Quote Of The Day

>> Tuesday, September 07, 2010

General David Petraeus warns that moving ahead with this giant Bonfire of the Inanities will potentially put the lives of American troops at risk overseas, seeing as how most people in staunchly Muslim countries don't take too kindly to their holy book being barbecued. The idea that something done by a bunch of dumb-ass rednecks in Gainesville, Florida can resonate around the globe is just shocking in and of itself. But make no mistake, this is exactly what the psychotic, hyper-Christian Muslim-bashers are hoping to accomplish: some kind of holy war pitting Blue-Eyed NASCAR Jesus against that false-prophet, Muhammed. And people wonder why I despise faith-based religion across the board. Substitute two groups of people shrieking at each other over whether Zeus can beat up Apollo and you start to realize how bloody fucking ridiculous the entire thing is.

-Chez Pazienza, "Quote of the Day,"
Deus Ex Malcontent, September 7th, 2010

The subject matter, of course, is Terry (not the smart and funny one) Jones' plan to burn a bushel of Qur’an copies this coming September 11th. (The funny and smart Terry Jones might be planning on wearing a dress or writing an essay on mediaeval lit on Saturday, either of which ought to be more newsworthy and/or entertaining.)

It's not clear what the stupid-and-not-funny Jones is hoping to accomplish, though we can see one of the things he will accomplish in the quote Pazienza has for his "Quote Of The Day," which is worth a read:

We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States.

-Abdul Shakoor, an 18-year-old who apparently counter-protested
Jones' protest this past weekend in Kabul

Stupid Jones (I'm sorry--I just have to distinguish him from the Python in my brain) says that his stunt is some kind of "warning" to "radical Muslims," but of course I don't think they need to be warned that Stupid Jones is a dumb asshole, it's pretty self-evident. That having been said, of course he has a right to burn whatever he wants for whatever reason he wants; if I was stranded in the middle of the Arctic, I'd have no problem whatsoever burning a King James Bible, or at least all of it except maybe The Song Of Solomon and much of Matthew, which I find entertaining (and sorry, if I have something else to read while I wait for death or rescue, I might burn the whole thing; it certainly goes up in ashes before The Hobbit or White Noise does). The idea that some folks in the world are going to get upset that a bunch of paper is burned is fairly ridiculous, and the proper response to Stupid Jones' shtick ought to be a shrug.

I'm actually not going to sit here and say Stupid Jones shouldn't burn pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants, for the same reason the folks behind Cordoba House (or whatever they're calling it now) ought to be able to build whatever zoning regulations and their funding permits wherever and whenever they want. It's still (mostly) a free country, and the right to use property within whatever legal constraints might apply extends from real estate down to personal items like a clump of bound paper with text on it (now, I don't know how many Qur’ans Stupid Jones plans on burning; if he needs some kind of permit from the fire marshal, he'd better get one, and that has nothing to do with speech or property rights). And if someone wants to burn a crate of Bibles I'd better not hear Stupid Jones bitching about it unless they do it in the middle of dry brush and risk starting a wildfire, though I expect that's too much to ask since Stupid Jones probably thinks his bundle of bound paper is specialer than other bundles of bound paper. I mean, hell, if somebody wants to have an ecumenical bonfire and burn several editions of the Bible with-and-without the New Testament, the Qur’an, the Book Of Mormon, a copy of Dianetics, the Bhagavad Gita and whatever else you want to throw in, I can only note that the weather has been a bit warm for that kind of thing don't-you-think and if you're going to do it anyway, please observe appropriate safety precautions.

Although, on second thought, if Stupid Jones managed to accidentally burn down his church on Saturday, I'd be inclined to point and laugh. Hm. Anyway....

Anyway, no, the biggest thing I'd have to say to Stupid Jones is not to say he can't have a nice little book-burning, even if he's clearly going to endanger American lives by having it. I think, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, that a People that chooses safety over liberty deserves neither, so I'm not prepared to sacrifice the right to speech (however inane and meaningless) or freely use personal property (however wasteful) just because some hypersensitive zealots will almost certainly add to their list of grievances and justifications for more violence. Them's the kicks. No, I'd simply point out to him that I'm not sure what he intends to accomplish by acting like a petulant retard, and ask him if being associated with the phrase "petulant retard" is really what his life's ambition was when he embarked on the great journey that is life. But I suppose that's his business, isn't it?


timb111 Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 2:59:00 PM EDT  

I wonder if a group of veterans protesting (armed maybe?) and/or perhaps the same creative folks that protest Westboro Baptist would dissuade him? Probably not but it would be more entertaining than simply reading about the inevitability higher body counts in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

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