(I don't have links for all this because most of it happened days ago and the pace of news means they've scrolled away while I was boozing, fishing, smoking and competing in belching and farting competitions. If you blogged any aspect and have a link, let me know in the comments).
Perspective is a funny thing. It does not depend on the scene in front of you, but on where you're standing in relation to that scene. To me, the sight of every occupant of the building in which I rent my lab standing outside to smoke, when there are unused rooms inside, is ridiculous. To an antismoker who isn't even aware of the existence of this building, it makes perfect sense. Don't ask me how, I can't twist my mind that far round. Einstein called it 'frame of reference' and based a lot of physics on it but perspective, in this instance, isn't physics. It's a state of mind.
Some people's minds are in a terrible state.
Okay. So, some people are severely miffed that a Muslim cleric, who has called for terrible wrath to be visited on all us decadent non-Muslims, wants a mosque next to the place where Muslims killed three thousand people (including rather a lot of other Muslims). I don't think that's a particularly sensitive or diplomatic idea either but the Righteous defend this to the hilt. They have killed our people, scream the Righteous, now we must let them shit on their graves. Just shut up and accept it.
Then a Christian cleric, hitherto unknown, who is not on record as calling for anything at all except perhaps a second cup of tea at a bake sale, decides he's going to burn the Koran (spelling in the Roman alphabet is irrelevant, before anyone starts) and all hell breaks loose. Muslims take to the streets and burn things and the Climatologists don't say a word about the emissions from these daily al-fresco conflagrations. The Righteous are not concerned that foreign leaders, Christian priests and others are burned in effigy, nor are they even touched by the burning of their own nations' flags. Yet one little vicar with an insignificant congregation wants to burn a book none of the Righteous have read and they are incandescent. Not literally, unfortunately.
So let's see. We have people in our midst - not Muslims, but our own Righteous - who excuse three thousand deaths and support the building of a victory monument by those who did the killing. These same people are outraged when one man has a bonfire that kills nobody, harms nobody and is unlikely even to result in a singed finger.
An interesting perspective, isn't it?
Meanwhile, some Germans are upset. I upset one recently by referring to the first bacteria to colonise a new gut as 'the ones who have their towels on the sunbeds'. It'll probably upset some more now. I'll let you know when I start to care.
The Germans I am referring to are the ones who are upset about a monument to the RAF bomber command from the second world war (which we won, in case you had a recent State education). They are upset because of the bombing of Dresden. Which was nasty. Many civilian deaths, not in the spirit of warfare of the time although increasingly the manner of modern warfare on all sides.
The monument is in London. Which the Luftwaffe pounded seven shades of shit out of during that same war. Many civilian deaths.
Now, taking that perspective above, which would you consider most distasteful from the following two scenarios:
1) Iran builds a mosque dedicated to the Twin Towers attack, in Tehran.
2) Britain builds a memorial to Bomber Command, on a patch of land in the centre of Dresden.
When you've made your choice, look at it from another perspective:
Each of those scenarios is the opposite of reality. In the real life versions, the Righteous condemn one and support the other.
And the Vicar of the Church of Fahrenheit 451? Well, from my perspective, he really doesn't matter at all. He is, in a childish way, insulting a religion but then religions have always insulted each other. The religion he insults calls for his death because from their perspective, anyone who speaks against the dogma must be culled from the herd. Even though he has called for no violence of any form against any living thing.
That, more than any victory monuments, is the worrying part. Monuments come and go. Some stay and are taken over when the victors are all dead. In the UK we have Roman stuff all over the place. Hadrian's Wall, Roman baths, Roman roads, Roman mosaics, and we treasure them. Yes, the Romans built all this stuff. Of course, they're all dead now but we kept the stuff. Especially the roads. We still haven't worked out how to make straight ones but give us a few more thousand years.
The idea that anyone speaking against the hive mind must die - that, from my perspective, matters much more than books and buildings. It is an idea that is gaining ground among our own political system.
Don't cheer, Islamists. Their dogma is not yours. Their hive mind is not yours. When they have finished using you, as they have now finished using the Roma, you will receive the same treatment.
And we will not speak out, because we are not Roma, nor are we Muslim... and we have been conditioned to hate you as you have been conditioned to hate us.
From a smoker's perspective, it's easy to see where it's going because we are higher up the list than either Muslims or Roma, but we aren't so easy to target so it's taking them longer.
If you're an overweight antismoker, take a look at last week's New Scientist. You are now addicts. Sugar is now an addictive substance. Just like smokers and drinkers. But you will not speak out because you are not a smoker. You may be interested in another article in that same issue that makes currently-illegal drugs a Good Thing. If tobacco was illegal, they'd be on our side too.
I have to wonder, who will be last? Some non-smoking, non-drinking, perfect BMI, perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol Vegan?
Don't worry, they'll get you. You have just read a blog post. Eventually, that will be enough.
Because there is no end to it. From the Righteous perspective, there is no end point. There is no point at which they will ever say 'Enough'. It will just go on and on. There is no Final Solution.
They don't want one.