So, what’s in the Pakistani news?

Yesterday’s All Parties Conference in Islamabad (not pictured: various parties)

Because I am a curious fellow in dire need of supervision, I spent several hours yesterday reading the Express Tribune of Pakistan. Granted, now seems like an especially interesting time in Pakistani news, but man—that place is a den of insanity. The photo above comes from this story about a meeting of the All Parties Conference, which threatened to block NATO supply routes to Afghanistan if the United Nations does not pass an anti-blasphemy law. They also threatened to leave the UN and form a separate, Muslim United Nations, which would pretty much be the best thing ever to happen to American talk radio. It gets better after the jump.

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Friday links! Fantasy of persecution edition

A modest sense of self at Glenn Beck’s Rally to Restore Honor

I pretty much only know via books, but being persecuted appears to suck. Anne Frank, the dude in Invisible Man, every character in the field of postcolonial studies—the only good thing about these people’s situations is that they are fictional and we sympathize with them. The real lives and diaspora on which they are modeled offered no such comfort, in both cases pretty much by definition. Actual persecution is a drag, but imagined persecution—especially when it’s imagined by members of a comfortable majority—rules. You get none of the actual inconvenience of institutionalized prejudice, plus the benefits of victim status. Today is Friday, and our link section is chockablock with jerks who have convinced themselves that they are crushed under the heels of jerks. Won’t you manufacture a smug self-pity with me?

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See the film that turned the whole world stupid

By now have you heard about the wave of asshole behavior sparked by The Innocence of Muslims, a fourteen-minute quote-unquote trailer for a movie that probably does not exist but nonetheless insults the one true religion. In Egypt, Libya and now Yemen—so all the best countries, really—the film sparked violent protests and attacks on US consulates. In the back seat of his solid gold train, it revealed a glitch in Mitt Romney’s programming that causes him to ignore the arrow of time. Then everyone went nuts, including a suspiciously large number of anonymous Republicans. Amid all this meshugas, though, the American press has forgotten to ask the one question that’s really important about The Innocence of Muslims: is it any good?

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