Yesterday while running on the treadmill at the gym*, I watched a report on CNN about the riots which have ensued over the cartoon images of Muhammad. From what I understand the cartoonists knew they were setting themselves up for a backlash from the Muslim community because they were deliberately antagonizing them, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t know the backlash would become as large as it has.
At the end of the piece CNN asked their viewers in a poll whether or not the government should make a law which would make it illegal to make fun of another person’s religion.
Really? So that’s where we’re at now is it? Outlawing things that offend other people. What about sticks and stones and all that other nonsense?
Obviously these cartoonists are a bunch of cretins for deliberately insulting the Muslim community for no other reason than to see what would happen, but hey, we do have something called freedom of speech.
I think the main problem here is that the Muslim community hasn’t yet learned how to take a joke. There are jokes about EVERYbody else but Muslims. I’ve heard my fair share of jokes which begin “A priest and a rabbi walk into a bar.” I’m sure Chinese people are sick and tired of hearing how poorly they drive. Gay people have been caricaturized so much that if we see a depiction of a level-headed homosexual in the movies we feel the need to comment on it. “You know, he didn’t act gay.” How’s about Italians, huh? I’m sure they get pretty tired of hearing how greasy they are. The Catholic Church alone is the subject of 90 percent of today’s jokes. I’ve heard enough jokes about women that I could probably write a dissertation on the construction and subsequent impact on the subject. Even black people tell jokes about black people. Hell, some of the funniest black jokes I’ve ever heard were told by black people.
Ok Muslims”¦gut-check time. We want to include you in our word-wide culture but you’ve gotta be able to laugh stuff off, even if it truly hurts your feelings. The real world is tough, and it’s even tougher when people are pickin’ on you, but as any third-grader knows the more you whine when the bully pulls your underwear up the crack of your ass the more enjoyment he takes from it.
*I have a theory that people receive most of their news on treadmills from that little ticker thingie than from any other source. Take away the ticker thingie/treadmill combo and the average American wouldn’t know what the hell was going on in the world.