Tuesday, February 07, 2006

the Romero Theory

Do you ever wonder what Jim Tressel does during the off-season? You should, because it's entertaining as hell.

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What I find most brilliant about Romero with regard to his zombie films is not his effective use of mood, atmosphere, or special effects. Rather, it is his ability to take what is absolutely repulsive - living dead - and effectively render them nothing more than a backdrop for the real conflict at hand: man vs. his fellow man. Watching Dawn of the Dead for the umpteenth time the other night, I was struck by how completely compelling such an approach to horror can be, because it mirrors the real world so well.

Case in point: I can't help but think of all this Muslims-rioting-over-sacrilegious-cartoons nonsense in terms of Romero's living dead.

Hear me out.

The crazy ass Muslims who are going ape shit are the zombies. They rely on an instinct that motivates a single craving - Western blood. An entire tangent could be drawn here, but like Romero's zombies, they are not really the focus of the story. Suffice it to say that they are blood hungry, do offer a real threat, and lurk around every corner. Raise the flag to threat level yellow, if you will. Background noise.

The real meat of our story is the internal conflict that their latest acts of general unruliness has stirred. We have a variety of (rather strong) opinions on the matter. There are those who think:

  1. we should refrain from publishing the cartoons because willfully inciting people to violence is morally reprehensible, i.e. it is irresponsible.
  2. we should refrain from publishing the cartoons because we should never criticize the Islamic religion, i.e. it is intolerant.
  3. we should publish the cartoons because it is our right, and we should always exercise every single one of our rights, no matter the consequences, i.e. we do what we want.
  4. we should publish the cartoons because it pisses them off, i.e. we are assholes.

And then there are those who think anything and everything in between. So wherein lies the conflict? Aren't we all entitled to our opinion? Most certainly we are, but if you offer one, you are liable and susceptible to being called out on your blatant hypocrisy.

Opinions number three and four are those of retards, and are irrelevant. The real conflict lies between one and two. Extrinsically, they appear to be of the same strain, but intrinsically, they are diametrically opposed arguments. The first is derived from the natural law; the second from a relativistic clinging to an ideal of tolerance. I would say that this situation serves as a microcosm of a war of words that has been waged for going on a century and a half.

And so, just like a Romero film, though we are mindful and ever vigilant of the threat that the zombies pose from without, we have identified an equal and more immediately pressing threat that looms in-house. And just like in his movies, it's clear who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. The question, then, is which is which? I trust you know my answer by now.

12 Comments:

At 11:32 AM, February 07, 2006, Blogger angel, jr. said...

What religion exactly do the majority of Zombies profess?

 
At 12:13 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger mrshife said...

Mmmmmm. Brains. Brains. I love those zombie flicks.

 
At 12:42 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous frankiefirefox said...

All I can say is I have my machette ready, just in case... I will follow C-Bass to glory. He will lead the survivors to victory. Our very own "John Conner" for the zombie Armageddon .

 
At 2:19 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger T. Leach said...

Nicely done, Vince. As usual.

 
At 4:43 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Arun said...

Vince you left out an option

5) We publish it because it is at least partially true.

Any ideology has its extremes. Political cartoons are a forum to expose those extremes through hyperbole. The press would also be justified in publishing cartoons of Jesus crucifying a queer or Moses launching Stinger missiles into Palestinian settlements.

As for your arguement that it is morally reprehensible to intentially incite others to violence: A political cartoon is not a declaration of war on the order of flying a plane into a building. Western media should be less reviled for printing these cartoons than Arabic TV for broadcasting the beheadings of American civilian contractors. At this point, neither society has any right to be the "war of words."

Former Jordanian senate member, Jihad Momeni, says it best, " "Who offends Islam more? A foreigner who endeavors to draw the prophet as described by his followers in the world, or a Muslim with an explosive belt who commits suicide in a wedding party in Amman or elsewhere?"

 
At 4:46 PM, February 07, 2006, Anonymous Arun said...

er...[Correction] "neither society has any right to be offended by the 'war of words'."[/correction]

 
At 9:53 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Deals On said...

Arun- I take offense to being told I don't have the right to be offended by the "war of words". Once spoken, you can't take them back. Much like provoking caricatures. Why do it? The most obvious reason, the greed for money. The publicity sells papers. The press could care less, whatever the price. However, to exhibit fairness, I'll give the opportunity to explain why a Danish newspaper would publish such caricatures.

It is very frustrating that humans have yet to find a way to exhibit less violent means for disagreement.

 
At 10:49 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger Vince said...

A couple things -

That Momeni quote is very true, but I don't think it's necessarily pertinent to this discussion.

A cartoon in itself is no big deal, obviously. Those in question are actually pretty clever. Still, to publish them, knowing full well EXACTLY the reaction you are going to get from those lunatics, is irresponsible and morally suspect (in that it not only leads a large amount of crazy people to exhibit uncontrollable anger, but that it also endangers all those around them). You KNOW they're going to form mobs, burn down buildings, and attack people and churches if you egg them on - that's the nature of the beast - it is what it is. But in knowing what will happen if you go ahead and publish, you are just as much responsible for what happens as they are.

As far as the press being justified in the first place in profaning that which is regarded as holy, I think even that is debatable, but it's an entirely different story as well.

 
At 11:14 PM, February 07, 2006, Blogger coloradohurricane said...

Do they really need an excuse to burn down buildings, etc.

Seems like they do so at the least provocation.

 
At 1:20 AM, February 08, 2006, Anonymous Arun said...

Vince, all you are proposing is exculpating the truly guilty party. Violence, especially indiscriminate violence, is not an appropriate response to nonthreatening stimuli. It is a gross overreaction, not the response of logical or rational person. And if it is not logical or rational, you cannot and should not censor yourself to avoid a reaction that you can't reasonably predict.

There are instances the right to free speech should not be excersized, but this is not shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater. This is not revealing the identity of undercover operatives. This is exposing a hypocritical system that thinks it is beyond reproach. When you have imams exhorting their followers to burn flags and engage in jihad, you cannot sit silently because you are afraid to tread on toes. Islamic extremists fight their war against the West not primarily with terrorist tactics, but with propaganda and rhetoric designed to sway public opinion. If it were a small minority, silence may be an appropriate answer. However, when an enemy is fighting a war of moral attrition and propaganda, silence only gives tacit credibility and fodder.

Regarding your belief that it is unacceptable to profane that which is holy; that is the same relativistic nonsense you were decrying earlier. Holy to whom? I have to respect the sanctity of Wicca and other backwards forms animism to avoid antagonizing a few deluded fools? Must I respect white-supremacist trash? They have the right to say and believe whatever they want, but I have the right to ridicule them for it. ALL fundamentalists (not just muslims) hold that their moral righteousness is unimpeachable because they believe their cause is "holy."

"Deal's On" be offended all you want. Just keep your reactions appropriate. Thats all I'm saying. These cartoons were printed in the EDITORIAL section of a PRIVATE paper. They are not presented as objective facts but as opinions designed to stimulate thought and discourse. And to make a profit, of course. Mission Accomplished. Oh and btw, there is nothing wrong with making money.

Anyway, on to something on which we can all agree. This is a must see for some bad ass longhorn Rosebowl and 05 season footage.

 
At 8:00 AM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Vince said...

This is going take a detailed response.

 
At 6:00 PM, February 08, 2006, Blogger Deals On said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

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