Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to Lose the Fight Against ISIS

The image above may be the most egregious blunder the west has committed in the fight against the Islamic state. We can look forward to it being used in ISIS propaganda.

Today, protesters took the "draw Mohammad" day on the road, and gathered around a Mosque in Phoenix, Arizona. This in itself is not much to fret about. It's long past time for Islam as a religion to grow up and accept that all things, including and particularly religion, are subject to criticism.

Accusing the protest organizers of bigotry is not a sufficient response to this criticism. So it's not about that either.

But one need not be a pacifistic hippie peace activist to recognize the foolishness of gathering around a Mosque while brandishing weapons.

If ISIS were -- and they surely were -- hoping for the west to grant them some sense of legitimate grievance they could recruit off the back of, this is it. Among those Muslims to whom the idea of beheading someone for not being a Muslim, for for being the "wrong kind" of Muslim, ISIS needed no help recruiting. Among those legitimately fear genuine oppression in the west, who needed to be given a legitimate grievance in order to join up with ISIS, there could have been no greater boon than the sight of armed Americans surrounding an Arizona mosque.

If any ISIS sympathizers remained within that particular Mosque -- a Mosque that had been frequented by those responsible for the Garland, Texas shooting -- literally nothing could spur them to more radical action than the sight of armed men outside of their own Mosque.

Now, ISIS' call to "Jihad" can more easily be perceived as legitimate, or even justified. Islamic doctrine holds that Jihad may only be waged against "unbelievers" who fight against them, and in the way they fight against them.

Those are two very important boxes that would-be ISIS fighters, be them in Arizona, the United States, the west at large or even in the Middle East, can now check off. They can now refer to attacks on the west as "Jihad" with a closer semblance to legitimacy than ever before. The idea that Muslims in western lands are oppressed now has a very powerful propaganda image to back it up.

This was literally the worst blunder the protesters could have managed.

Protesters defended the presence of weapons at their protest by pointing out to ISIS calls for violence against the protesters. Fortunately, no ISIS fighters, actual or aspiring, turned up at the event. No shots were fired.

All this being said, it's not reasonable to pretend there was no threat of attack. It's not reasonable to suggest that protesters should not have taken steps to protect themselves against such attack. But there were better ways to do it than openly carrying semi-automatic rifles.

They could have done what Pamela Gellar did in Garland, TX and hired armed security to protect them. Failing that, they could at least have kept in mind that Arizona is a concealed carry state, and not carried weapons openly.

Of course that would have denied some of these neckbeards the thrill of playing soldier, patrolling a perimeter on US soil.

Certainly, ISIS propaganda could have still complained about weapons present, but those complaints are less potent without the image of them.

So these Arizona protesters may congratulate themselves for one thing: they handed ISIS a propaganda coup the likes of which they could only have imagined.

Good job, boneheads.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Joss Whedon Didn't Understand Social Justice Warriors

Joss Whedon must have thought himself very clever. Very clever, indeed.

See, Whedon was a man with a problem: most of the media properties he ever created or adapted had deeply conservative ideas at their core.

But he so desperately wanted to be one of who he thought the cool kids were. So he had to find a way to masquerade as a leftist. So first he made a video suggesting that electing Mitt Romney as President of the United States would result in a zombie apocalypse. (That there have been numerous violent outbreaks which roughly resemble the zombie apocalypse under Barack Obama simply reveals how insightful Whedon's leftist bleatings have been... not very.)

This wasn't enough. So Whedon decided to cozy up to who he -- with his epic lack of insight -- thought was the coolest kid of all: Anita Sarkeesian. He would masquerade as a feminist social justice warrior, even though nearly everything in nearly anything he ever produced was bound to disgust your average SJdub.

For a while, things were good. He helped Sarkeesian -- who despite having establishment feminists pushing her very hard down people's throats, is something of a nonentity within the media which she criticizes -- raise her profile. She at least seemed to be helping him evade criticism for the distinctly-non-social-justicey nature of his work.

Then Avengers Age of Ultron dropped, and Whedon began to receive harassment and threats over Twitter. But not from #Gamergate, who he liked to being like the KKK. Rather, it was all from the SJdub allies he had attempted to cultivate by associating with Sarkeesian.

This included Sarkeesian's producer and writer, Johathon McIntosh, whose attack on Age of Ultron contained eye-roll-inducing phrases such as "toxic hegemonic masculinity."

Somewhere Whedon is reading McIntosh's tweets and declaring "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

Not-at-all-ironically, The Mary Sue -- a website typically obsessed with online harassment -- simply declined to recognize the virulent harassment of Whedon by radical feminists, who themselves did not understand the film.

(It was his own fault, really, Whedon had the gross misfortune to be born without a vagina, so of course TMS will ignore harassment of him by toxic radical feminists.)

The complaint of the toxic radical feminists in question was that the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansen) described herself as a "monster" after explaining how she was sterilized as part of her assassin training. (The detail that she was sterilized so that having a family would never distract her from being a killing machine somehow managed to elude them.)

Some demanded to know who permitted Whedon to write the Widow character. I can only presume they would have preferred she remain fertile so she could go on to have, like, a hundred abortions.

It's not Whedon's fault that he was targeted for concentrated harassment by toxic radical feminists. That's the fault of those targeting him. But it is his fault that he deluded himself about his place in the grand scheme of what passes for toxic radical feminist "thought."

In future he'll know better.