Donald Trump’s victory in November was not only the most important election result of our lifetimes, but ranks as one of the most significant events in recorded history, on par with the French Revolution or the fall of the Berlin Wall. And I’ll tell you why.
Western society is super-saturated with leftist propaganda. Politically astute non-leftists see it everywhere and complain about it incessantly — because it is ubiquitous. In fact, most of our waking hours are spent noticing, commenting upon, getting outraged by and then futilely combatting the endless, relentless leftist slant to everything in modern culture.
Every news broadcast. Every movie. Every lesson in every classroom. Every social signifier in public. Every poll. Every TV show. Every tribal shibboleth. In ways large and small, overt and covert, subtle and blatant, the society around us is infused with progressive ideals and agendas, whether you realize it or not.
And it’s not just the entire preschool-through-PhD educational system, the entire media/entertainment complex, and most interpersonal environments; increasingly, under Obama especially, the federal government itself has become an inescapable agent of coercive progressive propaganda imposed on us with the full force of the state.
But what is the purpose of all this propaganda?
The Goal of Indoctrination
The culture-wide brainwash we witness with chagrin every day is not designed to ignite a violent overthrow of the American political structure — long experience has proven that violent revolutions simply don’t happen in middle-class first-world countries. We’re too comfortable as a nation for that strategy to ever work. Instead, the ultimate goal of all this brainwashing and social intimidation is to make the general population VOTE as the Left wants us to vote.
Many of the progressives fighting (and seemingly winning) the “culture wars” may not even realize the ultimate purpose of their activism — most naively think that the goal of altering America’s social mores is merely to alter America’s social mores, and nothing beyond that. What other objective could there be?
The answer, of course, is obvious: Political change. While it is possible, I suppose, for a thoroughly left-wing society to accept being forever ruled by a conservative government, such a state of affairs never endures for long in the real world. Indeed, one of the core values at the heart of leftism (aside from the touchy-feely cultural stuff) is that the machinery of the state exists for the very purpose of imposing by force progressive ideology on the populace. So the “culture wars” can never be fully won until leftists have a firm grip on political power.
And how do you get political power in America? You don’t have a bloody revolution. Violent revolutions can only ever succeed in what were called “peasant societies” — czarist Russia, impoverished rural China, etc., where there were large populations of oppressed peasants — but never in industrialized countries, as Marx had incorrectly assumed.
Instead, in the United States of America, you gain power incrementally by winning elections. And the way you win elections is by changing the hearts and minds (and thus the voting patterns) of the hoi polloi.
The term for this process, in Marxist theory, is cultural hegemony, a phrase that was coined by communist philosopher Antonio Gramsci to describe how the political power-structure of a society is always determined by the cultural norms of that society. A conservative-minded populace will always vote for conservative-minded leaders, so the way to achieve communism in advanced nations, he argued, would be to first change the culture so that progressive ideals become dominant, and then people will simply vote themselves into communism without the need for a revolution.
And the way to change the culture, according to the theory, is to slowly infiltrate and then surreptitiously seize control of the “institutions” which shape cultural awareness — most importantly the mass media and the educational system. This process was strongly advocated by the influential leftist philosophers at the Frankfurt School, and was eventually given the catchy name “the long march through the institutions” by ’60s radical Rudi Dutschke.
So, it’s no accident, nor did it simply happen naturally, that everything in society since the 1950s seems to have shifted wildly leftward toward political correctness; it is in fact a decades-long strategic plan to change the underlying nature of society to pave the way for an eventual socialist utopia. And while part of that plan is to deny it even exists, in reality modern academia spends most of its time these days openly discussing and debating how to best implement it.
The point behind Gramscianism and “stealth communism” (as I call it) is that the revolution in the United States should not and can not be a violent revolution, but instead a quiet revolution in which the populace imposes communism on itself willingly — what Bernie Sanders correctly dubs “democratic socialism” — that is to say, by electing socialist leaders democratically.
Which brings us to the main point: The entire purpose of 60 years of slanted media and slanted news and slanted education and social pressure and brainwashing and deception and indoctrination — all of it, everything we complain about every day, all day, for years and years and years — the purpose of all this is to get people to vote for the most left-wing candidate in each presidential election. The goal is to bring about a self-imposed silent revolution in America, a democratically elected socialist government voted in by low-information rubes unaware of what they’re doing.
And it has looked ever since Obama’s ascendancy in 2008 that this long-term strategy had reached a tipping point of success from which there was no return — no conservative could ever win another presidential election. With each passing year, the population was getting younger, more radical, more brainwashed, etc. (Midterm/off-year elections are a somewhat different story, as regional conservative outposts could still elect local representatives — but on a national scale, they were greatly outnumbered by burgeoning young generations of leftists.)
The results of these decades of indoctrination was plainly visible in the college students of today, who are all so left-wing by default that they consider standard Marxism too old-fashioned and conservative. Taking this into consideration, and remembering that the adults of today were the radical students of the recent past, it had seemed that these decades of indoctrination had been resoundingly successful, and that the U.S. electorate had swung wildly to the left, never to swing back, just as the Gramscian brainwashers had been planning and implementing for the last 50 or more years.
And then November 8, 2016 happened, and BOOM: It was all revealed to be a lie. Not only did the indoctrination fail, but the general impression that the relentless indoctrination had always been successful was itself a gigantic meta-deception.
All the chatter and statistics and talk show “experts” proclaiming that America had forever swung Democratic? ALL LIES.
All the slanted polls, which were intended to convince everyone that Hillary was inevitable? ALL LIES.
The derision of Trump as a ludicrous fringe candidate and his supporters as wild-eyed extremists? ALL LIES.
And it’s not just that they were all lies — they were lies that had no effect. Somehow, without anyone noticing, a majority of the American populace had evolved a new immunity to progressive disinformation.
It doesn’t even matter what Trump’s actual political beliefs are or what his policies will be. All that matters is that he was the media’s Designated Enemy and yet he won.
This election didn’t merely expose the failure of six months of campaigning by the Democratic Party. This election exposed the failure of SIX DECADES of leftist propaganda to have any cumulative effect at all.
And the earthquake extends deep into the future as well. Thanks to Trump’s history-shattering victory, we now know that the Gramscian model and the Frankfurt School model don’t work. Every single thing the Left has done since the 1950s has been catastrophically wrongheaded and misconceived. It has all backfired. Which means that going into future, when they will (as they surely will) continue their failed strategy on autopilot, it will all be for naught. Why? Because these techniques only work if the victims don’t know they’re being propagandized. Yet the public in recent years has become much more sophisticated. Now we do know. And we can never un-know, once our eyes have been opened.
The Left has to now go back to the drawing board and come up with an entirely new playbook. And once they do, it will surely take decades to implement.
But the best part? The Left doesn’t understand any of this, and they won’t reformulate their playbook. They will stick to the same failed script, as we have already seen just in the last few weeks since the election. Years from now, and likely even decades from now, the Left will still be trying their stealth (and not-so-stealth) propaganda/indoctrination/bullying efforts, and they will continue to fail.
That’s why Trump’s victory is so historically significant: It is a major paradigm shift in the arc of history that completely destroys the leftists’ long-term game plan, past, present and future. To such an extent that now we’re playing an entirely new game with entirely new rules. But the left refuses to acknowledge this, and they will continue to play the old game. So they will lose. And lose. And lose. And lose. Over and over and over again until they too see the futility of the entire leftist worldview.
UPDATE October 16, 2016:
After additional research and input from readers I have finally resolved the questions posed in this “Who Is That Green-Turbanned Man?” post. And the answer is:
Yes, that green-turbanned man is indeed Mohammed (in most cases), as everyone had suspected all along. The results of all the research, along with several new Mohammed portraits, can now be found here on the Mohammed Image Archive’s “Islamic Depictions of Mohammed in Full” page.
In sum: The information contained on this Norwegian-language site at the University of Bergen entitled “Muslimske religiøse populærbilder” (translated into English here) turned out to be much more detailed and scholarly than was at first apparent, and it was confirmed by this video which shows an Iranian Muslim religious shopkeeper definitively identifying the most famous of the “green-turbanned man” icons as being Mohammed. Thanks in particular to Archive reader “Victor O.” for being the first to uncover several of the key links.
The one counter-example that turned out to not be Mohammed (the final picture below in this post) is examined in detail at the bottom of the Archive’s new “Not Mohammed” page. And the “Prophet Tree” posters uncovered during this research are presented on the Archive’s new “This Is Mohammed” page.
But the remaining portraits originally discussed in this post did indeed turn out to be Mohammed, and not Ali — and during the research process I uncovered several other similar and related portraits of Mohammed as well. All of them are now included in their own section here on the Mohammed Image Archive’s “Islamic Depictions of Mohammed in Full” page.
Back in 2006 I posted to zombietime a small collection of historical representations of Mohammed (the 7th-century founder of Islam) and optimistically titled it “The Mohammed Image Archive.” Over time, the Archive did eventually grow to become the world’s largest repository of Mohammed portraits, a status it maintains to this day.
Even so, more Mohammeds are drawn and discovered every year, and the Archive has become woefully out-of-date. To address this problem, I have recently begun updating the Archive with many corrections and new images. But in the process I have once again come face to face with a mystery that has bothered me for almost a decade: Who is that green-turbanned man?
Specifically: In modern Iran it is not uncommon to encounter — either on posters, or in framed pictures, or as digital files — Islamic religious icons depicting a bearded man with a green turban, often clutching a Qur’an. Here is the most well-known example:
Westerners — that is to say, non-expert random people on the Internet who have used this image in countless satirical Photoshops — took one look at these Iranian icons and instantly just assumed they were portraits of Mohammed. Which they may very well be. But because Iran is Shi’ite, and the Shi’ite branch of Islam venerates Ali (Mohammed’s younger cousin) almost as much as they do Mohammed himself, I have long wondered whether or not these icons are perhaps actually portraits of Ali, and not portraits of Mohammed.
Here’s another prototypical example which (like many of them) also shows the figure with a single finger pointing upwards, and also accompanied by a calligraphic rendition of the shahada, the Muslim creed, which translates to “There is no god but Allah; Mohammed is the messenger of Allah”:
This portrait, however, has additional calligraphy at the top which may help to identify the figure.
Fueling my suspicions is the fact that Ali was 30 years younger than Mohammed (despite being his direct cousin) and these portraits almost all show a man who does look substantially younger than the traditional portraits of Mohammed, as in this example in which the figure is not pointing his finger upward:
The inclusion of the shahada in these images is not necessarily evidence that the man is himself Mohammed, even though he is named in it: the phrase is a standard mantra-like declaration of faith that appears on almost every religious artifact in the Muslim world, even ones that have no human figure at all.
Furthermore, there are other folk images from around the Shi’ite world which also show a green-turbanned man who may or may not be the same person as in the standardized portraits show above. For example, this picture shows an older-looking green-turbanned man, identified as Mohammed in some captions, along with his family:
Our final example comes from a 2005 news photo of the Al-Huda squatter’s camp in Baghdad:
This photo’s original caption stated that the poster shows the 12 Imams of Shi’ite Islam, starting with Ali (who is also the figure depicted in the larger portraits) and culminating with the hidden “12th Imam,” who is shown with a blank face (because he has not yet appeared). But that only muddies the waters further, because the caption affirms that Mohammed is not in the picture and that other Islamic leaders (including Ali) are indeed represented with a green turban.
So, I ask:
• Who is the green-turbanned man in all these images?
• Do they all depict the same person, or do some of them depict Ali, and the others Mohammed?
• Does anybody out there know Farsi (or Arabic) who is able to accurately translate the calligraphy in the second and fifth images?
• Is anybody out there a scholar or expert on Shi’ite Islam who definitely knows the story behind these images?
• And even if you don’t know Farsi and are not necessarily an expert, can you provide a link to any site with reliable-seeming information about these icons?
Be aware that the Internet is awash in misinformation, and that any identifying info about these images posted after 2006 could easily be in error, since many Western sites (including for a brief period, unfortunately, an early version of the Mohammed Image Archive itself) assumed these images were of Mohammed without ever actually verifying the assumption.
I have traced the source of the purported identification of these figures as Mohammed to a 2006 article in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten which itself linked to this authoritative-seeming Norwegian Web page hosted by the University of Bergen which states unequivocally that all the images above are indeed Mohammed. Based on this source, and this source only, the information richocheted around the world and has been repeated countless times. But is that Norwegian source accurate? How do we know?
Post any and all links, information or personal expertise on this topic in the comments below.
Updates will be made to this post if any reliable data emerges; and eventually the new info will be incorporated (along with credit to the discoverer) in the Mohammed Image Archive itself.
My new photo essay is now online at both zombietime and PJMedia.
The zombietime version has bigger pictures, slightly updated text, and new ending:
The PJMedia version has comments and social media widgets and all the bells and whistles:
Otherwise, both versions are essentially identical.
Basically, I went to a protest, took pictures, and uploaded them. Simple enough.
But I was faced with a dilemma: How can I summarize for my readers “what happened” at the protest? My problem was that all sorts of things happened, and it would be dishonest of me to cherrypick some single incident or theme and announce to the world that this one narrative summed up the entire event.
That kind of slanted reportage is Standard Operating Procedure in journalism and blogging these days, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. There wasn’t merely one single incident or headline that happened at the protest, as convenient as it would be for me to claim there was. So I decided instead to present every narrative from the event, and use the report as a platform to deconstruct media bias itself.
Anyway, read the report to get the whole story.
To whet your appetite, here is a teaser, one of the chapters lifted from the overall photo essay. This narrative (one of several that I explore) asks the question: Since the anti-Trump rhetoric has already reached (even now at the very beginning of the campaign) its hyperbolic maximum, is there anything left to say? I suspect the next six months will be one long ear-splitting scream of rage.
“Trump = Nazi” Is Already Mandatory
Normally, a debate only descends to “Godwinization” (comparing your opponent to a Nazi) as a final desperate measure when all other arguments have failed and all lesser insults have been exhausted. In contemporary politics, calling someone a Nazi is the most extreme position you can take.
But when it comes to Trump’s opponents, their starting point is to call Trump a Nazi; the general election hasn’t even yet begun, and the anti-Trump rhetoric is already turned up to 11.
It’s kind of hard to imagine where the conversation will go from here. How can you amplify your rhetoric when the very first thing you say is the most extreme put-down you can conjure?
A textbook example of the logical fallacy known as Reductio ad Hitlerum.
Clear enough for you? (Notice that this particular attempt at a swastika has an intriguing extra bend in its lower leg. Is this a tentative experiment at designing a new kind of ultra-swastika which applies only to Trump — or mere sign-making incompetence?)
Sometimes the Trump=Nazi theme was as concise as possible.
While other times it was incorporated into a longer message.
You don’t even need to actually spell out the word “Nazi” in your anti-Trump message: a simple swastika will get the same point across.
Some protesters, trying to think outside the Nazi box, got creative and called Trump a mere “Fascist,” but on the political insult scale, “Fascist” is actually a slight step down from “Nazi.” It’s truly quite a conundrum; once you’ve gone full Nazi, any further elaboration of your argument only softens the insult. So you’re stuck saying “Nazi Nazi Nazi” over and over with no variation.
Bingo! Here’s a solution: The term “KKK” is the only political insult nearly on a par with “Nazi,” so expect to see a lot of this in the upcoming months.
Back in 2004, eleven long years ago, I made a satirical map of what Europe might look like in 2015, and posted the map on my site zombietime, along with a short satirical “news” article about how the EU was planning to intentionally hand the continent over to Muslim immigrants.
I had completely forgotten about this post (created on a whim one afternoon and uploaded as a joke), and in fact never even linked to it from my own home page, so that it became “orphaned” (unfindable by search engines) and lost to history.
The recent immigrant crisis in Europe jogged my memory and I suddenly had a vague recollection of my long-lost satirical article. After some searching I finally found the original, and was stunned at how eerily prescient it was.
Here’s the post as it still exists at zombietime; I repost it here in its entirety, for posterity:
The leaders of the European Union have agreed on a “road map” for the future. Sources close to the negotiations released the map to the media, showing how the EU’s leaders expect Europe to look in 2015, at the end of a ten-year plan they hope to adopt next year:
(And if you want proof that this was actually created in 2004: the URL was linked to in a still-online comment to this blog thread dated October 29, 2004.)
Looking at it now for the first time in 11 years, I am disturbed at how I somehow managed to predict (albeit even as a joke) what would happen to Europe in 2015.
Of course I got many details wrong: I didn’t foresee that each nation would no longer merely import their own pet Muslims (Turks to Germany, Pakistanis to Britain, Algerians to France, etc.), but that it would turn into a pan-Islamic colonization of the whole continent en masse. Also, having started assigning humorous new names to the nations in central Europe, I ran out of ideas after a few minutes and just abandoned the theme halfway through, leaving most of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia with their original names. But interestingly, I did predict that it would be the Hungarians and the Swiss who, among all central European nations, would most actively resist the immigration — exactly as is playing out today. How could I have known that?
What was a joke in 2004 is a brutal reality in 2015, and even the progressive elites who encouraged this continental suicide now concede that the immigration crisis is only going to get worse, with no end in sight, as seemingly half the population of the Middle East is now in the process of relocating to a new homeland in Europe.
I could have saved myself a lot of energy and dispensed with the individual nation names altogether and just written “The Middle Northeast” across the whole continent, or perhaps “The Caliphate of Europe.”
So, yeah, I unwittingly predicted the future — but I wish I hadn’t.
“Interrupting Whiteness”: National Education Conference to Blame White Teachers and Students for School Woes
My latest post is now online at PJMedia:
However bad you thought things were in public schools, they’re much much worse:
A major national conference for teachers and school administrators starting on Saturday, October 10, in Baltimore will focus exclusively on race and racism, featuring workshops on “interrupting whiteness” in American schools, the “dominance of White supremacy” in society, “White privilege” enjoyed by Caucasian students, “white domination of thought,” and how to “decenter whiteness.”
The conference, officially titled The National Summit for Courageous Conversation 2015, is organized by the Pacific Educational Group (PEG), a large and influential consulting firm hired by hundreds of school districts nationwide — often under pressure from the federal government — to address “racial gaps” in scholastic performance and behavior problems in the classroom.
A sampling of the kind of workshops at the conference, taken directly from the official program:
It Ain’t H1N1, But It’s Just as Deadly: The Negative Effects of White Privilege for People of Color
Explore the realities of white privilege and the deep wounds that many people of color have felt due to this ugly reality. Hear historical perspectives and learn how the evolution of white privilege has been parented by white supremacy, racism, and institutional racism from the past to the present. Take a different look at white privilege and consider how many people of color have been conditioned to believe that they shouldn’t be afforded the privilege that white folks receive, which gives white privilege the power to positively affect many white people and negatively affect all people. Engage in this challenging opportunity to examine yourself critically and to look at the effects that white privilege has had on society and communities of color.
Click HERE to read the rest.
My latest photo essay — the first in quite a while — is now online!:
While this new report covers all aspects of this year’s “Up Your Alley” fetish street fair, I pay special attention to a bizarre fad sweeping the gay underground: “puppy play,” or pretending to be a dog during sadomasochistic group sex romps.
Up Your Alley was teeming with men not only dressed as dogs (or a least a fetishistic approximation of caninehood), but also behaving as dogs.
Why? Read the report to find out!
Today’s terror attack on Charlie Hedbo, the irreverent French satirical magazine that was one of the few media outlets in France to publish the original “Mohammed cartoons,” is an attempt by Islamic fundamentalists to enforce shari’a worldwide, even on non-Muslims.
We must not let them succeed.
Self-censoring out of fear means self-imposition of shari’a (Islamic law).
Self-censoring out of “respect” (actually just a euphemism for fear) means you are submitting to the terrorists’ worldview.
The way to overcome them in this instance is to overwhelm them with disrespect and mockery.
They can silence one magazine, but they can’t silence the entire Internet.
Every blogger, of every political stripe, be it left, right, and everywhere in between, needs to realize that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the two keystones of your ideology, whatever it may be. You need to make a stand. You need to make these terrorists lose the ideological battle.
And the way to do that is to republish the Mohammed cartoons yourselves. Today. Right now.
Fill the world with images of Mohammed so that the terrorists realize they can never expunge them all.
But where to get the pictures? Easy.
The Mohammed Image Archive, which I have hosted at zombietime since the day of the original “Mohammed cartoon crisis” back in May of 2006, has not only a full collection of the original cartoons, but more importantly the largest collection of Mohammed imagery ever assembled in the history of the world.
I hereby grant permission, and even encourage, anyone reading this to repost any images found anywhere on the Mohammed Image Archive. No limits. Repost them all, if you want to.
Go to any of these pages, download whatever images you choose, repost, and help to win the most important cultural war humanity has faced in a long time:
Here’s a selection of Mohammed images to get the ball rolling:
The original cartoon that started the entire controversy back in 2006, which culminated in today’s terror attack.
Illustration showing Mohammed (on the right) preaching his final sermon to his earliest converts, on Mount Arafat near Mecca; taken from a medieval-era manuscript of the astronomical treatise The Remaining Signs of Past Centuries by the Persian scholar al-Biruni; currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris (Manuscrits Arabe 1489 fol. 5v).
“Mohammed Cursing the Vines,” German woodcut print, c. 1481. Presumably Mohammed is cursing the vines for producing the grapes that got him drunk.
This prescient cartoon was published way back in 2006 by J.J. McCullough.
In 1928, Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company issued a series of advertising trading cards to promote its canned beef extract products. The 1928 card set illustrated six different pivotal points in Mohammed’s life. The most striking of the cards was the second one, seen here, which showed the Archangel Gabriel escorting Mohammed up to the presence of Allah in Paradise — the climax of his legendary “Night Journey.”
“Piss Mohammed” is a parody of Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” that incorporates the original controversial Danish cartoon.
“Married to Children,” a parody of the TV sitcom “Married with Children,” lampoons Mohammed’s marriage to the 6-year-old Aisha. It circulated extensively on the Web in the months after the 2006 cartoon crisis.
The caption to this cartoon by Steph Bergol says, in French:
Mohammed (being carried away by devils): “It is a judicial error! I am Mohammed, the prophet!”
St. Peter (with a scimitar through his chest): “Definitely: GUILTY!”
After one of the recent anti-police riots in the San Francisco Bay Area, I stumbled across this flyer posted in a BART (subway) station:
It was made by the Revolutionary Communist Party, one of several communist groups that have been leading the protests and going all-out to ignite a race war in the aftermath of the Mike Brown and Eric Garner incidents.
It merits a close examination, to grasp the mindset of the radicals behind all these protests — so here’s a zoomed-in version that’s more easily readable:
…There’s countless videos where these fuckin’ pigs wantonly murder people right in front of a camera knowing they’re being recorded! What the fuck is it gonna take to get these muthafuckers to stop?! The answer is Revolution — Nothing Less! Nothing less than overthrowing the capitalist-imperialist system that they so viciously serve and protect…
This shit has to stop and you can be part of stopping it. All these pigs, all the courts, all the prisons are there not because they want to keep our communities safe, all that shit is there because they fear YOU! They know what you rising up and not staying in your place could turn into. They fear what your righteous anger and your unwillingness to just bow down to their illegitimate authority represents. They fear your potential to transform and become the gravediggers of this system and that’s why they hate you! A pig killed Eric Garner with his bare hands, enraged because the big Black man didn’t follow orders and call him “sir”! That’s why they killed him! That’s why they killed Oscar Grant! That’s why they killed Ezell Ford! And that’s why they MURDERED Michael Brown! They fear you inspiring others with your rebelliousness, with your outrage, with your refusal to just keep taking this shit. But more than they fear you joining others in righteous protest, more than they fear you breaking windows, burning buildings, or flipping over a fuckin’ cop car, more than they fear even another LA Rebellion, they fear you coming together as an organized revolutionary force to overthrow their rotten fuckin’ system.
…If we fight for meaningless reforms, they get what they want. If we turn away from revolution and the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, they get what they want. They get us walking around in circles aimlessly without any real clarity about the problem and much less the solution. And while now is not the time to go all out for revolution, now IS the time to resist, now IS the time to fight back, now IS the time to build the movement FOR revolution, and now is the time to strengthen the organized force that will lead that revolution. …
It confirms what I’ve been trying to explain to folks whenever this topic comes up in conversation: That the people leading these mobs really think they are starting a revolution — and not just any revolution but a communist revolution.
These are not just “peaceful protests” against “police brutality,” as the mainstream media endlessly parrots. This is an attempt to ignite a race war, as the necessary precursor to the complete overthrow of democratic capitalist society.
I’m a little late in posting this here, as I published the original report at PJMedia back on December 20 — but for those who missed it:
A little background:
Earlier this year Bill Maher was invited to give the commencement speech at U.C. Berkeley’s upcoming winter graduation ceremony. The invitation was uncontroversial — until October when Maher got into an on-air argument with Ben Affleck about the nature of Islam, during which Maher repeated the same statements (Islam is inherently violent, all religion is oppressive, etc.) that he’s been making for decades. But because of the media firestorm over the incident, Cal’s Muslim student groups suddenly became aware that Maher doesn’t like Islam (nor any other religion), and they tried to force the chancellor to rescind the invitation. The chancellor refused, so the student groups vowed to “shut down” Maher’s appearance and prevent him from speaking when the day finally arrived.
Well, at that point the media’s attention was drawn elsewhere, and when the day finally did arrive, no one (except me) was around to document whether or not the Muslim students fulfilled their promise to shut Maher down.
Turns out the answer was “No.” Despite grandiose promises, only a handful of protesters showed up, and the speech went off without a hitch. (Tight security probably helped.) See the full report at PJMedia for details.
I recently came across a car for sale in the SF Bay Area with this sign affixed to it:
Now, I could imagine how maybe if you had only once heard the phrase “Chevrolet Caprice” or “Chevy Caprice” you could have misheard it and thought perhaps it was spelled “Cheby.”
But if you own the car, you must know that it’s a “Chevy.”
I guess there are just people out there whose brains work differently than mine, and for them there is no linkage between printed text and the sound it represents.
Or maybe spelling is by now a thing of the past, a forgotten tradition like curtsying or phrenology.