I am a simple man. It’s the little things that entertain me to the point of pissing myself laughing. Life’s humor comes in different ways and at different times. As I have written before, my daily lunch group at work never disappoints. Philosophical discussions on whether one should feel shame for having the Cars on one’s iPod,1 and what is the point when a band or artist (with a long career) reaches the apex of their musical genius2 are what makes lunches, and my days, enjoyable.
Two events today have made me smile like the Cheshire cat. One was at lunch when Jared broke into a full refrain of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”3 It wasn’t surprising that he knew the lyrics, it was his wonderous ability to completely mock Vanilla Ice in tempo and inflection that surprised us and caused us to respond in gleeful laughter.4 One cannot pay for this type of entertainment.
The other glorious moment of joy today was when CNN, during its morning news round-up, told me that there were Iranian women training to be ninjas. Iranian women ninjas makes me completely happy. Canadian female ninjas wouldn’t have made me laugh as hard.5 Hot Air’s take on this completed my enjoyment of Persian ass-kicking female ninjas.
Hot Air’s take also brought up a valid point about the need for America to prepare its special operations forces for possible future conflicts. The assist, of President Obama’s future policy of world ass-kicking through “train, assist, and advise” is the focal point of special operations. Rambo and Chuck Norris6 are the new national security policy. Only Rambo and Chuck Norris can handle Iranian female ninjas!
One of the present rubs, as I see it, in our dealings with Iran and its brigades of female ninjas is how it affects our populist, and ignorant views, on Islam and terrorism. Okay, boys and girls time to get some facts straight. Here a few interesting facts about Islam and the Sunni/Shiite schism:
– Al Qaeda is a predominantly Sunni organization, just like most of the Islamic world (90%).7
– Iran is a theocracy based on the Shiite side of Islam. A theocracy is a form of government in which the official policy is to be governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided… basically Christians who want a “Christian” nation are saying they want a country as fucked up as Iran.
– 99.999999999% of Muslims are NOT terrorists. Thinking all Muslims are terrorists is like thinking all Christians are terrorists (bombing an abortion clinic is an act of terrorism).8
– The Sunni denomination is the largest and believes that all Muslims should emulate Muhammad’s actions in their daily lives. This sounds similar to “What would Jesus do?”
– Sunnis believe the whole community of Islam should be governed by chosen leaders instead of a hereditary leader from Muhammad’s genes. Again sorta like Christians with their popes and shit.
– Shiites believe that their religious and political leaders, Imams, come from the line of Ali ibn Abi Talib, who they believe are the successors of Muhammad. Imams rule by divine right… again sorta like those “Christian” kings of Europe.
– Iranians are Persian, Iraqis (like most Middle Eastern countries) are Arabic. Most Muslims aren’t even Arabic or Persian, they are South Asian. Again… kind of like today’s majority of Christians being in Europe and North America instead of being Greek.
– There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world (22% of the world’s population) and the country of Indonesia is the largest Muslim country. Broken down, 25% live in South Asia, 20% in the Middle East, 2% in Central Asia, 4% in the remaining South East Asia, and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Compare this to Christianity which is 25% of the world population’s religion with 37.5% in the Americas, 25.7% in Europe, 22.5% in Africa, 13.1% in Asia, and 0.9% in the Middle East.9
The reason I have even attempted to address some simple facts about Islam is because of the following little nugget of news: An al Qaeda (Sunni) affiliated group claimed responsibility for two recent attacks on Shiites in Iraq. The group stated that “Sunni heroes of heroes” infiltrated Shiite processions with suicide bombers and killed “scores of non believers and Iranian agents.”
If Iran is the growing threat, and the news seems to indicate that… especially with the revealing of their deadly group of female ninjas, then maybe America wants to “train, assist, and advise” al Qaeda to battle Iran. Politics and war has probably seen odder bedfellows.10
1. No, one shouldn’t feel shame for listening to the Cars, especially if your playlist includes their early hits “Just what I Needed” and “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend” off their 1978 debut album. It is interesting to note that these two songs sound much newer, as if they were released in the 1980s. The pop and tempo sound like 1985, yet it is 7 years older. These songs were recorded when disco ruled the airwaves. Additionally, including these songs balances your playlist which might include “Magic” and “Drive,” which were released in 1984. “Magic” and “Drive” are quintessential 80’s songs, yet not as good as anything on their debut album. The Cars are unabashed and shameless American rock-n-roll. If you hate the Cars, you hate America.
2. Some bands hit a home run with their first album such as The Smiths with their The Smiths debut (1984). This album established their sound (see/hear “What Difference Does It Make” as proof) which they never fully replicated… ever. Morrissey on his own is an even sadder version of this sound.This album and band has been described thusly: “The Smiths were actually a better singles band. They knew the power of the 45. This debut album, however, is pretty amazing (if you want a better description, listen to the thing and realize how pointless words often are when describing music). To think a grown man could whine like this and make me like it.” Plus, Morrissey in the early days made us eye-glasses wearing dudes sexually appealing to hot nerd-loving girls.
The Doors’ The Doors is another one with it’s The End,” which was described as one critic’s “favorite wastes of ten-plus minutes.” Some bands reach their apex in after their debut album, such as U2 with Joshua Tree.
3. Vanilla Ice then and now would get his ass kicked in Miami… we sorta of knew it then, and we definitely know it now. Plus, the too small white University of Miami sweat shirt is just sad… HEY VI!!! ill-fitted sweat shirts were never cool.
4. It also helped that it was completely spontaneous and included the appropriate hand gestures.
5. Neither would Japanese female ninjas, because I imagine with their diminishing birth rates and their 0.95 ratio of women to men (anything less than 1 means there are more women), Japan needs to fill out its ninja ranks with females.
6. Rambo was ex-special forces, and Chuck Norris was special forces in such movies as The Delta Force and Missing in Action. BTW, Missing in Action is a horrible knock-off of Rambo II… but don’t tell Chucky I said that, he will come kick my ass.
7. Not all Sunni Muslims are terrorists.
8. Terrorism, as defined by U.S. law, U.S. Code Title 22, Ch. 38, Para. 2656f(d)(2), is: “the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”
9. This comparison and locations of Islam and Christianity is one of the foundations of Samuel P. Huntington’s theory of Clash of Civilizations.
10. Actually, Iran’s government recent decision to remove The Simpsons from Iranian TV is grounds for war. Way to show us who is boss Iran!