Steynian 264

~ THERE’S A 2008 King Lear out now by the Royal Shakespeare Company of England, featuring that great actor (if tiresome activist) Sir Ian McKellen. It’s very good.

In Lear, the role of the Fool (see Act 1.4) is central as a truth-teller under mirth: everyone else in the play is constrained by greed, fear, or love from speaking the truth of what’s going on too clearly. The role of fool– or of holy fool in Eastern Orthodoxy– goes back to a time when the radically different were sometimes thought to be touched by God (or the gods, in ancient times). They are allowed special freedoms that others do not have, to speak, act, and say outside the normal bonds.

Islam seems never to have had a tradition of fools or foolishness, nor humour to defuse tension or roundabouts speak truth to power, or even to lightly mock what is held most high or holy. Western culture and society always has– and therein lies a major difference in how controversy is dealt with.

Humour, sarcasm, irony, parody, tragicomedy, farce– back to ancient Egypt, and Horace and Juvenal’s satire of Roman ways and mores– these are ancient forms of stealthy criticism of what is in contrast with what should be; discussing serious issues with a light hand; or to expose the great strangeness of human nature and behaviour, and what is commonly accepted as normal.

That such humour is under attack is no surprise: the Old and New Testament are full of irony, tragicomedy, and various froms of subtle humour: the tension between what is, and what could or should be, not the least. God himself has used humour in revelation.

To the best of my knowledge, while there may be local folk-traditions of humour, Islam itself is essentially a humourless religion, since there is no secularity in which secularity and sacred both can be reflected upon with the tools of humour. That one of the leading radical imam of England should turn out have stripper-daughter is ironic, tragicomic, and hilarious to a high degree– it gets delightfully worse when we learn he paid for her breast-implants. The reaction of his followers? Not rueful laughter and “Yup, those hypocritical imams always want it both ways,” but death-threats and absolutist rhetoric, since it’s an offense against Allah– apparently the Ultimate kill-joy.

The problem is, we’re all human: faintly glorious, often ridiculous, even when we’re seeking to live out our faith. A religion without secularity literally has no room for the fallible funny human in society; for dissent, debate, convincing or deepening conviction. It only makes sense that the Ottoman Empire and subsequent states are fascist and totalitarian: the state reflects the faith– top-down, no secularity, no voices in agreement or debate.

The War between the West and belligerent Islam is one between humanity and inhumanity; freedom and unfreedom; between Christian principles and alien ones; between a world of mystery, and a tiny little simple one in which every little thing is figured out, you just gotta submit. Sorry, but the God I’ve met says “Follow me.. come and see.. believe”, and not “SUBMIT!”

We’ve got a book waiting to be read by Anthony Esolen, which looks at the mystery of faith & humour and the journey into God: Ironies of Faith: The Laughter at the Heart of Christian Literature.

Looks interesting: I’ll let you know what I learn about the mysteries of myself and God and humour when I finish that book.

Binks

Mark Steyn

~ MARK STEYN: Palin sounded like the citizen-politician this country’s Founders intended. “With a Wink and a Smile” …. (nro)

~ STEYN: PALIN IT IN! Prizes galore in the SteynOnline 2008 Campaign Countdown competition; IN THE CORNER: DID THE EARTH MOVE FOR YOU? Gay sex causes global meltdown? Plus: Barney rubble, Arrow collared, and Wooden arrows: The rest of the story. Saith Binks: Sorry Mark, but I don’t think the Frank piece actaully blames gay sex for the global meltdown, nor that Frank was the heart of it.. Instapundit on taking on Frank & the crisis: “Others, however, are afraid to bring it up because he’s gay. Is this the “soft bigotry of low expectations?” Or is it just, you know, a case of convenient political correctness?” …. (Steyn)

~ L’CHAIM! “The Mark Steyn drinking game” …. (girlontheright.com)

~ YOUR ISLAMIC BETTER! “Elmo’s plan to “re-educate” the “ignorant”: Found this one on the CCD site (presumably it was not, as stated, posted by the man hisself)” …. (scaramouche)

Ezra

~ T-MINUS ten days to Ezra! …. (ezralevant.com)

FreeSpeechers

“Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, “Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”

~ Via PCWatch Blog ~

~ THE GYAPONG— Rush on Sarah’s debate performance and my thoughts on Obama’s training wheels …. (dg)

~ WILL IT BECOME a crime even to be a Christian in Canada? …. (MaD)

~ “HUMAN RIGHTS” Commissions — A Great Tool For Revenge …. (forlifeandfamily.blog)

~ FIRST FREEDOMS, U.S.A. — “Those who insist upon the exercise of religious freedom in education, for example, must forgo the government support that is available to those who do not so insist. Thus is religious freedom penalized in the name of a First Amendment that was designed to protect religious freedom. Thus has the constitutionally privileged status of religion been turned into a disability. Thus has insistence upon the free exercise of religion been turned into a disqualifying handicap in our public life” …. (ft)

~ WHO-SEZ WHAT-NOW?! Obama chief advisor calls for a military invasion of Israel: “This video is a jawdropper. This was Obama’s chief foreign policy adviser a fierce critic of Israel who was forced to resign because of a caustic comment she made about Hillary Clinton. In this video, Samantha Power calls for a military invasion of Israel to create a “Palestinan” state” …. (atlasshrugs2000, gw)

~ DION’S SECRET MESSAGE to Arabs, when I am PM you will have the Canada you want …. (MaD)

~ ORWELL’S PICNIC— Political Compass: “I’m told so often that I’m an evil far-right fascist that I occasionally take a moment or two to re-take the Political Compass test. It’s like checking my pulse or blood pressure because people keep telling me I look pale and wan” …. (anglocath.blog)

~ HKVKV, K VKN K V! — More Fraud in the Obama Campaign Donations: “In the Hawaii donation database submitted by the Obama for America campaign there are donations from a couple of interesting characters” …. (atlasshrugs2000)

~ THE JAGO: Audio from my interview on CHQR …. (rjjago)

~ CONSPIRACY THEORY— “A Liberal candidate in Winnipeg has been asked to withdraw by the party’s leader, the ever-charismatic S. Dion. Why? Because the candidate blogged that Israel’s intelligence organization knew about the 9/11 attacks and warned all those of Jewish heritage to stay away” …. (sameo416)

~ POLITICALLY CORRECT RELIGION— Pride goeth before a fool …. (kraalspace.blog)

~ ‘SORRY’ seems to be the fakest word… (blazingcatfur.blog)

~ NOW IS THE TIME for Citizen Solidiers: “Listen, we are under attack from within. The media has been indistinguishable from the Democrat party having thrown off any semblance of objective reporting. No negative Obama Biden stories – no investigative journalism on the deep corruption of Obama’s ascent and sketchy background and terrible alliances. The massive vote fraud is unfathomable. The Democrats want their Black president – no matter if his father was more Arab than African. No matter if he grew up on the streets of Indonesia. Nothing matters” …. (atlasshrugs2000)

~ SNEERMEISTER Warren Kinsella peers from his lair …. (dustmybroom)

~ THE FICKLE Findings of Human Rights …. (sameo416)

~ THE OBAMA: Disciple Of Satan, by Simon– “Let us see if we can follow how the descent into hell all began for Obama. Let us start with Community organizer Saul Alinsky and his friend the Devil and as in all evil, work backwards from there” …. (classicalvalues)

~ CANDIDATES— “They’re dropping like flies: The Ceeb reports on yet another campaign casualty” …. (scaramouche)

~ OBAMA & AYERS: tenuous, schmenuous — McCain camp missing the point. Batchelor: Questions about Ayers, Dohrn, Obama; NYT peeks under Obama-Ayers rock, finds nothing …. (Shaidle, therealbarackobama)

~ DUST MY BROOM: “I’m betting the perp votes Liberal”; The Debate and Proportional Representation …. (dmb)

~ WAVING HIM THROUGH: “NYT minimizes and conceals both extent and seriousness of Obama’s multi-year ties to terrorist Ayes over multi-million-dollar conspiracy to radicalize American education”; NYT’s Ayers-Obama Whitewash, by Stanley Kurtz …. (hughhewitt)

~ SCIPIO: “As what was once termed Western Civilization slowly oozes itself into socialism, we need to remember that the avatars of socialism have made it as plain as it can be made that their number one foe is Christianity” …. (returnofscipio)

~ GHOST OF A FLEA: “Spike Jones & His City Slickers: Der Führer’s Face” …. (ghostofaflea)

~ GREECE: Death by Human Rights …. (iht.com)

~ ODDLY ENOUGH— “It seems like the Obamas paid a lot of money for law degrees and yet they no longer have licenses. That is kind of strange. Let us start with Barack and see if we can trace the demise of his law career” …. (classicalvalues.com)

~ WHAT HAVE THE GANGS got on our officials re gun control? …. (MaD)

~ OBAMA’S PLATFORM— Evangelical Left Hails “New” Democratic Abortion Plank: “The newly expanded Democratic platform language on abortion deletes the Clinton-era language about making abortion “ safe, legal, and rare” and instead adds verbiage about government-provided family planning, sex education, and medical care that ostensibly will reduce abortions, at least from the view of supportive liberal religious voices” …. (theird.org)

~ DION RULEZ! Don’t sweater it: Harpoon Siddiqui assays the well-nigh impossible. He tries to make a dud seem appealing …. (scaramouche)

~ BUTT-KICKING GOODNESS: “I see no reason why the human race should be thought the richer for having its cultures flattened into homogeneity, which is the unwitting project of everyone who “thinks globally,” especially those who, with “multiculturalism” on their lips, ensure that by law the Tlingit in British Columbia will bow to the same miscalled “liberal” totems worshipped in the posh salons of Zurich” …. (merecomments)

~ TRILINGUALISM— NDP Hidden Agenda: Make Punjabi Official Language …. (forlifeandfamily.blog)

~ THE TERRORIST Ayers Was on Woods Fund Board with Obama When He Stepped on Flag …. (lgf)

~ FUN WITH UTOPIANISM— Ex-Khmer Rouge face murder trial …. (blogfreeworld)

~ VIA VOLOKH: “What is the Significance of Obama’s Ties to Ayers (and Wright?): Here’s my take: Obama is an extremely ambitious man. He’s been interested in a national political career for many years. It’s not that surprising that he wouldn’t find Ayers and Wright objectionable company–in the very liberal, Hyde Park/Ivy League circles that he’s traveled in since attending Columbia, people with such views are more mainstream than, say, the average conservative evangelical Christian. That itself makes Obama far more liberal than the image his campaign attempts to portray”; Obama’s Poor Judgement of Associates: Who Would Obama Choose for Supreme Court? …. (volokh, Stop TheACLU)

~ LESLEY HUGHES’ troofer impulses explained: Woman has “control” issues …. (scaramouche)

~ OBAMA about to be hit on questionable associates: Rezko investigated – did he pay for gov’s house rehab? Rezko’s contractors dealt with governor’s wife; Obama’s letters for Rezko: As state senator, he went to bat for now-indicted developer’s $14 million deal; Obama & Ayers– Because Character & Judgement Does Matter …. (Various)

~ AP SAYS PALIN is a Racist; Dammit America! What The Hell Are You Doing To Us?: Part Two …. (Vrious)

~ THE CRUNCHY EMPIRE: Can EU deliver on promises to cut carbon emissions?; Financial Crisis– The best way to get through the crunch is to leave the EU …. (novascotiascott, blogs.telegraph)

~ MELANIE PHILLIPS: A reshuffle in Laputa …. (spectator)

~ HEALTH POLICE— Cigarette pack pictures: horror porn for prigs …. (spiked-online.com)

~ THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE— “Glorious Tax Plan For the Economy And Our Well Being!” …. (thepeoplescube)

“Conservatives have to realize one simple truth: the Big Media is not the enemy’s ally who can be won over; it is the enemy itself. The U.S. Big Media is every bit the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party’s left wing as Dr. Goebbels’ organization was the propaganda arm of the Nazi regime…. The Big Media’s vitriolic campaign to vilify and destroy Sarah Palin, unprecedented in its sheer viciousness, is not primarily driven by the elite’s perception of her as an alien life form (although there is that, too), but by the plain fact that she endangers the prospects of their idol, Obama, and hence has to be removed by any means necessary.”

~ Via American Digest ~

World War IV

~ PUTIN WARNS Ukraine for Arming Georgia …. (blogfreeworld)

Jihad

~ LEST WE FORGET— All That Was Before Islam: “Smithsonian reports on the “rediscovery” of a patristic-era monastery in Iraq” …. (fathersofthechurch)

~ SCARAMOUCHE— “Repatriation games: If you have some time to spare this afternoon, you might consider joining what is bound to be the throngs of “human rights” activists who will be protesting in front of the American Consulate. It’s the kick off to a week of what’s being described as “pan-Canadian week of action.” The goal: to “repatriate” (heh) Gitmo detainee Omar Khadr” …. (scaramouche)

~ COMEDY SHOW about Muslims in Denmark? …. (smh.com.au)

Robert Spencer interviews Geert Wilders, Part I

~ OHIO OPENS ELECTION Precinct in Islamic Center that Hosted Extremist’s Visit …. (stoptheaclu)

~ IF IMMIGRATION creates wealth why is Toronto 7 % unemployed? Canada 6.1% Winnipeg 4.2 …. (MaD)

~ HILLARY Supporter Announces Her Support for McCain on Aljazeera …. (gatewaypundit.blog)

~ THOSE SATANIC VERSES— Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 53, “The Star”, in which Satan, not Allah, spoke through Muhammad’s mouth …. (jihadwatch.org)

~ IX-NAY ON THE UTH-TRAY: Some Muslim groups in the U.K. are up in arms (metaphorically speaking) because a politician who dared to speak some unmentionable truths has been tapped for the immigration portfolio; British politician who spoke the truth about Muslims is put in charge of immigration policy …. (scaramouche, dailymail)

~ ROBERT SPENCER— “In my forthcoming book Stealth Jihad, I discuss how Islamic groups (some with Muslim Brotherhood links) are asked by clueless textbook publishers to vet history texts, so as to make sure that everything they say about Islam is nice and multicultural” …. (JiWa)

~ NIGERIA: Muslim Cleric Wants Death Penalty for Gays …. (Wz)

~ CAN A Good Muslim be a Good American? …. (stoptheaclu)

~ THE CASE OF The Jewel of Medina shows that the real threat to free speech comes not from Islamic radicalism but from elite cultural cowardice …. (spiked-online.com)

~ SOMALIA: After Taking Over Mogadishu’s Airport, Islamists Rename it in Honor of “Mythical” Holy War Leader …. (Wz)

~ FOR THE LAST TIME— the niqab is not about oppression! …. (dustmybroom)

~ IMAGINE THAT.. Allah abandons the Cubbies …. (jihadwatch.org)

~ GROVELLING Yale Daily calls Osama bin Laden a poet, CNN republishes …. (creepingsharia)

~ ISLAMIC TAKEOVER of U.S. already under way: Expert warns ‘mainstream media’ providing ‘talking points’ of Arab countries …. (worldnetdaily)

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