another maynard appears

A friend of mine, and a reader of this site, just wrote in to tell me that hed discovered another Mark Maynard. This one apparently enjoys sports.

One of these days, when I get organized, when I finally get all my shit together, I want to track down all the other Mark Maynards in the world and ask them a few questions Nothing too hard, just general stuff, like: Do you enjoy being Mark Maynard? Or, Are there any regrets? Or just, What’s your pant size? Some day Ill make up a questionnaire and post it here for all the other Mark Maynards to fill out… I’m sure all the other Mark Maynards will make it here eventually.

I wonder if they all hate me for taking MarkMaynard.com. Thats probably another good question.

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london calling for jihad

I read an interesting article from a British paper last week but Id forgotten about it until this evening when I happened across a very similar item in the New York Times. As the one from England came first, I think Ill link to it Essentially, its about young Muslim men in England who preach about the glory of jihad against the west even as theyre living in the middle of it.

I especially like the British article because it plays up the irony that some of the Muslim men plotting to overthrow the west are on the government dole So, heres the story of one bright Cambridge-educated Muslim accountant who decided to quit working, collect money from the government, and preach hate full-time

Heres how the article starts off:

Four young British Muslims in their twenties – a social worker, an IT specialist, a security guard and a financial adviser – occupy a table at a fast-food chicken restaurant in Luton. Perched on their plastic chairs, wolfing down their dinner, they seem just ordinary young men. Yet out of their mouths pour heated words of revolution.

“As far as I’m concerned, when they bomb London, the bigger the better,” says Abdul Haq, the social worker. “I know it’s going to happen because Sheikh bin Laden said so. Like Bali, like Turkey, like Madrid – I pray for it, I look forward to the day.”

“Pass the brown sauce, brother,” says Abu Malaahim, the IT specialist, devouring his chicken and chips.

And here are some of my favorite passages:

He smiles sheepishly and says the irony is not lost on him that the British state is supporting him financially, even as he plots to “overthrow it”.

But it was the events of 11 September that crystallised Sayful’s worldview. “When I watched those planes go into the Twin Towers, I felt elated,” he says. “That magnificent action split the world into two camps: you were either with Islam and al Qaeda, or with the enemy. I decided to quit my job and commit myself full-time to al-Muhajiroun.” Now he does not consider himself British. “I am a Muslim living in Britain, and I give my allegiance only to Allah”

“Yes,” he replies, unequivocally. “When a bomb attack happens here, I won’t be against it, even if it kills my own children. Islam is clear: Muslims living in lands that are occupied have the right to attack their invaders

Im not sure why Im posting this. Maybe I want to fan the flames of paranoia. Maybe I want you all to think that your Muslim friends from work are off conspiring somewhere, praying for our destruction. Maybe thats how I feel today. Maybe I feel paranoid Im not sure what this article really proves though, other than the fact that there are four stupid young men in London who like to shoot their mouths off. Youll notice that they arent volunteering to blow themselves up. They arent rushing off to Iraq to join the fight against the infidels. Theyre just working, or living off the state, and enjoying their chicken and chips… Theyre real tough guys.

I wonder how you say chickenhawk in Arabic.

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images from iraq

I cant say for sure whether or not all of these photos from Iraq are real, but I thought that Id pass along the link. Be warned though, its pretty disturbing stuff.

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money and other gifts

Over the course of the past few years, Ive mentioned a couple of times that Id like you people that are reading this site to buy me gifts. A week or so ago, I suggested that one of you should buy me a t-shirt that Id taken a liking to. (The shirt had an old freakshow banner on it announcing an appearance by the Monkeyboy.) I hadnt had occasion to mention it here yet, but a few of you actually wrote in, asking my size and offering to get it for me. I, in turn, said, Thanks, but no thanks. Generally speaking, thats what I do every time I get a response from someone after begging to have something sent to me for free.

You see, Im not good at accepting gifts.

As with lots of things in my life, its difficult to explain. I really like the idea of asking those of you who read this site to buy me things, but, when push comes to shove, I dont have what it takes to graciously accept your generosity. I guess those two parts of my psyche are at odds with one another.

I have the same kind of relationship with attention. I seem to demand it online, but, in real life, I run from it like its got Rosie ODonnells head. I absolutely hate it.

So, why am I mentioning this now? Well, a little while ago a reader in the northeast, after hearing about the impending birth of our baby, sent Linette and me a check for $100, which, as much as we would have liked to, we just couldnt accept. And now, a few other people have begun asking where Linette and I have registered… Well, while your thoughts are genuinely appreciated, I just feel creepy about taking stuff from people I dont know (no matter how much I might say things to the contrary on this site) So, with that in mind, I have a suggestion to make. If weve never met, and if you were thinking of sending a baby gift, please instead make a contribution to John Kerrys presidential campaign.

After all, the best gift you can give a newborn, in my opinion, is a future without Bush.

Yes, it has been suggested recently by many people that John Kerry is a douchcebag, and that very well may be true, but, in my opinion, to have a president that is merely a douchebag would be refreshing… So, please, if you were planning to give us some kind of baby gift, consider a contribution to Kerry instead. I mean it.

note: All the stuff I mentioned above, about how I dont like taking charity and all the rest of it, doesnt mean that I wont try my hardest to sell you the next magazine we publish, clothing item we design, or record that we release. I have no problem at all with accepting your money for things that Ive created. I just dont like taking money for nothing That makes me feel dirty.

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arrested development

If you havent made plans for the evening yet, please give Arrested Development (9:30 on FOX) a chance. According to what Ive read, it looks doubtful that itll be renewed by FOX, in spite of the fact that several critics have lavished praise on it. Apparently, the viewership just isnt there.

Unfortunately, FOX isnt known for supporting shows that dont get off the ground quickly, even if theyre hailed in the press as the next Seinfeld. (That quote is from the San Francisco Chronicle.)

This advice comes from The Detroit Free Press:

If you want to plead with Fox to renew “Arrested Development,” write Gail Berman, President, Fox Entertainment Group, Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213. Fox viewer comment hotline: 310-369-3066. E-mail: askfox@foxinc.com.

So, tune on, fall in love, and start writing to Gail.

And, if youre interested, theres also an on-line Save Arrested Development petition that you can sign.

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