Sunday, September 16, 2012

Innocence of Americans

Finally! I was so pleased to hear that our official response to the recent attacks and deaths of Americans has been an unequivocal denial of any possible justification. In our society a movie of any kind no matter how insulting or disgusting is ever justification for the murder of anyone: not even the film maker.

It seems to me that this has to be the answer; our society doesn't encourage films of this nature but we're free to make them. And we do. 

A friend of mine pointed me to the following quote by Zawahiri:
How would Americans feel if films insulting the pope or Abraham Lincoln were produced?
He found it ironic that this quip comes just months after Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was released, but this isn't the only film in this genre. Our media is filled with critiques of religion, religious figures and historical legends. In the marketplace of ideas that dominates the west we criticize absolutely everything and publish our critique for the whole world to see. In fact, I used to have a huge poster of The life of Brian in my bedroom. The poster showed Brian and several other "criminals" tied up on crosses: a scene from the movie. At one point we had a couple of exchange students from Japan stay with us for a couple of days. At the time we didn't have a lot of extra room and so my wife and I slept downstairs in our living room and gave up our bedroom. I'll never forget that morning when they came rushing down the stairs in their Sunday best and wondered why we weren't ready to go to church. I explained to them that we were atheists and they assured me I was wrong. They had seen my poster! And we tried to explain this movie to them, and they just didn't understand why I'd have a poster of a movie that was clearly making fun of another religion. What was the point? Why did I think it was funny?

What about Egypt or Lybia?

Given quotes like the one above it's clear that they haven't payed any attention to western media. Egypt itself is a multicultural society boasting christianity (primarily coptic), baha'i and even juddhism and all in addition to islam. My assumption is that movies are not often created there which denigrate faiths and so when something like this comes out of America and hits the interwebz there's an uproar. Now, I realize that Islam is particularly sensitive to images of Muhammed or Allah, but I'm quite certain that with tad bit of investigation they could find all kinds of prurient, depraved imagery depicting Jesus.

And if not?

Let's make a movie? I'd like to put together something really despicable and reach out to media all over the world. Let's show the world just how far we can take this, and when it's all said and done maybe we'll learn something about the innocence inherent in ignorant films.