Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kevin Smith: Not Just Pissing off Catholics

Apparently, Kevin Smith’s Dogma just won’t stop being divisive.

Via Kuwaiti Times:
“BAGHDAD: Iraqi Shiite residents of Baghdad's Sadr City expressed anger yesterday over a picture of a grinning Jesus they mistook for a Shiite holy figure that appeared in the area after a joint US-Iraqi operation. Residents found a picture of "Buddy Jesus" from the 1999 film "Dogma" posted in the streets, accompanied by a badly photocopied pamphlet bearing a crude approximation of a US military crest and outlining a US "plan" to subjugate the neighborhood. "That picture abuses our Imam Mahdi and his holy character, and mocks our sacred figures," said resident Abu Riyam, apparently mistaking the satirical movie still of Jesus for one of Shiite Islam's historical imams, whose images adopt a Jesus-like iconography.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Gay List

Since the Foley scandal on Capitol Hill, there has been what is being called “The List” moving around Washington that appears to be a list of top-level Republican congressional aides who are gay. David Corn has been discussing this list extensively on his blog recently. He says:
“I have a copy. I'm not going to publish it. For one, I don't know for a fact that the men on the list are gay. And generally I don't fancy outing people--though I have not objected when others have outed gay Republicans, who, after all, work for a party that tries to limit the rights of gays and lesbians and that welcomes the support of those who demonize same-sexers.

…Is it possible to support a party because you adhere to most of its tenets--even if that party refuses to recognize you as a full citizen?

David Corn is real off-base here. While I think the far-right of the Republican Party is by no means friendly to homosexuals, to assume that every gay fiscal and libertarian conservative should be a member of the Democratic Party simply because some members of the party advocate gay marriage, is ridiculous. Corn seems to have forgotten that the major political parties in the U.S. are huge umbrella organizations. Sure, the Republican’s have their theocratic evangelicals, but the Democrat’s have their share of populist socialists that hardly bode well with those of a more liberal persuasion. To advocate the outing of an individual because he belongs to a party Corn doesn’t like is hypocrisy of the highest degree.

All gay individuals should be allowed to live the life they desire, but because we live in a world that is not always accepting, it is important to respect the wishes of those who do not want their personal lives made public. I would have expected better from a self-described liberal like Corn.

The reality is, if a list is already moving around Capitol Hill, it will undoubtedly be made available online in a matter of days. Then Democrats will have to ask themselves if winning the election in November means outing gay congressional aids, simply because they are Republicans.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh Yeah!

The last 2 years I was a student at UCSC, the school’s “official” paper (City on the Hill) had a terribly left-leaning position that made it practically unreadable to anyone who wasn’t sipping the Kool-Aid. I have no problem with a paper that takes a stand on specific issues, and since Santa Cruz is a predominantly left leaning town, it made sense for the paper to play to the base.

But as Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays for War points out, a paper can go to shit real quick when it takes such an overt ideological stance.
Despite my current status as a mature student, I try to stay away from student politics because...well, because student politics is pretty ghastly, to be honest. I prefer to do my politicking through the Royal College of Nursing rather than the chocolate teapot that is the NUS.

Even so, my spies have been informing me of shenanigans going on at the Manchester students newspaper Student Direct, which recently saw the election of a new editor. Said editor had no journalistic experience, and had never written anything for Student Direct before, but was elected on the basis of block voting by the Islamic Society and our old, dear friends, the SWP.

So, how is the new editor getting on?

- The political slant has changed totally, so that the paper churns out the kind of guff that you find in the Socialist Worker. No other political viewpoints are printed.

- The editor is regularly absent from work, leading to massive strain on the editorial team and loss of advertising revenue. He failed to show up for training sessions.

- Two of the senior editors were sacked by text message for having political views that differed from that of the new editor.

- The sex column was axed due to the editors political and religious beliefs. The crossword, the sudoku and the TV listings have also disappeared.

- The website has also disappeared, allegedly leading to large losses of advertising revenue.

- Proofreading standards have dropped, with obvious typos and stories repeated on the same page.

- The letters page has been described as a "joke", consisting purely of positive letters and ignoring the vast reams of complaints about the massive drop in quality of the newspaper.

So far the story is being covered by the Cardiff University newspaper Ghair Rhydd, though sadly their coverage of the issue isn't yet available in their online edition. The only story I can find online is at Front Page Magazine. Despite the far-right ideology of Front Page Mag, their article appears to be factually accurate.”