Ok, so I’m probably meant to have an opinion on this, especially since Sydney made international headlines last Saturday with the protests against the movie that contained a substantial amount of violence. The media in Australia has been ablaze with “discussion”, a term I use loosely. I have seen this case bring out a LOT of absolutely ridiculous opinions, from people of all political persuasions. (Not that I’m pulling the “both sides are equally bad” nonsense. There’s no reason to expect stupidity to be even-handed for any given issue.)
So, in no particular order, here are the things that I found particularly annoying:
- Talking about how disgusting and vile the Sydney protest violence was as if you’re expressing some brave, controvercial opinion and fear being disemboweled by PC-thugs. Seeing the protests as silly, misguided, ridiculous or vile is not some brave minority opinion. If you have this opinion, good for you, but pretending that it’s any more controversial in the general community than “ice cream’s delicious and puppies are cute” is embarrassing.
- Talking about deporting those involved in the violence. If you can seriously suggest that Australian citizens can/should be deported without bursting into flames, I salute your ignorance. However, what if I smash a police windscreen? You can’t send me back to the USSR, it does not exist.
- Going on about how welcome “we” have been to “them” and how ungrateful “they” are. When your claim of being welcoming is contradicted in the very claim itself (with the generalisations and the othering), there’s something epic going on.
- Mentioning the Australian “way of life”. Do you mean that it’s un-Australian to protest a YouTube video or what?
- Taking every opportunity you can to mention how “offensive”, “racist”, “vile” etc. the Innocence of Muslims is — especially if you feel that you need to mention this when condemning the killing of people. The mere idea that this is even relevant to the discussion is itself offensive, at least to me.
- Forming a substantive judgement from the movie without having seen more than a 3 minute trailer. Of course it’s possible to form some such judgements from 3rd parties, but the extent to which this happened was also embarrassing.
- I’ve seen the trailer and it’s so hilariously inept, I find it hard to belive it’s anything but a joke. As a result, I’m also annoyed at taking the movie too seriously: have a look, I think it’s too cheesy to be even considered a serious attempt at bigotry. The messages are bigoted but it’s almost a parody of itself. I think to blame the filmmakers for the murder (or to suggest that people be arrested and that vocal critics of Islam ‘cost lives’ is an example of fractal wrongness
- Saying that freedom of speech does not extend to the idea of insulting religions — obviously.
- The idea that such a shitty video has any genuine impact on any religion.
- Saying that the protesters aren’t real Muslims or aren’t following true religion and all that jazz. Here’s Zinnia with more.
- And of course, participating in a street protest of any sort about this video. Even if it’s 100% non-violent and involves handing out ice-creams and puppies to strangers.
Finally the best commentary I’ve seen on the affair so far: from the Onion