Monday, May 03, 2010

Women's movement, shrapnel, and drawing Mohammed

I've just finished the book When Everything Changed, about the women's movement in the U.S., and civil rights, their connection, and side issues, up through current events. It's one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read, and that's most of what I've read in my life, non-fiction. It's awesome. Probably it helps that I lived through most of those stories and remember those days.

Today I read this:
He alerted a mounted policeman, who got two rookie girl cops to help evacuate crowds from the tourist mecca. Experts rushed to defuse the huge car bomb with seconds to spare.
"Two rookie girl cops" !?!

Okay, it was in The Sun, not The New York Times. Still... When a woman completes a police academy and is willing to risk her life to help others ANYwhere, let alone New York City on a bomb-planting day, perhaps she should not be called a "girl." Not everything has changed.

I questioned this assertion from that article, too:
They said the petrol and propane bomb was "crude" and that a non-volatile type of fertiliser had been used, but that if it had ignited, thousands of tourists would have been peppered by shrapnel.
New York City has over eight million tax-paying residents. So let's say there are thousands of people in one place. Why would they be "thousands of tourists"? Wouldn't some of them maybe have been locals? But The Sun is from the U.K., and from their point of view New York is a tourist destination. But in addition to those who live there, and to the however-many tourists, there are also people there for work, or diplomatic business, or for a one-day event (theatre, meal, museum, visiting grandma). Yet if a bomb goes off the shrapnel is expected to hit tourists?

This is about South Park, some people think, and that's what the article was about. The bomb might have been intended for the offices of Viacom, which distributes (or something) South Park.

Separately, but related: There was a slight joke about having a May 20 "Draw Mohammed Day," which went large on its own, and the originator is sorry it has gone as far and as fast as it has:

Because I'm far from targets and feeling relatively safe, all I'm doing is connecting three dots. Maybe some of it will be of interest to someone here.

It would be interesting if an international incident arose over the actions of two comics who happened to be American. Or Canadian. You know... Matt Stone and Trey Parker, or Terrance and Philip.

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