December 18, 2015

"[W]e must recognize that the world of radical Islam is not just death and destruction. It also encompasses fashion, music, poetry, dream interpretation."

"[J]ihadism offers its adherents a rich cultural universe in which they can immerse themselves," writes Thomas Hegghammer — director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment — in this column in the NYT, "Militant Jihad’s Softer Side."
When jihadis aren’t fighting... they enjoy storytelling and watching films, cooking and swimming. The social atmosphere... is egalitarian, affectionate and even playful. Jihadi life is emotionally intense, filled with the thrill of combat, the sorrow of loss, the joy of camaraderie and the elation of religious experience....

The Islamic State’s most famous poet is a Syrian woman in her 20s who goes by the name Ahlam al-Nas.... Her most famous collection... contains lines such as “Shake the throne of the cross, and Extinguish the fire of the Zoroastrians / Strike down every adversity, and go reap those heads.”...

In Europe, radicals sometimes wear a combination of sneakers, a Middle Eastern or Pakistani gown and a combat jacket on top... The men often follow Salafi etiquette, for example by carrying a tooth-cleaning twig known as a miswak, wearing nonalcoholic perfume, and avoiding gold jewelry....

95 comments:

hiawatha biscayne said...

what a steaming pile.

AlbertAnonymous said...

More Absolute Garbage.

David Begley said...

I've heard the ISIS music used in the background of some of their videos.

We should nuke them based upon that music alone.

Tank said...

Really, they're just a buncha regular guys when they're not throwing gays off the roof, or slicing Jewish heads off. Get real.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, and Jeffrey Dahmer was a very lovely person. Quiet, helpful to his elderly neighbors, a rare dab with collage and always willing to paint your hallway.

What is the purpose of this article, I have to wonder.

rightguy2 said...

Radical chic, to the max.

(Don't forget that the Nazis had really cool outfits, also.)

mccullough said...

Perfect. Good info to better identify the enemy. We need much more of this.

Roughcoat said...

Oh ... go fuck yourself. Seriously.

traditionalguy said...

OK. Living a pure legalistic life as a pure Muslim Sheik with spending my Trillion dollars in petrodollars from my American protected Arabian sand dunes on my 40 wives of all ages totally submitted to me is a culture I might sort of envy even if just for a few million dollars.

But do I envy it enough to disavow all personal knowledge of The Son of God and burn my Bibles and remove all crosses? Stay tuned. The American University faculty makes that exact deal at every opportunity, since they are so educated.

Martin said...

Paging Joyce Carol Oates!

policraticus said...

Other than the Shoah and their depredations across Europe, the Nazis enjoyed hiking, nature, traditional music and dance, cinema, marching bands, Hugo Boss fashion, monumental architecture, road building, and rocketry.

Achilles said...

He needs to move to Syria. It must be hard for this guy to live with a bunch of Xenophobes here in the US.

I am sure ISIS will treat him better there than we treat progressives here. It is not like progressives are doing everything they can to undermine our country or our armed forces. They are trying to make this country better.

Sal said...

When jihadis aren’t fighting... they enjoy storytelling and watching films, cooking and swimming

Are their imaginative executions considered part of the fighting, or do they belong with the other activities?

Big Mike said...

@rightguy2, let's not forget that Hitler was a painter and senior Nazi officials had a taste for art (looted art to be sure, but art nevertheless).

Big Mike said...

I do have to wonder whether the writer approves of rural Americans wearing camouflage jackets after suggesting that combat jackets are stylish finishing touches to Salafist ensembles.

Amanda said...

Yes well so what? Nazis were pretty cultured too. They even held concerts with prisoner participation in those concentration camps.

mikee said...

I note that rape of underage sex slaves is not listed among the off-duty jihadi activity. Why is that, when it has been so famously reported by the First Lady, among others?

Peter said...

Yes, Hitler liked dogs. So?

Terry said...

"[W]e must recognize that the world of radical Islam is not just death and destruction. It also encompasses fashion, music, poetry, dream interpretation"
We are then given this example of Jihadist poetry:
“Shake the throne of the cross, and Extinguish the fire of the Zoroastrians / Strike down every adversity, and go reap those heads.”
Death and destruction is radical Islam. If you took the death and destruction out of it, it wouldn't be radical Islam.

Phil D said...

This from the New York times which made Abu Ghraib II (*) first page news for weeks?
This from the Left which is full of "War on women", "Micro-aggressions", "Bushhitler". ...

It really is a pity that people can't die of hypocrisy.


(*) That is Nr. 2, not Nr. 1 were people were put trough the meat-grinder.

steve uhr said...

We don't need to "understand" them. We need to kill them

The Gold Digger said...

What about long walks on the beach in the moonlight?

SGT Ted said...

Hey, Hugo Blas designed the Nazi party uniforms. So, it all fits.

pst314 said...

"We don't need to 'understand' them. We need to kill them."

We need to understand them in order to better kill them. :-)

Ann Althouse said...

Absurd though this column feels, there is something to be said for interfering with their recruiting. It is worth seeing how they can present their culture as a lure. And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

MadisonMan said...

I notice that NYTimes Picks and Readers' Picks of the ensuing comments differ in tone, substantially.

This article makes the Times' Editors seem ignorant of history and far more clueless than normal.

William said...

Young people have an appetite for risk and an eagerness for a glorious death. The definition of a glorious death varies with time and place, but the beauty of a glorious death remains a constant. In western countries it is no longer considered fitting and sweet to die for one's country, but it used to be quite fashionable. Stendhal mourned the loss of opportunity for glorious death so abundantly supplied by Napoleon. WWI put finish to that kind of thinking, but those attracted to glorious death in a military setting could still find fulfillment in the Lincoln Brigades in the Spanish Civil War or, more recently, in third world liberation struggles. Che, for example, had a glorious death that inspired many emulators......The jihadi version of a glorious death is repugnant to me, but there can be no denying that it's kind of romantic and exciting to seek death on foreign shores. It's not just the jihadis and the jingoists who are full of shit. We all are.

Patrick said...

"In Europe, radicals sometimes wear a combination of sneakers, a Middle Eastern or Pakistani gown and a combat jacket on top..."

Asking work a suicide vest...

Patrick said...

Along with...

D.D. Driver said...

@ Terry.

What he wrote is true. It's not "all" about death and destruction. It's also about writing poems about death and destruction. And swimming! Don't forget all the swimming jihadis.

Jupiter said...

The Norwegian Defense Research Establishment? Sounds like Norway is toast. We're not far behind.

Just remember, the problem is not Radical Islam. They are nothing but a bunch of savages, squatting in their own dung. The people who are determined to destroy our society, and have the means to do it, are pretending to be on our side.

From Drudge;

RYAN GIVES IT ALL AWAY!
Builds Fence Around Mansion -- Doesn't Fund Nation's Border...

Terry said...

This reminds me of an NYT column a few years ago by (I think) Bruni. Bruni went on and on about the wonderful work being done by some Catholic charity, and finished with the thought that the charity would be so much better if it wasn't Catholic.
I've read interviews with both Howell Raines and Bill Keller. Both seemed to believe what made liberalism so great was that it could be bien pensant while it encompassed profound truth. So it's not an ideology, it's just correct and good people know that it is correct.

jimbino said...

Do the Muslims require "In Allah we trust" on all their coins and bills? Do they require all schoolkids to appeal to Allah in their pledges? Do they require all judges, jurors and lawyers to acknowledge Allah, as do, mutatis mutandis, numerous Amerikan state constitutions? Do they require people to take oaths with "So help me Allah" before being sworn into public office or to give court testimony? Do they place enormous monuments to the Koran on state courthouse grounds? Do their public parks feature prominent Muslim symbols? Do they invade public places with Muhammed nativity figures during Ramadan?

Huuuuuuuuge pot calling the kettle black here.

Jason said...

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

Jason said...

THEY HAVE MORE HAIR! THEY TELL FUNNIER JOKES!

Guildofcannonballs said...

"And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture" is perhaps the greatest lesson of this age, for an American.

Our shortcomings being the squandering of our Most Great heritage foremost, to cowardly effeminate* bragging killers (as long as they do it through drones with clean hands unlike Lady McBeth they, well, praying is out, so, they assume I presume) with so called University's and media leading the way surrounded by lil pissant "artists" and bureaucrats. The Gods of The Copybook Headings highlight our shortcomings like only Kipling could/can, yet since this is universal and not specifically American I consider it secondary compared to the Vast American squandering, so so hollow.

The way to start the process of ending the idiocy of youth is end youth, a price very few are willing to pay so far and thank God for that, yet Satan has reached into our collective conscious such that youth isn't what Samantha the Whore on Sex and the City was able to console herself with having had when serving a young Kat Denning playing a 13 year old fuckslut heiress that puts the storyline of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to something shame would feel like were Satan's army capable.

So, the murder and pain continues. And it's not your fault, mine, or theirs, we are all just asking questions. What greater love...

*History has conflated effeminate and cowardly having not seen Ann Barnhardt, a woman that inspires men with her unlimited courage. Barnhardt will adjust history.

EMD said...

"And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture "

We're not comfortable enough

I rarely post because of moderation, and now even more proof of your cloistered existence.

Virgil Hilts said...

Per Ann's comment, I think every generation of teenagers has a certain small percent that are just insane and looking for something to join that is alien enough that it allows them to destroy their identities (and be born again) by joining it. If its not ISIS, its Charlie Manson or David Koresh or SDS or Aum Shinrikyo. It has nothing to do with the so-called shortcomings of our culture. It has to do with the shortcomings and defects inherent in the teenage brain. Watch the teenage girls reacting to the Beatles in the 1960s. It's not the same thing, but its related. A certain percentage of teenagers are just f-ing insane.

Ken B said...

I disagree with nearly everyone again it seems. This is a damned good article. We need to understand the appeal. All aspects of the appeal. Virginia Postrel has written about the glamour of ISIS, and some kinds of violence. Absurd though many find it to believe, Nazism wasn't just about snarling at Jews. They had comeraderie, a shared aesthetic, etc. They felt they were making the world more beautiful. Mussolini was considered glamourous by most of the world at one point.
My explaining these things does not condone the Nazis or Fascists, and this article does not condone ISIS. There is no doubt ISIS is our enemy. Know your enemy is sage advice.

David said...

My favorite:

"When jihadis aren’t fighting... they enjoy storytelling and watching films, cooking and swimming. The social atmosphere... is egalitarian, affectionate and even playful. Jihadi life is emotionally intense, filled with the thrill of combat, the sorrow of loss, the joy of camaraderie and the elation of religious experience.... "

Also rape, beheading or murder of prisoners and political opponents, of Christians, of Muslims who oppose them and of course, shuffleboard.

The Nazis had a grand time once they consolidated their power in Germany. For a while.

Ken B said...

People seem unaware how glamourous Mussolini was at one point. He’s one of the “top” things in Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top”.

n.n said...

So, Jihadis pull their faith out of a penumbra too.

David said...

"And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel."

Lord knows our culture has lots of shortcomings. Unfortunately one of the most pervasive is a vast ignorance, especially among the young. At the family and institutional level, we have become reluctant (perhaps afraid) to teach them.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The social atmosphere... is egalitarian, affectionate and even playful.

Yeah, I bet the sex slaves they keep agree with that assessment 100%.

Ann Althouse said...Absurd though this column feels, there is something to be said for interfering with their recruiting. It is worth seeing how they can present their culture as a lure. And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

Of course it's useful to understand your enemy, I don't think anyone would deny that. The problem you face in trying to pass a non-negative assessment of the enemy's culture off as just that, though, is the overall tone of the Left historically--the Media is all too quick to see the bad in our culture and give praise to other cultures. In that atmosphere it's not crazy to infer that anything less than full throated condemnation of the enemy's culture (by someone the Media approves) is implicit praise. This goes along with the Media's biased response to violence committed by different groups--a jihadi who acts in the name of Islam is loudly declared to have nothing to do with Islam, while some murderer who visited a GOP website once is repeatedly described as "right-wing Republican extremist," and so on. It's a knee jerk reaction by the Media and the elites, and you have to understand how that's perceived when thinking about how people receive and interpret communication of the kind in this article.

chickelit said...

"We must recognize..." is the wrong modal verb construction for it implies obligation if not compulsion. In the end, it's submission. Fuck him and the weak horse he rode in on.

grackle said...

And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

Readers, isn’t it always the mistake we see time and time again? Always assuming that Muslim perfidy is somehow because of “shortcomings of our culture” or in “our way of life?”

It’s reflexive for some. Has been for a long time. It’s been so prevalent for so long that it has almost become the conventional wisdom. It always comes down to this: That we, the American people, through some flaw in our culture, are causing these religion-inspired murders.

Short of abolishing democracy, going Muslim and embracing sharia there is nothing we Americans could do to pacify the Muslims - other than kill them, of course. Freedom bothers the Muslims; makes them confused, angry and murderous. They have no concept of equal to equal. They need rigid pecking order. They prefer totalitarianism, preferably to be imposed by their religion.

This is THEIR flaw, not ours.

Bill said...

I'm so relieved to learn that jihadis wear sneakers and love to cook and swim and watch movies. It will give me a much better perspective on the limb I lose to a suicide bomber.

Ann Althouse said...

You see no shortcomings in our culture? Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

CStanley said...

The information presented is important, but the fawning tone is abhorrent. It comes across as though the author thinks these guys would be OK except for that pesky little violent streak- instead of emphasizing that these traits and practices are the same type of draws found in other death cults through the ages.

CStanley said...

One of the most important things I learned was the bit about the music. People here are free, of course to listen to whatever they choose- but it seems it would be useful to publicize what this type of music is so that we can recognize jihadi sympathizes in our midst,

Big Mike said...

And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

"Shortcomings of our culture." You mean the songs of Bob Dylan, right?

I think anyone who finds "fulfillment" in a way of life that celebrates beheadings of bound captives and burning captured airmen alive needs to be permanently removed from the human race.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel. / You see no shortcomings in our culture?

Respectfully, ma'am, that's not a very interesting question at all. All cultures have shortcomings, and young people have been rebelling since young people have existed. These kids today with their hair and there clothes, am I right?

The interesting question, the one you hinted at with your "lure" comment, is why rebelling in THIS particular way (joining radical Islam and serving its violent, expansionist purposes) appeals to young people now. That (young) people rebel is more or less a fact of life. The fact that their rebellion takes this form is both baffling and important to figure out--if we can steer 'em into just getting a bunch of tattoos instead of taking up arms of Islam, you know, they'll still be rebellious but we'll all be much better off.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'll point out at as well that I'm instinctively prone to discount calls to reform our culture when they come from or through organizations that don't seem to agree with much of America as to what our culture should be. That is, the NYTimes isn't who I'd go to for popular criticism of American culture as such.
The Right's been complaining about the breakdown of the family and "traditional American culture" for more than half a century, and the NYTimes has been strongly on the other side of that argument. I don't trust the NYTimes to give an honest assessment reflecting the popular or consensus American population's view of what changes our culture needs. The NYTimes' documented habit of sneering at flyover America makes many justifiably suspicious of the possibility of that publication being representative of the views of the majority of the nation w/r/t cultural questions.

Guildofcannonballs said...

This is the most important thing you will read, all year, save God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI

That is a link to Twisted Sister's video "We're Not Gonna Take It."

Reading the lyrics, as if listening to Nixon, loses every time to seeing the video, or watching JFK.

Breitbart said it, made it known, and got murdered.

Trump sees it and makes it his theme song sometimes, ya know, if it works for the environment according to their culture, not Trump's always but, ya know, enough.

It works enough.

Not like today.

TOday doesn't work enough, not by a long shot.

I tell you, Trump is gonna Make America Great Again.

I would die from forever-orgasming if Sarah Palin's distraughted, hateful foes were redeemed, not Christ-like in the deity form but Christ-like in ultra-fallen despicable human form, somehow.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

If I said "because the NYTimes and its allies won the culture wars" and on that basis I discount their advice, then where does that leave your assessment of how seriously I might treat this article's suggestions?

Again, I agree it's important to know our enemy and to understand the enemy's culture in a deep, multidimensional way. When the NYTimes seems to say that American culture might be to blame for something, though, it's not crazy to discount that opinion based on the NYTimes' clearly-expressed historical disdain for "traditional American culture."

Todd said...

When jihadis aren’t fighting... they enjoy storytelling about killing infidels and Jews and watching films about killing infidels and Jews, cooking and swimming. The social atmosphere... is egalitarian, affectionate and even playful. Jihadi life is emotionally intense, filled with the thrill of combat and getting to kill infidels and Jews, the sorrow of loss of the infidels and Jews that got away, the joy of camaraderie with other killers of infidels and Jews and the elation of religious experience resulting from killing infidels and Jews....

There, fixed it for you. You are welcome...

traditionalguy said...

There is no truth to the rumor that Putin has areedto run as VP under Trump.

Guildofcannonballs said...

A way to look differently, not that anyone cares to agree with me on that, is thinking if every word you ever read written is done via a line.

No paragraphs, just periods, commas etc..

But no differing paragraphs.

If I were not dummy I could think of something you folks would all understand, but I can't. Damnit. If all works were only like a pager.

Or Twitter.

Okay. That's as far as I see Terrance Howard.

http://mashable.com/2015/09/14/terrence-howard-one-times-one/#JYakrXuw4ZqN

Night Owl said...

"And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel. "

Raises an interesting point: An unfortunate byproduct of mainstreaming the "sex and drugs and rock-n-roll" culture that was once predominantly the domain of defiant adolescents, is that it is no longer a suitable sign of rebellion for today's disaffected youth. Now they have to go jihadi to get that satisfaction.

Big Mike said...

You see no shortcomings in our culture?

PC is a major shortcoming. We had -- and are losing -- an economic system which encourages the talented to put in extra effort and where someone with a good work ethic can work one's way up from poverty or near-poverty to a comfortable life. We can get that sort of culture back, but not by sneering at the Republican base in flyover country.

Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value?

Because AFDC incentivizes the opposite? That's doesn't just result in dysfunctional, single-parent families, but the correlation coefficient between areas receiving high amounts of AFDC payments and areas with high murder rates is nearly 1.0. How am I doing so far, Professor?

Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love?

Probably because it seems like fun at the time. How does one convince a youngster of either gender who's barely into their twenties that it's perfectly possible to find someone they can be happy to share their life with for fifty years or until death do them part?

Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders?

You'll have to ask someone who voted for Barack Obama in either election why he or she saw that man as strong or virtuous.

Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

What inspires you may not inspire me, and vice versa. Verdi was dead on the mark when he wrote "La donna è mobile."

SteveR said...

OK I feel better now. They are bad but so are we, and we want to kill them just like they want to kill us. I do understand.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...
You see no shortcomings in our culture? Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

If the jihadis targeted say, Madonna, I might pause and think that. But look at who they're targeting, Althouse -- mostly innocent people. So you don't get to moralize like that. Not for a second. Not on my watch.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Maybe if the left stopped attacking our culture, and blaming America for everything that is wrong in the world ...

Gahrie said...

You see no shortcomings in our culture?

You mean the cultural pollution dominated by the political and cultural Left? You bet your ass I do.


Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value?

Because we've spent the last fifty years telling our kids that children are a burden, abortion is fine, divorce is fine, bastardy is fine and Uncle Sam will
pay for it all.

Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences?

You do remember the 60's don't you?

Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love?

Because most women are at war with men.

Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders?

They aren't willing to subject themselves to today's political climate.

Where is the great and inspiring art?

Somewhere behind Piss Christ.

Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

What else is being produced?

Quaestor said...

The NYT article is interesting, but devoid of context. If one were to examine the Schutzstaffel of the NSDAP strictly in the light of culture one would see an organization led by many of the most intellectually and artistically accomplished men of Germany -- musicians, scientists, economists, philosophers, and doctors of the law. Its enlisted members would be sterling examples of manhood in the classical ideal -- perfect minds in perfect bodies, men of action and reflection, devoted to home and hearth. if one is stupid enough to filter the essence and see only the surface, the SS would be a most admirable institution rather than the monstrous criminal conspiracy it actually was at its core.

There are vast and ever-widening gaps in American education which institutional leadership seem unwilling to fill. The facile and insipid New York Times is just one result.

Jason said...

This is the most New York Times thing that has ever been written or ever will be written.

Gahrie said...

Huuuuuuuuge pot calling the kettle black here.

We get it jimbino...you're an asshole that hates Christians.

Guess what? You're free to leave. There are plenty of places around the world, mainly in Europe full of assholes who think exactly like you do. You will be much happy there, and we will too.

chuck said...

Gilbert said it better and in fewer words.


When a felon's not engaged in his employment
Or maturing his felonious little plan
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is just as great as any honest man

chuck said...

A Policeman's Lot

Jason said...

Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke,
You gotta understand,
It's just our bringin' up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies,
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we're punks!

Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7TT4jnnWys

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

The hanging of the gays, yes, maybe an overreaction. The stoning of the women, I think we can all agree that's a little excessive but it's not a deal breaker. But that incessant weeping..... Fuck 'em. Carpet Bomb those son-uv-a-bitches!

Night Owl said...

"And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel."

It's possible that some young people who were not raised to believe in something sublime and higher than themselves, may seek that out on their own. Without any guidance from their elders, they may "find" it in radical Islam. Why Islam? Why not, when Christianity has been disparaged in pop culture for quite some time.

furious_a said...

Che, for example, had a glorious death that inspired many emulators.....

Emulating bleeding out in a ditch after being buswhwhacked by Bolivian peasant militiamen? Seriously?

Michael K said...

"the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel."

What do you mean OUR culture ? What you see is the culture of Gramsci who wanted to destroy any cultural remnant of the west and fill the vacuum with Marxism. The Islamists beat him to it.

The children have empty heads and the Islamists are there to fill them.


My culture is just fine.You are in a university that is destroying my culture in the heads of the stupid undergraduates unless they have a parent to point out the lies in the study guides.

furious_a said...

You see no shortcomings in our culture?

Those I see don't involve beheadings and slave auctions of Yazidi girls.

The rest of Althouse's interrogatory is just blinkered, weapons-grade but-who's-the-real-enemy faculty-lounge bullcr*p.

Sebastian said...

"Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?"

Because nobody listens to me. (Sobs.)

But great and inspiring art, the kind that matters, i.e., classical music, is more accessible to more people, at higher levels of excellence, than just about ever before.

Big Mike said...

@Gahrie, you and I need to get together for a beer sometime.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
You see no shortcomings in our culture? Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

You're being sarcastic, right?

Quaestor said...

Re: Sergeant Krupke

Lenny Bernstein believed every word of it.

SGT Ted said...

What do you mean OUR culture ? What you see is the culture of Gramsci who wanted to destroy any cultural remnant of the west and fill the vacuum with Marxism. The Islamists beat him to it.

It is no accident that kids like Jihad Johnny and Bergdahl have ultra leftwing parents. Taught to hate their own country and the west as evil and unjust, they found common cause with Islamists, who say the same things as their parents did, but were actually willing to do something about it.

walter said...

Yeah well.. There was that Norwegian official imagining the benevolent reasons for immigrants to have beheading videos etc on their phones.This denial harkens back to their reaction to the guy who shot all those kids: We will not change our society (gun control). They are having their legs pissed on and calling it rain.

Paul said...

"When jihadis aren’t fighting... they enjoy storytelling and watching films, cooking and swimming."

Yes, fighting, raping, beheading, murdering, burning, making car bombs, making suicide vest, assassinating, killing men, women, and children, etc.... shucks and they still enjoy storytelling and watching films, cooking and swimming! Why how sweat!

Just love those jihadis!

SukieTawdry said...

Do they like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain?

Who knew life among the jihadis could be so chichi.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Don't forget all the swimming jihadis."

Yes---especially the Synchronous Swimming jihadists.

Alex said...

Uhu, yeah sure.

grackle said...

Absurd though this column feels, there is something to be said for interfering with their recruiting. It is worth seeing how they can present their culture as a lure. And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

I have a problem with that last sentence. No problem with the rest of the comment. But the last sentence assumes something that should never be assumed.

Readers, people in general and especially young people are subject to occasionally finding life “unfulfilling” and wanting to “rebel.” It’s a condition of being human and of being young. This human condition has been pondered by many deep thinkers over the ages. And to be sure: to assume that this human failing is the cause of the “lure” of the terrorists, which is a roundabout way of indicting “our culture,” has almost become the conventional wisdom, especially among the Left.

I think there is nothing ‘we’ civilized folk can do to reduce the attraction of that lure, short of killing the entity(ISIS) that employs the lure.

Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value?

A worthy subject for a long debate but as an excuse to join the Islamic terrorists I find it wanting. We would have to start with defining “wholesome” and defining “value.” Then we might want to contrast life in America, wholesome or not, with life in Islamville. Are honor killings “wholesome?” Misogyny? Beheadings? Homophobia to the level of state-sponsored murder? What “values” are being promoted with these negations of human rights? Are those who choose to join the murderers choosing Islamic wholesomeness over American unwholesomeness? Really? Yet that is what the comment strongly implies.

grackle said...

Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences?

Because drugs are readily available and good sex may need some experience with sex that the young, being young, do not possess? Because most young people are kind of stupid until hopefully they grow up into a semblance of maturity?

Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love?

I do not know but I do not think it has anything to do with ISIS or the causes of Islamic terrorism. Or young people choosing to go over to the dark side.

Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders?

I do not mind a leader being virtuous – as long as that leader doesn’t ram their brand of virtue down my throat. Be virtuous for virtue’s sake, leader, but for me be smart, be flexible and especially be mindful of the safety and well-being of those you seek to lead. But if you want strong leadership look no further than Trump.

Where is the great and inspiring art?

Short Answer: The Impressionists discovered a great artistic truth but at the same time opened up a can of worms. Picasso, as a young ambitious artist in the next generation, looked at the artistic landscape and realized to be successful an artist had to be “different.” He succeeded beyond his dreams. Every art movement since then has been an effort to be “different.” Somewhere along the way art became politicized. Thus, modern art has devolved into what we have now. Installations of shit and urine praised wildly by the important critics of America. Nothing to do with joining terrorists. Everything to do with the stupidity of our so-called intelligentsia.

Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

It’s entertainment, not Shakespeare. Entertainment is comparatively shallow, something to keep boredom at bay and take up time and not meant or expected to be mind-edifying. Also, some of it I think could be defined as “not shallow.” George Carlin, Robin Williams, Starwars, Homeland, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock – are these so shallow?

Readers, ever tried to watch TV or go to a movie from, say, Palestine? What would we be seeing, I wonder? How would we define such fare?

Take a look at some children’s television in Palestine:

http://tinyurl.com/hek37y7

Keep in mind that this is their jihadi version of Sesame Street.

Yet the comment would assume OUR entertainment is shallow and cynical when compared with theirs. I must protest.

Paul said...

Adolf Hitler was very fond of dogs and children (as long as they were not Jewish.)

Guess we should say he was a swell guy!

Fen said...

Ann Althouse: You see no shortcomings in our culture? Why aren't -

Always amuses me when the Left does this. Like when a SJW handicaps the police and then complains about the rise in crime. And they are never responsible for the damage they do. If fact, they redouble their efforts without any awareness it was their cause of Magic & Wonder that caused the damage. Crime is up? Must be because of Teh Patriarchy! again.

Ann's tribe has been steadily kicking out the supports of Western Civ since the 1960s. And now a generation that has lost faith in Western Civ is looking for something else to believe in. And Ann asks if its due to shortcomings in our own culture.

Tarrou said...

I have a plan for interfering with their recruiting. When we catch some traitor trying to run off and join the IS, we execute them on the spot and hang their body from a gibbet in the public square. I think this would be far more effective than giving the entire nation a class in the delicate cultural nuances of seventh-century barbarians.

MayBee said...

And it's worth facing up to the shortcomings of our culture and how a young person might find our way of life unfulfilling and want to rebel.

Interesting, because I tried to talk about the way European muslim youths are trapped between two cultures- the old school way of their parents/community and the permissive ways of their countrymen- and Althouse tried to turn it into a conversation about how it is rational to be afraid of small dogs on the street.

Annie said...

You see no shortcomings in our culture? Why aren't children cared for in wholesome families and shown that life has deep value? Why are young people using drugs and having bad sexual experiences? Why don't men and women find satisfying lifelong love? Why are we bereft of strong, virtuous leaders? Where is the great and inspiring art? Why do we consume so much shallow, cynical entertainment?

It's your side of the aisle that has been devaluing our culture for decades as they have marched through our institutions and spread their poison. Traditions - which become traditions because they are what work over time - are racist, sexist, and bad. Promiscuity, baby killing, single motherhood, government dependence, good. And you're going moral equivalence with jihadis. We've got problems of which the left is very much responsible, but beheadings, sex slavery, stagnant/backwards cultures, and women as second class citizens are not among them. Yet.

Btw, go look up Communist Goals (1963) Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963. You will find the answer to your lament there.

Freeman Hunt said...

"It’s entertainment, not Shakespeare. Entertainment is comparatively shallow, something to keep boredom at bay and take up time and not meant or expected to be mind-edifying."

That's one definition of entertainment, but not one I would agree with. Our culture largely lacks a satisfying conception of leisure. There's no reason leisure shouldn't be edifying. Leisure that isn't is mere distraction. I don't even know that I would go so far as to call it real leisure.

viator said...

Now there is a dhimmi writing in a journal of dhimmitude.

Franklin said...

I hope the Progressives that love Radical Islam understand that it's they that will be thrown off buildings. We conservatives will just grow our beards a little longer and keep to ourselves. Their lifestyles are incompatible with Islam.