Sep 2006

The Sunday Papers

It’s news round-up time again. There’s just so much absurdity out there, and even though I leave myself open to accusations of shooting fish in a barrel, I just can’t help but comment on some of it.

First up, the rumour mill is working overtime regarding the fate of Public Enemy No. 1. That’s Osama bin Laden, not Pope Benedict, though I guess it very much depends which side of the barbed wire you’re on. A French newspaper has published a leaked document claiming that typhoid has succeeded where the world’s only superpower has failed. All very H.G. Wells if you ask me.

The United States is naturally sceptical. They recently admitted that they’ve had “no concrete intelligence” regarding bin Laden for over two years. The idea that the cheese-eating surrender monkeys of Old Europe should be the first to hear about his death must really irritate them. Perhaps if they’d spent more time actually hunting down the guy who attacked them five years ago, and less time involving the West in a major conflict in central Asia and plunging Iraq into civil war, they might not have to rely upon second-hand leaked French intelligence.

Just a thought.

Oh, and surely I can’t be the only person who listens to the British armed forces claiming “surprise” at the resistance they’re meeting in Afghanistan and says “Well… duhhhh”. I mean, come on guys! Remember the late 70s? That whole “Red Army getting it’s ass kicked” thing? I guess NATO thought it would be different this time because they’re the good guys and not nasty commies.

Speaking of Pope Ratzinger though… talk about stirring up a hornet’s nest. Who’d have thought that Islam could be so easily offended, eh? Well, apart from Salman Rushdie. Popeman has been likened to Hitler by some muslims. Perhaps being German and wearing a Nazi uniform during the 1940s has something to do with that, but I suspect it’s more about the speech he gave in which he favourably cited Manuel II Paleologus describing the influence of Mohammed as “evil”.

I noticed that some in the Muslim community are calling for Ratzinger to be removed from office…

Muslim scholars and religious leaders at a convention in Pakistan on Thursday demanded the removal of the pope, saying his apology for comments linking Islam to violence was not acceptable.

“The pope has committed blasphemy against our Great Prophet, he should be removed,” a resolution adopted by the gathering said.

“The apology and explanation given by the pope is rejected,” it said.

These are scholars and religious leaders, right? And yet they don’t know that the Pope can’t be removed from office. He’s appointed by God you idiots! And that’s the real God we’re talking about… not the fake one all you Muslims believe in.

See, that’s really the problem I have with all this monotheistic intra-doctrinal nonsense. Every time a Catholic affirms a belief in Jesus Christ as God they are commiting blasphemy against Islam (i.e. saying Mohammed was wrong about lots of stuff). And every time a Muslim affirms a belief in Mohammed as God’s True Prophet (with Jesus just some minor bloke who paved the way) then they are committing blasphemy against Christianity.

Hell, just give them all guns and let them have-at one another. Oh that’s right… someone already has, haven’t they?

I have a lot of respect for Richard Dawkins, but at the same time I’m not a huge fan of the kind of aggressive atheism he preaches (his description of pantheism as “sexed-up atheism” is crass to say the least), but there’s no greater advertisement for Dawkins’ position than the crassness of Islam and Christianity and their childish slanging match.

Also, let’s get something straight… both Christianity and Islam are violent religions. Deal with it. Both say that “ye shall know them by their works” (or some such aphorism). And so long as there’s a bunch of believers praying by day and murdering by night then neither can claim to be peaceful doctrines.

Local news

Meanwhile here in Ireland, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has come under fire from the Mahon tribunal. This is an investigation set up by the current government into allegations of corruption in politics and it’s already claimed a number of high-profile scalps. Of course, now that the tribunal has started investigating alleged illegal payments taken by Bertie while finance minister in the early 90s, it’s suddenly not so welcome. Defence minister Willie O’Dea has attacked the tribunal for investigating Bertie.

To be fair, it doesn’t look like Bertie was genuinely corrupt (it seems he was loaned some money by friends during the breakdown of his marriage in 1993 when he was strapped for cash and had legal fees to pay) but if he really has nothing to hide then he should accept the right of the tribunal – which he set up – to examine those loans.

And finally…

In that business called “show”, the silliness just keeps on coming. Dame Helen Mirren is pissed off by the portrayal of women on the screen. Apparently “actresses are still féted for their looks over their intelligence” and that’s got the Dame seething. Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird? Why on earth should an actor or actress be given a job because of their intelligence? Given my obscenely high IQ, should I be seething because Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are landing plum roles that should rightfully be mine?

Well no. Because I can’t act for shit. And my naked torso is unlikely to sell too many tickets when compared with Brad Pitt’s sculpted abs. Actors and actresses should be chosen (and féted) based upon two things… their acting ability and how good they look on screen. Sorry, but there you have it. Intelligence has bugger all to do with it.

UPDATE: US report states bleeding obvious

Posted in: Opinion