Saturday, October 18, 2008

And the nether the twain shall meet . .

Here's your cultural education moment of the day or week.

There's a new videogame coming out that has the technorati all atwitter in anticipation (and the sky is blue!); apparently Spore wasn't all that in terms of user interface and world-creation, but LittleBigPlanet is.

Western culture tends to have 2 modes for adding religious context into popular media: sledgehammer and subtle. Both are sometimes used well, but the far overwhelming majority of well-done applications are subtle.

LittleBigPlanet's background music team inadvertently included a Western-style inclusion of 2 Qur'an passages into the videogame, liceninsing a recording by artist Tapha Niang & Toumani Diabate's Symmetrical Orchestra. From the archived forum post:
1- In the 18th second: "كل نفس ذائقة الموت" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

2- Almost immediately after, in the 27th second: "كل من عليها فان" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').

. . We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending.
Last time I checked, my memorial service preparations had Turn, Turn, Turn still included in the script. And no, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan never sang from the Qur'an - just with Eddie Vetter. Whom could be a demigod, but that's another post.

The real potential Western problem is the quotation content. The American 30% is out there, and in this age of Fear Terrorism, "Every soul shall have the taste of death" & "All that is on earth will perish", will automatically construed as something other than the obvious acceptance of our inevitable mortality, no matter the means we come to that end. An acceptance that fundamentalist Christians obsess over in the their dogma on death and resurrection with or without Christ. Heck, even my wife preaches frequently from the pulpit on our necessity for the acceptance of death.

But just imagine FOX and CNN catching and then propagating this story with their armies of commentators-as-news-journalists, not to mention their guest issue arsonists.

Maybe Muslims have a good idea, huh?

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama Fights For Us

I was going to take a nap, but I was distracted by this:

Letter from the Obama campaign to Attorney General Mukasey

I can't quote from it because it is a picture (and I don't feel like transcribing) but Obama is going after the DOJ for illegally leaking the investigation into ACORN, for participating in partisan political activity and for intimidating voters. Obama is taking them to task for everything. Read the letter. It is fabulous.

Iglesias says history is repeating itself, and Conyers is going after them as well.

Over at home base someone was asking why isn't Obama saying more about the ACORN issue and telling the truth...well, I think we see why. He now has quite a case.

Damn. I never thought I would see the day when Dems quit being wimpy pussies and would actually fight for us on this issue. Today is the day.

Count every vote!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cleese on Palin

I have no idea if it's good clip - I'm posting it here so I can find it later from My Left Wing. My remote session doesn't have sound. But considering John's blistering tongue, it can't be pleasant.

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Caption Contest

The Tongue Lasher!

Which man will be our next President?

Why can't I stop laughing... 7 of 6, get a hold of yourself!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Good For Campbell Brown & MSM

My highlights:
NEW YORK (CNN) -- You may find it hard to believe that this remains an issue in this campaign, but it does.

The candidates, both candidates, are still getting questions about Barack Obama's ethnicity and religion. If you are even semi-informed, then by now you already know that of course, Barack Obama is an American.

Of course, Barack Obama is a Christian. Yet just a few days ago, there was a woman at a rally for John McCain incorrectly calling Obama an Arab:

Woman at rally: I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab.

Sen. John McCain: No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about. He's not, thank you.

Now, I commend Sen. McCain for correcting that woman, for setting the record straight. But I do have one question -- so what if he was?

So what if Obama was Arab or Muslim? So what if John McCain was Arab or Muslim? Would it matter?

When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there is something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too.

We've all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.

I feel like I am stating the obvious here, but apparently it needs to be said: There is a difference between radical Muslims who support jihad against America and Muslims who want to practice their religion freely and have normal lives like anyone else.

There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life.

These are the people being maligned here, and we can only imagine how this conversation plays in the Muslim world. We can't tolerate this ignorance -- not in the media, not on the campaign trail.

Of course, he's not an Arab. Of course, he's not a Muslim. But honestly, it shouldn't matter.
Of course I bet Brown was channeling Digby here but I can't find Digby's article.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Infectious Disease

We have been talking alot about the disgusting tactics of the McCain campaign.

It can also be said that McCain has not only lost control of his supporters, he has also lost control of his campaign.

What we have not yet talked about, though Idiosynchronic touched on it, is what this vitriol actually means for our country. How are we going to be living with each other, Left and Right, if Obama is elected?

I have attempted to allow myself to think about that prospect, rather than the terrifying 'what ifs' that the McCain campaign behavior evokes, and unfortunately, that is frightening as well.

We know that there is nothing that ties people together more than a common enemy. With some shame, I have to admit that even our very own behavior during the primary proved this. As long as we could attack the Right Wing, or the President, we were all united and stayed together and stuck up for one another. We attacked the trolls together; we were united in a common cause.

During the Primary race, however, some of us turned on each other. There were the Clinton people and the Obama people and although our little blog has put that behind us, we can see at TLC that some of that wounding still bleeds. It is a sad thing to admit to - human nature and what that says about us, our common enemy mentality...sad or not, we have seen this repeat itself over and over again throughout history.

This is the danger of what the McCain campaign is doing. Even more so, maybe, than the frightening prospects of what kind of crazy that they might be bringing out, I am afraid of what awaits us when we have an Obama presidency.

People are friggin' desperate right now. People are afraid and they are getting down to the very base of survival: food, clothing, shelter. When people are facing an economy like we are facing there are two directions that they can go (sometimes they will participate in both, simultaneously). These directions are either to pull together as one people, holding each other up, helping out, feeding neighbors and friends, housing each other. The other way that people can go is to form a mob and attack the one who they "blame" for their circumstances.

In this terrifying video, of McCain/Palin supporters in line for a rally, we can see which direction these people are going. The people in this video blame Obama personally for everything from 9/11 to the housing crisis. To these people, Obama is the demon that Palin and McCain have painted for them. They have drawn out this clear picture and they cannot take it back. They cannot change what they have done.

Not only is this devastating for the election, but they seek to tear apart our country in such an extreme way that we might not be able to recover from all of the challenges that we face. Obama, at every one of his rallies, calls for us to come together and states clearly that we must come together as a unified country if we are to survive what we face. McCain and Palin have proposed division. Violence begets violence and in this case they are spreading the disease in such a way that we are all in danger. Not just Obama. These people want revenge and any Liberal will do.

This cannot be over soon enough. My fear though, is that even after McCain and Palin shut the fuck up...we will have Hannity and Rush and O'Reilly continuing the hate fest.

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