Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 292- Superheroes and soup

Dear Mr. President,

Growing up I often wished I could be Catwoman. The fact that she's kind of a villain never bothered me. She was a cat. That was cool enough. I'm still mad that my mother wouldn't let me go see Bat,am Returns. (Never mind that I was 6 at the time and probably would have had nightmares. Totally irrelevant. That's right, mom, I know you're reading this.) I certainly can't claim the same level of childhood fascination with superhero mythology that most of my friends can, but I have a healthy enough appreciation for the world of superheroes that I was pleased to see the Islamic world is sending us 99 more. I was even happier to see you recognize this effort to present an alternative face of Islam to youth of this country and, perhaps just as importantly, to Islamic youth.

Predictably, the racist, bigoted radical right has problems with this. Lots of problems. Hilarious amounts of problems. So many problems that Muslim superheroes are now a bigger threat than Campbell's soup. Can Pam Geller, Robert Spencer and all of their ilk just give up the charade and admit that they don't like Islam in any form? Because superheroes and soup are pretty harmless things to start with, and making them halal isn't going to lead to the Islamic Republic of America. My favorite quote of all this hysteria is from Carol A Taber, president of Family Security Matters who says
It was Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Bolshevik party, who said, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." The election of our dhimmi president guaranteed the forces of radical Islam at least four years to sow their seeds

Hilarious. The level of backlash to these 99 superheroes (each named for one of the 99 attributes of God,) and the dogged insistance by the right that you are advancing a radical Islamic agenda would be funnier if it wasn't so catching among voters of a certain political persuasion. Because people who believe that you're helping the terrorists or that you're a secret Muslim or that Campbell's soup supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood unfortunately are just as good (and sometimes better) at making it to the polls on election day as those of us who know this is all absurd, and that is frightening. I don't know how to change their minds, I don't know how to talk to them, I don't know what the answer is for dealing with people like that. I like to think charitably, that every one is generally reasonable and good and trying to do the right thing. And then I read the news.

How do you maintain your faith in the American people when faced with the overwhelming influence of people like Taber and Geller and Spencer and Beck? Have you kept that faith intact these last two years?

If you have, I think the only rational explanation is that you must have some kind of superpower yourself.

Respectfully yours,


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