Friday, September 10, 2010

Idiot Plans Burning Quran... Entire World Cares?

We are now entering the fourth day of covereage of "pastor" (are there any credentials for that title?) Terry Jones' plan to burn a bunch of Qurans and probably accidentally incinerate his admittedly impressive facial hair:

Surprisingly, the whole world still seems to care. President Obama has condemned the plan multiple times, most recently during a press conference this morning, where he suggested that Jones, were he to go through with the plan, would be personally responsible for the loss of American lives. The President isn't the only one who thinks so. Everyone from Sarah Palin to Robert Gates has spoken out against the burning, with Gates going as far as personally calling Jones to talk him down.

When Palin, Gates, and President Obama all agree on something, you can be sure their position is fairly unassailable. And of course, no actual person with thinking parts wants Jones to go through with the plan (with the possible exception of Sam Elliot, who is worried about competition at his next audition). But regardless of the righteousness of their motives, I find Jones' critics' approach to this situation a tad misguided.

First, it just strikes me as odd that the actions of this single person, who appears to be what scientists call a Moron, could hijack international discourse for nearly a week. What morons choose to do with their excessive free time should really not concern people who think, in America or elsewhere. Especially when the moron's actions are confined locally and lauded by only a few even bigger morons who consider the Great Moron a spiritual leader. Like, seriously, we are caring about that? What if a six-year-old girl came home, found a Quran, and used it as a bed where her Barbies could get it on? Would this spark an international outcry as well? There has to be some level of stupidity we are willing to just ignore, collectively, as a culture. I think that level should be just below whatever Sarah Palin condemns as idiotic.

Second, I have a real problem with holding this mustacioed man of diminished capacity responsible for the actions of extremists and opportunists on a global scale who plan to react to this stupid publicity stunt by killing people. Like the Middle East is just this inanimate death and fire machine, and if someone throws the switch, it starts up through no will of its own. Extremists burn American flags all the time, but we would still condemn any American who responded by killing innocent people, right? For some reason, the same rules don't apply in the Middle East. We've just come to expect that extremist Muslims will react to any provocation with violence, and even if that turns out to be true, it's still insulting that we don't even acknowledge their culpability anymore, choosing instead to blame the stimulus. Engaging in an evil act often enough that it becomes rote should not abdicate a person's--or sometimes, a culture's--responsibility for that evil act.

Guess what: if enough people like a book, someone else is gonna want to burn it. That's just the way it is. Harry Potter fans have been dealing with this sad fact without violence or international uproar since they were 8-years-old. Maybe it's time everyone else grew up too.


Blogger Toney said...

Post of the year?

9/10/2010 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post! This moron is only being further empowered by the attention everyone is giving him. I don't understand why everyone cares.

9/10/2010 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have a plan to boycott any news agency that gives this moron one more second of "serious" coverage. I'm not sure if I'll be left with anything to read or watch, but I'm going to try.

9/10/2010 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so right about this. why are so many people using this incident to puff up their indignation and bolster their own superiority? it's counter-productive. when someone's trying to yank your chain, don't encourage him.

9/10/2010 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, for one, hate Harry Potter. Which is obviously the point of this post.

9/10/2010 2:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

2:15, you should probably threaten a bonfire and see if you can get a call from the Defense Secretary.

9/10/2010 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9/10/2010 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say let him burn it. That's what it means to be free. Free to be an idiot or whatever else floats your boat. Comedy Central desecrates all things sacred-because they can -in America. But you can't call the people who react violently 'extremist' because that would imply that the majority of Muslims fall into that category- at least in respect to the size of the crowds shown burning our flag on CNN. Freedom of speech does not allow for yelling 'fire' in a crowded movie theater, but I will not allow my freedom to be constrained by the personal beliefs of others. Larry Flint wouldn't have made a dime if that philosophy was in play in this country.

9/10/2010 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I respectfully disagree. I applaud all the leaders for coming out against this plan.

For the record, this pastor was talking about it for awhile with minimal publicity. However, now that it is clear he is serious about it, opposing it sends a clear message to Muslims around the world that we do NOT support this guy or the desecration of their holy book.

And I think this is a good thing not because I think one pastor burning the quran would inevitably lead to violence but because it would hurt. It would pain Muslims to see their holy book being desecrated and especially if the world was quiet.

"All evil needs to succeed is for good men to be silent."

9/10/2010 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't wait until 9/11 to burn my copy of the Quran:

9/10/2010 5:09 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

What if a six-year-old girl came home, found a Quoran, and used it as a bed where her Barbies could get it on? Would this spark an international outcry as well?

Actually, yes. It would. Because what socialist, God-hating public institution is teaching six-year-olds about sex, anyway?

9/10/2010 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert but isn't it spelled "Quran" or "Qu'ran" - not "Quoran" as in the title?

9/10/2010 5:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Right you are, 5:15. Fixed it.

9/11/2010 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well at this point whether Quran is burnt or not at least we now know what to do to provoke them "extremist" Like in my country if I hear again that any "extremist" do any form of harm to Christians or Christians material, I will commemorate it with Burning of copies of Qurans. They can't be hurting other people and getting away with it. Thanks to Papa Jones.

9/11/2010 2:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeye America, fear fear. Una no no anything. When 9/11 kasala burst una no burn any flag, una burn any Quoran?. Mutallab, that Yemen/Nigeria boy wan come finish una, una no protest, una no kill their people. Now only one Pastor Jones wan remember the wahala by say make him burn Quoran small as the 9/11 still dey peper the man, un dey shout. Una Presido were be black man disappoint, e dey fear. One dey them go take una place as they take jos for nigeria. Well i hope una fit to read pidgin.

9/11/2010 3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the "provoking violence" part is to help convince him and others like him not to do it. Because it's an argument a nationalist and religious bigot can identify with. That it is disrespectful and painful to others is a better reason not to burn someone's religious texts, but not one that would convince someone who's already so anti-Muslim.

9/12/2010 2:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we get a moratorium on people scheduling clerkship interviews in the student center? I may apply to clerkships next year and my chances of getting an interview are slim-to-none. If I don't get an interview next year, I don't want to remember you scheduling your interview the year before.

9/13/2010 3:59 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

No, we should not “get a moratorium on scheduling clerkship interviews in the student center.” We should “get a moratorium” on people whose immediate reaction to a colleague’s good news is to be snide and condescending. Anyone who gets an interview has made an achievement and deserves your support. I am not sure how the idea that students should be sneaking around and hiding their accomplishments from one another got such traction this year, but it needs to stop.

You go to a law school – and one of the best. You are on your way to being a highly trained professional, near the top echelon of our social system. And right now, right next to you, your classmates are interviewing for jobs to kick off their careers, and for clerkships that may mark a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is all part of where you are in your life right now, and apparently it bears polite reminding that in a common area (like the student center) you are likely to encounter common conversation (like clerkships).

Beyond the silliness of berating your peers for acting like reasonable human beings, it is also uncomely. There is something ugly about sneering down your noses at people who have had good fortune, or acting as though you are somehow 'cooler' than they because you adhere to a childish unspoken rule. Rather, you should be complimenting them on their success. You should be happy for them. You should be supportive.

I mean, what are you going to be doing in 5 years when someone down the hall wins his or her first motion for summary judgment? Are you going to piss on them anonymously because your own motion is coming up and you do not want to think about them if you lose? Really?

I wish this whole holier-than-thou-attitude with respect to classmates’ success would loosen its grip on Boalt. What happened to smiling and supporting each other?

9/13/2010 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hear hear patrick.

9/13/2010 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to dedicate this song to 3:59:

9/13/2010 6:02 PM  
Blogger L'Alex said...

I agree with your comment Patrick, particularly as it applies to the silliness that ensued on this year's OCIP thread. However, it seems to me that 3:59 was being sarcastic.

3:59, if you're out there, please vindicate my faith in humanity...

9/13/2010 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm quite sure 3:59 was lampooning the silliness of this year's 2L class.

9/13/2010 7:35 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I'm not so sure... but if I were him/her, I would certainly pretend that was the case from here on out.

9/13/2010 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone see the bit on Colbert where he had this guy's mustache ring like a phone? Nearly spilled my wine laughing.

9/21/2010 7:42 PM  

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