Pencil to Paper

The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

And This is the Part Where I Snap… April 2, 2011

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 10:26 AM
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Before I get into all the lovely ranting, a few updates:

Script Frenzy started yesterday. I got a grand total of… zero pages done, thanks to school activities. Yippie. The only reason I’m sticking with it is pure stubborness. Actually, that’s usually the only reason I do anything.

Second, Scott Westerfeld pulled the simultaneously most awesome and most annoying April Fool’s prank ever. Just in case I wasn’t already cracked in the attic before…

Now on to the business. A disclaimer – I am not usually a profane person. However, one must make exceptions.

Anyone remember Terry Jones? That annoying Floridian pastor that said he was going to burn the Qur’an/Koran in order to get lots of publicity? The government eventually talked him out of it saying that it would only harm our soldiers, but not before he got lots of face time.

And the little *ahem* bastard went ahead and did it on March 20, after holding a mock trial to convict it. Sounds familiar? Let’s just stick the Inquisition and Hitler together, why don’t we? Fake trials and burning books. Wonderful.

 Guess what? Yesterday, an angry mob in Afghanistan, incited by furious Mullahs, attacked a UN compound, damaging the building and killing at least twelve UN officials. Some of the mob was killed as well.

So now we have bloodshed, anger, and the Middle East yet again thinking all Americans are such self-centered, insensitive jerks.

Thanks a lot, Pastor Jones. I hope it was worth it to you.


The Greatest Tragedy? September 11, 2010

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 7:07 PM
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I remember 9/11 with especial clarity because it was the day I came home on the wrong bus. The teachers were upset, we were confused, and perplexed 2nd grader that I was, I sat in the wrong line.

My mother, as any other self respecting parent would have, must have decided that the terrorists had made a special visit to the elementary school to pick up her daughter. By the time I returned home safe and sound – conveniently the driver had once done my route and knew where I lived – she was probably distraught. It was only then that I saw on TV the now iconic image of the two towers crashing down.

For days afterwards, we’d turn on the radio and hear about the towers. Exasperated, not understanding, I asked, “Are they going to talk about this for weeks?”

My mother shook her head. “They’re going to be talking about this for years.”

And so they have, and so they are. For better or for worse, my childhood has been spent growing up in a predominantly post 9/11 world. I listen, I think, and still the perplexed child in me tries to understand.

9/11 was monumental because it showed Americans that we’re not safe, even within our own borders. We saw the first example of this new kind of terrorism, which would become a very real menace. But when I hear 9/11 called the ‘greatest American tragedy’, I can’t always agree.

Tragedies can go many ways. There’s the simple numbers of the death toll. The Civil War has been the war that cost the highest in terms of American lives, and worse, it turned families and friends against each other. Perhaps it was necessary to bring slavery and secession to an end, but I wish it could have been settled peacefully…

Then there are the tragedies where the US strays from the vision it has sworn to uphold. For example, when Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps during WWII simply because of their race.

And  now, 9/11 is on the verge of fulfilling both sides. Roughly 3000 people died when the towers fell. I don’t mean to demean these deaths. Those people did not deserve to die. Their crime: being born in a country that terrorists didn’t like. If I believed in hallowed ground, that site would be sacred not to some god, but to the individuals of all faiths who died because of a war that wasn’t even theirs. It is now, though.

In the aftermath, especially recently, there’s been an upswing in irrational Islamophobia. This is a serious disconnect. A whole religion did not fly those planes. And yet… we are afraid. Of Muslims, of ‘other’, of everything. Airport security gets more complicated. We become less trustful. If terrorist’s aim is to actually spread terror, as their name implies, they are succeeding.

America has always prided herself on her freedoms. This is why we consider ourselves different from some other nations, that guarantee far less. Now attacks have caused us to turn our backs on what we defend. Demonizing all members of a religion for the actions of a few is eerily parallel – though thankfully not as bad, yet – as killing innocents because you disagree with their government. And that’s why 9/11 may be the greatest tragedy after all.


Join Me on 9/11 September 7, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Religion — katblogger @ 9:56 PM
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See, this is just sad. It’s behavior like this that gives terrorists ammunition when they say America hates Muslims. So I ask all of you – which is like, three, probably – to find a Koran. You don’t have to read all of it, but take a look. Flick through the pages. It’s not full of hatred and violence any more than the Bible. Understanding is the first step to tolerance, and reading books is better than burning them.

On 9/11, visit your library, find a Koran, and read it. The Nazis burned books. Do we want to follow their example?


Mosque Ado About Nothing July 20, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Politics,Religion — katblogger @ 1:13 PM
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Apparently there’s a mosque being built near Ground Zero. Big deal. Wait, not just a mosque, a community center. It’ll have sports, a swimming pool, and yes… prayer areas. So what?

Apparently, some people think every Muslim, even those that are American citizens, are likely to start destroying buildings and killing people if we let them ‘win’. And apparently, their victory hinges on a community center. How strange.

I think the argument is something like, Radical Muslims crashed into the Twin Towers. Therefore, we will try to oppress innocent non-radical Muslims even more by preventing them from building anything nearby. Some see it as a slap in the face. I see it as a good business strategy. That community center is going to get lots of customers… assuming some radical Christian doesn’t torch it once it’s built, that is.

If we are going to say that a religion can’t build any house of worship – or community center – next to an area they’ve damaged or destroyed, non-Muslims are going to run into problems too. We can’t build churches by sites where abortion facilities were bombed by Christian terrorists. We also can’t have churches by homes that had a cross burned in their yards by the KKK. And we definitely can’t have any holy buildings of any faith by schools. That’s a scene of religion-induced mass destruction if I’ve ever seen one.”But wait,” people cry. “Surely the KKK and abortion bombers were extremist Christians. Most Christians would never do anything like that.”

My response? “Look around. Look at your coworkers, your classmates, your friends, your family. Someone in there is probably Muslim. Do you see them crashing planes into buildings? No. Why not? Because the group that does that is a radical terrorist group. It’s not the norm.”

And seriously, a community center? Get a grip, people.