Monday, February 13, 2006

Support Free Speech this weekend

Yes, I know it's only Monday. But we've got a long weekend coming up in the United States, and it's called Presidents Day. If anyone reading this intends to tie one on in the name of extra time off (like I probably do), I'd suggest drinking Carlsberg Pilsner, which is brewed in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I'm suggesting this in lieu of writing what would undoubtedly be a lengthy entry on the insanity that has reared its head over the publication of several cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammed. Apparently, funny pictures of a religious figure are reason enough to incite riots and violence throughout the Arab world. No word yet on whether the subjugation of women, rampant disregard for human rights, and virulent racism are worthy of similar outrage -- but I have my guesses.

I'll come up with something on it. I think there are a couple interesting points, though. First, it's strange that the "outrage" began several months after the cartoons were published, and stranger still that the riots began shortly after Hamas took control of the Palestinian parliament. Further, it's odd -- but predictable, sadly -- that as Palestinians and Iranians take to the streets and call for the heads of the Danish editors, "balancing" stories about American "outrage" over other editorial cartoons (such as the Washington Post panel by Tom Toles, which featured a quadruple amputee sitting in a bed next to "Dr." Donald Rumsfeld) have been quick in the making.

For the record, setting up any kind of moral equivalency between one response (for example, burning down a Danish embassy) and the other (for example, the Joint Chiefs co-signing a letter to the Washington Post) is an exercise in weapons-grade stupidity. Stop it.

So yeah -- drink some Carlsberg this weekend in celebration of Free Speech... the kind that's free to piss off whoever it wants.