John on February 5, 2006 at 10:07 am
Steyn’s piece today on the cartoon crisis is full of gems, but I especially appreciated this portion:
[W]e should note that in the Western world “artists” “provoke” with the same numbing regularity as young Muslim men light up other countries’ flags. When Tony-winning author Terence McNally writes a Broadway play in which Jesus has gay sex with Judas, the New York Times and Co. rush to garland him with praise for how “brave” and “challenging” he is. The rule for “brave” “transgressive” “artists” is a simple one: If you’re going to be provocative, it’s best to do it with people who can’t be provoked.
Thus, NBC is celebrating Easter this year with a special edition of the gay sitcom “Will & Grace,” in which a Christian conservative cooking-show host, played by the popular singing slattern Britney Spears, offers seasonal recipes — “Cruci-fixin’s.” On the other hand, the same network, in its coverage of the global riots over the Danish cartoons, has declined to show any of the offending artwork out of “respect” for the Muslim faith.
Replace the word artist with atheist (which is pretty much a given) and it sounds like Steyn has been cribbing from my blog. His equating of flag burning Muslims with religious bashing playwrites and TV executives is priceless. Steyn is focused primarily on the hypocrsy of this elite, i.e. the secularized artists and media of both coasts. But, though he doesn’t say it explicitly, I think this also points out nicely the continuity of such attacks.
The cartoon conflict is a new front in an old war. The difference is, Muslims aren’t inclined to “turn the other cheek.” In an odd way, I wonder if the elite might learn something from this. One of their long cherished notions is the idea that all religions are the same, with the only important factor being the amount of zeal its followers exhibit. Thus we’ve all been subject to endless articles and PBS Frontline specials on the worldwide rise of “fundamentalism” essentially equating Bin Laden with Pat Robertson. With the current crisis, will the elite finally be able to see a difference? Here’s a hint, Hollywood…only one group of fundamentalists are burning embassies and issuing death threats to Western civilization. Get it?