I am a firm believer that some beliefs and/or tactics are not only worthy of scorn and ridicule, but they actually require a healthy dose of mockery as the best way to combat them. While rational argument and debate are normally the best response, for some things you just have to point and laugh.
For example, while I feel intelligent design is sometimes worthy of legitimate debate, if only for the side benefits it brings to the theory of evolution by having scientists examining the theory from every possible angle for any conceivable flaw, young earth creationism is a viewpoint that deserves the “point and laugh” response. Debating a young earth creationist who has learned debate tactics at the knee of Duane Gish is pointless. Each of the 100 or so “fatal flaws” in evolutionary theory that he will point out have already been debunked countless times, it is just that while he can make a claim a minute if not more, explaining the actual science and evidence that deals with the point could take hours. If you try to counter each point, you will not only run out of time, but you will spend all your time dealing with your opponents assertions, allowing him to set the strategy of the debate. If you ignore his points, audience members unfamiliar with the tactic may think you are hiding something, or that you can not refute his arguments. That’s why the Gish Gallop is such a devastating effective debate tactic, and why so many intelligent scientists (especially those with no training in public speaking) get eviscerated in debate with a YoungEarther. Honestly? The belief in a 6000 year old Earth deserves nothing but outright mockery. Same with comments about “legitimate” rape, or the belief that gay marriage somehow destroys existing straight marriages. The denial of humanity caused climate change is teetering on the edge; some people seriously just don’t know the science and it is worth it to at least try to explain the scientific consensus, while the majority of deniers need some ridicule.
For a nice bit of time, I’ve lumped Fox News into the list of things to point and laugh at. Sure, it has a frighteningly large audience share, but that audience skews very elderly. Fox News has a distressing influence on US seniors, and seniors vote in large numbers, but hopefully any serious damage a propaganda station masquerading as a legitimate news channel can do to the electorate is limited to members of one generation. I’d like to imagine that most people, even most Republicans, realize that what they get from Fox may be entertaining but it isn’t news. It helps my contention immensely when the network spends a whole day talking about “no-go zones” in Europe where non-Muslims fear to tread, areas the police avoid, ruled over by shadowing Sharia courts, with teenagers wearing Osama bin Laden t-shirts enforcing Islamic dress codes, places like Birmingham in the U.K. and several neighborhoods in Paris.
Le Petit Journal on French television agreed with me that some good old fashioned pointing and laughing was in order.
For all the mockery thrown towards Fox News (including British Prime Minister David Cameron’s classic “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools’ Day,”) some are steadfastly standing up for the existence of “no go zones.” Seriously, google “no go zone.” I’ll wait.
As you can see, in addition to the expected Breitbart links (and no thank you, I won’t link to breitbart,) you’ll see that Bobby Jindal apparently did the fear-mongering algebra and decided his only chance with the GOP electorate is to out-Islamophobe the more traditional (read whiter) presidential hopefuls.
Bobby Jindal refused to apologize Wednesday for calling certain areas in Europe “no-go zones” due to influence from fundamentalist Muslims.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” the Louisiana governor, who is eyeing a run for the presidency, reiterated recent comments he’d made in London and to CNN about supposed areas, where “women don’t feel comfortable going in without veils” and “where police are less likely to go in.”