Montecristo Captain Quixote

montecristo

The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world


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Montecristo Captain Quixote
montecristo

So, this is all about Free Speech, is it...

Okay. I don't usually address posts in here to people other than myself, either specifically or implicitly, through the style. I keep this thing for me, and if I addressed it to someone, such as "my readers," either explicitly or through tone and style, I'd worry that it started to be about them and about tailoring what I had to say to an audience other than myself, and as a consequence I might start censoring myself with regard to what I write here or distorting things I say to impress an audience. So, be that as it may, I am "breaking protocol" again to address the issue of this crazy cartoon issue where a Danish paper has stirred up a global hornets' nest by soliciting and then printing cartoon caricatures of Mohammed.

Now I know that everybody and their brother has been touting this brouhaha as another example of The Free Speech Principle Under Siege by Hostile Foreigners Contemptuous of Occidental Secular Society, and without a doubt, there certainly is an element of that present in the current rioting and hell-raisings by angry Muslims/Islamists who no doubt would be quite happy to use warfare to accomplish A Muslim Planet, if it were possible. Granted. Now I don't believe in pussyfooting around about my own opinion, or restricting my personal beliefs and thinking just because some particular members of some religion or other would rather pretend that my opinion on some topic did not exist at all. That being said though, there comes a point where expression is not just expression, but provocation, and whereas I am quite sure that the Occidental idea of a right to free expression and the principle that "names can never hurt me" are ethically correct, I do see provocation as treading beyond the unlegislatable pale of etiquette.

Nevertheless, there's a bit more to this fiasco than the surface issues being debated to death in the press. Hey, I'm a libertarian, a hard core anarcho-capitalist, in fact, and I'm all about the freedom, especially the freedom of thought and speech. The thing is, as Justin Raimondo, of Antiwar.com says, There's Something Rotten In Denmark that just doesn't quite add up. So, you think that it's all about the Free Speech, right, fearsclave, sorceror, forthright, et al? I don't think it's as cut and dried as many would have us believe. Adlai Stevenson said, "A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular." On the other hand, it is not a logical corollary of this observation to say that all members of free societies should go out of their way to be obnoxiously offensive.


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...occasionally, we're in near-complete agreement.

My thinking on this ugly little engineered controversy has moved from almost knee-jerk reprinting of the cartoons in support of freedom of speech to deep suspicion about the whole thing. OTOH, I think that events have moved past the point where apologies would be advisable or even have much effect. And I do think that it's an excellent illustration of one of the reasons why I think that religion is deplorable.

Yes, I think we are in full agreement on this issue.

hell is at it again

(Anonymous)
4 days before muslim world reaction there just pretenses of something bigger brewing for quite a while religion trying to acquire more power just like the catholic church did several hundred years ago during the crusades and inquisition. religion becomes its own power and the brainwash it implement its fuel greed is whats its all about and god has nothing to do whit it
all living things on this planet have the same building blocks , plants microbes insects reptiles mammals humans we come from the same life source so if there is a god did it not whit out reference to race color or species decided to fight its self i think not
its just another human .. race to power ,which the only result in war once again and i do not have to commen t on that history be my soul witness ive put up a list of other religions which also serve the greed of a few powerful manipulators money economy , patriotism's racism ,security . fear ,language barriers , etc.. you get the point motivate the masses otherwise peaceful to feed somes need to personal enrichment,. don't, get me wrong life has a tendencies to violence by period for it is glorified ..
i hate war and i see another strong one brewing
no justice will be respected by these pirates ,
p.s. well seated in luxury far from harms way you can find the culprits pulling the strings,sending own blood and faith to death and despair
c est la vie
l.s.

Agreed. I'd summarize as follows:

1) Free expression gives us the right to say horrifically offensive things, if we wish.

2) No expression, however horrifically offensive it may be, is ever a justification for coercion or violence. There is no such thing as "incitement."

3) There is nothing wrong with using that same power of free expression to note that what we should say is a proper subset of what we may say. Those who say offensive things ought to expect others to take offense, and it is the right of the offended to use their free expression rights to respond in kind.

l,s .

(Anonymous)
not quite what i had in mind but accurate .
little story there was a huge pile of shit drying in the sun it went dry on the surface no odors came out as long as you kept it un disturb
usually a caring one would poke a small hole to ease the pressure
of gas brewing until the caring one was replace by an ((let say uninformed one )) and un caring one let the pressure grow until it blew in his face so he rushed to plug the hole as best he could so far so good but then whit a big stick tough he could get rid of the stench by stirring, it ..he got shit all over sticking everywhere and the odor spread all over the world ...quote me on this just the names have been changed
l.s.
l.s.

i don't really care too much what it is all about. . . i just wanna see the cartoon that sparked this whole thing.

See the Wikipedia article that I link to below. It shows all 12 cartoons, along with descriptions and an in-depth examination of the whole affair.

Sometimes I forget how FAST Wikipedia is...

is not a logical corollary of this observation to say that all members of free societies should go out of their way to be obnoxiously offensive.

But nobody is saying that they should: Jyllands-Posten has been openly criticized and condemned from all quarters for this exercise. They have themselves apologized.

You realize, I hope, that the article you link to is not exactly neutral. He's also incorrect in claiming there have been no incidents of extremist Muslim violence in Denmark itself: see this Wikipedia article on the subject, which in turn links to another article about at least one assault (note 6).

There certainly is more to this affair than may be immediately evident. For one thing, certain extremist Muslim groups seem to have seized on this, added a few far more offensive cartoons of their own (be warned, the link shows these offensive cartoons) which J-P never published, and pretended that the newspaper refused to apologize (false, it did so), and further that it was an official organ of the Danish Government (also false).

So before you condemn J-P for going beyond the pale, please be aware that while some Muslims may genuinely find the original 12 cartoons offensive, the whole thing was very deliberately exaggerated by provocateurs. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to stop such behaviour -- they could do it with any sort of pretext.

Also, whether you believe the publishing was a stand for free speech as claimed by J-P, or open provocation, that doesn't change the fact that there have been cases of violence in Europe -- the riots in France and the Van Gogh murder being only the best known ones. The J-P claim that they're standing up for free speech under the threat of violence is only too plausible.

It's interesting that some Arabic newspapers seem to have published the same cartoons without any outcry. Also that there have indeed been depictions of Mohammed in Islamic culture, as this archive shows [be warned, this too includes some extremely offensive depictions of Mohammed under the later sections]. Also, if the depiction of Mohammed as a terrorist is so incredibly offensive, why have we never seen such widespread protests in the Islamic world against suicide bombers who claim to act in the name of Allah and the Prophet? Is it that our media just doesn't show them? Or do such demonstrations just not happen?

Maybe they were terribly offensive: as a non-Muslim, I'm not really in a position to comment on them from that perspective. Nonetheless, they aren't the real reason for the reaction we're seeing. I think that for the extremists who are actually committing and inciting violence, the Jyllands-Posten cartoons are not so much a provocation as an excuse.

in my own way i see this

very simply... and perhaps, to some, it is too simple, but the truth is that people ENJOY creating controversy, we have become a world that demands speed, access, instant gratification to whatever need... we have fallen, in my opinion, on difficult times spiritually because it isn't about organized religion here, it's about people just wanting to be RIGHT ALL THE TIME as opposed to seeking reasonable solutions to the issues.

the media, the governments, the free press... all good on one level, yet even more propogandist in others. and, what do you say to the people who fail to read, to truly immerse themselves in issues before they comment in their ignorance? how is it that a 30 second sound bite on the news substitutes for understanding the complete series of events?

how is that we, as humans, have fallen prey to lacking critical thinking?

the issue isn't the cartoons, it's our lack of comprehension.

but who the hell am i but some disabled housewife in upstate NY with a plate beyond full of her own life?

and maybe, just maybe, that is what strikes us to the core, that merely the act of survival has become so difficult in this world.

oy vey.

great post, montecristo... i tip my hat to you!

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