Pwning Life: Communication, Culture, and Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

I’ve been unemployed for over a month now, a state I chose of my own volition. The reasons have been expressed already, so I don’t need to go into it too much, though for the purposes of this talk I must say this: working with people who speak little to no English is a pain in the ass. Never mind the fact communication was almost null in the work place due to the loud machines, having a conversation with my coworkers was nonexistent due to a language and even cultural barrier. This brought on a lot of stress when I sought understanding from certain coworkers, who would look at me like I was an idiot, and to my shame, I did in turn.

Up front, I have no issue with employers hiring those with trouble in a language. What better way to teach a language than making it a necessity to use it every day for your livelihood? From there you just need to take steps to make sure you’re integrating people together, and not only were there no efforts in my workplace (that I was aware of), the environment smothered such things. For my part I could have taken some time to communicate with the folk around me and even learned Spanish (is a goal of mine) rather than focusing on just the work and nothing but the work. It’s hard to change ones ways, however, and I was determined to keep focus on the work rather than talk with strangers, and the loud workplace just made this action easier to accept. And so this went for many months, playing a factor in my voluntary leave from the company.

It’s one of the many things I’ve come to understand about myself, despite how much I say I wish to change into a social creature. Even simple gestures such as Poking someone you hardly know on Facebook are out of my comfort zone, and Poking is about as unsocial as you can get these days when the option of writing out a full blown message is there. As simple as communicating very simple ideas of appreciation are, I can always find something much easier to take up my time, such playing games on Newgrounds, listening to hours of podcasts while (not) exercising or being hygienic, or even observing what others are talking about on Facebook. It’s getting pretty rigoddamndiculous.

I actually think I’ve regressed in my attempts to communicate over the years, because I recall an effort on my part to actually call people over the phone instead of resorting to email, the less hassle option during that time. This eventually turned into a problem of never having anything to say, leading to very sort and/or awkward conversations. So then I just backed down to online messaging, which has adapted to being compatible with newer phones so it didn’t necessarily have to be strictly over computers. I’ve since backed down from even this, finding myself not only dealing with the same issue over the phone but being overwhelmed by the idea of whom I should be talking to, when, and how. Now I just speak to people when I only need to, when I’m feeling exceptionally random/stupid, or just when I’m spoken to. The one thing that has remained a constant in terms of expressing myself is blogging, and given that nobody reads my blogs and shouldn’t be forced to so as to understand me…I’m not really accomplishing much, am I?

It doesn’t help a lot of my goals in life seclude me as well (video production, writing, reading, etc.). Shame I hardly ever focus on the lot of that either, but you think I would work upon what tends to make me happy. Then again, making others happy brings about the same outcome, yet I seem to have an aversion to even work with people. As such, I would like to think a lot of my problems stem from my lack of will, and dealing with it will fix a lot of the issues I currently have. I’m uncertain if it will alleviate my social awkwardness, because plenty has shown I’m better off keeping to myself, but I shall remain hopeful. If for no other reason than I would like to be able to communicate better with this world, because I’ve yet to give up on being able to make something with this life.

And back upon the topic of this post (which is not just about me and my issues): communication is hard! Too often we’re willing to let things go or even take the quick solution, coming out with a result that is sloppy and makes the future work even more difficult to deal with, thus resulting in more apathy or rage. Whiled I was employed, I was set to train someone who understood English, but not to the extent I was comfortable with (especially with freezers, baggers, etc. booming constantly). A simple line of discussion taking over five minutes had me feeling the man had no intellect, when in truth he not only had some but thought I was the fool. Were either of us better men, we would have taken the time to talk after the matter and learn each others ways better, more so on my part because he at least understood a little English while I understood no Spanish. In the end, we let the opportunity for growth slide, making for a bigger problem down the road.

Living through that moment taught me why so many folk are bothered by immigrants, or at least immigrants who “aren’t like them” in speech or manner. It’s a problem that transfers all the way into politics and international issues. The most blatant one that comes to mind is the “film” called Innocence of Muslims, which (in my mind) is nothing more than a glorified Everybody Draw Mohammed Day entry. Which by the way happened earlier this week. So as a means to catch up, here is my entry for the grand holiday…

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day 2013Hopefully I’ll be ready for next year or maybe even the anniversary of Innocence of Muslims with my own video release, because damn do the reactions of Muslims piss me off. I do not understand the extremes they take in response to their beliefs being ridiculed, and I worry that even understanding will even help because the desired death of others over simple depictions of Mohammed is something I will forever be opposed against. I understand it’s a complicated mess of language and culture, but I cannot compromise my own beliefs. Not as a religious or even a non-religious individual, but as a human who seeks unification of the human race.

But let’s take the emotion out of this for a moment, and talk of the “film” Innocence of Muslims. From a proper filmmaker’s perspective, the “film” is a horrible mess with intentionally wretched editing, obvious dubbing, nonexistent plot, etc. to the point that any “normal” viewer would have to think the movie as a joke. How could this be taken seriously? It’s in line with such films as The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and other so bad it’s good films. In other words, I watch Innocence of Muslims and enjoy it with actual laughter. The vast majority of the population doesn’t do this because people actually died because of it, and in a darkly comedic view this makes the film even funnier to me. I realize this makes me very different from the lot of the world, but I digress.

So why does this movie piss off the Muslim world? Obvious reasons would be depicting the Prophet as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug (or at least that’s what the post production editing and dubbing is led to make us believe). Okay, so I guess there’s reason for the religious to take offense, but this is nothing new when we consider how Jesus has been depicted. Leave it to Islam to say it’s a crime to make fun of them, because that makes sense. This gets more complicated when the Islamic world fails to understand the US government has no intellectual control of its people, something they are more than a little used to. Throw on the international responses to the whole thing, and it’s a cluster of emotions and misguided intentions, all of which shows how much of a broken race we are.

This mess of communication and culture is one I would rather do without or just take the quick solution and smother it. But we can’t do that, can we? There have been far too many past examples to show where that will led. The obvious and hard choice would be to continue working towards a common goal, though I am of the mind it’s Islam that needs to give. Call Innocence of Muslims the most wretchedly offensive film to exist if you want, but it deserves to exist because it made us think. Made us sensible few laugh, but the vast majority think. This world of open and instant communication scares a lot of the underdeveloped worlds, but it’s bringing out change and unification faster than we ever thought possible. So let’s take on these conflicts with some sense and come to an understanding. Again, I am still hopeful the hard choices can be made.

Besides! You could do a lot worse than a poorly made film like Innocence of Muslims, especially when you have such films as Where The Dead Go To Die to compare it to. Where is the Islamic reaction to the blatant portrayal of sex, violence, drug use, bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia throughout this film? Don’t tell me it’s because it doesn’t attack religion, because it’s rampant with that as well. Know what though? I stick behind that film too, and proudly own a limited edition VHS as well. What’s being animated may be disgusting but it’s animated well, and I’m all for having the story told because it isn’t being told. As such, consider helping Jimmy Screamerclauz out because the man has only begun to rustle your jimmies. It has a right to exist, and you have the right to acknowledge it. I can only hope Islam practitioners try to understand what that means.

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