Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tone Deaf

That Islamic extremists have historically been tone deaf to satire is safe to say. It’s certainly the case in the Danish cartoon controversy. Most of the Sacrilegious Twelve are relatively benign—essentially illustrations, offensive only in that they depict the prophet. Of the more pointed, one directly addresses Islamafascism’s violent hyper-sensitivity. See them all for yourself, courtesy of Michelle Malkin, who is currently eating the antique media's lunch with this story: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004413.htm

In this particular cartoon, Mohammed tells the raving jihadists: “Relax. It is just a sketch made by a Dane from south west Denmark.” Once again, the extremists missed the joke. By reacting like violent, insecure fanatics, they have validated the entire premise of the cartoon. In a post-modern twist, they have become the punch line, except it’s not funny. It is a deliberate, orchestrated attempt to stifle free expression.

Bloggers like Malkin are boosting a Buy Danish campaign to counter the Moslem boycotts. Buying some butter cookies or havarti is certainly a painless way to show support for free expression. For those looking for a less fattening option, Denmark is also home to two well regarded big bands.

The Danish Radio Band has an auspicious history. Thad Jones led the band from 1977-1978, after abruptly leaving America and Mel Lewis, his co-leader of the Village Vanguard based Jones-Lewis Big Band. DRB has recorded extensively, often backing star soloists from around the world.

The Metropole Orchestra is also based in Denmark. They have a strong reputation for performing both big band jazz and actually orchestral pops. Frankly, I’m not familiar with them, but their recording of Ferde Grofe’s Tabloid Suite, featuring a movement inspired by the comics, might be an appropriate listen.

The Danish Radio and Metropole bands represent the cultural nourishment of civilization. It is worth taking sustenance during a time when many want to spread famine.