Friday, December 09, 2005

Iranimania, aka "Holocaust Schmolocaust!!"

Today is Friday, and for some reason I'm really tired. It's hard to get anything done, so I take care of little odds and ends here and there, and spend some time catching up on world events (i,e. reading blogs).

That's OK though, because part of my job requires that I stay current on international stuff. Cool job eh?

Now, to the matter at hand.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not a huge fan of racist jokes, particularly holocaust jokes. I remember guys on my second team in Oki used to tell me that I needed to lighten up 'cuz I didn't find it uproariously funny to drop N Bombs all the time. My response was simply, "Do I need to lighten up? Should I? Why?" then I would scold them for falling for the Eminem-esque "I don't give a fuck about anything!!!!!" deal. Then they followed up with, "it's just a word," which I followed up with, "I wanna violate your little sister", to which they said, "what?" to which I said, "what, they're just words," yadda yadda yadda. Been through it a million times. It's all old hat, and I've talked about it before.

Racism is a funny (funny weird, not funny ha ha) thing, and people really seem to get a kick out of accusing people of being racist. Mr. Troff was highly amused by my "you're a racist!" game, which is where you twist words around and accuse someone of being a racist. Today I was reading an article that kind've reminded me of that. The article's title is Holocaust may not be true, move Israel to Europe: Ahmadinejad.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I'm a retard. I totally misread this article and thought it said something else, so now I've deleted a huge portion of my post cuz, yeah, I'm an idiot. It's ok tho, cuz above I said I was really tired, which I was. I dunno what's wrong with me.

Thank you for pointing that out to me, Brando. It must have seemed a little bit strange.

In any case, the President of Iran is a whackjob, doesn't accept that the holocaust happened, and if it did, seems to think that's it's not a really good reason to wanna get the fuck out of dodge. I thought for a long time that if we just left Iran alone, it would eventually move towards democracy, but who knows now. I'm going to reserve my right not to have an opinion on this one, because I'm simply not educated enough to have a good one, and I really have no idea how the 'common person' feels.....

Still, I am a bit tired of such a blatent anti-Iranian drive coming from the USA. I feel like someone is trying really hard to sell me something I don't want, don't need, and don't particularly wanna hear about. It's like being harrassed by street kids in Kabul, only everytime I read or watch the news. It kind've bums me out that there really isn't any objective reporting, and I'm pretty much resigned to the fact such a thing is impossible anyway. While there are a lot of really hot Iranian women, it's not like I'm an Iranophile or have some kind of love for them or their country. I'm just a little sword-rattling'd out, and wish news could be something other than some assmonkey trying to push his agenda on me. Nice pipedream eh?

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand in other news, it appears that crazy mothers aren't found only in the US of A. I say old chap, this seems to be a bit of a stretch.

Here's a picture of the mother from the link above:

Look familiar...?

It's the Afghan girl from National Geographic!!

I smell a conspiracy.


Anonymous brando said...

I'm not so sure I completely jive with what yer saying. I got the feeling that you feel as though you were tricked into reading an article because it had a sensational headline that mildly related to the meat and potatoes of the article. I think that the comment about not accepting that the holoucaust happened IS the most important part. Ahmadinejad is the president, not some editoral writer. I think that we should hold him to almost the same standard we hold our president. And that we should hold al jazeera to the same standard as we hold other media.

Anywho. I know you've said that Iran might change into a democracy without the US even lifting a finger. You may even be right. I dunno. I think we have good reason to be worried, and I think that Iran is dangerous and wants the world to know how dangerous they are. I can't see how this can end pleasantly.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And that we should hold al jazeera to the same standard as we hold other media."

Which standard is that? That they only lie to us if it will increase ratings? Or that they won't tell us things we aren't interested in because it might decrease ratings? *grin*

Anyway, I remember this one time, in high school, when Paul beat the crap out of this kid for drawing anti-Semitic crap in class... Fortunately, the school did the right thing and stood behind Paul...

Wait, no they didn't... they suspended you didn't they? Maybe if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sitting next to you and you punched him in the face the U.N. would suspend you from humanity for 3 days...

2:03 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I got suspended for the rest of that day and the next day...but all the teachers let me turn in work instead of getting a "zero" on it. The teachers were like, "I don't condone violence but....good job," so 'officially' the school punished me, but 'unofficially' it gave me high-5s.

If I sat next to Ahmadinejad I would remind him on a daily basis that he looks like Balki from Perfect Strangers.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Hoss said...

There's a local rdio talk show in Indianapolis with a highly plugged-in Conservative host. A lot of his weekly guests are internationalist journalists and the like (Brandon Minter, Frank Gaffney,etc.)and the reports they present are that the Iranians are very pro-American (unlike liberals) and clamor for freedom. But, unfortunately, dictators really don't give a shit what the people want.

Al Jazeera's just the Arab worlds arm of the American mainstream media...half the time their agenda doesn't seem to be much different than our own medias.

Props to Paul for the anti-Semitic punk smackdown. But, didn't you violate his rights by stifling his "right" to self expression. And I'm sure these days you would open yourself up to a massive lawsuit for not only violating his right to self expression, but also for damaging his self-esteem.

You can only direct hate towards the white man and Catholics...DUH.

It seems like

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey buddy. I'm just glad to have made mention in the blog for a second time, sweet! Anyways, two thoughts:

1. Charles de Gaulle said something to the effect of "Countries don't have friends, only interests." I try to take that to heart when I pass through other countries--a lot of people, I think Iranians may be included, would get along just fine with a lot of Americans and vice-versa, but we're often skewed by the perceptions we adopt through less-than-insightful media.

2. On the whole racism thing: I really hate reality TV, and don't even own a TV right now, but I think this has the possibility of being a worthwhile show:

Happy holidays, buddy. -jt

12:38 PM  
Blogger Jinxy said...

But racism's funny.

"Of course, Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam is the ultimate coon show update of human cesspools.."

Tee hee.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Cory said...

Yeah, all those friggin' Hadjis make me sick.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Paulie, I'm with you on questioning the hard-on some folks seem to have for Iran right now (though they did just buy another anti-aircraft/missile defense system recently to protect their nuke research facilities... and bought another MiG-29 upgrade contract: both from the Ruskies). I think if we were more subversive and clever rather than dickheaded and tough we might have better luck with the Iran thing.

We broke the seal on China through giving them the promise of economic development through free markets, and now political reform is following. We've polluted the Chinese mind with our "western sex and hip-hop" and it really seems to be working.

Sandbox governments are embarassingly willing to open up markets and let in our porno-evil goods and services when "modernization" is the agenda. So I say trade with Iran. Buy their sand and shitty cars, and give them Eminem and Fiddy Cent in return.

Oh, and everyone in the Middle East is a fucking racist, so changing the government won't fix that part.

And because I'm a total heaumeaux who thinks that he's open minded or something I read Al-Jazeera English and Arabic (totally different stories, btw) pretty regularly, and I have to say that they are usually more critcal of Middle East governments than the US media. They doubtless have some pretty dirty contacts that get them their beheading footage, but I bet they're less involved in the actual political process than ABC and MSNBC.

Or maybe I'm just a dumbass.

- Fadi

12:48 AM  
Anonymous brando said...

I find arguing things on forums or blogs distasteful because there is a lot of room for misunderstanding and often people just want to get their shots in. I do think that this is an important thing to talk about though.

I made the statement "And that we should hold al jazeera to the same standard as we hold other media.". That is not a very bold statement. I’m saying 2 things. That al jazeera is held to a lower standard than other media. (they are sub-par), and that they should be held to the same standard. That’s it. I’m not saying that everything that other media says is completely true and I’m not saying that everything that al jazeera says is false. My phrase is worded exactly how I meant it.

Anonymous provided me with 2 (and only 2) options for the actual standard of other media.

#1. “That they only lie to us if it will increase ratings?”

#2. “Or that they won't tell us things we aren't interested in because it might decrease ratings?”

Which one do I pick?
Then a grin was triumphantly posted, implying that my statement was proven wrong.

Seriously, do we really believe that al jazeera’s reporting and editorials aren’t openly anti-US, anti-Israel. And vaguely pro-terrorism? I get jumped on when I say that they aren’t “held to the same standard”. The only other option is that they are held to the same or higher standard.

Higher standard? Is that true? Is that reasonable?

8:42 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Fadi's comments always rock. I'd like to put in a PAR and request 1 Fadi comment per post, please... Or maybe I shouldn't cuz I know Fadi has the potential to be a real pain in the ass. Whichever.

As for the media standards thing, I'm not really sure if I have an opinion on that. Or maybe I do...

The only standard I hold the US media to is one of a corporation, i,e. they're there to make money, and anything they do, say, any ethical qualities they might have (or not have), etc, is secondary. If I hold it to that standard, while it doesn't make the stories any easier to swallow, it puts it in perspective enough for me to ignore it with less frustration.

In that sense, it is possible to hold al-jezeera and US Media corporations to the same standard, because they're both playing an audience to bring in revenue. Does that make it right? No. But it's the nature of the animal, and something we'll have to deal with in a free-press society.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous brando said...

I hear what yer saying and it all sounds about right. I have no disagreements with what you said. I suppose were trying to define the word "standard", or some belief in "good journalism". (you like the quotes?)

I think that Iraqis are pretty poor at fact checking and will believe any article that externalizes blame for their problems, while Americans love to introspect about what we could have done better or what we have done wrong. Pretty much internalizing world events. Good ole fashioned American guilt.

Argument and questioning the common belief is what we do, and rightfully so. Does a news station need to cater to an audience? Oh yeah. I understand that. The difference is that we have a wide array of biased news outlets, and we are better news consumers. While Iraqis are limited to strictly anti-American news laced with things that are objectively false. Iraqis can't tell the difference.

Just some disclaimers first.

1. I'm extrapolating Iraqi behavior to encompass the entire middle east. Maybe other middle eastern contries are filled with superior citizens. I couldn't say.

2. Again, I never said that western media is the ideal of perfection. Simply that its all fine and good to cry foul on CNN, but arab media has more insulation from being questioned. That ain't cool.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Akh, the Aljazeera talk:

The one and only insight I might add to the discussion is that although we don't like "AJ," it should be known that it was the first independent news agency in all of the Middle East and Northern Africa--all other TV news prior to AJ was completely government controlled. Imagine if your only news source was Armed Forces Radio/Television Servics--the Arab Street was starved for information long enough that they'll eat anything, and AJ counts as "anything."

10:22 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I happen to enjoy my daily dose of indoctrination via the Armed Forces Network.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I happen to enjoy my daily dose of indoctrination via the Armed Forces Network."

--This from the guy who's still putting in PARs to hear more from Fadi. heh. PARs


11:22 AM  

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