The title at The New York Times is anodyne, India’s Courts Grapple With Web Censorship. But the story stinks up the page/screen with manifest evidence that the Indian government and mass culture is not equipped to deal with the wide open liberty which the internet provides:
India has long faced an uneasy tension between allowing free expression to its citizens and staunching sectarian violence among its people. It was one of the first countries to ban “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie. Lawsuits forced the Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain to live in exile during the last several years of his life. An academic book about the 17th-century warrior known as Shivaji was banned for fear of offending Shivaji’s modern-day fans, until the Supreme Court lifted the prohibition.
The savages kill each other because they’re offended. No surprise. Remember that more Muslims were killed in bestial protests over the “Muhammad cartoons” than non-Muslims? Here’s the funny end:
Then, in mid-December, came the unusual lawsuit in a court in New Delhi by a private citizen, Vinay Rai. In a telephone interview Friday evening, Mr. Rai, 39, said he stumbled upon material that he found offensive about the Hindu goddess of learning, called Saraswati. He said he also found pictures and texts about the Prophet Muhammad. Mr. Rai said he could not describe what he saw in any detail, because it had been sealed by the court.
Mr. Rai is editor of a Hindi and Urdu language weekly tabloid in Delhi. He studied law in college in the north Indian city of Lucknow.
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As a matter of fact I think both blasphemy laws and multiculturalism are moronic. But together they make a dynamic moron duo which leads to nothing but social stagnation. One can’t easily characterize the “hurt feelings” of primitive morons, and when you have around 1 billion of them it’s impossible (the vast majority of Indians are in thrall to higher superstitions). India pessimists are having a good week. First they block the expansion of Walmart (favoring hundreds of thousands of petty traders over hundreds of millions of potential consumers), and now this idiotic plan to censor the internet due to the feelings of the nation’s most barbaric aspect (which by the way has been exported to England).
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I’m more a connoisseur of the trailers of summer films than a viewer of them. But I notice that a new Conan film is coming out, after years of delays which I was blissfully ignorant of. But honestly this is not a franchise I’d have thought would be up for a “reboot,” but here we are. I have never read more than one of Robert E. Howard’s stories, but the two 1980s films which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger I’ve watched half a dozen times each. They’re campy and silly, but generally fun if your tastes run toward juvenile, or, you are a juvenile. But the trailer for the new edition makes it seem overly serious, without the budgetary sizzle to render it palatable. Below is the trailer for the 2011 film, along with those for the two earlier ones.
Oh, and the answer to the question in the title? According to Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women. This is reputedly a paraphrase of an assertion of Genghis Khan. If you’re an elementary school kid it seems kind of like a nonsense sentence, let me tell you….
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