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Home > Media

Sad and Sadr

6 October 2006

One of the least funny and most disappointing comedy films of the last ten years was this week brought galumphing back into the collective consciousness when an image from it turned up in Baghdad. Of all places. The film is 'Dogma' and the image is that of 'Buddy Christ', the smiling damned saviour with His one Muslim-baiting thumb held offensively aloft.

Last Saturday it was, when Iraqi troops, egged on by American military brass, arrested a Shiite militiaman. A Bad Egg. They arrested him at his house in Baghdad's Sadr city, but sadly, not without a shootout in which a woman and a young girl were both killed.

So it goes.

Then, after the job was done, Sadr City residents found a poster of Buddy Christ in the streets. Now, this is where it gets complicated. You would be forgiven for thinking that the poster had been placed there by US troops, in much the same way as aces of spades are scattered across corpses in 'Apocalypse Now', as a kind of gloating, wholly unnecessary calling card. This fits with the fact that local Iraqis were indeed upset by the image, claiming - rather predictably - that it makes a mockery of their religion. Local resident Abu Riyam for one, who told the press on Sunday, 'That picture abuses our Imam Mahdi and his holy character, and mocks our sacred figures.' Ah yes. Imam Mahdi. Indeed, a quick comparison of Buddy Christ and Imam Mahdi and it becomes clear why Riyam might imagine the former was an offensive nod to the latter. They are like peas in the logic-pod of religion:

Imam Mahdi.

Buddy Christ.

However, in addition to BC, there were also a number of pamphlets scattered around town. These pamphlets outlined, rather crudely, the US military's plans to 'destabilize security' and 'create panic' with 'explosions and assassinations' as well as by 'killing, raping and kidnapping women'. Aha - more of the same, you might think: high-spirited US troops putting the fear of Christ up the Shiites, and to hell with the lack of subtlety! However, the pamphlet was very badly made and the US military crest was, well, a bit rubbish. And the US military would never skimp on a crest. So it seems it's a fake. High-spirited Shiites falsifying gruesome US propaganda. Naughty Shiites.

So. 'Buddy Christ'. How did He get there? Well, with the Shiites blaming the US, and the US blaming the Shiites, it seems to us the only party no one's pointing a finger at is the one man who actually had something substantial to gain from His timely resurrection. One Kevin Smith.

Thankfully, Kevin keeps a blog. See here, how he impishly makes light of the fact that he's not above using another tragic episode in a contemptuous war to plug his rather puerile film.

Come on, Kevin. We know you planted your Buddy Christ in Baghdad. Come clean now. We won't judge you. No?

Well alright then. Maybe we are jumping to conclusions. We'll go away and give the matter some more thought. Meanwhile, Buddy Christ and Imam Mahdi are still very much at large and the woman and young girl from Saturday's raid are still believed to be dead.

Good luck with the DVD, Kevin.




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