Rage against the Machine
August 11, 2007 11:41 PM   Subscribe

Meet Shakeel Bhat (aka Islamic Rage Boy), a term given to him by two US Bloggers, which some have found offensive, while others amusing.
posted by hadjiboy (36 comments total)
Man, I don't know how to say this but why is it "conservative" political commentary just isn't funny? I was going to link to that Fox News "comedy" show but I figured enough of you have seen that and well, it should stay that way. But there's something about conservative humor that just... sucks... outloud. I think its because there's something inherently unfunny about comedy that comes from the perspective of those in power...
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:55 PM on August 11, 2007


That American Spectator link is.. wow. Just, wow.
posted by Firas at 11:58 PM on August 11, 2007

Shakeel Bhat.
posted by Mblue at 11:59 PM on August 11, 2007

From the American Spectator article:
Mr. Hooper then compares the images of Rage Boy to the images and films created by the Nazis in the 1930s in which Jews were likened to rats. One problem: Nazi agitprop was neither satire nor absurdist humor, but racist propaganda.

He's quite right in that Nazi agitprop is a bit of an awkward comparison. There was *some* humor in it ("Look at the Jews, with their big noses and fat, short, hairy bodies, trying to seduce pure beautiful German women! How ridiculous!"), but in general it was more akin to Fox News' alarmist fear-mongering than a bunch of stupid, mean-spirited and awkward photoshops done by a couple of conservative bloggers trying to make a buck.

There's a far more appropriate parallel that we can draw from history: white men performing a minstrel show.
posted by xthlc at 12:07 AM on August 12, 2007

That American Spectator link is.. wow. Just, wow.

Jesus christ. No kidding. What the fuck was that?

After reading it, I kind of felt like some smarmy late twenty year old walked up to me, shook my hand, and said congenially, "Hi. I'm a completely ignorant fucking racist. How are you?"
posted by Alex404 at 12:08 AM on August 12, 2007

Do people really think that the "muslim sense of humour" (or anything else) is limited by basic Islamic principles? What the hell does,
These were philosophical and artistic forms that highlighted the essential precariousness and meaninglessness of human life, again concepts foreign to Islam.
Bloody mean? Wait let me guess, Saudis don't understand dry humour? It's all predicated on a stupid idiotic notion: "Satire and irony are largely Western concepts dating back to Ancient Greece." Because, you know, Aristotle has had no influence on the Mideast.

Why are some people so fucking stupid?

holds tightly onto handle
posted by Firas at 12:09 AM on August 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think the cherry-picking of out of context stuff to reinforce one's own beliefs is awesome.
posted by fleacircus at 12:43 AM on August 12, 2007

Can anyone give me any really good examples of Christian humour? I mean, the Jews, as we all know, have a lock on the whole humour thing, but I've yet to come across some gutbusting examples of fundy fun.

And do Americans still not get irony? Surely BBC America is pursuing the Reithian mission to educate and inform?

Anyway, I'm not a conservative, but I thought Islamic Rage Boy was a serious laff riot. In a dumb, South Park, American kind of way, of course.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:08 AM on August 12, 2007

Can anyone give me any really good examples of Christian humour?

Dave Allen?
posted by the cuban at 1:27 AM on August 12, 2007

I remember when this was done to Howard Dean. I am not sure why they didn't call him Christian Rage Boy.
posted by srboisvert at 1:28 AM on August 12, 2007

Describing the religion of Rumi and Omar Khayyam--hell, of the Qu'ran itself--as having no sense of the "essential precariousness and meaninglessness of human life" makes a noticeable dent in humanity's claim to deserve existence.

Ah! my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears
To-morrow?--Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.
posted by nasreddin at 2:25 AM on August 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Also, of course, stories about my namesake:

One day a friend asked Nasreddin Hodja to lend him some money.
`Hodja, I am a little hard up,' he said, `can you lend me some money with interest.'
`I don't have any cash,' the Hodja replied, `but I can lend you as much interest as you want.'


Nasreddin Hodja decided to sell his donkey. He took him to the market place and handed him over to the market crier.

`Sell this donkey for a good price.' he said, `I'll give you five akce.' The broker took the donkey and started to shout out his traits.

`A donkey like this never came to this market before. You cannot find its kind anywhere else. Such a bargain! You can pile as much load as you want, this donkey can carry it. If you don't feed him for three days, he won't complain. His strength won't be any less. He is not stubborn. You pull him this way, he goes this way, you pull him that way, he goes that way. He yields, shows no obstinacy. He can fly like a bird. You can drink your coffee on it when he is trotting...'

As the hawker praised the donkey thus, the buyers lined up, the price started to increase. The Hodja was surprised to see all these people raising the bid for his donkey. He hadn't known that his animal had so many qualities. A great bargain? He decided to keep him after all. He paid the crier's fee and took the donkey back home.

When the Hodja arrived home, he told his wife what had happened. His wife agreed that the Hodja had done the smart thing by paying the hawker and taking his donkey back.

`Today, I did a profitable deal too.' she started to recount, `Salt seller was passing by. I told him that we had some wheat bran to exchange for salt. He agreed, so we put the sac of bran on one scale and the sac of salt on the other scale. But our bran came short, so when the man was not looking, I slipped my golden bracelet into the bran sac, that way I was able to get more salt. The salt seller picked up the bran sac and left without doubting anything.'

Nasreddin Hodja stroked his long white beard contentedly. `Wife,' he said, `I from outside, you from inside, we are managing this house pretty well.'
posted by nasreddin at 2:33 AM on August 12, 2007 [7 favorites]

nasreddin: I would say it's arguable that Sufis and Salafists actually belong to the same religion. Certainly the Salafists wouldn't think so.

I'm curious as to what Mr. Bhat's specific views are. I'd be quite surprised if they involved a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou.
posted by xthlc at 2:39 AM on August 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Peter, I guess I just don't follow the whole genre of questions along the lines of "good examples of Christian humour". A lot of common wit is soft and fluid, it permeates rather than punctures. Surely Sunday sermons aren't devoid of zingers. Surely when the attendees go home they don't refrain from joking with each other. What else could one ask? There are So. Many. Christians. out there. All of them have different appreciations of humour. Quelle surprise.

Anyway, here's a story told to illustrate a point at a sermon on Arafat during Hajj 1994.

During communal rioting between Hindus and Muslims, a young Muslim decides to join the violence. He finds a long knife and runs about with the crowds.

As evening falls he manages to corner a Hindu in an alley. Defenseless, the Hindu cowers.

The Muslim says to the Hindu, "say the Shahadah" (ie. the sentence-long creed of Islam), "or I'll cut your throat."

"I can't", says the Hindu.

The rioter won't have any of this. He grabs the Hindu's hair and pushes the blade close to his throat.

Fearing for his life, the Hindu says, "Fine I'll convert!! What is the creed?"

The Muslim feels a rush of victory, but then he pauses. "Oh."

"I don't remember."
posted by Firas at 3:11 AM on August 12, 2007 [2 favorites]

I thought some of it was funny.
posted by A189Nut at 3:39 AM on August 12, 2007

When I first saw the T-shirts and bumper stickers featuring Islamic Rage Boy and the caption "My child beheaded your honor student," I got a chuckle out of it. Muslims, however, are unable to see the absurdity in it. Not only do they not find it funny, they cannot understand how it can be funny, simply because they do not understand the concept of absurdist, satiric or ironic humor.
Yeah, this guy really misses the point of humor.
Satire and irony are largely Western concepts dating back to Ancient Greece. Aristophanes employed political satire to criticize certain prominent Greeks while Socrates was celebrated for his sense of irony (hence the term Socratic irony).
Of course the "Irony" here is that Greek philosophy was kept alive by the islamic world, while it was suppressed in the catholic west. but most rightwing blogger types are pig-ignorant about history, so it's not surprising that the author would make that kind of mistake.
posted by delmoi at 4:02 AM on August 12, 2007

Christian Jokes: The British government attempted to make mockery of religion illegal: here are the top twenty religious jokes collected in response by the Christian website Ship of Fools. These are largely Christian, I suppose because Christians were collecting them, Britain is a largely Christian or post-Christian nation, and jokes about Islam are considered impolite and dangerous.
posted by alasdair at 4:31 AM on August 12, 2007

Like a lot of things associated with fundamentalist Islam it bombed.

Christopher Orlet has the courage to say what many Westerners fear to think.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:34 AM on August 12, 2007

It's cruel to make fun of such a person because that's all he's ever known and he's a product of his culture. It's better to make fun of Christians from the southern US, because that's all they've ever known and they're a product of their culture.
posted by mattholomew at 4:53 AM on August 12, 2007

Christopher Hitchens wrote an article on Islamic Rage Boy in June.
posted by ZaphodB at 5:06 AM on August 12, 2007

"It isn't as though we were sitting around at our monthly Ku Klux Klan meetings and drawing religions out of a hat to see who would become the object of our scorn and ridicule next."

"For a start, it's a hood, not a hat. Also, we're usually standing."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:39 AM on August 12, 2007

Can anyone give me any really good examples of Christian humour?

Bill Cosby. He's been a practicing Christian almost his entire life and almost never went blue in a decades-long stand-up career, and he did several routines on Christian values and Christian bible myth that are exceptional but not in a "LOLXtians" way. Try to find a copy of "For Those of You With Children, You'll Understand;" the first half of the album is basically about the Bible and its relevance to his life.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:46 AM on August 12, 2007

Also, though not a comedian per se, Rev. James Forbes, formerly of the Riverside Church in New York, is easily one of the funniest public speakers I have ever heard in my life.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:50 AM on August 12, 2007

Oh, and, you know, just to cover all the bases here... Peanuts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM on August 12, 2007

I'm guessing that Orlet must find Ann Coulter hilarious based upon his criteria for what makes him laugh. And I bet he probably gets a serious chuckle out of the stupid, bigoted joke about the difference between the Jew and the pizza (when put into the oven...) Hard-de-har-har.
posted by drstrangelove at 7:17 AM on August 12, 2007

can anyone give me any really good examples of christian humor?

ok, you asked for it. a man was negotiating a narrow footpath at the edge of a high cliff when he slipped and went over the side. ten feet down, he arrested his fall by grabbing on to a tree root sticking out of the cliff. this left him dangling 200 feet over a beach with sharp rocks, and he couldn't climb back up, so he called out to the sky "is there anybody up there?"

a voice, the voice of god, responded. "my beloved son, if you have sufficient faith, if you pray hard enough, you'll be able to let go of that tree root, and my angels will carry you down to the beach and set you softly, safely on the sand."

the man thought about this, looked down at the rocks, looked back up at the sky and called out "is there anybody else up there?"
posted by bruce at 8:55 AM on August 12, 2007

From the Ship of Fools link above...

A little girl is standing on top of a cliff, looking down at the sea and crying her eyes out. A priest approaches and says, "My child, why are you so upset?"

The little girl turns to him and says, "My mummy and daddy were in their car -- and it just rolled over the cliff and smashed on the rocks down there."

The priest slowly looks around him while unbuttoning his cassock and says, "It's just not your day, is it?"

posted by synaesthetichaze at 9:36 AM on August 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and, you know, just to cover all the bases here... Peanuts.

And let's not forget Johnny Hart's BC.

And shouldn't that be "A little boy," synaetetichaze?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 AM on August 12, 2007

You know, after I posted the joke I thought, "this would be much more appropriate, or funnier with a little boy" but then I would have to explain why I altered it from the forum post in the link above... very tiresome... oh wait. Instead now I am talking about how I already thought of that and discarded it, when I should be writing (i.e., not writing this).
posted by synaesthetichaze at 10:49 AM on August 12, 2007

Er, XQUZYPHYR, the last time I found Cosby funny was when he was blue.

Or am I misunderstanding yoru point?
posted by abulafa at 11:31 AM on August 12, 2007

"Father, Father, why hast thou forsaken me?"

posted by jason's_planet at 11:52 AM on August 12, 2007

Stellar work avoidance behaviour, synaesthetichaze!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:41 PM on August 12, 2007

Oh, that's not the half of it... it's not even my job to write!
posted by synaesthetichaze at 6:23 PM on August 12, 2007

Jesus and Moses were playing golf one morning. Jesus sliced his ball and it went right into a bunker.

"Hmm. What would Tiger Woods do in this situation?" thought Jesus. "I bet he'd use the 3-Iron."

"Are you crazy?" asked Moses. "You're going to send it right into the lake that way. Wedge it out."

"Nope," said Jesus. "Tiger would use a 3-Iron."

So Jesus takes his 3-Iron, and sends his ball flying a hundred feet into the air and then plunging into the water hazard. "Well, great," Jesus grumbled, walking across the surface of the lake. "Moses, as soon as I find this thing I need you to split the water so I can grab it."

As Jesus is walking across the water searching for his ball, a foursome comes up to where Moses is standing, agape at the sight of the man walking across the surface of the lake. One of the foursome turns to Moses and says "who does this guy think he is... Jesus Christ?"

"He IS Jesus Christ," replied Moses. "The problem is that asshole thinks he's Tiger Woods."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:37 AM on August 13, 2007

Any one know if Islamic Rage Boy can bring legal action against the bloggers for using his image for profit without his permission? That should be suggested to him right away.
posted by Azaadistani at 10:58 AM on August 13, 2007

Azaadistani, he doesn't like it but apparently doesn't really care either.

Good for him: good that he exercises his democratic rights, good that he's willing to go a little bit over the line and be locked up, good that he doesn't give a whit about whether he's caricatured.

I don't agree with his beliefs or support his actions, but I admire his punk-rock-ness. Vive la RĂ©sistance!
posted by Firas at 11:16 AM on August 13, 2007

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