Idiocy in Denmark, the Middle East, and here at home. Also dragons.
Well how about that, Here Comes Your Man is about the bombing of Nagasaki. Suddenly all that talk about shaking boxcars, lands falling down and big stones makes sense. Even the title is a dead give away. Well, you learn something new every day.
Yes, I’m back. I woke up this morning with an urge to write – and there’s certainly enough stupid things going on it the world at the moment to write about.
For example the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. Some people would say that in the current political climate it was stupid to publish them. I don’t know about that. A bit foolish perhaps not to anticipate the reaction, but not stupid. Some people would also say that it’s stupid for (some) Muslims to get so upset over a bunch of drawings in a newspaper. I don’t know about that either, after all it’s a religious issue and religion is something religious people (surprise surprise) tend to consider highly important. What I do think is idiotic however is the way the newspapers are making it worse.
More and more newspapers all over Europe are republishing the cartoons in the name of “defending free speech” – even a few in New Zealand have joined in. Now that really is stupid. Republishing the cartoons achieves nothing useful (except perhaps sell papers, oh dear you don’t suppose that’s why they’re doing it do you?) and pours more fuel onto the already merrily burning fire. Free speech is one thing (one very important thing), but using it in such a way to provoke a section of society is another entirely. Yes, under free speech newspapers should be free to publish a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. But that doesn’t mean that they should. And if they do choose to do so then they should accept the consequences of their action (ie: a million or so angry Muslims) rather than holding up ‘free speech’ as some kind of get out of jail free card. Their attitude seems to be one of “You can’t be mad with us! It’s free speech!”. This is a defence of the same dubiosity as “You can’t blame me! I was just following orders!”. If the papers want to publish things that will make people very very mad, then they should accept responsibility for what those very very mad people then do (like cancelling trade deals for instance). Full stop.
Also fairly stupid is the Prime Minister of Denmark, refusing to issue an apology. I quote – “The government refuses to apologise because the government does not control the media or a newspaper outlet; that would be in violation of the freedom of speech”. Now I actually agree with him on this. But he could still have issued an apology. A polite statement along the lines of “I’m sorry that you’ve been offended by this, we should all work together to understand each other better” shows concern without backing down over the free speech issue. Something like that could well have worked wonders to defuse the situation before it reached these levels of insanity. Now they’re burning down embassies. Well done!
Anyway in other stupid news, the State Government here in Western Australia has decided to ban denim from state schools. This is apparently because the Education Minister (a rather – in my opinion – sour faced woman by the name of Ravlich) doesn’t like it. When pressed for reasons why, she said it looks “scruffy” and that denim is a fabric for recreation and gives the impression that students are coming to school to have fun. I see. So students cannot possibly ever be allowed to have fun at school. I presume this is because learning itself can never ever be fun. Learning is horrible, onerous work and if the students enjoy it then it’s not being done right. Well, it’s good to see the Education Minister has such a firm head on her shoulders then (next it’ll be inquisitorial squads and prohibition of quidditch).
I mean c’mon! The Government is banning a fabric. When Governments start passing laws like that then the end of civilisation can’t be far off. Idiots.
(I think there should be a day of action where every state school student comes to school dressed in non-banned fabrics. Such as velvet, and muslin, and satin, and cheesecloth, and hessian. See how many more we can get on the banned list before the day is out 🙂
OK, I’ve had enough of castigating idiots for now. Anyway I’ve got a solid three hours of Canivàle to watch before tonight’s installment (I taped it the last two weeks and haven’t got around to watching it yet). And a stir fry to cook for dinner.
Oh yeah, I’ve also added a new bit to the site. Nothing exciting sad to say, but very geeky. I’ve thrown together some rules for putting dragons in Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings battle game. Since GW is gearing up to release their Battle of Five Armies supplement sometime soon I figured I’d better get them online before they’re totally superceded (hey, if they release a Battle of Five Armies supplement without rules for Smaug then it ain’t the Battle of Five Armies mate*Yes, Smaug wasn’t in the Battle of Five Armies but c’mon, his death sparked it didn’t it? It would be just plain cheap to leave him out.). An unexpected byproduct of my dragon rules are rules for burning terrain features and aerial combat, which should spice up games a bit. I’ve also got a “Defence of Laketown” scenario half written, which I may or may get around to completing and putting online, so that’s something to look forwards to (or not as the case may be :).
Well, bye then.