This blog however, focuses on seriously answering the where’s Muhammad question. As you can see in the “Where’s Muhammad” cartoon, Muhammad’s absence is holding up the prophets from starting their spiritual mushroom-cannabis session. So what’s the hold up? What’s his trip? Where is Muhammad?
The 12 Muhammad cartoons
My five minute impromptu flew by and stirred up a class-wide ethic-centric discussion in the process. At that moment, I knew these controversial Muhammad cartoons could trigger an important turning-point in our history.
South Park and Muhammad
However, Matt and Trey failed to get away with the holiest of their jokes. The one joke considered too sacred to be depicted on television—the simple portrayal of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Comedy Central censored Matt and Trey from airing a completely plot-relevant, 4 second scene that portrayed the prophet Muhammad giving a football helmet to a fictitious Peter Griffin in a Family Guy parody. Watch it here: Cartoon Wars Part 1; Part 2.
The only thing you need to understand, if you haven’t watched this episode, was that the whole point of the elaborately constructed two-part episode was for the sole purpose of depicting the prophet Muhammad at the end. Like most South Park episodes, this episode’s relevant message was referencing the terrorist threats the Danish newspaper had to withstand in order to preserve their freedom of expression.
In the final moments of the episode, Kyle gives his little speech: “If you censor out Muhammad, then soon you’ll have to censor out more. If you don’t show Muhammad, then you’ve made a distinction of what is OK to poke fun at and what isn’t. Either it’s ALL ok, or NONE of it is. Do the right thing.” If Muhammad is off limits, it entices and entitles others to say the same about their religion, their prophet, their gender, their race, their lifestyle.
Unfortunately, Comedy Central didn’t do the right thing. At the end, instead of showing Muhammad on TV, a black screen disappointingly appeared reading: “In this shot, Muhammad hands a football helmet to Family Guy. Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Muhammad on their network.” Instead of standing up for our freedom of speech, Cowardly Central decided to take the easiest way out by simply censoring the image of Muhammad.
Distraught by their failed attempt to get Muhammad on the air, Matt and Trey decided to vindictively end the two-part episode with Jesus, George W. Bush and random suburban Americans all taking a diarrheic shit on each other and the American flag. Matt and Trey went to the absolute extreme to prove that those ridiculously offensive images are perfectly fine and good, but a simple, almost innocent image of Muhammad is completely out of the question.
By censoring the Muhammad cartoon, Comedy Central clearly expressed that our freedom of speech isn’t really worth fighting for. This attitude reflects our society’s dispassionate and lackadaisical belief in basic human rights. (It probably explains why millions of Americans are still being unnecessarily incarcerated for trivial drug offenses.) Free speech is an empirical human right, and the moment we are denied a human right, our belief in that right begins to disintegrate. It’s nice to believe we have a freedom of speech, a freedom of religion, a right to live our life, but when the time comes to stand up for our beliefs, an “Ah-fuck-it” type of attitude sits us back down.
I don’t know, it must be the fluoride…
Yale University and Muhammad
The Yale University Press, however, decided not to include the controversial Muhammad cartoons in an illustrative book about CONTROVERSIAL CARTOONS. Not only did they decide to censor the 12 Muhammad cartoons that “shocked the world,” but they decided to censor various other widely available cartoons of Muhammad from before the Danish incident. These included a drawing of Muhammad in a children’s book, an Ottoman print, and a 19th century sketch of Muhammad being tormented in hell, “an episode from Dante’s ‘Inferno’ that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dali.”
What the hell is the point of releasing a book about the most controversial cartoons in history, if the book itself doesn’t include pictures of the most controversial cartoons in history? It’s oxy-moronic. Like Reza Aslan, a religion scholar, said about the Yale University Press’s decision to drop the Muhammad pictures: “the book is a definitive account of the entire controversy, but to not include the actual cartoons is to me, frankly, idiotic.” It would be like National Geographic releasing a special edition entitled: “The Top 13 Most Mysterious Places in the World” and censoring out the most mysterious place in the world.
This recent event just goes to further show the unleveled playing field that humanity is still playing on. As long as religions keep playing the “my God is better than your God” game, humanity will continue to clog up its own evolution. It’s like our music record of history is skipping. Like we’re stuck in a... stuck in a… stuck in a loop. So in order to assist us out of the loop, some of the original Danish Muhammad cartoons are featured below.There's Muhammad!
The Fusion of Religion: The 2012 Conclusion
Since the boundary-dissolving sixties we have ‘coincidentally’ began to dissolve societal boundaries that helped define the structure of pre-sixties history. We are in the midst of tectonic shifts in perception, and I believe the alleged 2012 consciousness shift is rooted in dissolving the most stringent boundaries of all—religion.
Think about it: America has a black president, symbolizing racial equality; countless nations have had women as their leaders, symbolizing gender equality, and as of recently, gays are finally allowed in the military, symbolizing gay equality. These events are all obviously huge symbolic examples of equality.
This boundary dissolution is also in tune with our ever-increasing connectivity Trip: the constantly evolving internet and social networking fascination (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), the approaching singularity, increased government transparency, man and nature (eco-awareness, the green revolution, Avatar), growing fusion food trends (Kogi BBQ, Tex-Mex, French-Thai), the explosion of yoga (Sanskrit word meaning union), and the rise of the fastest growing sport in the world, Mixed Martial Arts.
Not to mention the apparentness and implications of two of my favorite topics—cannabis and psychedelics.
Cannabis, of course, has a ‘potsitive’ reputation of bringing people together. Ask a group of unlikely friends how they came to know each other; chances are they were stoned when they did. New Jersey recently became the 14th state to pass medical marijuana legislation, and the number of states adopting medical-marijuana legislation will only continue to increase. In addition, California may make history again, by having the opportunity to re-legalize cannabis in November; opening the flood gates to an even greener and more connected future.
As ‘luck’ would also have it, Salvia Divinorum, an extremely powerful psychedelic, is
L-E-G-A-L (in most states). The word has been out since the nineties, but I’m not sure people really understand the implications of Salvia’s legality. As I explained in the “Where’s Muhammad” blog below, religious and psychedelic experiences share a giant overlap. At the spark of a light, people from all around the world are able to have legal zoomed out Salvia experiences within the confines of their own room (ZOOMDOUT will begin to sell Salvia Divinorum Fall 2010).
The difference between the sixties and LSD, and the second millennium and Salvia, are the crucial circumstantial differences. For one, the internet wasn’t available for the hippies of the sixties. This instant access to vast amounts of information empowers us with the knowledge needed to make more informed decisions. We’ve wizened up and evolved since the days of Leary and Kesey, and have been introduced to the evolving psychedelic notions of Dennis and Terence McKenna, Sasha and Ann Shulgin, Carlos Castaneda, Graham Hancock, Ralph Abraham, Rick Strassman, Ralph Metzner, Rupert Sheldrake, Stann Groff, Daniel Pinchbeck, Jeremy Narby, James Oroc and many other neo and indigenous shamans with essential zoomed out perspectives.
Also, (as a monumental side note) as of February 7, 2010, Brazil completely legalized the use of Ayahuasca in religious ceremonies. There are no gender or age restrictions for the psychedelic brew. Anyone may drink it as long as it is consumed in religious ceremony. It seems as if the psychedelic future has already arrived.
The Lotus Temple
I’d like to leave you guys with a picture of my favorite building in the world—the Lotus Temple. My ZOOMDOUT artist recently paid a visit to the majestically magnificent Lotus Temple in India. The Lotus Temple is a magnificent architectural feat that symbolizes the equality of religions. Unlike your typical house of worship (churches, temples and mosques), this wondrous structure is a building of worship that welcomes all denominations. About 100 million people from all over the world have visited the Lotus Temple since its inception in 1986, making it one of the most visited buildings in the world (surpassing both the Eiffel tower and Taj Mahal between those years).