Friday, September 10, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Pastor Jones
Cries and moans
And spouts his hateful views
He makes it clear
For us to hear
And floods the evening news
As cameras click
He does his shtick
And writers meet their deadlines
Somehow his shit
Is “news that’s fit
To print” and makes the headlines
This Jones, I think,
Enjoys his ink
When writers praise or scoff—
So I suggest
It might be best
To turn the cameras off.

A story in yesterday's NYTimes does a bit of navel-gazing, and ponders the media's role in Pastor Terry "Burn the Koran" Jones. Prior to his surfing the "ground zero mosque" media wave, Jones was an annoying little man who was unknown to the vast majority of us, a small fish even in his own community. He tried to get noticed, but frankly, few cared.

That was then; this is now. Every newspaper, every media outlet, everybody with access to ink or pixels has written about this pathetic man, and he has gladly stood in the center of a ring of cameras and made the most of a slow news period. (Yes, I see the irony in complaining about this while engaging in it. But I am a very small cuttlefish, and the odds of Jones being aware that I have even written his name are infinitesimal.)

The news cycle loves tempests in teapots. That is what this is. Jones has every right to burn [his own] copies of the Koran. The beautiful irony of it is, every argument he might make for exercising this right, is an argument in favor of building the mosque he is so dead-set against. Me? I'm an atheist, so I have no dog or god in this fight. But I would rather not establish a precedent of the government being able to dictate this sort of thing, because I quite selfishly would like to maintain my own right to offend people by writing... well, the sort of stuff you might find if you look through this blog.


Deb said...

Exactly - the symbol of freedom is not a flag, but the right to burn that flag. It was a fluffy movie, but that's still a good point.

And even better in verse.

Glendon Mellow said...

"I quite selfishly would like to maintain my own right to offend people by writing"

Same for creating art. Exactly!

Blake Stacey said...

If we must speak of him, let us speak of him with ridicule, so that he may be remembered for what he is — a scum-fucking lackwit with tapeworm eggs for brains. If he must be remembered, let it be not with a tremble, but with a belly-laugh.

Cuttlefish said...

I like this take on it... of course, it's the BBC that writes it most reverently.

If only more Americans saw it this way.