Three In The Afternoon

The following items are chewing on my ankles, demanding attention.

1. WE SHOULD BE TOLERANT OF OTHER CULTURES An eight-year-old Saudi Arabian child successfully divorces her 50-year old husband after courts originally said she'd have to wait until puberty to request permission to leave the union. Ha ha! Take that, you smarmy, preachy human rights advocates! I dare you to call Saudi Arabia a medieval backwater now! (Yahoo!)

2. ALBERTA: IGNORANT AND PROUD Live in Alberta? Have kids? Want to indoctrinate them in your extreme fundamentalist Christian beliefs, like evolution is pretend and gay people are made of satan, without some "public school" butting in and teaching them "facts"? Things are looking up. (CBC)

3. TORTURE 'TOON the new This Modern World is pretty good. If you haven't read TMW before, it's a long-running weekly political comic and maybe the best of its kind. Check it out here. (Salon)

J! E! T! S! Just end the season ...

Hoo boy. It turns out that the Phoenix Coyotes weren't taken over by the NHL at the end of the season, as most mainstream media reports.

They were actually taken over in mid-February, says the city manager of Glendale, AZ (where the Coyotes play). (National Post)

The NHL trade deadline was March 4th and the Coyotes were particularly active as "sellers", shipping off high-priced centre Ollie Jokinen and top-four D Derek Morris. But the team also added players: Petr Prucha, Dmitri Kalinen and Jordon Leopold, among others.

If the NHL took over the team before the Coyotes deadline fire sale/picking up other teams' bonus babies and salary cap casualties, then who knew? And what does that mean for Coyotes' fans? Both of them?

All in all, Garry Bettman's southern strategy is looking stupider and stupider all the time.

Hat tip to Puck Daddy

Don't worry, Colin. They've got your back

Governments have an interesting way to deal with the proceeds of crime. For example. prostitution -- the act of having sex with someone in exchange for money -- isn't illegal, but spending money earned through prostitution is illegal. And when police arrest and courts convict drug dealers, the proceeds of their crimes are impounded -- their money and goods are forfeited to the state.

But when someone murders his ex-wife the day after getting turfed from cabinet and the day before the first payment in what was then Saskatchewan's largest divorce settlement ... then writes a book about it, that's different, right? Especially if he's got friends in the right places. (CBC Saskatchewan)

On Losing Faith (Fighter)

Molleindustria pulled their year-old Flash game, Faith Fighter, off their website. Coverage in the media and on blogs suggests this was done in response to a brief statement by the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemning the game as incendiary and offensive. Turns out things might not be as clear cut as we're being led to believe.

The game, which is still available elsewhere on the internet, pitted all your favourite deities against one another, Mortal Kombat style. According to its makers -- who are also famous for creations such as Oligarchy and Operation: Pedopriest -- it was intended as a satire of the one-way islamophobic satire of those infamous Danish cartoons.

'Natch, this is playing out in the online media as a case of free speech being suppressed as a result of outrage from an islamic group. This Huffington Post article, despite its headline, suggests the reasons for the game being removed are more complicated. Yes, the OIC asked internet service providers to remove the game but it seems it was the game makers themselves who took the game down. According to a statement by Molleindustria:
In few hours this statement generated a way more heated reactions than the release of the game. We are not "bowing to the foundamentalists", we have no sympathy for any religion but we are aware that muslims are victim of widespread racism in the western world. This islamofobia is functional to the imperial interests in Middle East and all over the world. We just want to make clear that the game was not intended to contribute to the media-assisted narrative "islamic world vs freedom of speech".
(Forgive the bad grammar. They're Italian.)

Also of interest are comments by Molleindustria about how a Metro UK journalist may have had a hand in engineering the controversy and then went on to misrepresent the gamemaker's response to it (ie, made their responses up).

Molleindustria's final response seems to be to publish a sequel to the game.

UPDATE (May 1): Faith Fighter is back up on the Molleindustria site. It was apparently only taken down for 24 hours. Paolo, the game's designer, explains his reasoning this way: "In order to reassert control over the DISCOURSE AROUND the game I had to do something that would force the press to refocus on the intention of the game and defuse a potential turmoil based of false assumptions."

That's a clipping from his response to this article on the Play This Thing website. Paolo's comment is the second one after the article and is entitled You're Right It's the Streisand Effect. It's a very good read. He has some interesting things to say about the role of misinformation in creating a false conflict between islam and the west, and he sheds more light on the role of Metro UK in creating this Faith Fighter controversy.