Thursday, November 18, 2004

Eh-hum # 35

Dilbert and Terror

I am a member of Dogbert’s New Ruling Class (DNRC), which means that 1) I am an intelligent and witty person (with lots of potential to be a world leader) and 2) I subscribe to
Scott Adam’s Dilbert Comics. Aside from the daily comics, I have two of his books, and so far, I find them enlightening and downright funny and/or wickedly amusing. Furthermore, based on his works, Mr. Adams is on a mission to empower the (unappreciated yet brilliant) working class and purge the Induhviduals of the world, which usually includes the oblivious PHB (pointy-haired boss).

Since the fight against terror is main concern of most countries (and said to be the primary reason for George “Dubya” Bush’s re-election), Mr. Adams has an interesting line of reasoning on just how to end this world menace (DNRC Newsletter # 58.0). You may think it’s quite bizarre, but I think the first line means a lot. While you’re reading this, the US coalition forces, after their "operations" in Fallujah, are now in
Mosul facing more Iraqi insurgents.


As you know, the best way to solve a problem is to identify the core belief that causes the problem; then mock that belief until the people who hold it insist that you heard them wrong.

The core belief that drives terrorism is the notion of a "holy place," along with the idea that some people belong there and other people don’t. That’s why the only solution to terrorism is for religious scholars to hold a global summit to agree on the definition of "holy place." Once they agree on a definition, it will be easier to mock it into submission.

At some point during the summit, probably after a week or so, the scholars would tire of saying to each other, "Nice hat" and asking, "What setting do you use to trim your ratty beard?" Then they’d get down to the business of defining what makes a place holy. Someone would suggest that the key things are the location and the fact that something holy happened there. Eventually, someone with a second-grade understanding of space, possibly the busboy, would point out that everything in the universe has moved a gazillion miles since the holy event, and the concept of location is meaningless unless all the reference points stay put. The best-case scenario is that the "holy place" is now a billion miles away, floating in empty space.

After some embarrassed mumbling, the scholars would insist that they knew all along that location wasn’t important. One of them would break the awkwardness by suggesting that a holy place must be defined by the "stuff" that comprises it. That’s good news, because the Middle East is made entirely of dirt. The wise King Solomon probably would have advised people to help themselves to as much holy dirt as they wanted. He might have gone so far as to suggest that people put holy dirt in their socks so they can enjoy walking on it wherever they go. But first he would have invented socks and patented the idea, because in addition to being wise, he had a good head for business.

Religious scholars should also help the rest of us understand the question of holy depth. Is it just the top layer of soil that’s holy, or does the holiness continue lower into the ground? It’s important because if there’s no bottom limit, then whatever is on the exact opposite side of the earth is also holy, only upside down. The residents would have to stand on their heads to get the full benefit of the holy rays, but it would be worth it.

Feel free to forward this Holy Place argument to any Induhviduals who need the enlightenment that comes from having their core beliefs mocked. I can’t guarantee that this will stop terrorism, but whatever you’re doing now isn’t working. If you want more thought-provoking ideas in the same realm, check out my new book, The Religion War. It’s a sequel to my non-Dilbert book, God’s Debris. It’s guaranteed to become a collector’s item after al-Qaeda gets me. And it’s ideal for book clubs and people who like to have their preconceived notions tweaked.

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