A language Virus

What a man takes for granted, what he offers almost as an aside, is where you’ll find the things he thinks but doesn’t state openly. Then again, perhaps I’m reading too closely?

In his most recent Sunday column, Peter Hitchens writes that:

It is, beyond doubt, the case that our treatment of the mentally ill is a terrible mess. It is also beyond doubt that much mental illness appears to be linked to legal or illegal mind-altering drugs, now far more common than they were 30 years ago. This long predates the era of Islamic terror. One of the first cases was in 1992 when Jonathan Zito was stabbed to death by Christopher Clunis, a total stranger (and longstanding drug-abuser) who was severely mentally ill. This horror, oddly enough, took place at Finsbury Park.

How does a 1992 case of violence pre date ‘the era of Islamic terror’?

What ‘era’ is that?

On August 3 1989 Mustafa Mahmoud Mazeh blew himself up in a hotel in Paddington, becoming the first ‘martyr’ in the plot to murder Salman Rushdie and anyone else involved in the hideous crime of publishing a novel.

In 1983 a truck stuffed with TNT was used by a group – called, oddly enough, ‘Islamic Jihad’ – to murder 241 US Marines in Beirut. Continue reading

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A word on Missing the Point

Peter Hitchens has written a lengthy piece in response to the latest islamist attack. It is a predictably thoughtful and eloquent article. It’s the most intelligent response I’ve seen. There is much in it to agree with. It is a shame our so-called ‘leaders’ can’t offer responses of this standard. Instead they call the terrorists ‘cowards’ and ‘losers’ when the killers haven’t lost anything and cowardice stifles action. It is our so-called ‘leaders’ who are the cowards.

Mr Hitchens asks on the question of the killers’ enthusiasm when stabbing:

‘I was struck by a particular report in ‘the Guardian’ on Tuesday, in which a London surgeon, sadly used to dealing with stab wounds, remarked on the unusual force of the wounds inflicted by these merciless human horrors on Saturday night. This seemed to me to suggest a level of cruelty and ruthlessness way beyond the ability of a normal person, even a normal criminal. What is the source of this? Some people will say ‘fanaticism’, and I will agree with them that it is a necessary condition in this kind of killing. But is it a sufficient one?  Well, how capable are you, or how capable do you think you would be, of real, homicidal violence, even in a cause to which you were committed? I am a former fanatic. I espoused a set of beliefs with homicidal implications. I am not a pacifist, and am ready to defend myself with force. But I was as incapable then, as I am now, of driving a steel blade into a human being.’

This passage is interesting because it is an example of Mr Hitchens abandoning reason just at the moment he was about to arrive at truth. His speculation begins promisingly, but the conclusion is drawn from a data-set of one. Himself. This is not how reason works. Does he miss the point because he doesn’t want to see it? Mr Hitchens is in good company in missing the point.

Orwell missed a similar point when trying to attack Auden for the phrase ‘necessary murder’ in his poem ‘Spain’. The stanza in question:

To-day the deliberate increase in the chances of death,
The consious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder;
To-day the expending of powers
On the flat ephemeral pamphlet and the boring meeting.

In the essay ‘Inside the Whale’ Orwell states:

‘…notice the phrase “necessary murder”. It could only be written by a person to whom murder is at most a word. Personally I would not speak so lightly of murder. [..] To me, murder is something to be avoided. So it is to any ordinary person.’

Auden had it right. That little phrase demonstrates the breezy ease with which those infected with absolutist ideologies murder their enemies. And that’s if they’re just in the way. If your ideology also tells you to hate them and their way of life then what’s so mysterious about enthusiastically stabbing some infidel scum?

(Read Maajid Nawaz’s evidence to the US Senate’s security committee on the Bolshevik-like political absolutism of ISIS ideology.)

Of course, Orwell was writing pre-Nuremburg, pre-Milgram, pre-Zimbardo and so on, but Mr Hitchens isn’t. The ‘sufficient condition’ is being an adult human, all else is refinement to the madness and savagery.

Is there a block in Mr Hitchens’s thinking? Could it be that he can’t (or won’t) see the true nature of the human because to do so will lead to the conclusion that humans were not created, but evolved?

Milgram’s famous switches are the least of it: he had people pushing arms down onto what they thought was an electrified plate. There is no excuse for not knowing that so long as the person thinks he has permission from his ‘authority’ he’s off to the races, and with terrifying and depressing ease do persons become ‘hands on’.

All it takes to get someone to fry another human with electricity is a white coat. What would they do if they thought they had God on their side?

There is no mystery.

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Christian Slaves, Moronic Masters

If some silly humans get their way, the Colston Hall in Bristol will be renamed. The excuse for this that the name, Colston, has ‘become toxic’ and because Colston was a slave-trader, the music venue needs a different name. Changing the name doesn’t benefit anyone, but it will give some single-issue merchants a rush of blood to the head for a few moments.

Changing the name doesn’t change the facts.

One of the defenders of this pointless excercise is David Olusoga. He says in the idea’s ‘defence’ that

‘Those who want to rename Colston Hall, like the students who want to topple Cecil Rhodes (not that I agree completely with them or their tactics), are campaigners for a fuller, more honest remembrance of history, not its erasure.’

That paragraph shows its typer simply doesn’t care. You do not get a ‘fuller, more honest remembrance of history’ by erasing the names of historical figures from public buildings.

In addition, you help nobody.

I promise you that, in removing the Colston name, no hungry children will be fed; no murderer will be caught; no teenage girl, trafficked from Eastern Europe and locked into sex-slavery, will be freed from her misery.

These campaigners are people without a grievance, looking to make themselves feel happier about their lives by claiming they did something good. They will have done nothing good. Nobody alive in Bristol suffered because of Colston’s business. Nobody alive in Bristol should apologise for the slave-trade because nobody alive in Bristol was responsible for the slave trade.

To campaign for the removal of the name is a form of narcissism, and I suspect these silly people are just a bit bored.

The musician, ‘Daddy G’ from ‘Massive Attack,’ was quite pleased with the name change. I have no idea why.

That ‘Massive Attack’ have for years ‘refused to play at Colston Hall’ is to fall for posing and gesture politics of the shallowest kind. If it were the case that ‘Massive Attack’ – upon learning of their city’s history – left the city in protest, refusing to spend their money here, or even enter the city because of it’s links with slavery, then I might believe they had principles. They are simply posing by picking an easy topic to decide to have principles about, one which causes them no inconvenience.

Muslim pirates enslaved white Europeans for centuries. As a white man, I managed to get the fuck over it about half a second after finding out about it.

Julius Caesar enslaved over a million white Europeans during his time in Gaul, helping to make Rome massively wealthy. I wonder if ‘Massive Attack’ has ever played a show in Rome?

Selective principlals are always fake principals.

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Stop Bloody Whining

There I was standing in front of a vine
I took some grapes and I crushed them to wine
I gave some to Pharaoh who drank from my cup
I tried to interpret but I had to give up

 – Joseph and the Amazing Techicolour Dreamcoat

 

I am an admirer of Sam Harris. I am now and admirer of Maajid Nawaz. One of Harris’s regular complaints is that his critics misrepresent his views on many topics, and misrepresent him on the Islam question very often. It was actually pleasant to have Naawaz – someone who can be called an ‘expert’ on the topic of Islam and Islamism – actually explaining certain Koranic doctrines.

Harris for instance argues that the Koran actually tells people to do certain things, and some of those things are not ambiguous. He gives an excellent example to Hasan when he says that, nobody reading the Koran is going to close the book and believe they can now eat bacon and drink alcohol. Some things are directives.

Nawaz responds on alcohol:

[..] everyone assumes that all alcohol is absolutely prohibited for all Muslims. In Arabic the word assumed to mean alcohol is khamr. There’s a long-standing historical discussion about what khamr means and whether or not it’s prohibited. An extremely early tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur’an was by Imam Abu Bakr al-Jasas, who hailed from the Hanafi school of jurisprudence within the Sunni denomination of Islam. The Hanafi school is known to be the first school of interpretation and therefore the closest in proximity to the time of the Prophet. In his interpretation of the Qur’an, al-Jasas discusses the linguistic meaning of khamr at length and elaborates on why for Hanafis a literal interpretation of the word covers only a prohibition on wine from grapes. This means that for the jurists of this first school, it was permitted—and still is for those who follow the early Hanafis—to consume any form of alcohol other than wine.

Suddenly, a reading of the Koran can allow alcohol so long as it’s not wine from grapes. This was an eyebrow-raiser for me.

Nawaz’s basic position is that Islam is not a religious of peace, nor is it a religion of war. It’s just a religion which can be ‘interpreted’ to mean this or that.

‘Interpretation’ is an interesting word in respect to textual analysis.

Persons misuse language all the time. Persons will use one word to disguise another because the one they use suggests they are smarter, or kinder, or something else. For example many parents and teachers will demand ‘respect’ from the younger person, and might shout this. They don’t realise that ‘respect’ cannot be demanded because it’s is a matter of how the other person feels about you. When the parent or teacher demands respect they are probably demanding obedience. This is a different thing, and it makes sense why the parent or teacher would perform a sort of doublethink on themselves by masking the word. Such a person might genuinely believe they are asking for respect.

It’s a similar thing with ‘interpretation.’ When a person declares that they ‘interpreted it to mean..’ they probably mean that they ‘imagined it to mean..’

(Imagination in this context is connected to desire.)

Using ‘interpret’ sounds more technical, it sounds like you’ve being doing some hard mental work; ‘interpret’ is only a step away from ‘decoded’ which really would require some hard work. So it’s obviously better to claim this than to claim you’ve ‘imagined’ the meaning of the words, because ‘imagined’ just means you’ve ‘made it up’ – so who would need to take you seriously?

I wonder if those in the head-removal community find Koranic warrant for their bloody fun by choosing to ‘interpret’ the text to mean what they want it to mean.

No True Christian

Yesterday I speculated that many journalists and commentators and so on will begin to spew the politically correct line that the doctrines of Islam have nothing to do with the Paris horror. I used Sam Harris’s explanation of how weak and politically correct mainstream journalists will blame everything except religion for the behaviour of religious lunatics. I quoted from Piers Morgan (a chap with a large audience). Some of what he wrote in his response to the Hebdo killings was absurd.

Morgan is doing similar, here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3318410/PIERS-MORGAN-Paris-brace-blood-Churchill-said-Nazi-barbarians-never-in.html

His article is less feeble than his Hebdo response, but there’s still the denial in the core of his mind which damages the coherence of this thinking.

ISIS aren’t real Muslims, as some still maintain. They’re just gangsters who’ve hijacked Islam to suit their nefarious aims, cloaking their hatred and violence under the faux umbrella of religion.”

ISIS are real Muslims, and someone with Morgan’s audience should just tell the truth as a matter of honour. That ISIS take the Koran literally, something most Muslims don’t do, doesn’t mean the Koran isn’t at the core of their beliefs.

Think about Christians for a moment. There are some horrible and stupid things in the Bible, and the behaviour of Christian authorities for hundreds of years proved it.

We know this is true. We don’t deny it. We know Church authorities burned humans alive for reading the Bible in English; we know that Bloody Mary enjoyed toasted Protestant for breakfast; we know that the Catholics weren’t always fond of scientists, and liked to torture and kill them in the name of God. We know that Oliver Cromwell was a schizophrenic, puritanical religious lunatic, who was on a mission from God to rid England of superstition, and who gave the Irish good reason to be less than fond of him today. These are hardly the only examples I could have picked. But who would deny them?

Who tries to argue ‘Oliver Cromwell wasn’t a real Christian’? Who says ‘Bloody Mary wasn’t a real Catholic’? You get the idea.

We all know, and have no problem stating, that the Bible was at the root of their doings.

But what happens when the violence has the Koran at its root?

Suddenly it’s denial-city, with tones of self-loathing thrown in. This is a little example of that from Boris Johnson. He is a person who might one day be Prime Minister of Airstrip One.

When the Islamist killers opened fire, they killed and maimed people who were entirely guiltless of any provocation or disrespect to their religion. They murdered and maimed men and women who have had absolutely nothing to do with Western policy in Iraq or Syria – and who may well have been either entirely ignorant of the policies of President Francois Hollande, or indeed have disapproved of them.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3318892/ISIS-sick-narcissistic-death-cult-defect-writes-Boris-Johnson.html

Read Johnsons words slowly. Allow the meaning to gently enter your awareness.

That is what a pig wearing lipstick looks like.

Boris Johnson thought about that before he wrote it. That is a considered statement from a leading political figure. I’m going to rewrite it, to demonstrate what Johnson could have said, but chose not to:

When the Islamist murderers opened fire, they murdered and maimed people who would have been innocent victims even if they HAD provoked or disrespected their religion. They murdered and maimed men and women who would have been innocent victims even if they had EVERYTHING to do with Western policy in Iraq or Syria- and even if they had FULL KNOWLEDGE of the policies of President Francois Hollande, and indeed loved those policies.

Some acts are unjustifiable, no matter what provocation a person wants to claim.

Johnson’s denial (and he won’t be the only one) is like a mind-cancer, twisting and manipulating thoughts under the surface, so that when the words get to the surface, they’re greasy and smelly because the denial-puss is seeping out from below.

In the days to come there’s going to be more and more of this bullshit, and the idiot public will carry-on claiming ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ as if it was their own thought, not the parroting of garbage from dickheads like Morgan and Johnson.