Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Thomas Friedman Is Stupid (Part 42)
The following graphics may be unsuitable for children.
Parental discretion is advised.
These graphics are also unsuitable for illustrious men who sport silly moustaches, believe the earth is flat, and are experts in the field of fast food restaurant based military theory.
Those with weak hearts, constitutions or handshakes may also want to step away from the computer.
You are about to see something so terrifying, so heart-stopping, so horrorificulous, that if you happen to be an op ed columnist for The New York Times you might want to warn the world about it.
Shocking isn't it?
This is not your eight-year-old nephew's video game. This is not Grand Theft Auto: Karl Rove's Fault. This is not Pak Man.
This is - according to Pulitzer Prize winning and metaphor killing Thomas Friedman - the product of hatemongers designed to warp children's minds and "turn one of the world's great religions into a death cult."
Last Friday, Thomas L. (the L's not for liberal) Friedman wrote a column entitled "Giving the Hatemongers No Place to Hide" which was the same silly shit that we've all come to expect from Thomas Friedman (who is really a great man!) so there's not really any need to go into great detail about it (suffice to say, that it's as tortured and half-ass argued as usual).
Friedman learned about the quaint-looking video game depicted above from a July 18th Wall Street Journal article, and obviously failed to conduct any research into it, since it's not anything like the way he portrays it. Hell, all he does is quote from WSJ; here's the full paragraph from the July 19th article about a bookstore that some of the alleged July 7th bombers supposedly hung out at ($5.00 WSJ link that definitely ain't worth it):
"They also have seized computer files from a community center in Leeds, where they believe some of the suspects used to meet, and have cordoned off a bookstore, Iqra Learning Centre, that offered Islamist doomsday literature. According to the bookstore's Web site, it is the sole distributor for Islamgames, a U.S. company that made videogames featuring apocalyptic battles between defenders of Islam and their opponents. The company no longer is operating from its listed address in Illinois, based on visits to the site, and couldn't be located. No one associated with the bookstore could be reached for comment."
Now, I don't know for sure, since I'm not paying five bucks to read the WSJ, but it seems to me that before I go any further I should point out that Friedman is incorrectly quoting from the WSJ. Because this is how he puts it:
"Iqra not only sold hatemongering Islamist literature, but, according to The Wall Street Journal, was "the sole distributor of Islamgames, a U.S.-based company that makes video games. The video games feature apocalyptic battles between defenders of Islam and opponents. One game, Ummah Defense I, has the world 'finally united under the Banner of Islam' in 2114, until a revolt by disbelievers. The player's goal is to seek out and destroy the disbelievers.""
That's a no-no for a columnist at The New York Times, since the lines don't appear simultaneously like that in the WSJ.
Simple, bloody, freaking research also appears to be a no-no at The New York Times these days. Because it doesn't take much to type www.islamgames.com into your browser and check out the hate that hatemongers produce for yourself.
At Islam Games you can read all about the video game called Ummah Defense 1: Attack of the Flying Robots.
Okay. So if the graphics and the cover art don't scare you, maybe this description will send shivers up your spine:
"It's the year 2114 and the Earth is finally united under the Banner of Islam. As a member of the Intergalactic Muslim Council (IGMC), your job is to help coordinate Dawa efforts on other planets. You couldn't be happier with your work, until the Flying Evil Robot Armada (FERM) attacks your home planet of Earth. It seems there was one disbeliever, known as Abu Lahab XVIII, left on Earth, and in his desperate attempt to deny the truth of Islam, he has constructed a whole army of robots to destroy the Earth and all of its Muslims. (He needs to use robots because all the humans had embraced Islam)."
Now. What the fig does Thomas Friedman or The Wall Street Journal find scary about this video game? And I wonder if Joe Lieberman is working on a speech about this right now.
You fight freaking evil robots! The robots are disbelievers because they're freaking robots!
Why does Thomas freaking Friedman have a problem with destroying freaking robots?
Hasn't he seen that Will Smith flick?
Well, I missed that one, too, but I saw Star Wars and Blade Runner and Alien and The Black Hole so I know a little something about robots and I can assure the world that some robots are bad and they sometimes must be destroyed.
All joking aside, I guess that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ and not Thomas Friedman because I doubt he even checked the Website) has a problem with the part about "and the Earth is finally united under the Banner of Islam."
For crying out loud! It's a fantastical video game! Would it be less scary if the world were finally united under Donkey Kong?
A blog called Game Politics has more on this silliness. On Friday they also visited the not-hard-to-find (I guess unless you're a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times) game publishers' Website and reported:
"The website registration for IslamGames, created in April, 2004, lists their administrative contact at an address in River Forest, Illinois. Their company goals are":
"...to provide you with quality, Islamic entertainment for you as well as your children...video games are actually a great learning tool, but unfortunately, many of the games available teach things contrary to the teachings of Islam...""
Game Politics also linked to an article written on Saturday by Mohamed A. Faraj at Media Monitors Network called "Putting the Spotlight on Friedman." Faraj's article destroys robot-loving Friedman; here are some choice excerpts (quoted in the proper way that partial quotes should be quoted, again, I guess unless you're a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The New York Times):
"In today's New York Times article "Giving the Hatemongers No Place to Hide" (July 22, 2005), Thomas L Friedman simply continues on his long path of doing what he does best, i.e. acting as self-declared and passionate mouthpiece of the U.S. government.".....
"Now this is where most mainstream academics and journalists in the West get all tangled up and a bit hazy. This is precisely where they began to lose their consistency and fall into that shady world of hypocrisy and double standards. For unless Friedman himself is childless and therefore hasn't ventured much into the world of video games, one cannot understand exactly how he overlooks the virulent video game culture in the West that promotes and incites hatred against Arabs and/or Muslims.".....
"Any twelve-year old with an X-Box or PS2 or computer with a competent video card and a fast processor must have been exposed to the likes of these games at some point or other. The shooting and killing of rag-headed Afghans or Iraqis (especially after the first Gulf War) in video games ideally should fall under the umbrella of "inciting violence against others".".....
"Yet it is worth noting that Friedman chooses to simply ignore the flip side of the coin, as all well-trained hypocrites are apt to do. Inciting hatred only bears value when it is "them" inciting hatred against "us". Their video games and literature must thus be analyzed thoroughly, "exposed" and "spotlighted", according to Friedman, so that they know that the world is listening to and watching them vigilantly. In doing so, we may conveniently ignore our own forms of inciting hatred and our own crimes."
(Even though I took a lot from Faraj's article, there's plenty more fun Friedman bashing to be read, so here's the link again for you to follow)
I kind of feel guilty about this post. I feel like I've misled my readers when I warned that there would be something scary to see. So I guess there's only one way to finish this article to prove that I'm a blogger of my word.
Maybe it's just me...but that photograph always does the trick for me.
Now, excuse me while I return to my game of Socom U.S. Navy Seals paused on my Playstation 2 and go back to killing...oh...never mind.
(Hat tip to my buddy, Luke, from the robot-hating blog, wotisitgood4, for convincing me to read the latest Friedman)