Thursday, November 10, 2005

Take This Job And Shove It

Wow. What a week to be bogged down with the day job. Big wins for the Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, Arnold suffers an across the board defeat of his various propositions in California, and the GOP is looking oddly in disarray as infighting and sniping rises to a cacophonous din. Or sweet melody depending on your perspective.

Are these the first rippling waves of a Sea Change? Maybe the Democrats have come Round the Bend, and we are poised to enter a new Golden Age. Could it be that the GOP's dominance is Already Dead? That it was always something of a Paper Tiger? There is, of course, the possibility that any such optimism is All In Your Mind, and I've cried enough Lonesome Tears over the dashed hopes of recent elections to be sufficiently jaded. But one can hope for some Sunday Sun, no? [ed note: 50 TIA points for identifying the poorly constructed musical puns in this paragraph]

Then, the tragic. More flies managed to wrest loose from the flypaper in Iraq to conduct horrific attacks in nearby Jordan. But surely they will be re-stuck to the flypaper shortly never to come free again. Or something.

And of course, Paris is burning. Unfortunately, I don't have time to address all of these truly significant events, so I only wanted to resurface to help beat back some of the more pernicious storylines circulating about the situation in France - which is migrating to nearby Belgium. I wish I could pen a lengthy and in depth analysis, but time only permits a quick hit and run link drop. So, as usual, I recommend Praktike, and will use his summary as a brief introduction:

In his usual tactful way, the illustrious Lounsbury points out two key common errors among commentators:

1. Not all of the rioters are Muslim.

According to Lounsbury, "it is very clear to those of us who know the 'sub-urbs' that a good percentage are not Muslim at all - merely sub-Saharan African oft of non-Muslim origin."

2. The recurring use of the word "immigrants" to refer to French citizens is inaccurate and offensive. Lounsbury again:

"As most of the rioters are born and bred in France - the entire immigrant usage ongoing is disturbing as it merely reflects French prejudice - one thing one remarks in France is the amazing habit of French ‘native French’ of calling 2nd, 3rd and even 4th generation descendants of immigrants, 'immigrants' as if they arrived 'off the boat.'"
Prak also references this Oliver Roy Op-ed that is very well worth the read. Juan Cole has also written a rather insightful take on the subject. These authors are saying what I would be if I had the time to commit my thoughts to paper (or ether?), only they do it more eloquently and from a better informed position.

Hopefully, I will be back to regular posting next week. Maybe even tomorrow. Dare to dream.

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