Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Armies of the night
One of best items of news in a long time is the report -- now confirmed via Glenn Reynolds -- that Batman has joined the fight against al-Qaeda.
The 21st century terrorist battlefield is different from the linear battlescapes of the 20th century. Like politics, to which it is related as much as to war, terrorism is a vehicle for the propagation of ideas. It is intensely ideological and might with justice be defined as proselytization through pain. Al-Qaeda itself arose in part from an attempt to create a Sunni countercurrent to the Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini; it was an expression of the geo-religious rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. For those purposes it did not matter to Osama Bin Laden that his nemesis, the Ayatollah Khomeini, was dead as he urged the Taliban to drive the Shi'a heretics out of Afghanistan, for in Bin Laden's world, ghosts lived. Only by fully grasping this fact is it possible to understand the depth of uproar over the Danish caricatures of Mohammed, for in the haunted world of fundamentalist cult theology, it is not permissible that anyone should mock their symbols and live. (Sound Gong of Doom here) Foad Ajami, writing in the Toronto Star understands that al-Qaeda has nothing whatsoever in common with the classical Islam of his memory. It's a made for television psychodrama, a comic-book scam.
And what we need, apart from robotic fighting platforms, laser gunships and networked battlefields is something that can reach into the realm of ideas and engage Osama Bin Laden -- and Khomeini too for that matter -- on their own level of reality. It sounds like a job for Batman.
posted by wretchard at 4:33 AM | 162 comments
I doubt this book will ever get printed, more then half of the "Bat-office" that oversees the license is gay and is the centerpiece of DC's progressive work environment.
It is genial to say that they are a breed apart from StonerStudent's ilk and would rather publish a book where Batman comes to a gentle understanding of Al-queda.