Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Now I have seen it all...

Muslims in the Scottish district of Tayside are outraged by the appearance of a wide-eyed, 6-week-old puppy on postcards distributed by the local police force, according to the Daily Mail.

Postcards showing police dog-in-training Rebel, a German shepherd born in early December, are causing a furor among the region’s Muslims who believe dogs are "ritually unclean," the Daily Mail reports.

There is a voice in the back of my head that starts to say things decidedly un-P.C. when I hear stuff like this. It's been a growing voice now for a little while. A few days ago I received a call from a woman at Kinko's. I had sent in a print order on line. They were calling to check on something. Her accent was so thick and the connection was so bad, that I had a very hard time understanding what she was saying. Considering that I was spending money to get a quality product and considering they advertise one stop press a button and all is done publishing, it was becoming more and more frustrating to attempt to talk to her. After a while I paused and said very clearly with no anger in my voice, "Could I speak with someone else please?"
There was a pause at her end, a click and then a moment later another voice without an accent.
"Is there a problem I can help you with?" The new voice said in clear English.
"I was having a hard time understanding the young woman on the phone. I was afraid something would get messed up because I didn't understand something." I said a little guilty.
Again, another pause and then with a slightly perceptible attitude I was told, "You might want to try another location next time if our staff is difficult for you to understand."
"Look, I don't want any trouble and I am not some right wing guy inventing issues, even you can hear the static on this line, right? Add to that an accent and it's a little hard to understand what she is saying. Thats all. I just want to make sure my order is fine. After all, you guys called me."

Now I had done it! I had said the one thing you can never say out loud in a liberal city; the truth.
People with accents can sometimes be difficult to understand. Thats it. No bias or racist overtones, just a bad telephone connection with static, a hard accent and now attitude because I was clearly stating a problem that is not suppose to exist in our everybody is equal paradise by the bay.

Now imagine you are a small town police department trying to get the word out about a new phone number. You put an adorable puppy on it to grab peoples attention. After you have printed and handed the cards out with the intention of better serving the population your sworn to protect, you find out that a group in that town is upset because it violates some religious principle you knew nothing about. Man! I can hear that voice in the back of my head. It is my Dad's voice. It is saying some fucked up things, but honestly, who would of thought that a puppy on a card used to inform citizens about a change in police services would of been an issue? Who would of even thought to say, "maybe we should check to see if this is going to piss anyone off?" Besides, and I am going to say it, you are no longer living in a Muslim country. Maybe you should try to be tolerant of your new country. A country whose police does not kick in doors to get information, but instead sends post cards with puppies on it to let people know information. I'm just saying. I am surrounded by people who cheer the slogan, celebrate diversity, but chances are if you printed up invitations to that party, a lot of people would not be able to read the card or be upset with whatever you picked by committee to put on the card.

OK, chances are they are living where they are living because they are refuges from that little war we started. Before FOX news gets a hold of this story and uses it to subtly and not so subtly tell us how crazy "they" are, step back a moment. American is suppose to be a melting pot. Right? But if we are being honest with ourselves, we all know that melting implies conforming and a lot of cultures do not want to conform. Thats fine. Granted, our history is not so good with other cultures anyway. But if postcards with puppies are going to upset people, I really don't know how to take that seriously. Do you?

In other tolerant news, a girl started a Facebook group that has spread. Seems people are changing their middle names to Hussein in honor of Barack Obama. A lot of people have made a big deal out of his middle name. First he was a secret Muslim sent to destroy us then he gets in trouble for having a crazy preacher at the same Christian church he has belonged to for more than 2o years. To demonstrate the sheer ignorance of it all, she simply suggested people change their facebook name to Hussein. It is the "smith" of the Arab world. Maybe there is a Dude trying to get stuff done in Iraq whose middle name is Joe and he is taking shit for it. I don't know. I like the idea behind it. If more people had Hussein as a name, it might not be so alien to people in America. Frankly, the only things we have been any good at integrating into society, is food. French Fry's, Belgian Waffles, Chinese take out, and Pizza. Were not a melting pot so much as we are a 7-11. We will take your food, just not any of the culture that goes with it. If we changed French Fry's to freedom Fry's when America went nuts and was mad at France for not voting for our mess of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, why not rename some food with the name Hussein? Better yet, lets name a dog Hussein.

1 comment:

James Fluty said...

Back when Lenny Bruce and even George Carlin were performing they were censored by a threat that in many wasy is easier to deal with than the present day alternative. They had politicians and police telling them what they said was obscene, they were fighting the man, now however people are censoring themselves. This is a much more dangerous threat in my opinion. A lot of peoples beliefs are laughable and I think it should be fine to point that out, but call me crazy for wanting honest dialogue.