i can’t fully express how happy this makes me…
maybe it’s unpatriotic of me to say this, but i’m ok with muqtada al-sadr hating the u.s. with all of his heart… if he’s willing to do his job and truly preach his religion and help his people and his country. in case you missed, well, everything, this man is hugely influential in his part of the world. i’m so encouraged to hear him telling his followers not to engage iraqi forces, to seek reconcilliation with their sunni brothers, and to be tolerant of the religious minorities in their midst. he can blame us for whatever he wants, so long as he helps put his country back together, stop the massacre of his people by his people, and let us get the hell out of there. his message finally reflected the positive aspects of islam that i heard about and saw demonstrated in the lives of my muslim friends growing up. it looks like someone in power is finally looking past the end of his own nose and taking steps in the right direction. he wants what we want… a peaceful, stable iraq and the pull-out of u.s. troops a.s.a.p…. let’s work together to make that happen, buddy.
here’s hoping OUR leaders don’t screw this chance up…
why is this on the front page of BBC news today… but nowhere to be found on CNN? WTF is WRONG with this country?! and what’s going on here in the south? how is this still happening? and in the younger generation, too. even after being exposed to so much anti-racism propaganda through music and television, they’re still hatin’ eachother…
now, i know these are “just kids” that are mostly to blame for kicking this mess up and kids don’t often have that great of a grasp on the greater picture. i didn’t when i was in highschool, but i sure as hell knew that this kinda crap would have been seriously unacceptable and hateful in my community. someone is teaching these kids that this type of behaviour is acceptable. either directly or by their inaction, the adults in this community are giving them the go ahead to hang nooses in trees and beat the shit out of kids because they are of a different race. the school board should have expelled the kids who hung the nooses… that’s a hate crime. federal offense. the principal was fully correct to call for their expulsion.
how does this continue to happen, and how can communities fight it? how can we, as nashvillians, keep this from happening? how can we as southerners (even nominal ones like me) fight the stereotypes that history has left us?
it appears that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of a belgian man named herge. the belgians, in their own way, are throwing a party.
you don’t care.
… and here’s why… herge is the acclaimed artist and writer behind the world famous tintin stories. originally written in french, these “comic books” and, later, animated cartoons played a HUGE role in my childhood. i grew up following tintin, the intrepid, young journalist and his little dog snowy around the world as they had grand adventures in search of truth, enlightenment, and justice.
though i find myself resembling his friend, captain haddock, more than him, tintin was (and to some extent, remains) my hero. his values were exalted, his goals were lofty, his friendship was unassailable, and his passion for people ran deeper than any concern for himself. he surrounded himself with interesting characters, and called all manners and types of people “friend.”
and he got to ride in a mechanical shark submarine.
i want to ride in a mechanical shark submarine.
i’ve realized, as i’ve grown up, that i really did draw a lot of lessons and values from the books and comics and cartoons that i grew up with. most kids grew up with spiderman and batman and the xmen… i grew up with tintin, captain haddock, asterix, and obelix. from tintin i learned that everyone has worth, doing the right thing is never really a choice, and that justice is worth hardship. from asterix i learned that freedom is vital to happiness and that happiness is a worthy goal… and the meaning of the term “a play on words.” from both i learned that you need never outgrow whimsy and discovery and that an unabashed grin is worth a thousand words.
there is power in art. there is knowledge in writing. with a combination of both, it should be obvious that comics can have worth.
so i’ll raise a glass to the artists that dare to make their art sequential and draw the ire of the classical-types. thank you herge. thank you goscinny and uderzo. though you’ve passed away, you’re still making us smile.