Here's my portfolio article about all this wild Mohammad cartoon stuff. The tune of the post is brand-new- destined-to- be-classic Zdarlight by Digitalism, part 2 of my hommage to the explosive new German electroclash outbreak. On l'a vu le jour de l'an a la S.A.T., et j't'dit que ca tue. Ca s'en vien bientot, la nouvelle album.
A Personal Response to Blasphemous Cartoon Publications
When the rusted perimeters of crumbling empires grind tectonically together, as they so often do, there exists a state of potential energy. There exists a possibility of something small knocking dominoes on an entire generation. Who threw the first rock in the Gaza Strip, whose momentum we still feel today, amplified in a wave pattern over the phonograph tunnel of time? If Rosa Parks met Franz Ferdinand, and they checked it out on Google, what would they say about the squabble over recently published Mohammed cartoons?
It is sure that words turn into bullets, and bullets, in turn, to bombs. Bombs to radiation, radiation to genetic alteration. There is a logic puzzle that proposes that the wind off a butterfly’s wings millions of years ago could have had a profound subsequent effect on our current reality. And for all the quantum probabilities we’re finding hidden in uranium atoms in dusty corners of physics labs, it seems this might be a reality we’re living. So if, for the sake of argument, these are the framings, and little things sometimes do explode like Margaret Mead’s “small groups of concerned individuals”, are we now witnessing it in
I think we're about to see that the debate over "free speech" or publishing rights is more or less moot in this situation. You can absolutely find many fully justifiable defenses of the original publishing of these comics, just as you can find an equal number of honest arguments respecting Muslim beliefs. But the bottom line is, as much as the
The question not being asked in the media is: what tumor are we going to let this cell mutate into? Can we make it a Rosa Parks and (eventually) find a common understanding on the other end of the bus ride? Or is this Danish newspaper like Franz Ferdinand, waiting to burst into a global conflict: Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” rearing its head? Where, in other words, is the last straw for the oppressed East and the frightened West? And as these two beasts lock horns as so many times in the past, we’ll see if anybody has learned the differences between freedom and tolerance; response and reaction.
Originally published February 8th, 2006