Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Gotta Be Startin' Somethin'

Let's say you're a horribly tribalist and sectarian propagandist who, while disregarding or excusing the atrocities caused by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, exaggerates those caused by Muslim fundies. Let's also suppose that you've got a grudge against blacks, either because of your own innate bigotry, or due to your political sympathies, or, more likely, some combination of the two. As a consummate demagogue, you love to pretend that your local monotheists have marginalised their own fundie element, which is a infinitely small minority, but at the same time you like to paint those distant, dusky religionists as being all fundamentalists, down to the last man woman and child.

As part of your hackery, you cynically condemn Islamist attitudes to women, all the while you align yourself here in America with the most anti-feminist reactionaries imaginable. You also rhetorically carry yourself with the most macho swagger; you consider yourself a tough, realistic intellectual who has no time for girly, swishy, appeasement-minded folks. Occasionally, and like so many of your comrades, you expand upon this trope to the point that it comes across as both chauvinist and weirdly homophobic.

Your dearest wish is for some event that functions as a magic bullet, with which you can combine all your biases into one cartridge of rhetorical malice, and fire it at your enemies.

Your name is Daniel "Crack" Pipes, and your latest magic bullet is Michael Jackson's recent flirtation with Islam.

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