Monday, January 23, 2006

It's not funny if they can't spell Canberra

Yanks care about their little sheriffs. About us. Austria. They care and remember Iraq and Vietnam and stuff. Even some of their leading foreign policy writers know where our capital city is, give-or-take 300 km.

Hat-tip Tim Dunlop, a man who'd be funny if he wasn't a lefty.

Lefties, according to that Birmingham has-been who contributed a half-arsed book about Falafals to the Anals of Australian Literature, are unfunny.

Lots of bloggers have weighed in of course, and the conclusion reached by most of the razor-wire batwing crowd is that funny = Tim Blair.

Well, I'm not feeling that hilarious tonight, and any efforts would be sure to run aground on my rampant political correctness anyway, so here's some comic genious from the master instead:

Laughing at Muslim girls and their wierdy foreign outfits!

Oh get back in your chairs.

UPDATE: Check out the totally unfunny exchange between Condi and the Chimp I found via Bill at LP.


Shelley said...

Tim Blair funny....?

I want out of this alternate universive. I want out now. This is the same hideous universe where Dan Brown is a good writer, right?

Mike Jericho said...

I agree, there's nothing funny about the barbaric dress codes that Islamists enforce amongst their womenfolk.

Blair, however - and he and I do not always see eye-to-eye - is not really attempting to draw laughs. He, in his own way, is deploring what is a dark ages mentality in regard to the place of women in society.

There can be no human, civil or sexual rights exemptions made to particular ethnic or religious groups - on any grounds - within a multicultural society which (rightly) seeks to enforce a western regime of sexual equality.

It is also worth noting that there is nothing in the Koran or the Hadiths which stipulates women must drape themselves in bedsheets all day long. It is a relatively modern addition to an ancient misogyny.

leftvegdrunk said...

Mike, is it mandatory to wear a bikini in the secular world? Surely you aren't suggesting that modesty is the exclusive domain of religious extremism.

As much qualitative research has shown, Muslim women in Australia (including those I share a workplace and a suburb with) choose to dress how they like. Much like women in Iran and Turkey and elsewhere.

Your feigned concern for women's rights is just another excuse for sectarian drum-beating. It is right to oppose the violent and regressive views of extremists. It is wrong to characterise an entire group of people, as Blair and his commenting brigade do, on the basis of the actions of a few. Your use of the term "bedsheet" lumps you in with that mob.

What makes Blair way unfunny is his use of coarse humour to illicit a predictable reactionary response from his chorus.

Mike Jericho said...

"Mike, is it mandatory to wear a bikini in the secular world? Surely you aren't suggesting that modesty is the exclusive domain of religious extremism."

No, I am suggesting that, in the western world, women at least have the option of wearing one.

"As much qualitative research has shown..."


"Muslim women in Australia (including those I share a workplace and a suburb with)..."

Neither of whom you have been, or ever will be on intimate terms with, as Muslims are forbidden from becoming friends with non-Muslims...

"...choose to dress how they like. Much like women in Iran and Turkey and elsewhere.

Iran??? Are you mad?

Turkey, yes. It is still somewhat secularized, although drifting back toward Islamism.

Iran, no. There has been no decline in the state's efforts to enforce modesty laws. Including the execution of women for minor social offenses (adultery, or allegations of).

"Your feigned concern for women's rights is just another excuse for sectarian drum-beating."

Your ad hominem attacks, baseless, groundless and verging on slander as they are, do nothing for your argument. If indeed your opinions qualify as one.

Contrary to your wild assertions, I do care about women's rights. I descent from a matralineal culture (the Celts) and I'm proud to say that my ancestors were led by women rulers before anyone else. Women fought beside their menfolk in battle, led armies and owned property. All before any other culture on the planet.

History aside, women are a massive untapped resource in many regions of the world, most significantly those under the sway of Islam. In the past (as Armaniac can verify) I have argued constantly for the rights of women in the Islamic world, and for women in the western world to be able to realize full equality, in inequal fields such as military service.

I want them working and contributing to our species. Don't you? Or is it inconceivable that you could find common ground with a baby-eating conservative?

"It is right to oppose the violent and regressive views of extremists."

You say that as though there were a religious group with whom we could compare the Muslims in terms of gross numbers of killers and killed.

Sorry, but unless you count the Crusades (800 years ago) you can't rationally compare them to anyone. There is just them.

"It is wrong to characterise an entire group of people, as Blair and his commenting brigade do, on the basis of the actions of a few."

I am criticizing a retrograde religion, as it is actively practiced by hundreds of millions of people.

It is a religion which underwent no reformation. It is a religion which still routinely doles out death sentences for those who dare to criticize it.

You've never criticized, say, Christians as a group?

Think before you answer. Google cache is a wonderful thing.

"Your use of the term "bedsheet" lumps you in with that mob."

I'm not a person well versed in the many varied names of long strips of garment worn in rather the same way as one would wear a bedsheet. Forgive me.

It was either "bedsheet" or "tent". I went with the less offensive choice.

"What makes Blair way unfunny is his use of coarse humour to illicit a predictable reactionary response from his chorus."

You've never met the man and know nothing about him.

He is the least zealous conservative I know. he can sit down with anyone, no matter how left wing, and have an amiable conversation. If the lefty started shouting, Tim would soothe him/her with a few jokes.

In the end, he's a writer who seeks to entertain. Not an ideologue who wants to cause people to march through the streets bearing burning crosses.

R.H. said...

Muslims are forbidden to be friends with non Muslims? Well how's that, because there's a burka girl at Footscray Savers and we're enormous friends. She even chased me down a rack of sports coats one day to hand me a discount voucher. You don't know what you're bloody talking about. I live in a Muslim neighborhood and we're all good pals. I loitered outside the local mosque here one day and the boss came out and invited me in.
Wake up! You're worse than a bloody social worker, making grave and lofty pronouncements about everyone. Having the Final Word! On everything!
I like the Muslim dress. I like seeing it. Because it reminds me that there are other views of the world, and that they could be right and I could be wrong. I've got enormous respect for these people, because they've got the heart and the passion to believe in something aside from how sexy and interesting they look in a little bikini with a ring through their belly button and a daring but very foxy little tattoo. How is it any of your business anyway. Why would you want to adjust someone's religious observance to suit you, or your Western upbringing? You've got your own covering anyway, your own special blindfold. Calling theirs a bedsheet brought you right undone. You were trying to be clever and fell over foolish. If you want people coming here who have different cultures and religions you'll just have to cop it. The whole bundle!

TimT said...

I live in Coburg. Any number of Muslims down here, and they dress in any number of ways, from the show-skin western style to the full-on burkah.

We've had some ridiculously hot days down here, and I've seen women walking down the street in full burkah. Nobody would do that unless they were made to.

I think that some Muslim women ARE still prevented from doing many things, and one example of this is the prevalence of the burkah even here in tolerant, liberal Australia.

Blair makes a good point.

BwcaBrownie said...

Yes timt 'nobody would do that unles they were made to'.

how quickly we have forgotten the taliban bashing women with their rifles because hijab was not adhered to.

on the other hand I do wish somebody would give a nice caftan to Pamela Anderson and to the Minogue sisters.

R.H. said...

You take it on yourselves to decide that people only dress like that because they're made to. What a cheek. Well what else could you think?
You can't understand it. No. It's beyond your ken. Beyond your own shallow grasping lifestyle with all its bullshit advertising.
A lifestyle of vacuous human beings parading themselves to be admired for having big tits.
Well golly me, I'll tell you something, there are vast numbers of people in the world who don't want your narrow outlook on things. They don't want your silly life at all. Your dumb movies and crap TV with people getting shagged and blown up every night. Or operated on. Or getting sentenced to death in reality courtrooms.
No. They don't want it.

But I'd have thought that with your life's obsession of gawking at all this stuff you'd realise from movies like Lawrence of Arabia that people wear long flowing robes in burning desert heat. You should know that if they rode a camel through it wearing a cute little bikini they'd get charred. I found that out wearing a heavy jacket through those places myself. So how do you get it in your heads that they suffer walking in the sun around here?
Catholic Nuns covered up like that for ages - not because they were made to, but because it was part of their devotion.

And have you seen the Taliban bashing women with rifles? Have you seen babies skewered on German bayonets too?
Yes well maybe you have - on propaganda posters.

Tim Blair makes some good points alright. One of them is that mental retardation is good for a laugh.

Join him in it.

Bob Hayden.

R.H. said...

Yes, well I've decided to retire from controversy. Waste of time. And besides, I'm not very good at it. There are better games anyway, much more interesting. I quite like bingo. And UNO, a card game.
Controversy is for old ladies; back-biting gossip, that's all: "Where is your evidence that blah! blah! blah!"
That's a younger version. It tones down as you get older.
You become no wiser as you get older. Just quieter, that's all.

Armagnac Esq said...

="You've never met the man and know nothing about him."=

I've had this one once before Jericho, involving a right wing politico in the NT.

I formed a judgement based on what they said in public, their policies, and someone else cut me down saying "but I know him personally and it's different so shut up".

I disagree with the reasoning, because we are obviously talking about blair the public figure, and what he chooses to write, WHO he chooses to "entertain".

You may be right. I don't find it hard to believe, I have pretty right wing friends who I can sit down and drink with easily.

Usually we talk about women, that makes it easy!

TimT said...

Dear R.H.,

I'd be happy to contribute towards your sex-change operation and one way ticket to Iran so you can experience the beauty of their culture for yourself. After all, they're not a 'mad mullah-run dictatorship that funds terrorists', they're just 'different'. Aren't they?

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Agreed re Condi/Chimp dialogue. The basis of its "humour" seemed to be that (1) the most powerful man in the world is a moron, and (2) foreigners have funny names. Yep, hysterical.

Armagnac Esq said...

Oh, er, um, I was using the term in the context of the post, it being leftyish humour. it cracked me up. Anyway, guess there's a lesson or three in that!

R.H. said...

Rightio timbo if you want to send me some dough go right ahead. Do it on paypal. I'll definitely use it to have a sex change and go to Iran. Promise.
I've been to Iran already. It was when the yankee-backed Shah was in power. And believe it or not there was a big brothel area in Tehran. You could get a drink there as well. Booze. And a lot of the girls had some sort of deformity; an eye missing or a withered arm. I can't explain that, can you? Maybe you can because you know just about everything.

-Waiting on the dough.

TimT said...

Dear R H,

Come on, we both know that you are the guy who knows everything.


PS What on earth were you doing hanging around the brothels? Being full of compassion and admiration for people from different cultures, you can't have been imposing the brutal patriachal paradigm of domination upon these poor Muslim victims, could you?

R.H. said...

"the brutal patriarchal paradigm."

Wooh! Big language!

What's it mean? I don't know. But it doesn't matter.

Listen, I just landed there, in that part of town. On a motor bike.
I was very young, and with enormous curiosity, which I've always had. And yes, I was a customer. And I'll tell you more, if you like.
But what I want is for some professor to vindicate me on this. Because I never mention it - the fact that there was a brothel area in Tehran, because I did mention it soon afterwards and wasn't believed ("Brothels? In a Muslim country?"). But they were there, I saw them; with condoms being sold in the streets, and the three thimble trick being played. There were little grog taverns as well.
I went into two of these brothels. And if you want my experience of it, let's know. I could do it here. It's fairly brief.


R.H. said...

On second thoughts I'd better not. You might think my reputation couldn't sink any lower.
But it can.