Thursday, January 1, 2009

Israel, the Czechs, Fawstin and Dexter

I'm more than aware that most of the world hates Israel. This is because most of the world is anti-semitic, true, but there it is. And yet every so often you hear a few wonderful remarks from those people with the backbone to speak truth and take the consequences. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Geert Wilders. Ayn Rand. The Jyllands-Posten caricaturists. And if you're wondering what the Jyllands-Posten cartoons have to do with Israel, I'll remind you: Israel is fighting the terrorists and defending civilisation.
I remember last year noticing and being surprised and happy that Canada swore to defend Israel. This year, it's come from a most unlikely source: the Czech Republic.

"[Czech Foreign Minister] Schwarzenberg, a staunch ally of Washington, said Hamas had excluded itself from serious political debate due to its rocket attacks on Israel. He also indirectly blamed the group for the growing death toll, saying it put its bases and gun warehouses in densely populated areas.

"Why am I one of the few that have expressed understanding for Israel? ... I am enjoying the luxury of telling the truth,“ Schwarzenberg told the daily."[1]

Damn, it's nice to hear that. At least not everyone is insane. Speaking of insane, Pigman and Dexter. Those of utter moral cowardice often seem to express some measure of horror at cartoonist Bosch Fawstin's violent anti-Islam art. Our government would probably classify slogans such as 'Give Us Liberty, Give Them Death' as hate speech and send an angry letter or two to Mr Fawstin. In response, and since I particularly like that poster, I invite those who dislike Fawstin's art and his character, Pigman, to consider Dexter.

Dexter is a serial killer. He's smart. He's also a forensic detective, specialising in blood-spatter analysis. He has a compulsion to murder—but instead of becoming a rampaging psychopath, he sets himself moral guidelines on who he is allowed to kill. He won't kill children. He will kill those who are murderers themselves and who in his judgement will beyond reasonable doubt kill again; those who pose a danger to innocent people. If I recall correctly, Dexter's first kill of the show was a man who had murdered some little boys.

I liked Dexter. He's like a superhero. He's like how Rorschach might have been if I had written Watchmen instead of Moore. He's not perfect, he is psychotic and compulsive. But he's also clever, and he's also moral. He forces his actions to be guided by his principles, and what results is a very human, believable character who in committing his murders does essentially nothing more than protect the innocent. It's probably good that he enjoys it; if he didn't, he might stop.

What Dexter's moral guidelines presuppose is that there are some people who deserve to die. Some people whose existence will do only one thing: harm innocent people. In the show, Dexter kills murderers. In real life, there are other threats to civilisation, too. Murderers not content with killing one man and instead working out the best ways to kill as many as possible in one go; and not for their watch or wallet, but because of their place of birth and the country in which they live. Rapists not content with picking off the most attractive girls, but choosing them on the basis of the colour of their skin and the western style of their clothing.

Give us Liberty, give them Death, indeed. Bosch, never stop drawing. Israel, America, never stop fighting. Let's make the best of 2009. Let's defend the West.


  1. I can only assume from this that you believe Dexter's reasons for killing who he does are moral ones, and thus good. It brings an interesting question up. If it is moral to kill threats to civilization, is it then immoral to NOT kill? In which case, isn't the least we can do as defenders of the West and Liberty to determine who is and is not a threat, and execute them accordingly?

  2. Anonymous,

    Put simply, no. That's a police state, and doesn't take into account the idea that we might make mistakes. However, it's really no big secret who's been bombing Israel, and which culture wants to destroy the West, and how. A lot of these people just out and say it. That's not determining who's a threat, that's listening when we're told.

    While it's best not to kill if we can possibly help it, whilst war is a terrible thing, it is by no means the most terrible thing. Simply put, the terrorists made a choice. Their choice was Jihad. They want to kill us. They've made their position clear: Islam must rule the West. Those of us with a moral bone in our bodies know that this assures the destruction of everything good in the world. Unfortunately, they have a lot of weapons and a lot of willing suicide bombers to back up their case, otherwise they would be best left ignored rather than killed.

    Under normal circumstances, avoiding murder is best. Lashing back against murderers, rapists, facists and dictators who want to take both our lives and all the civilisation we have created and destroy them both completely, and say so freely on television? Please, please, let's not give these people Liberty, because they've told us what they want to do with it: annihilate us. As for death, it's called self-defence. We defend civilisation, if we're moral. First they came for the communists, etc.

    This isn't about race. It's about culture. Just ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

  3. Then I do not understand your reasoning for bringing Dexter up. Did you not intend for him to be a model of a flawed, but moral, person?

    I do not see how murder is bad for these people. Or at least more bad than taking away their Liberty. Isn't one of the risks of having Liberty that people will use it for bad things? If it can only be permitted for good things, it is not Liberty. It is not freedom. So then, killing them before they kill us seems the only truly moral choice.

    I'm not interested in race or culture, but individuals.

  4. In the real world, Dexter's own literal actions would be immoral. Better to let the presiding system work it out, which is the best system that exists at protecting people from harm. However, in Dexter's world—subtly different from our own—his actions are right. I brought Dexter up to demonstrate a situation unrelated to Islam in which killing the bad guys is defensible and moral. Also, Dexter's pretty cool.

    As I said, go go Bosch Fawstin. I agree that the terrorists should die, but it's for the same reason as I'm glad America dropped the bomb on Japan—they're attacking the civilised world and clearly don't mind dying in order to destroy us. They say so themselves and their actions bear it out. They have declared war on us, and they are fighting that war. It is paramount that we fight back, and it's paramount that we win. What's the end result of winning? Liberty for us, and death for them (or at least, most of them, and all of the power of their ideology).

    And yes, killing them before they kill us is the moral choice. When you said, "In which case, isn't the least we can do as defenders of the West and Liberty to determine who is and is not a threat, and execute them accordingly?", I assumed you meant this as a general guideline, reminiscent of The Punisher, or Stalin. To do this widespread across a society is the mark of a facist state, no better than Communist Russia. To go to war with the faction of people who have already declared war on us, and to shoot to kill, is a different thing. And it's a thing that we have to do if the human race is to survive.

  5. The reason Dexter kills a lot of his victims is because the system we have *won't* work for them for various reasons. If this were the real world, why is it bad to deal with them him self if those people are going to carry on doing bad stuff?

    "However, in Dexter's world—subtly different from our own—his actions are right." -- How is it different and how does it make his actions right?


  6. Hmm, that's a good point. Possibly it isn't, although I'm not entirely happy about saying that. The two ideas uppermost in my mind right now are, he wouldn't kill them without his irrational compulsion, and, vigilantes are infallibilist. I'd have to think more about it.

    Largely because, I think, that's the point of the story. :) Also, though, I'm thinking about the crime and investigation network, which I watch when I can. There are some insane crimes on there, crazy serial killers and stuff. And the system usually gets them. Sure, there are probably lots of serial killers that aren't caught too, but serial killers are not commonplace and our system seems actually very adept.

    As you said, in Dexter, the system can't deal with them and only Dexter can. I fancy that perhaps this is the subtle difference.

  7. Would his reasons for doing it change whether the results of it are good or not? Also I think Dexter is fallibist.

    What's the point of the story? *Doesn't understand*

    Well, the main reason the uncaught serial killers aren't caught is because we don't know they exist or think they're innocent.
    E.g. you're never gonna hear the news say "John Smith was found at the scene of a murder but police now believe him to be innocent, (though actually he is the murderer and will kill again and the police will never know)."

    "In other news, almost 90% of Sheffield has been destroyed in a recent bombing attack from an unknown enemy. But as of yet, no one really cares."