Via Best of the Web, this story illustrates the stupidity to which our institutions of "higher learning" have sunk. Augsburg College in Minneapolis is holding a Nobel Peace Prize Forum supposedly aimed at peace through understanding:
Discussion points would include counterterrorism methods, the possibility of peace, empathy etc. The aim of this seminar would be to help understand the position of Osama Bin Laden as presented in the video and explore in what ways the origins of terrorism are to be found, not in some foreign citizen, but in the actions we take out of fear, hate and retribution.Honestly, I think if these people were attacked by a rabid dog, they'd order krullers and coffee and try to talk to it in order to understand the roots of its hostility.
There's an episode of Red Dwarf called "Polymorph" in which they encounter an alien monster that sucks out emotions and feeds on them. Lister's fear, Kryten's guilt, Cat's vanity are sucked out. Then Rimmer's anger follows. Then there's this scene as they discuss how to confront the creature (italics added):
[Rimmer is wearing a T-shirt which reads, "GIVE QUICHE A CHANCE." He also wears shorts and a wristwatch, and is smoking a pipe. His face sports a goatee and black spectacles. He speaks with a lot of hand movements, fingers together, outstretched.]Rimmer had his anger removed by the monster. What is these people's excuse?
Rimmer: Look, just because it's an armour-plated alien killing machine that salivates unspeakable slobber doesn't mean it's a bad person. What we've got to do is get it round a table, and put together a solution package -- perhaps over tea and biscuits.
Kryten: (in Lister's bunk) Look at him! You can't trust his opinion -- he's got no anger. He's a total dork!
Rimmer: Good point, Kryten. Let's take that on board, shall we? Erm, David?
David, do you have anything you want to bring to this forum?
Lister: (carrying a bazookoid on his shoulder and holding the baseball bat)
Well, yes, I have, actually, Arnold. Why don't we go down to the ammunition stores, get the nuclear warheads and then strap one to my head? I'll nuke the smegger to oblivion! (butts his head)
Rimmer: Right, well, that's very nice, David. Let's put that on the back burner, shall we? Erm, Cat, let's have your contribution ... come on.
Cat: Hey, don't ask me my opinion -- I'm nobody. Just pretend I'm not here.
Rimmer: That's lovely. Thank you very much. Erm, moving on a step -- and I hope no-one thinks that I'm setting myself up as a self-elected chairperson ... just see me as a facilitator -- erm, Kryten, what's your view? Don't be shy.
Kryten: Well, I think we should send Lister in as a decoy, and, while it's busy eating him alive, we could creep up on it unawares and blast it into the stratosphere.
Lister: Good plan! That's the best plan yet! Let it get knackered eating me to death, then you guys could just, like, catch it unawares!
Rimmer: Well, that's certainly an option, David, yes. Erm, but here's my proposal: Let's get tough. The time for talking is over. Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and hit it fast with a major -- and I mean major -- leaflet campaign and while it's reeling from that, we'd follow up with a [whist?] drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre and possibly even some benefit concerts. OK?
Now, if that's not enough, I'm sorry, it's time for the T-shirts: "Mutants Out" ... "Chameleonic Life Forms, No Thanks" ... and if that's not enough, well, I don't know what will be.