1. A bad thing happened, and then two other bad things happened. An inflammatory & amateurish American-made movie on the internet — that mocks the Muslim Prophet Mohammad — spurred a spontaneous riot in Cairo and a more pre-planned attack in the Libyian city of Benghazi (both countries in northern Africa)… and American ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed along with some other American employees. And it happened on September 11th. Now Google (who owns YouTube) has blocked the film in those countries.
The cruel joke of it all is that this video is of questionable origin, few Americans have actually seen it, it clearly represents the super marginalized point-of-view of one dude who had a complicated/misguided agenda… and yet multiple countries’ citizens are left horrified, flaming their fresh anti-American ire. The problem is, what amounts to freedom in our country is lost in translation and instead interpreted in the Muslim world as the equivalent of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.
2. And then Romney pipes up about it and leaves everyone, regardless of party, fremped out.* That’s the fourth bad thing… although depending on political bias (and there’s not much use in hiding mine) this might end up being a very good thing in the long term. Hey, he could even get a run for his (substantive) money in November by a relatively unknown Libertarian guy!
3. The new iPhone is out and everyone’s in line for it! Bigger, thinner, lighter, and incompatible with our old devices! Oh my! The not-Steve Jobs announced it in a Steve Jobs-esque way, including bringing the Foo Fighters on to lend cool to the event. Heh. Why does this news just beg for snark? Probably because we all know we (not so) secretly want the iPhone 5.
4. I’m just gonna go there — Chris Brown got a tattoo of a badly beaten woman’s face ON HIS NECK. To quote my friend, NY theater critic Adam Feldman, “Say what you will about Chris Brown’s music, but he makes consistently excellent life choices.” Haha. It’s pretty shocking in that tattoos-are-forever kind of way. I think this whole stunt may say something about the culture of celebrity and how blinded by ego one can become in the spotlight, but it may be even worse: that it’s egos like this guy’s that MAKE stars out of nobodies.
5. And to wrap it up with a semi-upper: it’s been a big week for this debacle in the Islamic world and yet some good has come out out it: a peaceful protest in Libya where citizens have come together to say, as one woman’s eloquent sign reads, “Thugs and killers don’t represent Benghazi nor Islam.” There’s real and widespread sorrow over the death of Mr. Stevens and the terror of terrorism. What’s really amazing about this is that although it was the internet that brought the incendiary movie to people’s attention to begin with, it’s also the internet that allows citizens of an oppressed country to be HEARD over here in the States. And hopefully they’ll hear us back on this here internet, that this filmmaker’s project was a confined act of terrorism itself, not a representation of our general beliefs! Heavy stuff for a Friday morning, but that’s what’s going on in the world. And we gotta believe we’re better for knowing it, right?
WASH IT DOWN WITH A NICE GLASS OF Special Reserve Marilyn:
“Men are so willing to respect anything that bores them.”
— Marilyn Monroe
*fremped out: oh my god, people — use it! My fiance’s best friend coined the term and it’s brilliantly useful to describe that particular discomfort borne of watching someone embarrass themselves publicly…