Sunday, February 19, 2006

I Don't Like Butter Cookies

Just never have cared for them that much. So I'm unlikely to be doing as Michelle Malkin suggests, and buying lots of Danish products to balance out the fact that the Saudis are now boycotting Danish goods due to the Great Cartoon Schism.

Look, you know there's some Saudi woman out there who loves her butter cookies, and will get them through the blockade somehow, so can we consider that she's eating mine?

I briefly considered that the fact I'm planning to go to Ikea tomorrow to buy a throw rug might count toward supporting Danish industries, but then I remembered that they're Swedish. Do they maybe have a chair factory in Denmark?

What do they MAKE in Denmark, anyway? Besides butter cookies and blond furniture that's probably made in Sweden anyway. Lutefisk? Electronics?

Never mind. This cartoon thing...

I finally saw the cartoons in question just now. Michelle Malkin posted them all to her site. Not real impressive. Two are just classic cartoony sketches of a man who looks pretty much as Mohammed looks in all the medieval Persian drawings I've ever seen. (And at least one modern Persian cartoon I've seen--which has so far not incited anyone to do anything.)

A couple I would indeed call offensive. The infamous bomb-turban is one is trashy. The 'stop the suicide bombings, we're out of virgins' one is an old joke.

Several are self-referential--the one where the artist draws himself furtively drawing a man in a khaffiyeh is interesting, as is the one of the artist in a turban labelled 'PR stunt', holding up his sketch.

Now that I am a big qualified expert, allow me to pontificate:

1. I STILL do not understand the exact reason this silly and unpronounceable paper decided to do this damnfool thing. Westerners have been portraying Mohammed for a long time. (So have Easterners.) This strongly smacks of making a big fuss out of breaking a taboo that never actually inconvenienced you in the first place--something I became familiar with in college, but still think is stupid.

2. Supporting freedom of speech does not, thank heavens, actually involve having to support the specific speech itself, or tell the people whose rights you defend that you think they're clever.

3. None of these pictures was worth anyone dying over.

4. The pictures didn't start the fire, any more than Sharon strolling up the Temple Mount started the intifada. This was a publicizable flash point for something already in progress.

5. The Italian government dude who made a t-shirt out of the cartoons didn't start the fire either, but still deserves to have his tuchis kicked for being annoying and stupid. I would do it myself, but suggest a more neutral observer--perhaps a Shintoist--should do it instead.

6. Somehow, I'm not really in a mood to exalt Denmark for this particular blow for free speech. It's not that I strongly disapprove, I just don't feel this was such a clever thing to have done that I should go out of my way to put a Danish flag on my blog and eat lots of butter cookies. As mentioned above, not crazy about butter cookies. Why don't Danes make caramels with real butter and sea salt? Why do they leave that to the French? They have butter and sea salt too.

7. The Balabusta hereby condemns all the usual suspects for inciting violence, hypocrisy involving cartoons about Jews, blah, blah, blah. Folks, we knew these folks did not like us, so what's the point?

As you may be able to tell, I am in a state of general annoyance with almost everyone involved with this. I am not impressed.

All this has made me nostalgic for a favorite cartoon, which I should try to find some time. In it, Moshe makes his way down Sinai, clutching tablets. He addresses the people. (No speech bubbles yet.) One of the people raises a hand and apparently asks a question. (No speech bubbles yet.)

"Good question," says Moshe. "I'll ask."

He turns around, and takes the tablets back uphill with him. The people wait. He returns, slightly singed, hair standing on end. He addresses the people.

"Yes. You have to obey all of them, all the time. This concludes the &&*#&*#&*# question and answer session."


Eliyahu said...

choclate chip? oatmeal?

Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

Chocolate chip and oatmeal are both nice. I'm also partial to the jam kind. Which may be butter cookie related, but seem different somehow.

Gingersnaps, too.

Oh, and

8. Could some major world event involving Muslim outrage PLEASE not involve Nigerian Christians getting it in the neck? Just once, to see how we like it?

Eliyahu said...

there is no reasonableness test used by fundamentalist absolutists. rationalizations for behavior are commonplace, but these are outrageous. maybe the food bank takes danish butter cookies.