Copy the link and read the article.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Copy the link and read the article.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
I wonder, I just wonder what would happen around the world if a Muslim newspaper printed images of Jesus that were highly controversial to many of the Christian faith? I read the news headlines day after day and the violence around the world is intensifying. Why? Because of a cartoon, of course. And what's even more intriguing is the response or defense that has been given to the cartoon . . . FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Hey, so the cartoon was printed, but is it really necessary to exacerbate this issue? Is it really compulsory to continue to heap injury upon insult, while all along justifying it under the guise of FREEDOM OF SPEECH? O.K. the cartoon is done, but must people now go on to find new ways to heighten this tension? I don't think so. We are heading into an irreversible time. Tragedy has barely begun. I feel for my Muslim brothers and sisters who have been angered by this whole affair, and please know, I personally apologize for the continuing insult you have been subjected to experience. Freedom of speech is one thing, but this whole unadulterated affair to continue the hurt has crossed the line of Freedom of Speech. Catholics and many Protestants would be beside themselves if a Muslim newspaper printed a cartoon where the Virgin Mary, scantily clothed, is seen leaving the house of a man, hair tousled, eyes glazed, and replicating Janet Jackson's infamous Superbowl Party, with a caption above her head that stated something like . . . "Don't worry about Joseph, I'll come up with a good story for this one." I wonder what would be the response? I wonder if Christians around the world would just accept this as freedom of speech? I wonder if there wouldn't be protests and/or riots defending something so sacred to many Christians, but irrelevant to the larger Muslim community? I wonder what would happen if t-shirts were printed up and leaders from Muslim countries wore them at speeches? What would be said? What would be done? I wonder if there are not as many fervent, extremist Christians, as there are Muslim, who would "defend" the Christian faith . . . to death? How have people responded to Iran's leader calling for the best anti-Semitic cartoon? Will that be seen as "FREEDOM OF SPEECH?"
Please do not misunderstand me, I have no problems with the initial cartoon printing. It is what it is. That's democracy. I have a problem with some of the subsequent behaviors of individuals "defending" freedom of speech. I have a problem with the present irony: extremist Muslim individuals who were offended by the portrayal of their Prophet clothed in a bomb, suggesting the violence of Muslim extremists, then in response to the cartoon they commence with violence. I have a problem with cantankerous, Muslim individuals who have blamed America for the printing of the cartoon! It was Denmark, my friends. Denmark, not America. I know geographically it can be daunting to separate the two countries, but please try. I disdain the hypocrisy of some writings being labeled "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" while others are labeled "HATE CRIMES." And finally, I am irritated by those who will take this opportunity to forward their hate towards Islam. Trust me, there are enough nutters within all faiths. The IRA can compete with the best of them in making bombs, and the Klan is not too shabby in torching things down.
Understand this: extremist Muslims are no more a fair appraisal of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam than are the maddening, stupefying remarks made by Pat Robertson a reflection of Jesus Christ and his message.
I am an existentialist at heart. I am a son to Sarte, Kierkegaard, Camus, Yalom, and Frankl. I believe in the freedom of individuals. I believe we have the freedom to choose our choices. I believe we have the freedom to choose our destiny. And I believe that with this freedom, comes responsibility. By choosing to act, we choose to have reactions. They may not be ones of which we "approve," but when we act we must acknowledge the responsibility with the freedom. Anything short of accepting the responsibility falls short of an authentic existence, and this, my friends, is what makes our human experience worth living.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
I will not give away any of the story line, except to say that part of what is intriguing within this story is the way others view us (Americans), as if we have it together. Hmm . . . interesting.
I don't readily recommend this movie to most people . . . unless you can handle the upsetting and disturbing. Personally, I "enjoy" disturbing issues, but this movie unsettled me in a way that is hard to shake. Without doubt, certainly a powerful film, but I have not been this shaken in a while, and believe me, I've seen my share of upsetting material.
Well, good night, my friends. I will visit you soon . . .
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Monday, February 6, 2006
James Frey and his book, A Million Little Pieces, have been ridiculed by the media, Oprah, Larry King, and others. Oprah went on a rather extensive diatribe against Frey on a recent show. Personally, I have yet to read the book, but I wanted to add some thoughts to the conversation. The book is a memoir and apparently contains some exaggerated and false stories. However, oddly enough, most critics agree that the integrity of the overall message still exists, despite the shadows of truth in some of the stories. This whole debate got me to thinking . . . are not many "facts" questionable to each individual's interpretation? Are not our memories suspect in the first place? Is it not true that 10 people can be at the scene of the same event and walk away with 10 different accounts of what happened? I'm not excusing Frey for overtly lying, but this matter does call into question all of our integrity.
When I reconstruct my own stories from memory they change with time. Right now I am in the process of writing my own book, and I am doing it true to what I remember as truth, but I doubt that all the stories are true in the strictest sense of the word. They are up to my interpretation, and my interpretation is flawed. I know that there are times on stage when I retell an event and I use a more dramatic way of telling it, exaggerating the story for an effect. Am I lying? No. The event factually happened as I told it, but the flare with which it happened may or may not be suspect, but is that not the magic of the oral tradition, the retelling of events? We've all seen it, we've all done it on some level, not intentionally wanting to deceive, but certainly wanting to entertain, heighten the lure.
But then again, I could be wrong. Perhaps it is only me and mr. frey who suffer from such story telling.