Following on my previous blog, I think it’s important to understand the way in which the reaction to Innocence of Muslims is a ‘clash of civilizations’. Twenty-first century religion is linked to morality and ethics through the facet of our culture known as consumerism. The adultery portrayed in The Scarlet Letter was not mediated by any commercial activity; today it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the costume of a stripper and the wardrobe of an inner city high school student.
The reason for this is that our corporatocracy is dedicated without nuance to selling stuff, from weapons to use against those who sit on oil, to the ever bigger TVs that have replaced ever bigger automobiles, to the latest fashions made in Third World sweatshops, to infinite variations on breakfast cereals and a lipstick for every outfit.
This culture has just reached its nadir in the shape of a film portraying Mohammed as a childish skirt-chaser surrounded by dumb and dumber acolytes. The media understandably focuses on pictures of the riots the film has provoked. But the words used to describe it are studiously mild. No commentator has suggested that if a similarly mocking and denigrating film were made about Christ, Christians would be horrified. Today, playing it safe, American, French and Russian TV are all referring to the film as ‘controversial’, telling us what it has done, but not what it is.