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I find myself coming to the table yet again with very little to say but an awful lot of thinking in the interim. I don't know what's wrong with me. I had such perfect, beautiful thoughts flowing in and out of my consciousness all throughout the week, yet when I finally can have the time to type all of them out, my mind goes, "Neener neener, I'm going to give you NONE of it!"

So: The state of friendship today. My own personal state is this -- I'm still maintaining good ties with two people, both of them surprisingly male. I'm stuck in a limbo state with two others, both of them surprisingly female. Two more people are in the "Maybe" column, two more have landed squarely on my Shit List, and one person is confounding me. (Mixed signals? Or maybe it's because this person is a recent addition and I should know to take those slowly?) And two other people are Big Surprisers. Hurrah for the Big Surprisers?

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I have been thinking long and hard about what's happening with Jill Carroll, and while I'm at a loss as to why some people aren't joyous with celebration over her release, I do understand why they feel that way. They look at what she's saying and her overall global viewpoint and they see a traitor, a silly little girl overly in love with something that these individuals view as a danger to Western society. And, you know, they're halfway right. The zealots and fundamentalists of Islamist society are the ones who regularly call for bloodshed directed at the "infidels", the sinful Westerners who don't follow the strictly Islamic way of life. But that's not the whole story wrt Muslims. Most Muslims are friendly toward those of other religions and ideals. We have millions upon millions of them right here in the U.S.; they're American citizens who fly the red, white, and blue just as proudly as anyone else, they serve in the U.S. military, are willing to die for our country, and stand up for the country as much as they can. If Jill Carroll is standing up for THEIR interests, then more power to her. However, if her wide-eyed romanticism is directed at those who would wish to kill her because of where she was born and what religion her family practices, then she is obviously a very deluded person who will hopefully grow out of it eventually.

Then there's the issue of what she's said about her captors. She has had nothing but warmth and praise toward those people who made her cry in those infamous videotaped messages, the same people who killed her translator. The people who are crying foul wrt the Carroll rescue might see this as either an example of how she was complicit with her own kidnapping or a sign that she actually agrees with those people who wish to damage the world in the sake of their own deluded religious idealogies. I think it's noteworthy that a few people have stepped aside and pointed out that maybe Carroll was pressured by her captors to not say anything negative about her time in captivity lest her family or other innocents be harmed. Maybe she's just too tired or too afraid to admit to the captors' wrongdoing. Maybe she's adopted Stockholm Syndrome and will need years of counseling and therapy for that to be reversed. I agree with these people and think that others should just wait for time to elapse. If Jill Carroll is still saying what she's saying in ten years' time, that will be the time for us to wash our hands of her. However, as of now, let us wait for her to recover her wits and to place herself again in the land of the free. Lord knows what kind of psychological damage she's going to have to recover from.

Oh, BTW, I wish I could comment on how ironic it is that the people who are being the most vocal about the things that Jill Carrol has said that have angered them, are also the same people who readily and easily advocate our own homegrown zealots and fundamentalists who seek to destroy the U.S. (at the very least) by foisting their own unbendable, extreme version of Christianity upon the rest of us. But time is running out on me very quickly and so I must close this entry now. (Oh wow, I actually commented on something of substance!)

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