Monday, April 21, 2014

Law & Order: SVU - S15E17 - More Anti-Muslim Tropes & Support of Police Misconduct

Most people will remember Law & Order: Special Victims Unit S15E17 Criminal Stories because Alec Baldwin is the guest star. As always in the Law & Order franchise, there is a gruesome crime which forms the background for the episode. In this case, an Indian Muslima named Heba is raped by her brother's corporate bigwig boss and colleague in his office after a charity dinner in which she volunteered. She lies and claims that men shouting anti-Muslim slurs raped her in Central Park. Because of Heba's lies, the case against the perpetrators weakens. Alec Baldwin's character is a reporter, and he publishes a story about the bigwig's father's influence in publicizing Heba's initial lies to the police. Some of the jurors read this story, and the judge declares a mistrial.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Umberto Eco: Heresy and Ur-Fascism

My local book club read Umberto Eco's In the Name of the Rose. While the book itself is a mixed bag through which I struggled (which is not an indictment of the novel, since I struggled through Moby Dick as well), there's a remarkable chapter about the origin of heresy. If you don't want to read the novel, it's worth borrowing it off the library or bookstore shelf and turning to Second Day, Chapter Nones (p. 196). Here are some highlights of the dialogue between William of Baskerville and his novice Adso of Melk.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Börgen Episode 23 "The Right Shade of Brown" and the Issue of "Integration"

I watch Börgen on Link TV. In season 3, the series's protagonist Birgitte Nyborg decides to leave her party, The Moderates, because it agreed to support a law which would allow the government to deport immigrants for minor offenses. In episode 23, "The Right Shade of Brown," the founders of her new party, The New Democrats, are discussing who should represent The New Democrats in a TV forum on immigration. They decide they want an actual immigrant to represent them. The first condition they place is that the immigrant must be a Muslim, not an Inuit from Greenland, since Muslims are the problem in immigration/integration. Then they decide it can't be an Indonesian or an Ugandan, because they don't look "Muslim."