Sunday, June 19, 2016

A June Commentary on the Flux of Election-Year Events

I noticed this week that someone posted a recent comment on my post, "The Breakup of Pathological Spaces."  I also noticed two other things: first, that my site traffic has recently gone through the roof, and second, that my commenter made a few violations of my comment policy.  The first violation was in posting anonymously.  (Normally, I don't publish anonymous comments.  Google ID or equivalent is required.)  The second was in throwing some profanity into his (her?) comment.  I only publish comments that are written in family-friendly language.  Call me old-fashioned, or a "prude", but I have my reasons, and no one has been able to talk me out of them.

However, when someone puts up a spirited disagreement with one of my posts, I am strongly tempted to give them a hearing, even if they violate my policies.  So I have decided to reproduce Mr. (Mrs.?  Ms.?) Anonymous' comment below (with some minor edits):

"A rather foolish contortion of NPD to fit your "America so evil" narrative. On another note, calling what happened in Orlando a false flag is disgraceful to us gays (yes I am gay, and a liberty-lover just the same), I really should be commenting on that post but alas its to the same end. How can you honestly imply American culture is at-large more narcissistic, more sociopathic than the self-righteous dogmatism of Islam, which could [care] less about the freedoms of women, gays, any free thinking person, of freedom of spirit and heart? Sure the power elites ripping the world to shreds are sociopathic slime, but western individualism is not simply narcissism. Collectivism is at the heart of all governmental evil in this world. Baffles me to think people are still defending muslims who hide their immorality, sadism and vitriol behind their [garbage] religion, playing the victim at every corner until they're in every corner of western civilization because of the white man's pathological on..."

(Here Blogger cut off the rest of the comment.  Anonymous, whoever you are, if you want to finish your thought, feel free to submit the rest of what you wanted to say - subject to my comment policy, of course!)

But for now, I have a few answers to the comment from Anonymous.  As to the assertion I have made that mainstream American culture is increasingly narcissistic and sociopathic, just look at how widely the ideals of selfishness are preached nowadays - through the mouths of entire political parties (Republicans and parties to the right of them); through mainstream American evangelicalism which venerates predatory capitalism, American exceptionalism and white supremacy; and  a "press" which is no longer free, but wholly owned by a handful of sick rich people (Rupert Murdoch being one of them) who want to reproduce their disease in as much of their audience as possible.  (Ever heard of Ayn Rand?)

As for the assertion that calling Orlando a false flag is disrespectful to the victims, there are people who for years have called 9/11 a false flag, yet these people meant no disrespect to those victims.  False flag operations do hurt people - that I acknowledge.  Yet the attempt to investigate the question of why a thing happened must rest on a truthful examination of facts, because it is the body of facts which determines why things happen and who the perpetrators are.  Asking "Why" is not disrespectful to the victims, nor is it disrespectful to pay careful attention to who benefits from a thing that has happened or what use (political and otherwise) is being made of that thing.  Your statement about being disgraceful is a non sequitur.

Lastly, regarding Islam, let me tell you something.  I am a Biblical Christian, and not a Muslim.  I will never convert to Islam.  However, I think that Islam has been set up as a convenient scapegoat for decades, complete with its convenient stereotype of the typical Muslim as some emotional, crazed, violent fanatic who goes around killing people solely because he "hates their freedoms!!!!!"  You are a self-professed homosexual, and yet it is ironic that you are spouting the same sort of stereotyped cliches that the American Religious Right spouted after 9/11.  (Here are two books to check out: The Blood of the Moon, and Islam Unveiled.  The latter book must have set a world speed record for being written and published within a few short months after the 9/11 attacks.  (It was published on January 1, 2002!)  Rather odd, considering that for a long time, the typical time to publish a book from the finishing of the author's manuscript was two years.)

A closer look at the reality of Islam in the world today - if you actually care to take a look - will reveal a much more diverse body of practitioners than you may have realized.  You will understand that there are divisions within Islam that are very similar in many ways to the denominations of Christianity.  You would also have discovered a host of Islamic countries where the values of community and hospitality are so deeply ingrained in the culture that Western visitors are blown away by the kindnesses they receive.  (Check out some bicycle touring blogs if you don't believe me - like "To Catch A Rainbow (Somewhere In Iran)", "Iran Alborz Mountains", and TravellingTwo.)

Anonymous, you've been living in a toxic bubble of American propaganda for too long.  Step away from the Kool-Aid, please...

For the rest of my readers, my next blog post will describe the ways in which the campaign of Donald Trump has been using the Orlando mass shooting.

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