Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dark Passages

Feeling suicidal? Want to be a martyr for the freedom of expression? Why guillotine yourself -- like a Metro Detroiter did a few days ago -- when all you need do is post a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad on the internet? You'll be sure to have a death sentence on your head in no time. . . . .

Yesterday was Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink's birthday. The 52-year-old advocate of free speech and civil tolerance was assassinated in January by a 17-year old fanatic for "denigrating Turkishness." I would not be surprised if our fellow blogger Istanbulwitchy was also brutally "dealt with," for poking fun at Muslims.

Here's the latest in a similar line. Like Bill Moyers, who gave a memorable speech recently about the importance of standing up for free speech, I find the violent response of fanatics (of any stripe) to free thought a loathsome thing and a definite threat.

"We [an Al-Qaida affiliate] are calling for the assassination of cartoonist Lars Vilks who dared insult our prophet, peace be upon him, and we announce a reward during this generous month of Ramadan of $100,000 for the one who kills this criminal . . . The award will be increased to $150,000 if he were to be slaughtered like a lamb."

(Source: "Bounty set in Sweden cartoon row," September 15, 2007, ALJAZEERA.NET).

When one becomes upset over a perceived hateful image, challenge it in court. Boycott. Do something civil. Don't have journalists and artists killed, for God's sake. Oh, and -- get a sense of humor. Try a little tenderness . . . . .

Today's Rune: Signals.

Birthdays: Jean Arp, Stephanie von Hohenlohe, Karl Dönitz, Alexander Korda (Sándor László Kellner), Vladimír Holan, Lauren Bacall (b. Betty Joan Perske), Charlie Byrd, B. B. King, Peter Falk, Jack Kelly, Ed Begley, Jr., Earl Klugh, Frank Reed (The Chi-Lites), Mickey Rourke, Jennifer Tilly, Molly Shannon, Ginny Heather Holly (Heather Hopper), Alexis Bledel, Fan Bingbing.

Images: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Dark Passage (1947); The Thief of Bag[h]dad (1940), directed by Alexander Korda.


Danny Tagalog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danny Tagalog said...

Someone guillotined his/herself? My god!

Erik Donald France said...

Police Find Man's Body, Guillotine In Wooded Area

POSTED: 2:45 pm EDT September 12, 2007
UPDATED: 8:40 am EDT September 13, 2007

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The body of a 41-year-old man was found in a wooded area next to a guillotine he built and used to kill himself, police said.

The man, from the Detroit suburb of Melvindale, was discovered Monday by workers from a shopping center near his home.

Groundskeeper from the Fairlane Green shopping center at Outer and Fairlane drive discovered the body shortly before 11 a.m. Monday.

Allen Park Deputy Police Chief Dale Covert said the roughly six-foot tall guillotine was bolted to a tree and included a swing arm. Covert said police also found several store receipts detailing the materials used to assemble the device.

"I can't even tell you how long it must have taken him to construct," he said. "This man obviously was very determined to end his life."

According to investigators, the man had to make several trips to carry the wooden and metal parts to the area in the woods.

Covert said the man lived within walking distance of the spot where he died.

Police said the man, whose identity police have not released, had been dead for two days.

The man did not leave a suicide note.

Charles Gramlich said...

Offering bounties on people who speak their minds. What a clear sign of the mental poverty of those who offer them.

Malcolm: said...

Wow, I don't know how I missed the guillotine story. I can't even imagine the frame of mind he was in to take his life in this manner.

By the way, the Bogie & Bacall pic is from "The Big Sleep". I forgot that it was Lauren's b-day. I may do a post about it when I get home. Thanks for the reminder.

the walking man said...

Yes that seems area seems to be our golden gate bridge 6 years ago in the spring time some people walking through those woods found a man that had hung himself from a tree in the fall.

Freedom of thought and expression seems to be becoming a privilege and not a right. Like if you have a drivers license you have the privilege to legally drive.

Now it would be one help to the government to start to sell us all licenses to speak out. the deficit might even go away in a year, then once they had your money they could revoke your privilege when you say something they don't like.

Hell they could even sell different levels of privileges for larger amounts of money. I bet the theocons and neocons would get a "non profit" status discount.

Hell yea shut up the opposition hardly any of us would be able to afford to say anything much more than "praise the lord"

fuck 'em rise up and speak your mind whatever it is



Anonymous said...

Al Qaeda in Iraq also threatened to attack Swedish businesses if Vilks failed to apologize. "[E]xpect us to strike the businesses of firms like Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, IKEA, and Electrolux," said the group's statement against Vilks. CSM

Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia praise the courage of Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Thorbjorn Larsson and the staff of Nerikes Allehanda and Dagens Nyheter and condemn threats issued by Abu Omar Al Baghdadi and the Islamic State of Iraq. Muslims Against Sharia will provide a payment of 100,000kr (about $15,000) for the information leading to capture or neutralization of Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslimer mot Sharia berömmer Lars Vilks, Ulf Johansson, Torbjörn Larsson och övriga anställda på Nerikes Allehanda och Dagens Nyheter för deras tapperhet och fördömer hotet från Abu Omar Al Baghdadi och Islamistiska Iraq. Muslimer mot Sharia betalar 100 000 SEK (ca 15 000$) för information som leder till gripande eller oskadligörande av Abu Omar Al Baghdadi.

Muslims Against Sharia

Defend Freedom of Speech - Support Sweden!