ISIS

Can ISIS Survive…Mockery?

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ISIS Stooges
YouTube

Can an army of bloodthirsty theocrats survive a brutal ribbing? Well…yes. And a new supply of Chinese ground-to-air missiles gained courtesy of Qatar isn't exactly going to make ISIS hemorrhage too terribly under assault from even the most rapier-like wit. But political comedian Dean Obeidallah points out at The Daily Beast that the terrorist group/fundamentalist state has become a popular target of entertainers across the Middle East. Says he, "they mock ISIS on everything from being hypocrites when it comes to Islam to being bumbling idiots to simply smelling like crap."

He writes that one of the funnier videos he's seen translated into English is a Palestinian-produced take (embedded below) on an ISIS checkpoint manned by the Three Stooges of homicidal fanaticism. Belly-tickling-wise, it's probably better than some of the material that Saturday Night Live has inflicted on its audience. It ends with an off-tune dig to the effect that ISIS is more interested in terrorizing Arabs than in tormenting Israelis.

Which, again, is better than some of the material that Saturday Night Live has inflicted on its audience.

Whatever their quality, the comedic attacks, Obeidallah emphasizes, are a means for people across the region to defy ISIS. For comics in Syria and Iraq, that defiance potentially risks serious consequences, since entertainers face death for poking fun at the group.

Read the whole piece here.

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  1. Which, again, is better than some of the material that Saturday Night Live has inflicted on its audience.

    *slow clap*

  2. “The final test of truth is ridicule. Very few dogmas have ever faced it and survived. Huxley laughed the devils out of the Gadarene swine. Not the laws of the United States but the mother-in-law joke brought the Mormons to surrender.”

    -H.L. Mencken

  3. Surface-to-air missiles.

    …SAMs

    /pedant

    1. You get an honorary Ordnance Corps branch insignia for that. Beat me to it…

  4. “For comics in Syria and Iraq, that defiance potentially risks serious consequences, since entertainers face death for poking fun at the group.”

    What? Why should they risk their lives like that when they could simply make jokes about Republicans and Christians?

    1. Yeah, go ahead and make fun of the Republican Guard, I’m sure that’ll work out well for you.

      /said no Iraqi comedian ever.

  5. “. It ends with an off-tune dig to the effect that ISIS is more interested in terrorizing Arabs than in tormenting Israelis.”

    I don’t think its ‘off-tune’ at all, necessarily.

    Clearly the intended joke is that ISIS would be better off trying to slaughter Israelis… but there’s an expression an Egyptian friend once told me that may have a literal translation here:

    Who do All Arabs despise even more deeply than The Jews?: Other Arabs”

    The joke is about the realities of deeply tribal societies, where everyone assumes that everyone else not in their own tribe is necessarily out to cheat/scheme/steal from them.

    Winston Churchill had a similar comment in a criticism of Muslim attitudes:

    Every man against his neighbor; and all against the Infidel

    1. Recent & relevant:

      http://slatestarcodex.com/2014…..-outgroup/

      He defines the “out group”, or the group anyone dislikes the most as being the one that is nearby and in many ways similar to themselves. Red tribe / blue tribe. White Social Justice Warriors vs those “other” whites. German Nazis vs German Jews. British vs Irish.

      For us Virginians, the out group is people from Maryland. Sure we’re both mid-atlantic Chesapeake Bay states, but have you seen how Marylanders drive?! Gas ’em all!

      1. Yeah, I read that.

        I think he might have also referenced Freud’s “narcissism of minor differences” thesis (*which i think is from “civilization and its discontents”), which was his explanation for why Europeans always hated each other more intensely than they did ‘outsiders’

        There is great truth to it. Anywhere you go, you’ll find things like, “slightly different accents” provoking far wider and ingrained cultural derision than cross-racial hatred.

        I think the genius of that guy’s piece was how he pointed out that Liberals constantly pride themselves on “‘tolerance’ of everything…. except people they actually deal with on a day-to-day basis – i.e. non-liberals”

        But as for Arabs… compared to Westerners, they really do have a uniquely intense version of it.

        They are (as far as i know) the only societies in the modern world that still have a fully-developed tribal system in place. Forget ‘sunni/shia’ or ‘Muslim/Christian’… they’re divided even within tribal groups between upper and lower-class affiliations. Freud wouldn’t even know where to start.

  6. I didn’t watch the whole thing, but this bit was funny:

    “How many times does the letter ‘a’ appear in the _______ hadith?”

    “Just shoot me.”

  7. Maybe Bill Maher can mock ISIS in his graduation speech at Berkeley.

  8. It ends with an off-tune dig to the effect that ISIS is more interested in terrorizing Arabs than in tormenting Israelis.

    So the Arab world is merely trying to straighten ISIS’s priorities out?

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