"50 Virgins" and Other Tales
The Earth is Flat and Bush was Elected!
by Jerre Skog
June 12, 2003
[Based on an observant comment by writing colleague Kim Petersen]
Most of us have heard the xenophobic explanation why Muslims are fanatical enough to blow themselves up in order to fight "enemies of Allah": 'When they die for Allah they will be rewarded by having 50 young virgins at their disposal in paradise.' There is a sort of magnificent stupidity in this explanation that surpasses mere idiocy. Do the xenophobes not understand that young virgins after a time are neither virgins nor young, Do they (mostly it is a he) fail to grasp that fifty of them can be more of a burden than enjoyment (if you have been in a school-class with 25 giggling sixteen year old girls, then you know what I mean. Now imagine 50!!!). Do the people who spread such looney tunes know what a virgin is in the first place, or a girl for that matter? Whatever the reason, there are some questions on the theme that need to be addressed.
Since many of the suicide-bombers are women, what do THEY get? Nobody, not even Colin Powell, who can be trusted to say anything anytime, tells us that! Do they get fifty young MALE virgins to have at their disposal? Might be nice if it would be like that - for once the overworked women might have some help doing the laundry and cooking in paradise. Or should we perhaps not trust that anyone gets either virgins or anything else, but a heavy scolding by the Great Man Up There for having killed innocent men, women and children which no religion approves of? It might be an affront to people like Ariel Sharon and Richard Perle, but what if Muslims are normal people? We might even arrive at the revolutionary thought that people are people, be it in Kabul, US-owned Afghanistan, Santa Simplicita, Chile or Stamped-in-the-Mud Sussex, and that we are not so bloody different after all. But then we are really too far out! Such thoughts would be unpatriotic and very un-American. While we are in the female department, is a female suicide-bomber an evil "coward" or an evil "cowardess"?
Still, it's a fascinating question what rewards, if any, we might get when arriving on the other side. Mr. Donald Rumsfeld doesn't personally do the killings, he sends young innocents out to do it for him, but what does he expect when he moves to greener pastures, knowing that he wouldn't know what to do with a virgin anyway? Truth is, he expects nothing! He knows very well that first of all he will arrive at a much warmer place than paradise and secondly having people killed by his commands is reward enough for him in this life, being the man who at an early stage in his career helped cover up the CIA-killing of Dr Frank Olson.
Other tales we are hearing these days are as stupid as the virgin tale. Some maniacs tried for a long time to convince the people, in what they themselves think is "the world's greatest democracy", that little Iraq, at the other side of the earth, was full of weapons of mass destruction, deeply in cahoots with terrorists and an imminent threat to the giant empire, the USA!! Tell this to normal people and they wouldn't believe you, but fact is that the maniacs succeeded! Nearly 70% believed them! Next thing they'll try is probably to convince people that Santa Claus, witches and justice exist, that Elvis is alive and well, selling CDs in Bronx and the fella in the White House, who hasn't had an honest job in his life, is a good president. Just wait! In the meantime the tale of Iraqi liberation is still widely believed and sooner or later there WILL be found WMD in Iraq. The reason it takes such a long time is that the occupiers need to move in enough of the nasty stuff to be found in at least 25 places all over the country in amounts big enough to match the original lies of WMD existence in the country. (And then to remove all traces of origin.) "Finding" 50 kilos of anthrax with an US Army label on it in just one place just isn't enough and might cause some people to wonder if elimination of that "danger" was really worth 150 American and 10,000 Iraqi lives!
In an age when a majority of Americans seem to believe a lot of things that science had refuted decades and centuries ago, we shouldn't wonder that they ended up with the ultimate moron as leader. If there is belief in virgin stories anywhere it must be in the US where it's easier to believe that a holy ghost somehow managed to make a girl pregnant than to believe that Joseph did what every other red-blooded man would have done. Two-thirds think God actually created the earth in six days and then rested. Later, seeing that overpopulation was no problem, He assembled Adam to take care of the earth (and then out of spare parts put together Eve, starting a vicious chain that led to Wolfowitz). Did God make the earth flat? That question was not in the poll, but we can guess that a lot would have said 'Yes' if it was. As an afterthought many would add that Adam drove an SUV, voted Repub and liked Big Macs. I mean this is the level of rational thinking that leads to people waving flags when Bush says 'We'll hunt them down and we'll bring them to justice and we'll...,' (which never happens).
How many have heard the tale of "Compassionate Conservatism"? This spin went down nicely and helped a lot of those fake compassionate people to get elected. This in spite of the contradiction in terms. There doesn't exist such an animal as a compassionate conservative. If there ever was, it expired with the dinosaurs. You can be either compassionate or conservative but not both. Even a child should know that. The only possibility in the world to see a compassionate conservative would be when he views his dented Cadillac, sees himself in the mirror or watches his stocks go down!
The tales of Heroism are legion. At least when Rumsfeld's boys are in action against an enemy somewhere in the world. No matter how little, defenceless, poor and weak the enemy is and no matter how easy he is to conquer, when the soldiers in the Imperial American Army do something it is heroic. Bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan from 30,000 ft in a B52 or sending off cruise missiles from an equally safe distance from the target in Iraq just IS heroic if an American soldier does it. If anyone shoots back he must, by definition, be a cowardly fanatic. You get the drift? American, good! Non-American, bad! Like something from Orwell's Animal Farm: Four legs, good! Two legs, bad! Since it works well in the US it can't be all that bad. The big surprise is that it still works after the exposure of the "heroic rescue" of Ms Lynch from "Iraqi imprisonment". I guess it's all about definitions.
One of the most common tales, or perhaps we should say misconceptions, still believed by a lot of people, is the idea that capitalism is beneficial for all of us. The millionaires KNOW that it's good for THEM, but we common plebs ought to shed that belief very quickly if we happen to be taken in by it. Free market economy is good when the actors on the market are as the theory takes for granted, EQUALLY well informed and have EQUAL economical resources. If you believe that unlimited capitalistic market economy makes your bargaining position stronger than the mighty bank's, it's nice for you, but never try to put it to the test, unless you happen to be the owner of the bank, AOL or Walmart. There ARE indications, as strong as the suspicions that the US has WMD, that in a capitalist economy your worker's income doesn't carry an awful lot of weight!
Perhaps it would be nasty to wonder how many at NASA Space Command in Houston believe that the moon is made of cheese? We don't know since no poll has been done. What is suspicious is that the Lunar-mobile was fitted with very wide wheels, like they were made for driving through creamy Camembert cheese. Could it be true?? Does anybody believe so? If not, why not? It makes as much sense as a lot of other things people believe in. It makes MORE sense than believing the words that come out of the mouth of "the great leader", G. W. Bush, speaking of whom we must be truly amazed that some people still believe the ludicrous tale that he is the elected president. When he happened to land on 1600 Penn Ave it must have happened just like when the Flat Earth Society has a meeting and four looneys turn up and elect among themselves president, secretary, chairman and PR Director. I mean there were a lot of people who were not allowed to vote and a lot who were who didn't! Oh yeah, there were some of daddy's chums in the Supreme Court who helped a lot too! But democracy??? HA! That's a good one!
Is the American "president" a liar and a war-profiteer? Ha! It's a trick question. A sort of double-edged spoon, if you will. By definition he can't be! Only impeachment can make an American president anything but a patriotic, deeply devoted and honest, flag-waving superman. That's what we have to believe unless we want to feel a very nasty feeling inside us! And who does? Better believe the "Tale of the Patriot" sold by American Media of Mass Concentration!
There was a rumour that went around once when I was a kid; that some shop somewhere (nobody seemed to know anything precise) bought tinfoil by the kilo, both new and used, for good money (which, of course, was always needed to buy sweets and things). The rumour was probably started by some older boy, maybe the block's bully who was used to having us all do what he said. Anyway, all the kids run around the area for days (or was it weeks?) ripping off chocolate wrappings, digging in waste cans, stealing new tinfoil in the kitchen or the one in use to cover pots and left-overs and in general "collecting" every twinkling bit of paper everywhere. It could have ended in total tinfoil shortage! Now it ended in tears and bitter disappointment after some of the more venturesome kids had managed to scrape together nearly one kilo, when a parent happened to see the glittering, giant football in her son's room and with the help of her shopkeeping husband revealed the ugly truth. It was all a tale, spread by evil people who didn't care whom they hurt or damaged.
Somehow I wonder if those who still support George W. Bush have ever collected tinfoil for sale and learnt that there are evil people in our midst, often bigger and stronger than ourselves, who tell tales to us.
For money or a good laugh!