Today, another one of my favorite bloggers takes questions from you. It's Tish from The World According To Tish...
The panel is ready with their questions...
Now, the first question...
What famous author (living) would you most like to meet?
Since I am southern, write southern fiction, and adore every word she writes, it would have to be Fannie Flagg. If you hadn't limited me to living authors, I would have said Mark Twain, by golly.
Again, we've received lots of questions from students in Finland, asking about the Danish cartoons we've all heard so much about. Our first student...
Hello, I am a student from Finland. I study journalism and my teacher assigned me to interview you about the violence that errupted after the Danish newspaper published the cartoon with profet Muhammed. So, here are my questions:
First, how much the US media has covered the riots and protests?
It was heavily covered for the first two weeks after the cartoon was published, but now it's a back page story. The Port issue is now in the hot seat.
Who's to blame for the situation? The editor who published the pictures or the people who started the protests?
That's easy - the protesters. You don't see Christians killing atheists when there is an offensive cartoon about Jesus, do you?
Do you think it would have gone as far as it has, if the media wouldn't have covered it so widely?
I do, and only for this fact: death and rioting are part of this religious faction. It's taught from birth that rioting, murder, suicide bombs and the like are rewarded in their distorted version of Heaven.
What do you think, is it all right to make fun with religion? Should religion be left out as a too sensitive subject for cartoons or comedy?
As reprehensible as many cartoons can be, we cannot afford to censor these subjects. The phrase 'slippery slope' comes to mind when freedom of speech is hindered.
Do you think this crisis is going to go away with time or do you believe this will lead into ever increasing chaos/crisis?
I think as long as there are extremist factions of any religion, we will see chaos. Look at how far car bombing has come - it started in Ireland with the IRA and now is a main weapon of terror with Al-Qaeda.
Now, the second student...
Hello! I'm a journalism student from Helsinki Business Polytechnic, Finland. I'm contacting you because we got this school assignment to interview somebody through e-mail about the Danish cartoons. I`ve done the questions with the assumption that the subject is familiar to you, if it is not, there are questions 3 and 4 that you could answer anyway.
Here are my questions:
Have you seen Danish newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed? What do you think of them?
Yes I did. If I say they were funny, will I be assassinated? Beheaded? The fact that mere cartoons can elicit such violence tells me one thing: these are not people capable of rational thought.
Why do you think the muslims reacted so stongly to the cartoons?
Ignorance. Insanity. My children read the classic Emporer's New Clothes, and it made me think of these irate Muslims that cannot see what the truth is, cannot live within the 21st century, and will not allow freedom to dwell within their people.
How would you react to cartoons that made fun of your religion?
If you can't poke fun at yourself, there is a problem. Laughing is not a sin, nor is pointing out inconsistencies within a belief. Catholics laugh at nun jokes, Baptists chuckle at Bible Belt punch lines, and Pentacostals giggle at long hair puns.
Where would you draw the line with freedom of expression?
Child pornography, pedophilia, and other offenses to the most innocent of the world have no redeeming value in society.
What can one learn about this incident?
Freedom of expression is a fundamental right that radical Muslims fear as much as democracy. Muslims that do not support the riots and killing should stand up and condemn not only the extremists, but go one step further and call for the end of radial Islamic terror.
And the final student...
Hello. I'm a journalism student from Finland. We have an assignment in our english class to interview someone via Internet on the subject of the Danish cartoon-incedent. I hope you have time to answer a few questions.
How important is freedom of speech to you?
Without it, I'd be in prison for sure.
How far does freedom of speech reach? Is anything sacred?
With the invention of the Internet, it is a global commodity regardless of political regimes or religious beliefs. Children are sacred. There is nothing positive, educational, or worthwhile in child pornography, pedophilia, or the degradation of the innocent.
Should the Danish paper apologize for the cartoon?
Never. If they did, then every newspaper in every city would have to print endless retractions or apologies for any cartoon, then op-ed, then articles that someone finds offensive. It's the slippery slope that we all have heard about, only in reverse.
Do you have a suggestion to make the muslims and christians to see eye to eye?
Begin with infants, the adults are lost causes.
Tell me something about yourself.
I have all of my own teeth. My laugh is melodic, my breath tainted with Dr Pepper, and my thoughts have a mind of their own.
What's the best job you've ever had?
During college: waiting tables in Mexican restaurant. After college: physical therapist in day treatment.
What's the most Redneck / White trash thing you've ever done?
Watermelon seed spitting contestant. Sadly, the woman without her front teeth beat me by seven feet.
Why are many women afraid of getting older?
Gravity, plain and simple. What once sat high and perky droops more each year.
Who's the greatest character in all of literature?
If you could ask three questions of anyone in the Bible, who would it be and what would you ask?
Mary, what was Jesus like as a child? Noah, how did you feed all of the animals AND stand the smell? Jacob, what wrestling moves did you use on the angel?
Of all that you've written, what are you the most proud? Embarrassed?
My blog posts that make people laugh and the completion of my novel "A Month Full Of Sundays" are my pride and joy.
The blog posts detailing my most embarrassing moments...yep, those are exactly that.
Who is your favorite musician / favorite band?
I am forever indebted to the fantastic rock band THE EAGLES, the catalyst of my marriage, children, and current life. Without them, I would be single, traveling the world, and bored to tears.
Who's the greatest political leader in the world today?
There was a time I would say George Bush, but lately he has been on my not loved list, so for this moment, let me nominate Tony Blair, a leader in the midst of critics with very bad teeth.
What makes you laugh?
Everything! Irony, slapstick, satire, parody, infantile sexist dribble, etc. Life is full of comedy, you just have to open your eyes and the giggles will come.
Thanks so much to Tish for the interview! I always enjoy when one of may favorites consents to these silly questions. Thanks for being a good sport ... and a fun person!
Next week, it's Don Surber and GroovyVic (Fiddle Dee Dee).