Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lies, damn lies, etc.

I've been more than usually depressed recently about the relationship between the Internet and the stupidity of my fellow man.

Perhaps you have friends and/or acquaintances who send you all kinds of stupid shit via forwarded e-mails about all kinds of fucking nonsense. And yes, sadly, the only kinds of forwarded e-mails I seem to fall into those categories.

They have little to do with spreading Complex, Careful Thinking and everything to do with, say, the illegitimacy of one Barack Hussein Obama (born in the foreign nation of Hawaii) to serve in the highest office in the land. Or the way that said atheist muslim devilspawn wants to kill your granny. Or how climate change is just a figment of some capitalism-hating hippie's imagination. Or the ways that Muslims are so stupid they can't even manage to fly a plane.

Or, more recently and most grandly, that Muslims are, by mid-century, going to take over Europe.

This latter theme, however, has not just been part of the tin hat brigade's fevered imaginings. No, this notion -- that of a future 'Eurabia', overrun by the unwashed, fervently breeding, Mecca-worshiping masses -- has become a key theme of the semi-respectable -- or at least more established -- right.

Given the frequency with which this kind of shite has been able to circulate on the interwebs, I was pleased to see a sensible response that is also ready-for-YouTube.

The following information from BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less (with grateful thanks for the reference to Momus) is a healthy reminder that the Internet can just as easily spread thoughtful responses to deranged nonsense.

Responding to a much-viewed YouTube video raving the usual panicky Eurabian line, the BBC statistics show offers a page of text, a recorded programme and a specially produced YouTube video carefully examining the 'information' presented in the 'muslim takeover' video linked to above.

The latter two are offered here for your edification.

Listen, watch, consider and pass them on, if you so choose.


Mr. Joyboy said...

I used to get similar e-bags of flaming dog e-shit, and put on my thinking cap as to how to prevent them coming my way in the future.

First, I adopted the practice of responding with a tart critique. This often only made things worse, as a second installment of delusional ranting would be sent to 'mop up' whatever doubts I seemed to have. Then I hit upon the ideal solution: a friendly and grategul email to the sender chuckling at the utter stupidity of the email he'd sent me, as if we were both in on the joke. Approach number 2 has universally stopped the nutty forwards, usually without harming my relationship to the sender.

And don't forget to forward those things on to:


J. Carter Wood said...

That's an excellent, subtle method, which I'll have to try sometime.

It's limited, though, when the forwards come with opening comments that make the sender's position clear.

Thanks for the link. A five-minute viewing has been enough to obliterate that last quantum particle of hope in humanity that I had.