Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Free-floating anxiety

I don't know why, but today I've got a lot of free-floating anxiety dogging me. It's making it difficult for me to concentrate, which is unusual because I usually can't concentrate because of sleepiness. A can of Mt. Dew and I'm all better.

But I'm afraid that caffeine would only make me worse. I'm bouncing like a wagon on a washboard trail. I think it's the crazy world that's got me uptight. I feel like I need a good cry and a hug. Or some good distractions.

On Yahoo, one of the most-sent photos is this one. The caption reads:

Iranian women attend the international cartoon contest on the Holocaust in Tehran. An international contest of cartoons on the Holocaust opened in Tehran today in response to the publication in Western papers last September of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. "We staged this fair to explore the limits of freedom Westerners believe in," Masoud Shojai, head of the country's "Iran Cartoon" association and the fair organizer, said. (AFP/Behrouz Mehri)

So they're trying to see if we'll go totally ballistic if they publish cartoons offensive to us. Wow. They really don't get it. They think that freedom of the press means that we only publish stuff we like and don't put up with stuff we don't like. They've obviously chosen the Holocaust because they think that the Evil Joooos control the West, and that the Joooos, with their Super Evil Omnipotence, will come out and say "freedom of the press doesn't mean freedom to offend," which is what the Muslims were saying about the Danish cartoons.

They don't get that in a pluralistic society, you allow other people to say "wrong" things, even offensive things, all in an effort to make sure that there is no ideological tyrrany. But to them, there ought to be ideological tyrrany, because Islam Is Right and all else is corruption. And the corruption is intolerable. Destroy it. End of story.

I despair of ever changing their minds. It seems that the only thing we can do is defeat them so soundly they won't dare come up against us again. Maybe if their alleged civilization is in ruins, they'll be more open to new ideas, the way the Japanese were.

Or not. It's only going to get worse. And worse. And worse. It's 1938. Strap in and hang on.

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