Friday, September 14, 2012

No Film is Worth a Riot. Unless It's a Laugh Riot and the Film is Blazing Saddles.

Another day, another round of turmoil in the Middle East over something incredibly stupid and petty.  No, not food shortages or oppressive governments--that was so 2011--we're back to idiocy on a par with "offensive" Danish cartoons.  Yes, the Mideast is exploding over a trailer for a low quality film.

The film--apparently called "The Innocence of Muslims"--has a trailer available that you can watch here.  In case you don't want to waste 13 minutes of your time watching this, it's a poorly dubbed, greenscreened farce that looks like it's going for the humor and edginess of Mel Brooks at his best, while portraying the Prophet Muhammad as a surfer-dude type who is also a crook, fraud, and pedophile.  Obviously, the sort of film intended to piss off Muslims--it's difficult to imagine anyone seeing it and saying "that really opened my eyes and maybe it's time to have a reasonable discussion about one of the world's major religions". 

That said, any mature group of sensible adults who happen to be Muslims would see this, laugh it off for its amateurish patheticness, and say "at least I didn't waste ten bucks plus popcorn on that".  In all likelihood the vast majority of the billion followers of Islam would react just that way if they viewed this.  But then, it only takes a small number of crazed, insecure dillweeds to have such a fragile sense of their own religious identity that some film trailer so silly that it could barely reach into the "offensive" category to riot and loot and murder.  This turmoil has caused a number of deaths already--including U.S. diplomatic personnel in Libya--and is likely to cause more before this blows over.

The makers of this film ought to be ashamed of themselves for creating something so stupid--there's nothing wrong with a film that takes a critical look at any or all religions, but this one seems the equivalent of schoolyard taunting.  But if you're going to take something like this seriously enough to be offended, it seems you do far more good for your cause by denouncing it as crap--and anyone watching it would have to agree--and going on with your life, rather than fulfill the stereotype of easily set-off fanatic who is willing to kill and die over a poor man's "Life of Brian".  

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