Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   family and controversy
Monday, December 12 2011
In recent weeks I'd seen a show advertised on the TLC network entitled All-American Muslim, a reality show following the unremarkable lives of an American family who just happens to be Muslim. It looked pretty dull even in its advertising, but in aggregate I took its existence to be a good thing. Maybe if more Americans saw that Muslims are just muddling through life like everyone else, there would be less of the moronic bigoted talk about (and actions toward) them, talk that has managed to even infect the speeches of mainstream Republican candidates for President (an indication of the kind of idiocy they are politically compelled to simulate). It's widely believed, for example, that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was instrumental in countering anti-gay attitudes in America simply by introducing people who don't think they know any to likeable members of the gay community. Still, when seeing those ads for All-American Muslim, I also remember asking myself, "What kind of morons are going to come out of the woodwork to oppose this thing?"
It didn't take long for those morons to emerge. An entity calling itself Florida Family Association decried All-American Muslim with a statement that begins:

The Learning Channel's new show All-American Muslim is propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.

That's right: the show isn't about Muslims who want to kill us (and thus confirm our prejudices) and so it is bad.
But that wasn't the end of it. Florida Family Association pressured advertisers to pull their advertisements from the show, and actually managed to get Lowes to do so. Lowes posted something on Facebook explaining that it didn't want to be in the middle of a controversy. That's right: Lowes was claiming that a prosaic reality show failing to pass the judgement of a bigoted fringe Christian group constituted "controversy" that it didn't want to be part of. Not only has the word "family" been drained of all useful meaning, but so has the word "controversy."
Fortunately for me, Lowes' mealy-mouthed statement on Facebook had, beneath it, a completely open thread where any person could post absolutely anything they wanted to post. [That thread has since been deleted.] Supposedly this thread had initially tilted largely against Lowes, with people calling for a boycott or demanding that Lowes resume advertising in All-American Muslim. But by the time I got to it, ten thousand posts in, far-right blogs had linked to it and sent in the mouth-breathers. Most of the posts now were screaming about how they supported Lowes for pulling their ads and claiming they would be doing all their hardware shopping at Lowes. There was also a lot of mention of Christmas, though often the spelling was "CHRISTmas," suggesting defenders against a supposed war on Christmas. A great many posts were bigoted statements that assumed all Muslims are like the Taliban or the kind running Iran or Saudi Arabia. A great many people expressed fear of the imminent imposition of sharia law. Remember, Muslims constitute about one percent of the American population.
In short, then, this was a prime environment for trolling. I don't think I've been handed such an excellent trollportunity since, the web community where anyone could get an account and present his or her "research" in support of magical biology. Troling for me is an act of reducto ad absurdum: I take your screwy ideas as if they were my own, but to the limits of their application. If you are upset about Muslims being portrayed as ordinary on American cable television, I will accuse the producers of using special angles so as to conceal the horns and cloven feet of the "ordinary" Muslims.
Throughout the day in several bursts, I posted as a troll on the Lowes thread. Sometimes I was being a bit too subtle, appearing to side too much with the anti-Muslim mouthbreathers, so I'd kick things up a notch and get more extreme with my bile. Here are some examples, with results in terms of Facebook "liking":
lowes, you rock! your decision helped a lot when my 17 year old son (who is still in the 7th grade) decided to beat up a muslim girl in his class. in the past he didn't get much support for his muslim bashing, but now even the teacher gives him high fives.

This post was liked by the following Facebook people:
Nicholas Carlozzi
Matt Ondrey (a liberal)
Marie Porter
April Koch (a right-winger)
Kevin Legg
Grace Prentice
Tom Tyler (seemingly a tea bagger)
Christine Moroz
Joshua Williams
Jason Huff (an atheist)

islam=terrible, christian=awesome, jew=going to hell but acceptable, hindu=freaky. america is about christians and using everyone else as a punching bag. i especially love it when i hear about muslim school children who are teased for their crappy religion. lowes is really helping here with the marginalization of this unamerican religion that our constuitution says should be executed.

This post was liked by the following Facebook people:
John Rowe
Erin Marquis (a leftie)

next time my 17 year old son (who is still in 7th grade) gets kicked out of school for rubbing bacon on that muslim girl at school, i'll use your example, lowes, as evidence that we can never be hard enough on this sinister minority in our midst.

This post was liked by the following Facebook people:
KaDa Wayne (wacky leftie)
James McCormick
Grace Prentices
Ivy Shahin

given that those of us here who hate muslims generally weigh more than cowardly muslim-lovers, do you think lowes will finally get around to enlarging their toilet seats? i've broken two of them in the past month trying to transfer from my scooter to drop a deuce.

This post was liked by the following Facebook person:
Matt Ondrey (a liberal)

now that we've established that all the muslims in america are out to get us, to make soup from our babies and use our bones in their weird islamic furniture, shouldn't we at least be ACTING nice to them, and maybe not telling them all where the most patriotic among us will be shopping?

This post was liked by the following Facebook people:
Laurelei Erwin
Eraca Cleary (a massage therapist who likes Johnny Cash and Michæl Moore)
Joshua Lurie-Terrell

Later this evening Ray, Nancy, and Sarah the vegan all came over for dinner. Gretchen had made a yummy black bean soup and Sarah had made a delicious pizza featuring caramelized onions.

For linking purposes this article's URL is:

previous | next