Most people get upset that anyone would offend another group of people. Too few get upset at the asymmetrical response of the offended. Let’s not forget the 24/7 media circus surrounding the harmless actions of a bigot in Gainsville, Florida. I’ll predict now that no where near the coverage, if you hear of it at all on the major news shows, will focus on this appalling outcome of cultural blackmail designed to make the First Amendment only text on a page. The cartoonist, formerly Molly Norris, that thought up “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” (here, here) is now in hiding because of the death threats and fatwa against her life. I’m just wondering when President Obama will point out the right of people to offend others even if he doesn’t comment on the wisdom of it.
From the A.V.Club I learn that:
The FBI has arrested the Virginia man who posted a “warning” to South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on a radical Muslim website back in April, after he told federal agents of his plans to travel overseas and join a terrorist group. Zachary Chesser, described as a 20-year-old “university dropout,” was apprehended while attempting to board a plane at a New York airport despite being on a no-fly list, after which he spoke at length with FBI agents about his connection to al-Qaeda associate group Al-Shabaab, which he intended to join in Kenya or Somalia.
Here’s my contribution.
An adaptation of the most annoying cartoon I could think of.
So the newest episode of South Park was heavily edited and now won’t be rebroadcast. I’m a little ashamed that we can’t stand up more for our freedoms. Here’s a decent recap of the controversy on CNN that features the courageous Aayan Hirsi Ali.
Can we also replace National Prayer Day with this:
Matt Parker and Trey Stone, creators of South Park, are being threatened (not explicitly) on the radical Islamic site Revolutionmuslim.com
The posting on Revolutionmuslim.com says: “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”
Over still photographs of Parker, Stone, van Gogh and others, the Web site runs audio of a sermon by the radical U.S.-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, who is now in hiding in Yemen. The sermon, recorded some time ago, talks about assassinating those who have “defamed” the Prophet Mohammed – citing one religious authority as saying “Harming Allah and his messenger is a reason to encourage Muslims to kill whoever does that.” U.S. officials say al-Awlaki is on a list of al Qaeda leaders targeted for capture or assassination.
The last episode of South Park satirized the ridiculousness of not being able to draw a cartoon of Mohammed. In the episode he appears disguised in a full bear suit, in a van, and behind a censor bar. In a previous episode before the Danish controversy erupted, Mohammed appeared in as a member of the Super Best Friends – no one freaked out. In an interview Parker and Stone make the point that if everyone had reprinted the Danish cartoons there would be no one specific to target and it would diffuse the threat while also displaying our commitment to free speech. Sadly, Comedy Central prevented them from showing Mohammed.
I hope the American media stands up against these terrorists and defends free speech and freedom of the press. Everyone should standing with Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
I had some amazing cocktails at my new friend Ran’s bar at the Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, MA. He’s superb mixologist; he treated a lady-friend and I to some classic drinks with some modern and personal twists. I really loved his maple old-fashioned. Little did I know that the lemon foam on top is potentially illegal in some parts of the US! Not to mention those bitters that spiced up a few other drinks I enjoyed…
In case you’ve been sitting in a dark room somewhere sucking down rum and Diet Cokes, America is in the midst of a cocktail renaissance. A cadre of elite mixologists (or bartenders, as Thrasher prefers to be called) in New York, Portland, San Francisco, D.C., and other creative-class cities is bringing back classics and offering new twists on retro techniques. Meanwhile, alarmed by all this creativity and innovation, retrograde health inspectors and bureaucrats are cracking down on innovation from coast to coast.
I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist – it allows me to vigorously defend the 21st!