judge or make a generalization about the entire group is called what, folks? Racism? Stupid? It doesn’t matter. This is the mentality that takes isolated incidents and applies the resulting conclusions to the entire group. Minorities, art, and religion have all, at one time or another, been targets of this kind of myopic thinking.
Let’s look at O’Reilly first. Yes, a lot of the people who are threatening the country right now are Muslim and they claim their religion is one of the main causes for this hatred. However, how many Muslims are there in the world? I think at last count it was close to a billion. Maybe more. And how many of them are plotting to kill us? A small fraction. The religion’s been perverted and twisted into something that most Muslims would never embrace and yet Bill here thinks it HAS to be the religion that’s the problem.
I guess it wouldn’t have made sense to claim that it was the brown skin that made them do it. Or the heat.
It’s the same way violent video games and movies keep getting blamed every time some kid grabs a gun or does something equally stupid, even if said kid says it’s something he saw in a game, or a movie, or something else. How many people watch horror movies every year in this country alone? How many people are playing Call of Duty, Halo, and other games where you can put a nice armor-piercing round through some n00b’s head?
Violent video games don’t make psychos any more than horror movies make killers or Islam creates mass-murderers. They just help give an excuse for the behavior. I’ve watched horror movies and played violent games for years and I’ve never done anything like this, and I guarantee that 99.9999% of the people who also do this share the same track record.
This also brings up a question artists need to ask themselves. What impact will our work have on the audience? There is no shortage of lunatics who claim to have been inspired by books, music, and movies. I’m sure Lennon and McCartney shuddered when Charles Manson said he was inspired by Helter Skelter. As I’m writing Charcoal Streets, I wonder if anyone will take some unintended message from my work. I wonder if someone will read “Designer Drug” and find justification for drug abuse. In the right light, any of these stories might trigger a very undesirable reaction in the right kind of individual.
I’m publishing them anyway.
There are really, really dumb people in the world. I mean, they make you feel like you could win a Nobel or edit Wikipedia for spelling errors in one hour. Take O’Reilly, for example. In his mind, he sees Muslims threatening us, so the religion must be the problem. Funny how he doesn’t think the economic collapse was a white guy problem or how the overcrowding in our prisons is a black and Hispanic problem.
Maybe he does. I don’t know.
It’s just safer to blame the minority, isn’t it?
All these excuses (religion, movies, books, music) tell us more about the person making the accusation than the actual work itself. I know more about O’Reilly than I do about Islam based on his remarks. I know more about people who say music speaks to them and tells them to kill or hate than I do about the music.
That’s the wonderful thing about actually listening to other people talk about their beliefs. They tell you so much without knowing it sometimes.
And now for something new. Rapid-fire news!
- Speaking of the think-tank that is Fox News… I know I posted this on the Facebook page yesterday, but I had to repost it. Glenn Beck, who does not even understand the mechanism for evolution (whether he believes it or not) thinks he can explain QUANTUM PHYSICS to us and how it is part of the progressive conspiracy. This is a man who has admitted he does not have anything amounting to a formal education. People who do, people who spend their entire lives studying advanced physics and the workings of the universe still have trouble grasping some of these concepts and Glenn “I Learned in a Library” Beck thinks HE can do better?!
- And now to wash away the sound of Beck talking, here is the image of Olivia Wilde in a wet dress. You’re welcome.
- A straight couple was denied a civil union in what can only be described as the greatest blow to heterosexual couples since gay couples were allowed to marry in some parts of the world… Or something like that. See, the couple wants the legal benefits but not the “marriage” part. The British government says it can’t do that. So… it’s okay for gay couples, but not good enough for straight couples. How telling…
- I like Dakota Fanning. I think she’s a good actress and, if she stays out of the Lohan-Olsen trail, she should do just fine. She’s also apparently awesome enough to be crowned homecoming queen twice. And she’s a senior at 16.
- My, what a difference a mustache makes. Check out Mario sans his lip ferret.
- Are those healthy carrots just too full of vitamins and minerals for you? Fry the fraker and make carrot bacon!
- I really don’t like using Macs. I’ll admit part of it is unfamiliarity with the system, but the other is the way you really have no control over fixing something broken short of sending it off somewhere. I like doing my own repairs. Anyway, this blogger apparently went from Mac to PC and found the experience… nice.
- How can Optimus Prime possibly be any cooler? Could he ride a T-Rex into battle? Run for president? How about a steampunk-inspired Optimus Prime? He’s not just a truck… he’s a freakin’ TRAIN!
- I keep talking about the coming robot apocalypse and how we seem to be helping it along… and now we find out that robots think humans are bacon. No lie. A robot designed to taste wine and food scanned a human and read it as pork. Yup. Forget about plugging us into the Matrix for fuel. The machines are just going to eat us.
- Olbermann got suspended for making political contributions, was brought back, and started his show yesterday like THIS. I have my disagreements with the man, but I’ll say this… He knows how to do his job. That was hilarious.
- And finally… I know this is three years old, but do you know a snooty rich wench who thinks she’s better than you because she’s white and married wealthy? Well, now you can teach her a few… important Spanish phrases to help with the illegal immigrants she hired. Trust me. It’s a Spanish lesson you don’t want to miss.