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"A kind of softening of the brain"

What on earth has happened to Silent Running? I haven't read them in quite a while, and now they're moaning about imaginary "moderate" Muslims being persecuted by us mean old infidels, and banning people from their comment boxes for disagreeing.

(The title, by the way, is from a line of dialogue from Ghosts, a play by Ibsen about a guy who gets syphilis... sometimes I think the urge to be loved for one's cosmopolitan tolerance, even in the face of death, is a kind of disease of the human brain.)

Update: and apropos to this, I find problematic this call for us in the West to study the problem that is Islam and its followers, so we know just what we are up against and especially so we can counter the pretty, sparkly idea of "diversity" (I recently read an article in Family Circle magazine about the "best towns for families" wherein one was praised for its "diversity" -- families "from five countries" lived there, no mention of what countries -- and how one father opined that living in such a place would teach his children to be "more compassionate") that is being sold to us. Not problematic in itself -- anything that helps people to realize that Islam isn't "just another religion, a lot like Christianity and Judaism, they have a special book and a holy day every week" is fine by me. But who is going to take the time out of their "busy" lives (filled with watching American Idol, ferrying kids to and from the ten thousand outside-the-home activities that are apparently necessary these days, grocery shopping, etc.) to do so? Not Mom and Dad Ordinary, who are sure that that nice Muslim couple -- well, there's another lady, maybe she's a sister? -- down the block are just as harassed by every day life and unable to find an extra minute in the day to sit down and finish wiring that bomb vest. And they especially aren't going to run the risk of being called "racist" despite their qualms when their daughter comes home with a list for "Muslim Day" at school including a pattern for a head-to-toe burka that all the female students are going to have to wear that day. Of course, if a similar paper asking for her to wear a knee-length skirt and blouse that covered all of her torso for "Baptist Modesty Day" were in question they'd scream like plucked macaws, but Baptists don't cause that frisson of "foreign, and therefore somehow superior, and enticing" that Muslims do.

YMMV, but this is a nation where people regularly sign their lives on the dotted line without reading the miles of tiny printing so they can get this house or that car, and then they're expected to regularly perform the mental gymnastics needed to suppress the realization that they've signed their financial lives away for five or thirty years. See, they really, really wanted that house, car, boat, whatever. And too many of us likewise really, really want to be loved and admired by the rest of the world, and too many of us are willing to sign away our lives for that badge of approval. What we really need to be emphasizing is the fact that we won't just be signing away our own lives this time.

Comments (1)

To be fair, the five countries thing refers to the street on which the quoted man lives, not the whole town.

I happen to live in one of the other cities whose "diversity" is praised. I take the article with a grain of salt, though, since it also claims that kids here play stickball (they don't) and that people around here routinely attend church with shorts on. Nobody I know would dream of doing such a thing.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 28, 2007 9:50 AM.

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