The random thoughts of a nash.
if i was him, i'd sue
Published on February 4, 2006 By Gene Nash In Current Events

From my perspective, artistic expression is little different from verbal expression. To me, a word is a symbol of an idea. Artistic forms other than writing use different materials than words, but they still come down to symbolizing and representing ideas.

That's why the piece "Piss Christ," for instance, didn't bother me. That's the artist's idea and he's welcome to it. I don't agree, and I'm welcome to my disagreement. Frankly, I find the stuff on South Park far more objectionable than Piss Christ. What I find most objectionable, far above those artistic blasphemies, is when some jackass in an "I Love Jesus" t-shirt and "Praise the Lord" baseball cap stands in the middle of McDonald's screaming at his 5 year-old over some imagined oversight. That may be the biggest blasphemy of all, because it's the one people are least likely to be able to separate from the diety represented. No-one is going to think Christ is actually covered in piss, or that the South Park characterization is anywhere near accurate, but they are sure likely to look askance at Christians and He whom they follow when they see such a shining example of "love" in action.

The recent controversial editorial cartoon depictions of Mohammed do nothing to detract from the man or the religion he founded. They simply express the artists' ideas concerning them. Disagree, agree, or be completely indifferent, it neither adds to nor detracts one scintilla from the objects under consideration. However, like the "Christian" verbally abusing his child, the "followers of Islam" who threaten murder and mayhem against all who do not display their level of zealotry and devotion do damage what they seek to revere. They're like the child who wishes to share the butterfly's beauty, but manages only to crush its wings, leaving nothing but a fine powder on their clumsy, brutish hands.

I appreciate that Islam bans visual portrayals of the prophet. If you're Muslim, don't do it. But we're not Muslim, we are infidels, we are -- from their perspective -- blasphemers, and it goes far beyond this stupid cartoon controversy. If it wasn't this it would be something else. Militant Islam is like the autistic child who starts screaming anytime anything intrudes on its closed-in little world, and keeps screaming till the disruption is removed. Within weeks of this controversy passing, they'll be taking to the streets, wailing, burning property, and causing carnage over some other imagined slight. The mistake these jihadists make is thinking the problem is an outside disturbance, instead of realizing the discomfort comes from within. The thorn isn't in the flesh, but in the soul.

But perhaps the biggest flaw lies in the mistaken belief that it's possible to not portray the prophet, because every time a Muslim walks outside, they are portraying the prophet to a disbelieving world. These jihadists, then, become the portrait of Mohammed, beamed around the world day and night. And the picture they paint is ugly indeed, one far more grotesque, distorted, and blasphemous than anything those "infidel" minds could conjure.

Rather than dispute an idea, they seek to silence a voice. Rather than present a compelling and attractive counterimage, they portray only ugliness and hate. Rather than show the world the beauty they see in the butterfly, they can only manage to cover their hands in blood and gore.

In the end, they know no other way. And that's the saddest commentary of all.



on Feb 04, 2006
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on Feb 04, 2006
Second on Bluedev and add interesting angle on the depiction of Mohammed.