Sunday, November 18, 2007

Achmed the Dead Terrorist

[31 Oct 2007 Wednesday]

7:35 PM - Norfolk, Virginia

Jeff Dunham is a ventriloquist who has Achmed (a-c-phlegm-med) the Dead Terrorist as part of his act. (If you haven't seen it yet, the video is at the bottom) It's hilarious, in fact, it's histerical, it's also so damn true.

See, we can laugh like crazy when Achmed says "I kill you" but it dawned on me today while talking to a friend of mine who used to work in Gitmo... if Achmed were real, and that close to an American... he would in fact want to kill him. So why have we trivialized Achmed down to a hilarious little skeleton spoof of a terrorist? Because we can? Because we don't take terrorism seriously? Because terrorists with their odd little towel heads are inately funny?

No, I think it's because we've forgotten. Forgotten that September 11th wasn't an oversight or an accident. Forgotten that everyday there are jihadists making plans to kill our soldiers, and any American they can get their hands on. America lacks the long term collective memory that would cause us to be able to honestly support our troops. A lot of people are simply going through the motions, putting up signs in their yard, putting a sticker on their SUV... and then laughing at a comedy sketch that pokes fun at the idea that Terrorists want to kill Americans.

In an interview once, a very reliable source (i.e. my dad who i interviewed for a thesis project) once said, " Make no mistake, babykid, an Islamic extremist will kill you and me if given the opportunity, period. No question in my mind. As I write this, many detainees are thinking of ways to kill, hurt and disrupt American lives. It is fact, true, the real thing. Where we haev these detainees is the best place for us to keep them."

I do realize that I am being cynical and that there are other ways of critically reviewing the piece. For instance, we can be seen as literally laughing at a dead terrorist who, despite his fervor for the cause, is dead. However, I think most people just in general think it's funny because it's a silly cartoon that we can relate to through the skewed media interactions we have. Don't ever forget that there are men and women putting themselves into situations where real terrorists actually want to kill them... and they're doing it so that we have the right and ability to laugh at Achmed.

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