July 1, 2014

On that ISIS/ISIL Centerfold

• I imagine you’ve seen this gentleman posing here in his outdoor boudoir. It was circulating all yesterday around the Twittersphere. It’s really a wonderful bit of Western bait, from the gaze and the pose of the pinup to the Kalishnikov/blanket partner. And then, there’s the brilliance of the carpets and the tonal contrast, our stocking-footed friends as much the masters of the cooler as the hotter (the rifle side). Let’s just say, underneath the otherwise black-and-white banner, those are really the two (PR) components of this new-fangled jihad.

As much as there is to say about the photo, however, its outdone by the title on the version of the tweet most journalists linked to yesterday:

Jillian C. York ‏@jilliancyork Jun 29

Definitely the strangest ISIS photo I’ve seen so far (today): pic.twitter.com/DL0m01inrH via @Raed667

…That is, if the comment in the thread is correct that this is not ISIS or an ISIS guy but, instead, the riff of a peripheral group (the Uzbek Islamic Jihad Union, or IJU.) That being the case, it’s as much a parody on the sudden infamy of the organization, and ultimately, the extreme Western difficulty in distinguish very much when it comes to Islamic disaffection. (That’s why the generic tope/khaki ground, robe and mud wall is hilarious.) And all those comments in the thread about girly or gay? It just a demonstration of how hard it is to see past virility as a foreign policy.

• Apparently, doing a lot more damage with “Shlock and Awe” than Bush ever did with his.

• Everything we know, we learned from Homeland.

• Life was so much simpler in the “just smoke ‘em out of their hole” days.

• The hell with 72 virgins when you have Twitter.

• I’m too sexy for my shirt
Too sexy for my shirts
So sexy it hurts
And I’m too sexy for Milan
Too sexy for Milan
New York and Japan
And I’m too sexy for your party
Too sexy for your party

• We have seen the enemy, and it is us.

(lyrics: Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy Lyrics | MetroLyrics)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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