In an interview with the German magazine Stern last week, Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Laurent Sourisseau said his paper would no longer publish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. You may remember Charlie Hebdo from January, when two Islamic militants attacked its Paris offices and killed 12 people. The paper has received an outpouring of support since then, including the sympathetic Je Suis Charlie movement and dramatically increased circulation. Also, its surviving staffers live under police protection, and pretty much every issue since the shootings has been an object of scrutiny. You can only make so many bold declarations of Enlightenment values against religious tyranny before you’re just exhausted. Over at Politico, though, Michael Moynihan argues that the terrorists won. He is probably right.
I’m pretty sure I have search engine de-optimized my blog with that post title, which is probably just as well. There is little Combat! blog today, because I am sick. Given the 38 contact hours of air travel I logged in the last two weeks, I got off light. But my nasal passages are locked in a battle of propulsion against distant orifices working in the other direction, and I pity myself. If only I had some god to comfort me, but I am a modern American. I know that god, flag, tradition, all restrictions on sex and most identified forms of love are bullshit. What I need is a bigger phone. If that doesn’t make me happy, I guess I’ll turn to radical Islam, since Western modernism has essentially no other radical critiques.
Last week, the 200th episode of South Park reprised the show’s Super Best Friends gag, in which the primary figures of various world religions—Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Vishnu, Moses, John Smith and Aquaman—serve as a crime-fighting team a la Hanna-Barbera’s Superfriends. Presumably in satire of the Jyllands-Posten debacle, Mohammed sits in the back of a moving van for most of the new episode, only to finally emerge wearing a bear suit. These expediences were to avoid the Koranic prohibition against visual depictions of the prophet, which a majority of the world’s Muslim’s consider blasphemy. Even though the use of the bear suit clearly satisfies the laws set down for the authors of the Koran by the creator of the universe sixteen centuries ago in anticipation of the invention of television, frame-based computer animation and basic cable, at least one Muslim group has suggested that Trey Parker and Matt Stone should be put to death. In a message posted on RevolutionMuslim.com, Abu Talha Al-Amrikee said, “We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” In case you’re wondering, Theo Van Gogh was the Dutch filmmaker who was stabbed to death after making a movie arguing that Islam condones violence toward women. Argument refuted: counterexample.
It’s Friday, and it’s not just the week that’s coming to an end. I don’t want to alarm you guys, but right now is the very last moment of recorded time. Terrifying, isn’t it? The pyramids, the rise and fall of Rome, the revolutions of the Enlightenment and the struggle against fascism, rock and roll, the Jackson 5, Friends—all that is over as of today. Everything is behind us, and we just don’t know what’s ahead. Frankly, this moment has never occurred before, so we don’t have much to go by. All I can say conclusively is that this has been a great week for hyperbole, absurd comparisons, and end-times pronouncements of all sorts. Fortunately, that’s just the kind of thing we at Combat! blog go in for. Incontrovertibly, this has been the last week in human history. Let’s all, like, gaze upon it.