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Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World, And Finding Irony

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As you read about the continuing riots over the caricatures of Mohammed, I urge you to please shed a tear for Albert Brooks – the comedian who went looking for comedy in the Muslim world and released his movie about a month ago.

How bad could his timing have been? It’s like releasing a movie over Hindu tolerance and love in December 1992, or releasing a movie on the maturity of the American voter in November 2004, or releasing a movie over the positive influence of the British Empire in April 1919. Do you get the point that I am trying to make here, albeit crudely? Good! Now we can move on and talk some more about Al.

So the guy goes to India and Pakistan to find out what would make the Muslims laugh (and maybe some Hindus too) and barely has his plane left the soil of the Indian subcontinent that Muslims all over the world erupt in a violent frenzy over a cartoon. How much more ironic can it get? Not much, right? Well, the pinnacle of irony would have been if Al were to commit some kind of blasphemy in his movie and then Muslims over the world would have been burning prints of a movie that tries to find out exactly what makes them laugh. However disappointed Al maybe, I am sure he will gladly take his current situation over the alternative, what might be described as the pinnacle of irony, any day. Wouldn’t you?

Now here’s another ironic instance, if you would. Al has made a movie out of a travelogue, a travelogue that is part fiction and part real with real people who are not acting. But guess what! These riots have turned his work into a great work of fiction or maybe even fantasy, because they’ve shown that the Muslim world does not know to laugh.

Many times in India, if a movie fares very poorly, it is re-released some time later under a different name with some additional footage. While in this case, Al’s movie has not been a commercial flop, I have a humble suggestion for him. He should interweave his movie with shots from these protests, the rioting, the killing, the burning and then rename it “Looking for Irony in the Muslim World”. Yes, that would make it an instant classic.

This article originally appeared at Desicritics.org, a Blogcritics.org network site, providing news and information on media, culture, politics, sports, etc. with a South Asian focus. Visit Desicritics.org for more fine stuff.

Posted on Desicritics by Vikas Chowdhry.

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About aacool

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    What the hell is all this fuss? Will someone please tell the Muslim world that there are those within their culture who are capitalizing on these cartoons in the interest of creating chaos? Who gives a damn if there are cartoons making fun of Islam? Cartoons are parodies. If they’re tasteless, say so. Don’t go killing people. Children of Mohammed, your own are using you to perpetuate a war that needs not be fought any longer.

    I’ve seen plenty of parodies over the years with regard to Christianity. Look at Dogma. The Fundamentalist Catholics went beserk over that one. Did anyone get killed? No. The President of Iran only continues to stoke the flames of hate and ignorance. There comes a time when people of peace and tolerance must rise up and make demands of their own. Killing in the name of Allah, Jehovah, Yahweah or God is immoral. It’s more immoral than two people of the same gender being in love. The U.N. Security Council would do well to install a complete economic, philanthropic and humanitarian blockade against Iran. They also would do well to warn any country run by religious fanatics that this type of behavior is no longer accepted on the world stage. And, if the IAEA cannot bring Iran under control with regard to nuclear weapons, then it is time for the U.N. to take a military action of shock and awe.

  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    Very well done, Aaman. It’s quite strange how fact sometimes mirrors fiction. I wonder if Mr. Brooks’s next film will be as timely and controversial. He’s quite talented and I don’t think we get enough of his work.

  • http://desicritics.org Aaman

    Thanks Victor – please note this is cross-posted from Desicritics.org, and I am not the original author – link to author in post.