Poker strategists sometimes describe unskilled behavior as “coinciding with correct play.” For example, the way most people play poker badly is by calling every bet. If you bluff such a player, even in a situation where he absolutely should fold, he will call your bet and win. His mistake coincides with correct play. From the perspective of conservative Republicans, the Islamic State coincided with correct play when it banned the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution from schools in Mosul. Also, the Islamic State is establishing public school curricula in northern Iraq now. At least we don’t have to worry about Saddam Hussein anymore, right? Guys?
Yesterday on Air Force One, the president condemned the ISIS beheading of aid worker Peter Kassig, whom Obama said was “taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group.” I agree that beheading aid workers is awful, and that ISIS is perhaps the most reprehensible pack of hypocrites to emerge from a region famous for producing them. But it is a mistake to call them or their acts “pure evil.” Everything about how ISIS presents itself suggests that they want to operate on the continuum of good and evil, ideally with the west at the other end. It’s their best hope of transcending what they are: a crime syndicate masquerading as a state masquerading as a religious movement.
The woman pictured above opposes the Hungarian Femen movement, which is either a civil rights thing or a “satanists-run prostitutes’ abuse of women’s dignity and grace,” depending on whether you are an editor at Hungarian Ambience. To Hungarian Ambience I say kudos for mastering the English possessive. Also, you guys are fascists. Maybe it’s just my internet, but it seems like fascism is blowing up in geopolitics right now. Humanism ruled and totalitarian systems drooled for so long that I didn’t notice when everybody stopped reading and started wearing shirts about church. Now we’ve overrun with patriots proudly waiving their rights. Today is Friday, and the humans have turned against humanism. Won’t you flee to a high tower with me?