The Milwaukee right has had a high time mocking the Coexist bumpersticker (the one that uses religious symbols to spell out the word, with the Islamic crescent as the C), praising a "parody" that likens Islam to Nazism and condemning the Interfaith Council of Greater Milwaukee for asking Charlie Sykes to remove said bumper sticker.
"Smug" was the insult of choice against the original bumper sticker.
Kay and Capper of Team Whallah! performed a public service over the weekend by pointing out who popularized the bumper sticker. And turns around it was not a bunch of fuzzy-minded, pot-smoking, pachouli-exuding hippies. Rather it was popularized by an Israeli organization dedicated to peace and, well, coexistence.
Here's how the Museum on the Seam describes its mission (Brawler's bold):
Museum on the Seam is a unique museum in Israel, displaying contemporary art that deals with different aspects of the socio-political reality.
Through the works of artists from Israel and abroad, who respond to the stress and tension between and within groups, the museum invites the visitors to examine the degree of influence of the social environment on the individual and vice versa.
Between the local and the universal, between pluralism and extreme ideologies, the message of The Museum calls for listening and discussion, for accepting the other and those different from us and respect for our fellow man and his liberty.
Let's compare that statement -- by an Israeli institution which likely knows a bit more about the realities of the Middle East and the challenge of coexistence than, say, Dad29 in his bunker in Brookfield -- with the rhetoric of the right. (Brawler's bold throughout).
Here's what Charlie Sykes had to say in response to Interfaith's request:
At the risk of speaking for Mr. McMahon, I believe his point was that despite the smug assurance of the original “Coexist” bumper sticker, there are some things – evils -- that we cannot simply “coexist with.” These would include Communism and Nazism. You cannot coexist with Nazism, you must resist it and fight it. ... By substituting the hammer and sickle and swastika in the original image, McMahon “raises the bar” for those who smugly seem to suggest that we have no differences, that we should just get along and sing kumbaya. You can’t sing kumbaya with Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin
(Hey, Chuck: Maybe that's why symbols associated with Hitler and Stalin didn't appear on the bumpersticker in the first place.)
Dad29, first on his blog:
The parody was inspired by the snarky, condescending "Co-Exist" bumper stickers (which are, evidently, weenie-approved.)
Then in comments at the Marquette
Clown Warrior he weighs in and throws around big words:
The syncretism expressed by the original "coexist" sticker is offensive to anyone who values that which is true.
It was also smug and condescending--as though those who speak out about the deficiencies of Islam are somehow bellicose, or impolite.
(Daddio: Coexistence and syncretism are not the same thing.)
Patrick McIlheran, fan of the racist Texas Hold 'Em Blogger, decried:
that insufferably smug "coexist" bumper sticker
Rick Esenberg patronized:
But appropriating the symbols of these traditions and assembling them into a command that is probably most often expressed by people who do not follow (or follow loosely) any of them strikes me as patronizing.
The "interesting" (McIlheran's word) Texas Hold 'Em Blogger demonstrated his deft writing skills thusly:
the idiotic DUMBper sticker “Co-Exist”
From Tom McMahon's original defacing of the bumpersticker:
Coexist With The Commies And The Nazis, You Smug Little Twerp!
(Interesting statement, in light of the fact the logo was designed by a Pole and popularized by an Israeli museum.)
And, the one that started it all, Christian Schneider calling the bumpersticker obnoxious:
"COEXIST” (spelled out with various religious symbols) - If some of the followers of the religion represented by the crescent moon “c” on your cute little bumper sticker would stop hijacking planes and blowing up buildings, coexisting would be a little easier.