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A match and some paper

news hounds come a sniffin'

September 13, 2010

If you needed any more evidence last week that the world is really in the hands of the juveniles, you didn't have to go too much further than this whole book-burning nonsense to crystallize your views.

First, you have anti-American demonstrators in Kabul burning U.S. flags.

OK, fine. That's pretty childish. But then to show that no one can out-5-year-old someone from the United States of America, some preacher in Florida announced plans to burn a stack of Korans.

Like, where was this guy's mother when you needed her? "If the radical Islamists jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you have to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge?"

And a wigged-out preacher named Jones goes off the deep end and leads his followers off a cliff? Haven't we seen this movie before?

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Dude's Bible must not have the part about turning the other cheek. No, man. If you're smited on the right cheek, counter with a left hook.

Yeah, and then maybe they will burn some Big Macs and then we'll burn some falafel. They sacrifice a cow, we sacrifice a goat -- this merry game can go on all year. But somehow, it seems kind of trivial.

Makes you miss the middle ages. Witches, heretics, pretenders to the throne -- now they knew how to burn things back then. If the best that we can burn today is cloth and paper, I don't call that progress.

I didn't even check to see over the weekend if the preacher man had carried out his threat.

I know that our generals overseas said that it could be just a little problematic, since, technically, we're trying to win the hearts and minds of the people that this Florida goober is trying to cheese off.

Well, win them over or kill them, one of the two.

But whatever, it's probably not real good for our troops if back home someone's putting a torch to their holy book.

This apparently had not occurred to the Rev. Jones, so last heard he was "praying about it."

But here's what I'm curious about: The news stories I saw said that this Dove World Outreach church of his has about 50 members.

When I was a kid, I went to a church that had about 50 members. And I know for a fact that we couldn't have gotten national media attention like this if we'd burned Kemal Ataturk.

This just shows the sorry state of journalism today, when anybody with a Bic lighter and a pulse can get himself quoted in newspapers across the world.

When I was a kid, newspapers had three rules: They didn't report suicides, they didn't report domestics and they didn't report nut jobs.

There were just as many demented publicity hounds then as now -- the difference is that back then nobody paid any attention to them. Today, they're front and center on MSNBC.

It makes me curious, because I was in Washington, D.C., last week and at a caf on 12th Street a woman was sitting at a sidewalk table ranting loudly -- to no one in particular -- about how she used to be somebody and how people used to pay attention to her. Poor woman. She didn't realize that all she needed was a match and a holy book and all the cable news networks would come running to her side and hang breathlessly on her every word.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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