Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Guest Post: Can't Take A Joke?

"National Security Adviser James Jones, not the most pro-Israel member of the Obama Administration told a Jewish joke last week. It was made a couple of minutes into his speech at the 25-year anniversary gala of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel organisation. It goes like this, 
"A member of the Taliban was separated from his fighting party and wandered around for a few days in the desert, lost, out of food, no water. He looked on the horizon and he saw what looked like a little shack, and he walked toward that shack and as he got to it, turned out that it was a shack, a store, a little store owned by a Jewish merchant. And the Taliban warrior went up to him and said, "I need water, get me some water." And the merchant said, "I'm sorry, I don't have any water, but would you like to buy a tie? We have a nice sale of ties today."
Whereupon the Taliban erupted into a stream of language that I can't repeat about Israel, about Jewish people, about the man himself, about his family – and just saying "I need water, you try to sell me ties, you people don't get it."
And passively, the merchant stood there until this Taliban was through with his diatribe and said, "Well, I'm sorry but I don't have water for you and I forgive you for all of the insults you've levied against me, my family, my country, but I will help you out. If you go over that hill and walk about two miles there's a restaurant there, and they have all the water you'll need."
And the Taliban, instead of saying thanks, still muttering under his breath, disappears over the hill – only to come back about an hour later and walking up to the merchant and says, "Your brother tells me I need a tie in order to get into the restaurant."
Here's the video and it sounds like most people found it funny. But some people were offended by it.  There were accusations by an attendee who stated that it was "wrong in so many levels" and that it "demonstrated a lack of sensitivity." The attendee continued "Can you imagine him telling a black joke at an event of African Americans?" Truth be told, not really. Abe Foxman Head of the Anti Defamation League (ADL) told ABC news “It's inappropriate... it's stereotypic. Some people believe they need to start a speech with a joke; this was about the worst kind of joke the head of the National Security Council could have told.”  Okay, so some Jews weren't happy. But you know who else didn't like a joke last week?
South Park was celebrating its 200th episode with a special non-appearance by the prophet Muhammed. Apart from he was censored completely. How? Well by wearing a bear suit... Here is the plot.
In last week’s celebrity-studded episode “200", Tom Cruise threatened to sue the entire town unless they could arrange for a face-to-face meeting with the Prophet Mohammed, a taboo-for-parody figure who Cruise believed could make him impervious to being made fun of. The town’s citizens squabbled (“If he shows up here, we’ll get bombed”) and noted in a bit of meta-commentary that they couldn’t even circulate an image of the prophet because it was “completely off-limits and censored.” Finally, upon nabbing Mohammed, the town agreed that shuttling the prophet around in a windowless U-haul truck (while he wore a bear mascot costume) would be the only safe way to present him.
And then not only was there no image, Comedy Central went against the wishes of the shows creators and bleeped out any mention of the word Muhammad. And guess what happened next?
“We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show…This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.” Posted by the radical Muslim website RevolutionMuslim.com
P.s. there was also a bit with “Buddha doing a line of coke”. So to summarise. 
1. Make a Jewish joke and some people will condemn it. 2. Take the piss out of Buddha and disrespect him and nothing is said or done. (maybe Buddihsts dont watch South Park?) 3. Make a joke about not being able to make a joke about a Muslim prophet and you get a death threat. (But maybe they must secretly watch South Park? How else would they know? Do they really want to kill the people who gave them 199 episodes of quality comedy which they obviously loved? Do Muslims have agents who have to put their lives and morals on the line to monitor South Park episodes to protect the honour of their prophet? Some martyr he is!)
Now, can you see a member of the Obama administration making a joke about an Arab in Egypt? Saudi Arabia? No because the uproar would be like an earthquake. Everything in moderation people! Somewhere between the Jewish and Buddist complaint is about right!"

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