I've always found it unnerving how completely from the discussion of terrorist attacks in America the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by a rightwing bigots and stupid-Christians has disappeared. And completely gone from public discussion are the rightwing militias playing army in the backwoods of Crackerstan, armed to protect America from brown people and Liberals.
I've often thought that beyond the Right's bullyboy's revenge-spawned hatred of radical Islam is a deep envy of the Islamofascists' carbombers and terrorists. There is little to distinguish the world view of followers of OBL and Jerry Falwell, and that they hate each other while worshipping the same God is a reflection of competition to be Dad's favorite children, not oppositional theologies. But followers of militant Islam, they get to DO something to prove their faith, they get to blow others and themselves up for God. They get to John Wayne. While self-loathing American Christofascists wank their hallelujahs and amens on Sunday morning, praying for armegeddon, Islamic soldiers are out actively trying to spark the armegeddon. Which do you think impresses Dad more?
And now, the cartoons of The Prophet and the state-encouraged (if not state-sponsored) outrage amongst the conspicously devout in the Islamic world. The Right, typically hysterically contradictory, is blasting the Islamic kookily devout for their violent outrage against perceived blasphemy. Beyond the hypocrisy - remember the outrage, if not the street violence, sparked by Serrano's Piss Christ and the ludicrous "war" over Christmas - of the ultra-religious in this country would LOVE - absofreakinglutingly LOVE - for an explosive case of Liberal blaspheming that would fundamentally unite kooky Christians in outrage. Bill O'Reilly tried, but if he failed it's more a comment on his choice and his wankerness than a failure of perception.
Or is it? I've written about violence and the Right, how their language and images, in discussing the Left, is full of violent images and metaphors. How they are cowards. The violence in the streets of Islamic capitals may serve to feed the stereotypes necessary to the Right, but subliminally at the very least it must remind them that opportunities for violent martrydom, to prove through violence their devoutness, belongs now to the enemy. Many must find that morally untenable. That the sworn enemy is willing to die for their God, riot at blasphemies, causes worse than outrage: it sparks jealousy, it sparks envy. Eventually, as the pendulum in American politics swings back to the secular Left, it is going to spark violence. Remember the armies of Crackerstan. Remember Oklahoma City.