June 7th, 2017
Jesus Christ! It’s like World War Z out there today. (Matt 27:51-53)
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It’s so embarrassing this apostle took my name.
Contemporary writers didn’t notice it because the zombies told the people “Shhh, don’t tell anyone, or Pilate will make us pay taxes again”. They zombies wanted to save money in emulation of Jesus, because after all…. “Jesus Saves”.
(Yeah, yeah … but Moses invests. 😉 )
I love the punchline!
Fantastic! Loving the punch line.
Oh, snap! Mo gets in a dig at Jesus. All in good fun, though. Their friendship should be an example to Muslims and Christians everywhere. Right?
Zombies, eating brains
That, the imagination strains
The undead, those who are dammed
Are totally islamed
Causing civilization pains.
So now we know why the “World War Z” zombies started in Jerusalem.
Maybe Matthew is being maligned unfairly here owing to selective translation of his writing, and he was actually being sarcastic.
“You should have seen them, hordes of the brainless idiots following Jesus around, believing everything he told them. It was like they were the walking dead, incapable of thought”, and so on.
AOS : or alternatively it was the setup line for the “Christians are just brainless Jews” joke.
Also contributes to favourite alternative interpretation of Darwin. It isn’t survival of the fittest rather its the survival of the quickest to start running away. Cowardice is my favourite survival trait and I speak as a lifelong practicing coward.
Deimos, as the old saying goes, better a living coward than a dead hero. Personally, I prefer the one that says it’s better to be a warrior living in peace than a man of peace living in war (or something very like that).
Deimos & AoS: I can never understand why jihadist suicide bombers are frequently described as making “cowardly” attacks on innocent people. “Evil”, “spiteful”, “pitiless”, “misguided”, lots of other terms can be applied, but how can you describe someone who knowingly takes his own life, for a cause, as a “coward”?
SoG, that’s something I’ve touched upon before here, many moons ago. Taking one’s own life is anything but cowardly, irrespective of the reasons behind it. Obviously, if the suicide bomber absolutely believes that there will be a reward waiting in Paradise then it might make it easier, as do the drugs that some are known to take prior to attacking (similar to those historically supplied to combat soldiers) but even so, that final act of detonation cannot be the act of a coward.
Upon reading the punchline, I can imagine the following psalm:
Early in the morning, as Jesus was shuffling back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fundamentalist by the road, he went up to it but found nothing in its skull except a small amount of white matter.
Then he said to it, “rAA Rrrrrr ara raaaa Ooo ROOOo oRr aHhH aaraa nuurg Ooooo raA!!” Immediately the fundie withered and collapsed. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed.
“UHHhhh GRr araa MrrRR RRRaaaA rraaAa Ooooo oRRRrrR!!” they asked.
Jesus replied, “RrRaaaaa araaa Raa Rrrrrr rAAaaAA RRAAA # uhHhhHHh aarraa Raaa rAAaA Ggrr ara mrrRR RaA OoOoOorrr aaraaa Mmrr RrAAAA Ooo Gggg RAaAa RaAA UhHhHhhH GRRRRrRR Rrrrrr uUHHhhhHHh Ooo Gggg oRRRR rRraAaA RAA Rrrr raaa ara rrAAaa ssRr rraaAAAaA!!”
With thanks to the Zombie Translator.
Son of Glenner, my guess is that when commenters call suicide bombers “cowardly,” they use that term because they think it’s not a “fair fight”–the others who are injured by the bomb don’t have the option to flee (they’re not warned that the attack is about to happen), and, for practical purposes, they don’t have the option to fight (because they have practically no means of defending themselves or anyone else in harm’s way). As far as I know, when a suicide bomber detonates the bomb so that armed personnel are harmed, no one refers to the bomber as a coward. (I’m not sure, but I think that no one called the WWII kamikaze fighters “cowardly,” either.)
Someone, which Zombie Translator did you use? I tried http://zombietranslator.net/ and got plausible results for the first two quotes, but the translation of the last quote seemed like a non sequitur.
I read a post on the ‘net today that mentioned the Buy-bull. Perhaps the writer was thinking of passages like Matt 27:51-53.
Two cents, same website yes. The non sequitur movie reference was as intended as I imagine a withering body would look the same. Plus Jesus can find real sumptuous brains in a school.
In my defense, it was after midnight when I wrote that and it was funny in my head.
two cents’ worth, I think you’re right regarding the idea that the ‘coward’ label is generally given to those who attack ‘soft’ targets, but not necessarily for the reason you give. Not even military targets always have the chance to defend or protect themselves as the attack relies on the element of surprise. I mean, it’s not as if the bomber will declare his intention loudly whilst approaching the target.
I think the accusations of cowardice are because people assume that soft targets are chosen because they are unlikely to be a threat to the bomber, but that is ignoring the simple fact that the bomber won’t be thinking of self-preservation. He knows he’s going to die, and that by doing so in the service of Allah he is assured a place in Paradise; his only concern is to take as many infidels out as possible.
Attacking the military might get him shot before he detonates but that won’t matter to him because he knows that Allah will know he was on a jihad mission and that’s all that matters. The same idea applies to any Muslims umwittingly caught in an attack; Allah will reward them in Paradise. That’s how Islamic bombers are persuaded to detonate in markets where there will be many Muslim casualties along with the infidels. To go back to a previous conversation, it’s another case of ‘kill them all, God will know his own’.
The attacks on civilian targets are not cowardly but part of the tactics of every terror campaign ever, designed to create fear among civilian populations. It’s the same thinking that lay behind the industrial-scale bombing of civilians in WWII or the IRA campaign on mainland Britain.
I’m sure that I don’t need to add that I’m not justifying or glorifying terrorism but merely explaining why the coward label is wrong, but I will anyway just for the benefit of the hard of understanding or selective of reading who might be passing through here.
AoS – say this sentence out loud and see if your comment still makes sense
‘the brave suicide bomber walked through the crowd of children at the concert and detonated his bomb’
it is most definitely cowardly to attack civilians, and certainly children. It is most definitely cowardly to detonate a bomb in a crowd of unarmed civilians. To suggest otherwise is to misinterpret the meaning of the word.
Those who commit suicide are not brave. Neither are suicide bombers.
It is possible for an act to be neither cowardly nor brave. As I said, these people know that they will end up spread over a wide and messy area regardless of the target, so where’s the difference between doing so among civilians, police, or military?
Of course every fibre of our being screams at us that the softer the target the more horrendous or evil or cowardly it is, but that’s our way of thinking; to the fanatical, extremist Islamists all are legitimate targets and our morals and values only influence them as far as letting them know which will affect us as a society the most. That is the very essence of terrorism, to hit where it hurts the largest number of people.
London, Dresden, Birmingham, Berlin; all were subject to massive acts of international terrorism aimed at ordinary people from babies to the elderly during WWII. Were the bomber crews cowards for dropping their loads on the cities and towns with the intention of indiscriminately killing civilians by the hundreds? Are the drone pilots who send missiles into civilian populations cowards?
As I said, I have no intention or desire to glorify these people, I’m just saying that calling them cowards is too easy and deeply misguided; by our values that may be how it looks, but their values are not the same.
Sun of Glenner
For 72 raisins?
DC Toronto: My guess is that “The brave suicide bomber walked through the crowd of infidel children at the concert and detonated his bomb.” would make perfect sense to
a Muslim with jihadist sympathies.
AoS, Re ” I’m just saying that calling them cowards is too easy and deeply misguided; by our values that may be how it looks, but their values are not the same.”
In that case aren’t the people who call them cowards also entitled to have their statements considered with regards to their own values? Rules of war, sense of fair play, noblesse oblige, a profound case of wishful thinking when it comes to human nature – whatever they might subscribe to.
We are hardly in agreement worldwide what honour is, what is cowardly and brave, but some of us were kind of hoping (possibly in vain) that some sort of progress might have been made since both WWII and the dark ages. Perhaps human nature does not permit improvement, but this seems like as good a point as any to start resisting cultural relativism, whether or not we as a species are doomed to perpetually repeat the atrocities of centuries past.
You might perhaps also call it cowardly to do the violent bidding of your God to avoid hell, at any rate it probably requires courage to resist an atrocious order at the price of your own eternal damnation. Just resisting peer pressure requires courage, deciding to be, as opposed to not to be, can require courage, and once you have been persuaded to sacrifice yourself, how easy would it be to pull out when your flock consists of fanatics who leave you absolutely no self-worth outside the cause? Believing that you are part of the superior group and the inferior ones deserve to die is the easy way out. If the afterlife is the only one that matters, death is a non-issue. Facing the complexity of life, the conflicts of interest, the moral dilemmas, struggling to survive, is the hard part. Is it courage or fear to choose to do something hard when the alternative is even worse?
wnanig, as I understand the phrase, cultural relativism requires one to excuse or even accept the behaviour of those from other cultures, but looking at a culture or a cultural subset to understand its behaviour is a far cry from acceptance.
I’m getting the feeling that some people are seeing what I’m saying as excusing that behaviour or at best as defending it, so I’ll say again; the murders committed by suicide bombers are despicable and I utterly condemn them. The people who carry out these attacks and those who radicalise, train and deploy them are despicable and I have nothing but contempt for them. What aI am trying to get across is that there is no more or less cowardice or bravery involved in killing either soldiers or civilians when the killer knows he will die too simply because he has been taught to hate them all equally. Neither target carries a higher risk when the end result in either case is death for the killer.
If there are cowards involved then they’re the ones who instil the hatred and send others to their deaths without risk to themselves; why aren’t they strapping bombs to themselves and heading off for death?
A coward might plant a bomb and be long gone before it detonates. A coward will generally do anything to avoid personal injury or death, but a coward will not willingly go to his death.
If we are to make serious inroads into changing cultures, especially cultures of hatred, we stand a better chance if we try to understand them rather than dismissing them as cowards. Understanding them is not legitimising them, but it can help us in knowing where and how to focus attempts to stop them.
June 9, 2017 at 9:57 pm
Sun of Glenner
For 72 raisins?
If they actually believed it was raisins awaiting them then their actions would be stupidity rather than cowardice. Well, unless they really, really loved raisins.
AoS – I understand what you are saying, and agree, FWIW.
AoS – I disagree that your examples of Dresden London and Berlin are acts of terrorism.
Before I wrote my comment I looked at the definition of coward. “a person who lacks the courage to do dangerous or unpleasant things”
interpretation of this is relative to the position you view their actions from. While some may see it as brave to kill yourself (I disagree), the unpleasant aspect that they are too cowardly to face is to face someone one on one. They prefer to surprise innocent people with whom they have not declared a fight. It’s like a sucker punch. It is cowardly to do so.
I would also point to your comment that they are often drugged before they carry out their acts. That is not an indication of bravery.
I could see an argument that suicide bombers who walk into an army base to detonate their bomb are brave. Particularly a base in an area with active conflict. But the most newsworthy are the cowards who focus on civilian targets who are unaware of the potential danger and should have no expectation that they should anticipate an attack.
AoS – ps – I don’t interpret your comments as supportive or glorifying suicide bombers. I’ve read enough of your comments here to know that is not your intention.
DC, the bombing of civilian populations in WWII by both sides was a tactic expressly designed to terrorise and cow them into submission, to break the will of the people to support the war and to instil fear into the troops who now had the extra concern and distraction of knowing that their families weren’t safe.
I haven’t time now to find the necessary citations to bolster these points but I know that both Churchill and Hitler stated at various times that their intentions were to strike terror into the hearts of the towns and cities.
I would argue that when the fight has been taken to the civilians, and when those civilians live in daily fear that tonight might be their streets’ turn to be bombed, that is a terror campaign. It is, after all, what todays terrorists are trying to do, to make us think that nobody is safe and any one of us might be the next to die.
Your definition of coward supports my argument rather well. Indeed, what could be more unpleasant than blowing oneself to smithereens in a crowd of unsuspecting civilians? Also, as I’ve tried to explain in earlier comments, it is no ‘braver’ (in quotes because I am loathe to see their actions as courageous) to blow oneself up attacking a military target than it is to do so in a shopping centre or concert venue. What is the difference when either way the attacker is knowingly going to a certain death?
Yes, we might see an attack against an unarmed, unprepared target as cowardly, and I would agree wholeheartedly if the attacker intended to launch the attack with guns or knives, etc. and get away unharmed. If the attacker wasn’t intending to die, then it would be an act of bravery to attack an armed target and risk being killed in the fight and an act of cowardice to launch a no-risk attack on a soft civilian target, but the distinction I am making is when the terrorist has no intention of surviving.
Finally, for religiously-inspired suicide attacks, there is another reason why courage and cowardice are the wrong words to apply to the attackers. We have to remember that these people tend to have been indoctrinated to the extent that they do not fear either death itself or punishment in the hereafter; they are certain that they are doing the work of their god and will be amply rewarded. It doesn’t take courage to do something there is no fear of; the very definition of bravery is to do something despite fear.
Something else I’ve said before here is that there can be no more dangerous an opponent than one who sees death not as an end but as a promotion.
For a good discussion of the morality of warfare see:
There is a lot of discussion here about whether it is accurate to call suicide bombers cowards, or whether it is better to simply call them evil. Personally I wouldn’t call them cowards (from their point of view the whole process is the same whether they are attacking children or soldiers), and have no hesitation calling them evil.
But when you argue over words like that I think you are missing the point. Whether or not they are cowards is irrelevant; that’s just an insult to throw at them, and it’s going to be hard to make them care. Whether or not they are evil depends entirely on what moral framework you subscribe to: in theory you might be able to convince them that they are behaving immorally according to their own moral standards, but seriously, how often does that ever work? And if it turns out that according according to their own moral system their acts are in fact good, how much should we care? The whole discussion smacks of universalism, the idea that there exist universal standards of behavior and morality by which we are right and they are wrong, if only they could be made to understand that. The problem is such standards don’t exist until everyone agrees they exist, and are useless until then.
I would argue that the only thing that really matters — and I think it’s interesting that this word hasn’t been used yet — is that they are our enemies! We oppose them not because of their moral qualities, but because they are trying to subjugate and kill us, and we are siding our own, with us against them. You don’t need any more justification than that.
Us against Them.
jb:”Us against Them” seems very reasonable, and it is indeed so, if “them” means Isis, Jihadis, suicide bombers, or similar. The danger is that some may interpret “them” as meaning all Muslims. There is in fact abundant evidence that many British people, hopefully not a majority, do in fact regard all Muslims as “the enemy”. I am not convinced that all Muslims in Britain are supporters of Jihad etc, although it is clear that some of them are, again hopefully not a majority.
SoG, you live in Britain; surely you’re aware that the majority of our fellow citizens regard pretty much everybody who isn’t them as the enemy. If nothing else, we are at least a nation largely composed of equal opportunity haters.
In a recent survey in the Netherlands (and I suspect similar results in the UK) over 75% of muslims stated to regard Koran rules to be more valid than local law.
Even those results were under suspicion of “policor answering” and taqqiya.
Recently CNN reported a big islamitic protest against “terror in the name of islam”, duely repeated on Dutch (and I suppose other) mainstream news.
A bystander recorded the session and put it on twitter, exposing the staging:
So, that (copied) link does not work.
I found it via;
AoS: I am well aware that many Brits are hostile to foreigners, but I do not accept that they amount to “pretty much everybody who isn’t them”. You may cite in support of your view the “Brexit” vote last year, but a very large minority, 48%, were supportive of a transnational organisation, with Brits, “Froggies”, “Krauts” etc actually working together for the common good. Large numbers of Eastern Europeans are working in UK (probably not for much longer) and I don’t doubt that they are widely resented in areas of high unemployment, but they are generally accepted, if maybe not exactly welcomed, in reasonably prosperous areas.
it is the 90 degree rotated movie
AoS … at the risk of beating a dead equine, I’ll keep this going a bit longer.
you feel that my definition supports your point of view as their actions result in a quick and certain death, which you suggest is unpleasant.
Then you say they’ve been indoctrinated to not fear death and that they believe they are going to paradise. I would ask, where is the painful and unpleasant thing? It may seem that way to you, but you don’t believe they are going to paradise. To them this is a wonderful thing to do. The unpleasant thing for them would be to face a soldier in combat, or to face any other man in an even contest.
They most certainly are cowards. The worst kind of cowards who commit their acts not for self preservation, but in order to obtain personal glory.
JB … I believe that words matter. Putting the proper label on them may not matter to the actual suicide bomber, but to their families and community around them, who (even if not directly complicit) must bear some level of responsibility for supporting a religion that has not been able to shake the worst aspects of its “holy book”, the words do matter. To those on this forum who have weighed in, the words do seem to matter. And in developing the policies to deal with these cowards, the correct label and understanding of their motivations and personalities matters.
SoG, we have fallen foul of one of the internet rules, one that says that unless a comment meant to convey humour is liberally plastered in smileys it will be misinterpreted as a serious comment by somebody.
DC, I’m not flogging that horse any more, it’s nicely tenderised so time for a stew.
AoS: S????rry! ????
AoS: Afraid the smileys just came out as ????
jb, the problem is that winning the war is not enough, you have to win the peace as well. There are a lot more people somewhat sympathetic to jihad than actual full-blown jihadists and there are unfortunately enough of them to make it a substantial problem if you would prefer to not use very draconian measures and risk damaging the fabric of trust in your society in the process. Granted, societal trust will also suffer from terrorism, so it’s somewhat of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Trying to go the isolationist way, to separate people completely and shut yourself off, given the growing world population, future migration induced by climate change, and the tendency conflicts have to just keep festering, there is a chance it would mostly just correspond to peeing in your pants to keep warm – it may work for a while, then it gets worse.
AoS, “If we are to make serious inroads into changing cultures, especially cultures of hatred, we stand a better chance if we try to understand them rather than dismissing them as cowards.”
To flog another part of the poor dead creature – we need to not just understand them, but understand ourselves and they need to understand us. How many know and understand for example what dignity culture entails? The number of people who bring up “How would you feel if I insulted your mother” in discussions with Westerners would suggest perhaps not everyone. (This, btw, is very interesting from several perspectives http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/)
Cultural relativism (even the anthropologist kind, which doesn’t necessarily need to include apologies) may be relevant when studying a population living deep in the rain forest, but when we share the same cities, maybe all cultural moral perspectives might matter simultaneously to varying degrees depending on the mixture of people, including those living between cultures (the way you do as a second generation immigrant or as someone with parents from different countries/cultures).
Add to that sub-cultures like US inner-city gang culture (apparently imported complete with rap music in some European suburbs by a lot of second generation immigrants), internet sub-cultures (browsing Youtube sometimes makes me think of “Lord of the flies” in that small communities with separate moral rules seem to develop in the, more or less, absence of adults), and then add to that the victimhood culture of identity politics. The mujahideen in the Middle East should of course also be a whole different story. It would be interesting to know to what extent they might despise the recruits from the West or perhaps view them as useful idiots, contaminated as they are from having lived among infidels. An excellent reason to cleanse yourself in sacrifice perhaps, in case your previous criminal life or homosexuality doesn’t suffice to require redemption.
In addition to all this understanding, then of course all we have to do in parallel is develop green energy technology, develop economic models that allow spreading it (within the 5-10 years we apparently have before it starts being too late), models which also allow combating corruption and poverty, deal with globalisation and the full force of digitalisation that will swallow about half the jobs – preferably before it causes world war and/or civil war(s). In addition to dealing with any pandemics, the threat of nuclear holocaust and an AI that might decide that cats make better pets than we do. Right, I need another drink.
Has anybody else noticed that the women have abandoned these threads. What’s happening? Have we somehow driven them away? Is there just to much old white guys mansplaining going on? Are they just not interested in our topics of discussion? Or are they actually here, under pseudonyms like jb or dc Toronto. Where is Old Babe? Ophelia? Why has this pub become so very elderly and white and most of all male?
SoG, smileys are : – ) without gaps.
That original comment of mine was a play on something I heard a comedian say on Mock The Week a few years ago, about how Britain, being a country of some 90 million people from all nations and all religions, political views from across the spectrum, all living together with very little trouble, was the epitome of tolerance.
Of course, I don’t believe that the British hate each other. Yes, the Scots hate the English; the Welsh hate the English; and the English hate the English, but apart from that, we’re fine. 🙂
DH, it’s Mary2 I’m wondering about. I wouldn’t say we’re mansplaining as I understand the term, which tends to be men telling women about how women are wrong about what it’s like being women.
DC, without flogging poor, deceased Dobbin any more I will say that my remark about unpleasantness was meant to convey the mess left behind as seen by us, not the act itself.
I can see we are not going to agree on the definition of coward as applied to suicide bombers, but at least we can agree that they are a reprehensible breed.
Something to lighten the mood – “Covfefe” is being proposed to be law:
“Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically For Engagement”
This is what happens when a you publicly announce (tweet) you want to discriminate against certain countries and/or persons of a certain faith in order to “protect the people”, or some such nonsense.
I honestly hope this gets passed. True it will be a meme but it’s the kind of haunting this orange despot needs.
DH: Txs for noticing. I’m still around – listening (reading?) daily. I have nothing of substance to say – so I say nothing.
Can’t speak for any other fems, tho…
Darwin Harmless, thanks for your concern, from a woman writing under a neutral pseudonym. I don’t know why Mary 2 and Ophelia haven’t been commenting here of late, but no recent posts have seemed like mansplaining to me, so that’s probably not the reason. Like oldebabe (and me), they might have a policy of not commenting when they have nothing that they think is worth posting. Perhaps they’ve been too busy to visit the Cock & Bull at all, or they’re finding amusement and intellectual stimulation elsewhere. It might be (though I hope it’s not) that they’re ill or dealing with other serious problems. I hope that they are well.
Someone, thanks for the news about the proposed COVFEFE Act! It’s funny to think about what inspired the bill, but seriously, I’m surprised that it’s taken so long for Congress to realize that we ought to be archiving the social media content posted by the President. (Obama certainly used Twitter, and (according to Wikipedia) the @WhiteHouse account was created on April 21, 2007, well before the 2008 election and the start of Obama’s first term.) I’ll write my legislators to urge them to vote in favor of the COVFEFE Act.
Oldbabe, thanks for checking in. I often find myself commenting when I have nothing of substance to add, because I went lurker for a while and my mates here got all worried about me. After dominating the previous thread, I actually intended to lay off on this one, but then I noticed the apparent (and somewhat illusionary) absence of women in the conversations and wanted to ask about it.
two cents’ worth, thanks for those thoughts. Sorry to cause you to abandon your gender neutrality. No worries. It will soon be forgotten and the crowd will go back to the assumption that you are male. Seems to be the default in our culture, even with me. Which is embarrassing, eh.
It will soon be forgotten and the crowd will go back to the assumption that you are male. Seems to be the default in our culture
Well, maybe in YOUR culture, but I have various women in my direct environment that such sentiments are NOT my direct impressions.
And I feel rather comfortable with the concept, especially when explicitlty confronted with thoughts like yours.
(maybe it does help that my daughter is a strong, outspoken lesbian, but there are also a couple of really straight, no-nonsense others).
DH & 2¢W: Pink Squirrel is also conspicuous by her absence.
dr John de Wipper I do hope you noticed my embarrassment at my assumption. I consider myself to be a strong feminist, and I am certainly married to one. I grew up surrounded by women, and am generally more comfortable among women than among men. But one sometimes can’t help one’s assumptions. They are automatic. For example, there’s a story that was going around some years ago to show people what their assumptions are: A man and his son were in a terrible car accident. The man was killed instantly. The son survived but went to emergency in critical condition. When he was rolled into the operating room, the surgeon exclaimed “I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.” How is that possible?
Now the answer might be obvious to you, but for many men and women of my generation, this was a real puzzle. If his father was killed in the accident, how could this boy be his son? Of course the doctor was his mother. If you don’t believe that people make this assumption and are puzzled by this story, try it out on a few people.
Please don’t blame me for my assumptions, especially when I am doing my best to correct them as I discover their faults. I would venture to guess that you yourself make a few assumptions that would not stand up to empirical evidence. Maybe not about gender, but about other aspects of reality. We all do.
I would venture to guess that you yourself make a few assumptions that would not stand up to empirical evidence.
Agreed. And I “‘accuse” you of also being guilty of my most serious one: immediate lowering of intellectual expectations for religeous people.
And still they sometimes somehow manage to be rather intelligent…