Here’s a tech note that will, as all tech notes do, almost immediately turn into a Friday night open thread.
I’ve gotten several complaints about the LGF front page crashing in the Opera browser, or taking forever to load if it doesn’t crash.
If you’re still having trouble in Opera, please let me know by posting a comment or using our Contact form (in the left sidebar). I’ve tested both Mac and PC versions here at LGF HQ and they pass with flying colors.
$(document).ready() function, which speeds things up significantly.)
In the never-ending search for a faster loading web page, I’m pleased to announce that more than 440K has been trimmed out of LGF’s front page today, and loading that bad boy should be much snappier now.
I’m using the AddThis service to generate those buttons; there may be a way to avoid the ridiculous overhead by using Google +1 directly. But for now I’ve disabled those buttons on the front page. They’re still available on individual articles, and on LGF Pages (where only one 44K instance loads).
Police in Berlin are on high alert for tomorrow’s debut of Mozart’s Idomeneo, fearing an outbreak of violence from the Religion of Peace™: ‘Headless opera’ puts police on alert.
The Associated Press attributes this threat of violence to “religious sensibility.”
BERLIN - Audience members at Monday’s Deutsche Oper production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” will be kindly asked to empty their pockets of all metal objects. And they should be prepared to leave — quickly — in case of a bomb alert.
The Austrian musical genius born 250 years ago was noted for an impish sense of humor and some directors take huge liberties with their interpretations of operas. But the security measures for the performance, which include electronic screening of opera goers and evacuation precautions, are not part of the plot.
It’s a case of art meeting religious sensibility — and a decision that the show must go on, despite concerns that the production, featuring the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad, could prompt violence.
The latest web edition of Newsweek has an article by “moderate Muslim” Akbar Ahmed on the cancellation of a Mozart opera out of fear of violence from the Religion of Peace™. He calls this fear “sensitivity.”
In this instance, “moderate Muslim” appears to mean: the one who shows up after the infidel surrenders, and tells him how smart and sensitive he was to comply with the killers’ demands: Mozart and Muslims: What Have We Learned? (Hat tip: ellum.)
Although I totally support free speech and freedom of expression, and have been saying so publicly, all of us need to be sensitive to the culture and traditions of other faiths. I am not talking of a purely academic or idealistic discussion but the possibility of people losing their lives as a result of some perceived attack on faith made across the world. I believe that the lives lost and the properties destroyed—including mosques and churches—after the Danish cartoons controversy erupted could have been avoided had there been people of greater wisdom and compassion at the start of the crisis.
Ahmed doesn’t specify what these “people of greater wisdom and compassion” would have done if they had been around at the start of the cartoon jihad, but I don’t think he means they would have urged Muslims to show tolerance.
Here’s how he describes the Islamic death sentence against Salman Rushdie, which forced Rushdie into hiding for many years and resulted in the murders of several people involved in publishing or translating his book.
The first crisis that acted as a catalyst in the context of our discussion was that of Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses.” It appears that we did not learn any lessons from that controversy. The West continued to insist on freedom of expression and the Muslims continued to insist on their right to protest when the central figure of their religion, that is, the Prophet of Islam, was under attack. Lives were lost and property damaged across the world. From the Salman Rushdie controversy to that generated by the pope’s remarks, we have seen relations between the West and the Muslim world steadily deteriorating.
Muslim “right to protest” in this case obviously includes violence and murder, but notice Ahmed’s passive voice when describing the heinous acts that followed the publication of Rushdie’s novel: “lives were lost and property damaged,” and everyone is equally to blame.
He concludes this piece of smooth PR with a call to Muslims to “reciprocate”—and praises the German opera house managers for being “bold” enough to capitulate to the fear of Islamic violence. A masterpiece of turnspeak.
It is time for Muslims to reciprocate these gestures. As a Muslim committed to interfaith dialogue, I would appeal to the president of Iran not to make provocative remarks about the Holocaust nor to threaten the Jewish population with extermination. It is time for all of us to think about the boldness of the theater owners in Germany. They did, after all, stop a production of Mozart, the quintessential iconic Germanic figure, in order to express their belief in the dialogue of and understanding between civilizations.