Haters gonna hate

Rant time.

Jesus fuck, people.  Just relax for a second.  We’re all going to be OK.

It’s true.  There are some haters out there who have gotten on the internet and said bad things about The Force Awakens.  Since 99.9% of the world shares my opinion that this movie is (a) awesome, and (b) a worthy successor to the original trilogy, an interesting thing has occurred.

The portion of the .1% who didn’t like the movie, or who at least claim to not like the movie, have gotten the lion’s share of attention.

Have you seen the “debate” as to whether or not Rey is a Mary Sue?  Spoiler alert:  she’s not.  Not even close.  But, like, one dude made a Youtube video about why his thinks she is and suddenly the whole internet is on fucking fire.

Guess what that did?  Drew attention to that dude.

I’m not naming or linking him here, because the last thing I want is to perpetuate the cycle.  But the long and the short of it is this:  the way to gain attention on the internet is by taking a stupid and unpopular position on something.  There’s a million blog posts out there about why SW:FA is an amazing movie, and rightly so.  But those bloggers are getting zero draw for their little reviews, because they are preaching to the choir, wherein the choir is the vast majority of the world.

But someone takes a contrarian position, and now we have something to talk about.  Now everyone can start  debating something.

Except there’s nothing to debate.  It’s a non-issue.  Rey isn’t a Mary Sue.  There.  Done.  How long did that take?  Fucking seconds.  But still we have to talk about it, because OMG SOME DUDE SOMEWHERE POSTED A THING THAT WAS WRONG ON THE INTERNETS.

This works every time.  Every time.  Take the loudest, most vocal, most contrarian opinion you can and you will get attention.  Some people will love you.  More will hate you.  But all eyes will be focused on you, which means you get the ad revenues, you get the traffic, and you get all the benefits of internet notoriety, whatever those might be.

I wonder why our society is getting so divided, anyways.  Could this Mary Sue thing be a symptom of a larger, systemic problem?  Something to think on.

In the meantime:  haters gonna hate.  Fuck ’em and move on.  SW:FA is awesome, and that’s all that matters to me.

A Muslim Refugee Might Kill Me, and That’s OK.

Let’s start with this:  every religion has had followers who believe that God demands the murder of anyone who does not follow their particular overzealous brand of that religion.

Christianity not only included, but especially.  There’s a good millenium of history where the most murderous fanatics around were, in fact, Christian.  Doesn’t mean all Christians are murderers, just means that Christianity contains the potential for fanaticism just the same as any other religion.

Islam is not that different from Christianity.  Same God, same Old Testament, same basic principles.  Christians believe in the divinity of Christ, Muslims believe Christ was a prophet and nothing more.  Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammed, which don’t really look all that different from the teachings of Christ.  There’s far more in common here than different between the religions.

Of course, the last people to admit that will be the believers.

So what I want to address today isn’t that, but we need to start there.  There exist in this world Muslims who are good, peaceful, law-abiding people.  This is simply a fact.  If you disagree with this fact, you’re not going to get the rest of this post, because you are stupid.

Having accepted that premise, we now move to the concept of the refugees.

migrants-serbiaThere are thousands upon thousands of refugees pouring into the Western World from the violence in the Middle East.  From, largely, ISIS.  And that makes sense.  When you’re living in a brutal, fanatical fundamentalist theocracy who tells you it’s your duty to die for Allah, you want to get the fuck out of there.  I think we can all back that.

These are not, for the most part, extremists.  They are not jihadis heading off to war.  They are people who want to get the far as fuck away from war as possible.  They want to practice their religion in peace.

For those of you playing at home, this is exactly why America exists.  Welcome to the Land of the Free, right?  Land of the Free?

But there is an issue, and it’s one we need to be honest about.  Some of these refugees will not be refugees.  They will be terrorists, placed into the stream of refugees, to kill us.  If we accept the refugees from ISIS, Americans will die as a result.  This is also a fact.

MMRefugeesThis fact has led to what I will call the “bowl of M&M’s” hypothetical:

There’s a bowl.  It contains (a large number) of M&M’s.  Most of them are perfectly fine, but (a small number) are poisoned so that they will kill you.

How many do you eat?

I’ve seen various permutations with the numbers, but the basic premise is the chance.  And it’s this argument I want to deal with, because a portion of the basic premise is absolutely correct.

If we think of the stream of refugees as M&M’s, then some of them are poisoned.  There are a couple of those that will kill some of us.  But this analogy gets the risk/reward dynamic of the refugees entirely fucked up.  Here’s why:

lottery-headerThe Risk 
I’m not asking that you, personally eat the entire fucking bowl.  That would kill you, because it would guarantee you eat the poisoned one.

No, I’m asking that everyone in America line up a la The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, and we take our odds.  Each one of us is given an M&M.  Odds are, the one we have is not going to kill us.  We’re probably going to be fine.  Except that some of us are definitely going to die.  I’m asking each American to accept the relatively small risk that it will be them.  By doing this, I agree that I am asking us to put our lives on the line, because some of us will die as a result.  Why in the fuck would I do that?

Dabiq-Cover-3-150x212The Reward

Well, the reward is this:  that person is going to die if the West does not accept them.  ISIS will kill them.  How do I know this?  Well, because ISIS fucking published it.  There’s a magazine, it’s called Dabiq, and they have basically laid out their plans for everyone to read.

Oh, it’s sheer propaganda, but all you have to do is read their propaganda to figure out their goals.  And one of their major goals is for Muslims across the world to make the Hijrah to ISIS, a pilgrimage to join their Caliphate.

That would be exactly the opposite of what the refugees are doing.  That makes the refugees “infidels” in the eyes of ISIS, and we all know what they do to “infidels.”

So let’s get back to our M&M’s.  In this situation, I hand you an M&M.  I tell you that there is a small, but not impossible, chance that eating this M&M will kill you.  I then tell you that if you do not eat the M&M, ISIS will absolutely kill someone.  You won’t know them.  They probably won’t be of your religion.  Your life will go on mostly as it always has, except that you will carry with you the knowledge that you could have saved a life and made the conscious choice not to for your own selfish reasons.

And therein is the choice for us.  Some of these refugees will absolutely kill us.  But I don’t come from some weak-ass country, I come from America.  This is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  I accept that some of us will die as the result of allowing Islamic refugees in.

It is still the right thing to do.