Concerning Deadpool...And by "concerning" I mean "concerned about," as we knew the Yeshua ha-Nazari Fan Club would be. Deadpool is awesome – a bit rough in places, especially the part where he saws off his own hand to escape Colossus's handcuffs ("Seen 127 Hours? Spoiler alert!" – I just can't handle self-inflicted shit, which is why I've never watched the whole of the Saw series, no matter how much that epically complex plot calls to me). Despite that it's awesome, the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play (every bit as much as Christina Ricci was born to play Wednesday Addams and Johnny Depp was to play
|Deadpool and the church go way back.|
So of course the Christian Mutaween are all over it like a priest on an altar boy. Someone called Phillip Holmes as an article up entitled, Seven Questions to Ask Before You Watch 'Deadpool', which as always is just a passive-aggressive way of saying, "Don't watch Deadpool." But those questions are revealing. They are, in order:
- When will I tear our my eye, if not now?
- Am I longing to see God?
- Do I care about the souls of the nudes?
- Would I be Glad if my Daughter Played this Role?
- Am I assuming nudity can be faked?
- Am I assuming nudity is necessary for good art?
- Am I free from doubt?
So they're not likely to forgive Deadpool, which is a shame because it confirms everything they suspect about the Gay Menace.
Huh, I hear you ask? Well, Deadpool is (kinda sorta) part of the X-Men universe, and the first couple of X-Men movies were blatantly, anviliciously about gay rights. You knew that, right? Surely I'm not stirring up any controversy by pointing out this scene was written to resemble a coming-out speech, right?
Given that, the origin of Deadpool's fast-healing ability is a bit troubling. In the comics he was given an injection of Wolverine splooge, but in the movie they just tortured him until any "latent mutations" manifested themselves. Combining that with the gay rights themes makes the worrying case that we all have a bit of teh gay inside us, and under the right conditions it'll pop out. Basically, exactly what the opponents of the Safe Schools Coalition are afraid of.
|To be fair, I might be on the turn myself.|
...and I.S.IS.Once again late to the party, but a couple of Cracked articles got my attention: the first, We Built Their Death Squads: ISIS's Bizarre Origin Story, which is worth a read but still doesn't quite bring out the Shia/Sunni divide and so fails to make Gary Brecher's brilliant analogy that I.S.I.S. is a modern version of the KKK, a crew of thugs defeated militarily now using terror to bring to heel an uppity population they're used to ordering around. Being the majority the Shia now run Iraq, and the Sunnis who used to stand with Saddam like the plantation owners in the Deep South are not happy about it. They haven't got the numbers to take their country back, so they formed the hard core of I.S.I.S. and started calling for volunteers instead.
The second, 7 Things I Learned Reading Every Episode of ISIS's Magazine, is mind-blowing. Stop reading this right now and go follow that link. Don't worry, I'll wait.
Good. Welcome back. Feeling a bit light-headed? I sure did. And there I was thinking Adam Hills's focus on mocking them was actually accomplishing something. They might make use of pious imbeciles, but there's a core of very clever people in I.S.I.S., and they're media-savvy as all hell. The thing that shocked me the most was finding out that a Western army on the ground in Syria is exactly what they're hoping for. It'd generate exactly the same whooping euphoria as Ban Ki Moon declaring World Government at the U.N.
So, I don't pretend the Middle East is my problem to solve, but I have to wonder now who do we use to fight them? Much as they'd welcome it, and as Leftist as I am, I really think killing them all is the only thing that can end this. But who do you get to do it? Syria? Syria's gone, and the Alawites are now too weak. Turkey? Turkey's on their side, a fellow Sunni power trying to stomp down an uppity population (in their case the Kurds). Israel? Israel is very carefully cultivating I.S.I.S. as the Welchia to the Blaster that is Hezbollah. Israel doesn't fear I.S.I.S., who have about as much genuine combat power as a Woodstock revival, but they're pants-shittingly terrified of Hezbollah. Iraq? The Shi'ite Iraqi national army has tried and failed; they don't have the stomach to stand up to their former overlords. Iran? Maybe, but only if you're ready to see Iranian regional power expand dramatically, which will put Israel and the Saudis in a hell of a panic.
|Recently our best weapon's been the girls of the YPJ. A glorious death is a lot less glorious when it means being shamed by a woman.|
But how about this: we get no-one to fight them? They're mostly young guys, and what do young guys want? Blood (as in sex and combat), and glory. What they don't want is to deal with the boring day-to-day admin of running a failed state. And indeed, according to the above article, that's exactly where they're failing – Islamic State, to borrow Voltaire's observation about the Holy Roman Empire, is neither of the above. They get all the cannon-fodder glory-hounds they could ask for (to the point they're now estimated at over 200,000 strong rather than the previous estimate of 35,000), but they're struggling to get any skilled personnel to join them. And they're utterly horrified at the number of refugees fleeing for their lives from the war-torn hellhole they've created.
So it seems the way to beat them is to, A) let them stew in a boring wasteland without electricity or military glory, until the recruits stop coming and their parents start calling them in for dinner, and B) welcome in as many refugees as we can get our hands on. Syrians are seeing that the West isn't actually looking to pick a fight with them, and are actually willing to show kindness and get them through a tough time which – let's be honest – we started for them. "Gratitude" probably wouldn't be the right word, and rightly so, but at least they'd see we're not the crusaders I.S.I.S. makes us out to be. And what happens in a few years when a couple of million Syrians return home and take with them the understanding that the West is corrupt and decadent, sure, but they also have clean water and air conditioning and, more important than all of that, their own shit going on?
|Someone made an I.S.I.S. flag out of dildos and butt plugs. A beautiful, beautiful thing.|
But that won't generate megabucks for the pollies and billionaires who own shares in defense contractors. And meanwhile our rednecks are howling that we're letting in evil Moslems and calling for a crusade to wipe them out once and for all. No wonder I.S.I.S. is winning. With enemies like us, they can't lose.