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Toughie!

This one was originally published in Jan 2008. I think Stephen Fry was the first to pose the question in a public forum.



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Discussion (29)¬

  1. bossykate says:

    Still great!

  2. FreeFox says:

    Brilliant. Love the link. It’s essentially a whine. ^_^

  3. Yes, barmaid has the perfect answer. Thanks for reminding me.

  4. Storm says:

    Barmaid is my new favorite invisible friend:-) But, donating to your site is a pain… can’t afford the merchandise, but I could kick in 5 bucks every once in a while. Paypal could be your friend.

  5. Uncle Roger says:

    I live in the states where we have more than our fair share of the easily offended. And so I wrote this about it: http://www.sinasohn.net/notebooks/201110152200.html

    If someone tells me I’ve offended them, I say “You’re welcome.”

  6. so what indeed.

    I love the gobsmacked looks.

  7. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    O dear did someone neglect
    To pretend to show respect
    Instead of preaching unbelievers will burn
    Respect is something you earn
    People are equal, on this do reflect.

  8. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Nassar – slipping back into McGonagall territory, I’m afraid. Just watch the scansion, something that William Topaz failed miserably to do.

  9. Rod says:

    My estimated Nassar of the witty rhymes:

    Please tell – how respectful or egalitarian is for beliefs to claim your clan/church/brotherhood/gang is the “chosen one” and the rest are sinners to be condemned?

  10. @Peakcrew I just responded to your comment on the last strip, rather by accident since I thought I was on the current strip. Bit befuddled this morning. :-)

  11. @Rod You must understand. Nassar is not real. He’s some kind of very clever bot and he never answers anybody’s questions or engages in actual discussion. We’re fond of him, though. He’s like a Christmas tree ornament on the comment threads. Sparkles a bit. Mass produced someplace unknown to us, a third world Islamic country we suspect. Not worth much, but unique and hard to replace.

  12. FreeFox says:

    @DH (or anyone): I never understood why everyone reacts to Nassar’s doggerels as if he was a believer… don’t they usually simply (though less funny) repeat the “message” of the current comic? I would have pegged him as a (to you) fellow atheist…

  13. FreeFox says:

    (As for the Muslim 3rd World background, if you google the name “Nassar Ben Houdja”, other than poems here you only find a somewhat politically active Canadian with egalitarian, pro-state-involvement political views…)

  14. Nassar Ben Houdja says:
    December 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm
    Atheists should be studied the same way one studies an amoeba.

    Before he started with the doggerel, NBH wrote sentences. Believes in God. Does’t believe in evolution. Not one of us.

  15. FreeFox says:

    @DH: Ah, ok. Before my time here… :p I agree with him though: Atheists should be studied like amoeba. Religious people, too, as well as all other animals, vegetables, and minerals. Studying the world is a good thing, innit? But I see your point… even curiouser and curiouser then, are the doggerels meant to wittily take the piss? Because, well, without that extensive background info they don’t really seem to be… *scratch head* Should be studied… like an amoeba… ^_^

  16. jude says:

    dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2063201/Aliaa-Magda-Elmahdy-blog-Egyptian-activist-posts-nude-photo-online-sparking-outrage.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    is this girl trying to say ‘so what’ to 85m egyptian !

  17. Considering that her boyfriend spent four years in jail for insulting Islam and calling Mubarak a ‘symbol of tyranny’, I’d say these people are committed to a scary degree. I hope they survive the struggle. I hope they win.

  18. @FreeFox trying to connect with the mind of NBH is totally futile, not to mention frustrating. Too many layers of confusion. I don’t think he knows what he’s saying himself, the more since he’s now channeling McGonagall.

  19. FreeFox says:

    @jude: Kinda. Which is extremely cool. Of course it doesn’t exactly make the job of the liberal parties any easier in the upcoming elections. Which is probably a shitty thing to say, on idealistic grounds, but still true anyway. On the other hand, with the way the Egyptian Block has fractured, it doesn’t seem as if it matters much, so I suppose I’m all for it. The annoying thing is that the people she asked this do have an answer. “Even a little liberalism will make all women into whores, so don’t ever give an inch. Look at Elmahdy.” It may be total bollocks but it’s not “No, sssh… Thinking”.

    @DH: I dunno about Nassar, I looked up his earlier comments – you know, research, amoeba – and this doesn’t sound like anti-evolution or anti-science, this while definitely not my position is still displaying more faith in science than in faith, and this and this is really not defending Islam in any way.

  20. @FreeFox It is possible I’ve misunderstood the lad. Not hard to do, given the confusion of his thinking. I do remember one comment of his that was definitely anti-evolution. I invited him to read a few books, “The Blind Watchmaker”, “Beak of the Finch”, “The Selfish Gene”, and get back to us. That was the end of the conversation. That was before “The Greatest Show on Earth”, which is definitely the one book I’d recommend now. If that book doesn’t convince them, they are beyond hope.
    The person who could clear up all this speculation is NBH, but so far he’s declined all invitations to clarify his persona and beliefs.

    No, it’s not “No, sssh… Thinking.” They’ve managed to keep their women in a cave and their sexuality a secret for centuries. They are going to react to the slightest hint of liberation. I’m just sad about the moderates who don’t stand behind her eloquent protest because of political considerations. There’s nothing whorish about her, or her picture. It’s a naked body. Everybody has one. Why is so much shame attached. And as she told them, take off your clothes and look in a mirror. Then burn that body that so disgusts you.

  21. FreeFox says:

    @DH: Good grief, no, of course there’s nothing whorish about it… and even if, so what? And maybe political calculation *is* bollocks and it should be all or nothing and a fight for it to the bitter end. No compromise. I’d love that. But this is real people, and even the fucked up ones are more victim than villain, and such a liberal revolution will have a high cost, lots of blood and pain, and not everybody is as brave as her. Since I got a kid I can understand that. So I can undertsand April 6th and the Socialists and so distancing themselves from her, thinking there is more important stuff to change first.

  22. mary2 says:

    Free Fox, definitely agree with Darwin H about Nasser. If memory serves: back in the dark ages of J&M Nasser and the atheists used to have long conversational disagreements. He’s definitely a believer. The poetry is more recent, and definitely getting better.

  23. mary2 says:

    Apologies Nassar with two ‘a’s.

  24. gsw says:

    @Darwin Harmless: “It’s a naked body.”
    Back in Victorian England men went gooey over ankles, ballet dancers were considered little better than prostitutes because they often showed their knees.
    You are talking about a culture (islam) which believes that women should live in a 2D world to avoid “exciting men” by displaying more than one eye at a time.
    So, yes – but remember that these men’s domesticated females don’t have naked bodies.

  25. TRIALNERROR says:

    HOSANNAS ABJURED

  26. HOSANNAS ABJURED says:

    What Nassar is trying to say
    Is revealed in my little word-play:
    he abhors all belief
    for it all comes to grief
    Yet even some atheists pray!

  27. Rod says:

    @ Darwin H – thanks, that’s actually a pretty funny explanation.

    I’m sure I’ve read some of his old actual sentences in the older comics… don’t know what made me actually reply this time around.

    Cheers all, back to trying to resist carnal temptation. Easier here now that it’s below freezing.

  28. Natalie says:

    I’ll answer for Jesus and Mo:

    “SO, you’re being inconsiderate and probably should do a better job of not being an asshole”

    While I certainly don’t respect the right of religious beliefs to be in any way protected from criticism, I certainly don’t like the angle that people objecting to offensive terminology is “just whining”. I think that’s an INCREDIBLY simplistic, dismissive and counter-productive way to think about it. MAYBE, maybe, sometimes people have a point. Maybe sometimes you’re expressing problematic beliefs. Maybe they have the right to bring that up. Maybe one can do well to consider the perspectives and experiences of others when choosing language and positions.

  29. gr8hands says:

    And maybe not . . . probably not.

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