Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Moving Pencil

One has to wonder at the reasoning of Saudi authorities when they shut down a newspaper for publishing *those* Danish cartoons.

The thing is, to my innocent Western sensibilities, the cartoons are pretty tame. I understand that any portrayal of the Prophet is proscribed, and I can understand objections to them but, face it, they were penned by non-moslems in a non-islamic state who can't and shouldn't be expected to follow the same mores. The level of reaction to them is out of all proportion to their worth.

So, are the Saudi authorities protecting the sensibilities of upright Saudi citizens, or are they protecting them from seeing for themselves what the fury is about?
Seeing them, and feeling their righteous indignation dissolve into a giggle.

Meantime, my prediction about the tee-shirts was spot on! (idiot!)

Oh, well! Here's my stir of the possum (fear not, pious viewer: the only images involved are those of the mind ;-):

The Moving Finger:

A buttonpress and martyrdom. So simple the way to Paradise!
But... only one wife?
The figure removed her veil, greeting him with a wrinkled, gap tooth grin:
’You lads never read the fine print! But really! Isn’t seventy six virgins a bit greedy?'
'Ohnono! One wife of seventy six has far more to teach!'
The crone took the horrified shade’s hand.
'Come, love, we have much to learn about each other.
And eternity for doing it!'

Update: this is a second draft, having felt that this was a story to be told in seventy six words.The original can be viewed below if you highlight the text:
A press of a button. So simple a gateway!
True, the blast had scattered Khalid's immortal wits as much as it had his body, but the young man's soul was soon able to collect his thoughts and take in his new surroundings.
Paradise! His reward for unswerving dedication to Jihad!
A shrouded figure approached... his new wife? Chaste and sweet!
But... what of the other seventy five?
The figure stopped, and removed her veil in the presence of her new lord. Rheumy eyes gazed at him kindly, and she greeted him with a wrinkled, gap tooth grin:
'Ah! Another young fool who didn't read the fine print! But really! Seventy six virgins is being a bit greedy, don't you think?'
'Ohnono, my sweet! It's felt that one wife numbering seventy six is far more able to teach an inexperienced young firebrand a thing or two about the universe!'
With a cackle, the crone took Khalid's horrified shade by the hand and led him away.
'Come, my love, we have a lot to learn about each other.
And a long time in which to learn it!'


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