Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Linkstorm: The Message

Salman Rushdie decries self-censorship over Islam in the West. We can put as many drones in the air, agents in the airport, and monitors on the Internet as we want, but if we censor ourselves, terrorism wins.

That's how these assholes operate after all. Case in point: Greece's new Golden Dawn Party. In less than a year, a tiny fraction of the population have managed to frighten both the country's minorities and majorities.They know they only have to be loud and dangerous enough to scare the average person out of speaking up. Then, without a word of protest, they can assume silence is consent, declare a mandate from the populace, and continue on their merry way with a dogma that dehumanizes whoever they don't like this week.

The way to combat it is obvious; oppose them. Don't let them silence anyone in the name of "respect" or "tradition" or "security." Proclaim from every street corner that any totem of authority threatened by free speech is a graven image. Tell them, in the words of Warren Ellis, "Your God Is Not Strong."

Because these aren't strong people. They aren't any more dangerous than monkeys picking up handguns. Look at the case of Ajmal Amir Qasab, the last surviving member of the Mumbai Attacks of 2008 who was just hanged last month. He spent his last few days pleading for clemency and begging for lawyers to find him a way out of his fate. While there are hardened badasses with deep ideological roots in organizations like Al Qaeda, ultimately, their ranks are filled with far more people like Qasab, who only have the courage enough to pick up a gun and shoot it at innocents, only enough vision to think that will change something, and only enough compassion to request immunity from the consequences of their actions.

Real article begins below the cut:

The fact that Newsweek is folding its print edition fits neatly into this. First, it means I won't have crap like this

staring at me in the grocery store anymore. The folks at io9 were sharp enough to properly contextualize it. And yeah, I know I was endorsing comforting lies earlier when I was talking about Lance Armstrong, but there's a difference between a washed-up, cheating cyclist keeping his trap shut and a shiny, professionally-published magazine purporting to be news egging on the delusions of people too stupid to understand how faith works.

Those paste-guzzling cretins bring me back to my larger point. Those credulous morons are The Holy Grail in the eternal struggle of loud douchebags trying to shut people up. The drooling halfwits can't make decisions for themselves and have to be told everything by everyone else. On a deeper level, they want an authoritative voice to tell them they're nice, pretty, smart, and whatever empty mollifying platitudes they can pull out of The Sack of Lies Everyone Purports to Hate But Would Drown Themselves in If It Was a Perfume. These populist idiots with scandalous rumor where their critical thought processes should be want someone to tell them who is bad and who is good and that the solution is simple, we just kick out those guys you never liked anyway and you're a special snowflake.They'll pick up a gun and shoot whoever you ask if you've got enough authority. They'll hop in a tub of gasoline and rub flint soap on a steel loofah if you assure them it'll get a deep down clean.

They're reprehensible fools, the fish-headed majority, and no one wants to silence them because they're pretty silent anyway, until you put something really, really clearly bad in front of them. I don't mean objectively bad. I mean whenever an object or an idea is trotted in front of them and is identified as bad and those words echo into nothingness without another voice being raise to counter it. That kind of clarity.

Because as soon as Al Qaeda and Golden Dawn and the heaps upon heaps of that one percent of assholes in the world just like them but with a different face finally scream and legislate and shoot down everyone who dares to call them out on their irrational, divisive, hateful bullshit, then they'll have wrested the message from the cowed, the obedient, and the dead and they'll ride roughshod over everyone who isn't them--and a lot of people who are--from a comfortable place on the backs of that all-powerful mass of happy, ignorant, fearful jackasses we call humanity.

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