There's some douchebag preacher in Florida who plans to burn the Koran on September 11th. Big fucking deal. It's clear he's out to get himself and his church some publicity, and The Church probably needs money -- because God never seems to have any -- and I'm certain there's a little boy, a mistress, or a gay threesome somewhere in Pastor Jim's past that needs to stay hidden. There almost always is, regardless of denomination; That collar is the perfect camouflage for the sexual predator or deviant.
I'm not linking to anything on the protest itself, because I'm not giving a religious nutjob any free pub.
Be that as it may, this idea of burning Korans in the public square has raised some serious questions about the nature of protest, the First Amendment, our views as Americans, and whether or not we actually believe in the ideals of this nation, as written by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, lo so many years ago.
Actually, the question is far less complex or sophisticated. It is, simply, this:
At what point do you find a protest that involves burning something not named Barney Frank or Usama Bin Laden to be pretty fucking lame?
If the guy wants to burn Korans, I really don't care. Here's the conventional-wisdom argument against it: I think we're beyond the times when such an action has any shock value to anyone, and all it will accomplish is to inflame Muslims (you mean they can get even more stupid-loony?), and yada, yada, yada. To those who make the argument that doing such things "only makes more terrorists", my response is "the only thing the Middle East has ever made is terrorists". They would have made more whether we burned a Koran or not, so what fucking difference does it make?
Go ahead, Redneck Preacher Man; it's just not shocking, funny, or relevant anymore, and will ultimatley mean nothing. Like guitar masses, or NASCAR. I'm sure you're just intelligent enoughto realize this, but can't pass up the oppoprtunity to make yourself "famous", and get a few more donations. What you propose to do is an action that, at some point in time -- nine years ago, to be exact -- would have made sense, but not now. As a form of protest, it seems weak and flabby; like we're re-living the 1960's when so-called men burned their draft cards, and women burned their bras, and everyone burned hemp. Every time I see a protest in which something burns, I'm reminded of those old movies from the 1930's that show the black natives who can't take a piss without first dancing for 20 minutes around a huge bonfire, chanting their war cries and waving their spears, a pork bone stuck through their nose, and their black skin smeared with white warpaint.
Why, I can almost see Fay Ray and the loincloths from here.
It just seems totally anachronistic -- and childish --to me to burn anything at a protest. Glenn Beck just had 400,000 people on the Mall at Washington, D.C. and no one had to burn anything to make their point, did they?
I'm not defending the Koran -- because it's a piece of shit full of the words of a dead child molester,and it deserves to burn -- but I find the whole idea of gathering the media to watch a crowd of inbred swampfolk Bible-thumpers burn books...well, rather retarded. It's lame. It's sad. It's so yawn-inducingly uninteresting. It's soooo Spanish Inquisition, which is pretty funny, since it's Protestants attacking the heresy of Islam this time around.
But, even this stupidity causes the chattering classes to look at "The Big Picture" (which is code for " Your intellectual superiors are about to tell you why you're wrong) .This is one of those times when the undeniable right to be a moron collides with the bigger moral question of "should you be allowed to be a moron for idiocy's sake alone?", an especially important question to ask when a General on the front lines chimes in and insists that doing so puts his troops in greater danger, and makes their mission more difficult.
Note: General Petreus was forced to even take that tame statement back by some of the same chattering (cl)asses who made a stink over his comments. I'll bet the majority of those voices was "conservative", and they only rebuked the General because there's a church involved.
Now, personally, I was always under the impression that the mission should be radically simplified to "just kill anything with laundry on it's head", but then I always was a simple man. Who knew that killing the enemy had to entail a carefully-planned program of symbolism, politics and propaganda?