I do things that please me in defiance of my readers.
Or so I'm told.
What prompted this was an IM from someone who checked my blog yesterday and commented on what they felt was a surprising omission. "No mention of Everybody Draw Mohammed Day?"
Actually, I forgot the day even existed. I was busy yesterday doing yardwork, drawing ponies, and watching Doctor Who (The Sun Makers, if you're curious).
"I would have thought a 1st Amendment absolutist like yourself would have drawn Mohammed."
Nope. I didn't even participate during on the actual day itself (EDM was a one-time thing on May 20, 2010, it is not an annual event).
"You should. Stand up for Free Speech!"
No. And I closed the chat box and went offline.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people who claim to uphold Free Speech are actually advancing agendas that turn you into their personal propadanda machines. "Write this or you're a stinkin' liberal!" "Write this or you're a corporate whore!" "Write this or we won't like you!" The rightness of their beliefs is the only qualifier they need to feel entitled to spread the word. Well, not any word, just their word.
For the curious, I refused to participate in EDM because I felt its actions were in conflict with its intended goal. It ostensibly was to oppose militant Islam and their insistence on no one drawing Mohammed (the "no depictions" thing is not mentioned in the Koran, by the way, it came about by their priests). I agree, people have the right to make their points any way they see fit, and I say this as a Christian who not only tells Christian jokes, but writes an entire series of short stories bashing the fundamentalist Christian viewpoint (come on, I have angels and even God Himself expressing disappointment, frustration, and anger over the Establishment churches. Pretty easy to guess how I feel about people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell).
The problem is this -- the whole idea behind EDM is not based on Free Speech. That would require reading the Koran and arguing against the rule makers of Islam. EDM is to piss people off. Claiming moral superiority while doing something intended to cause as much trouble as possible? You are not talking about people who have no other avenue to combat religious oppression. You're talking about a bunch of people who thought planking, owling, and coning were funny. They aren't making any sort of stand for Free Speech, they are picking up on transmitted Group Think and letting the programming take over. It's big, but it's not effective. It's not real.
As I've said, I oppose the Muslim idea of not depicting Mohammed. But I'm not going to change minds by drawing him. All I'm going to do is make it harder for my other points to be heard since I will not be seen as an intelligent person trying to live and let live and trying to preserve other peoples' liberties. I will be dismissed as that stupid asshole. It doesn't matter how well reasoned your thoughts are, what matters is are the people you want to talk to willing to listen to you. Sad but true.
I am unaware of anyone carrying on "the tradition." The guy who IM'ed me didn't even mention or try it himself. Yeah, let me take the bullet. Possibly literally. The Internet is full of people who pride themselves on being assholes. Give one of them a call, leave me be.