Dafydd Neal Dyar (dafydd@dyarstraights.com)
Thu, 8 Mar 2001 18:39:56 -0800


"Char Aznable" doesn't like Gundam Wing, so much so that he's started his own
"UC only" e-group. It's called the CharAznables_UConlygroup group.

"Thank You for joining if you have joined then you must be a UC fan as I do NOT
accept just wing fans, gomen but I no longer like wing so I wanted to make a
group like this one so I hope you enjoy your stay and my name is Char Aznable
and I hope you enjoy your stay. And as soon as we get enough members we will
start a RPG."

Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan, a fundamentalist Islamic regime called the
Taliban ("Students" in Arabic, presumably students of the Qu'ran) are destroying
all of the carvings of Buddha, some as large as the Statue of Liberty, because
they are offensive to Islam. Specifically, they represent idolatry to pagan
gods.

In answer to the almost universal international outcry against this action, the
Taliban leadership replied that there was no cause for such alarm, as they were
"only breaking stones."

Can you imagine how the Taliban would react to an order in some other country to
shred every copy of the Qu'ran on the grounds that it was sacrilegious or the
argument that it was no big deal because it was "only ink-stained paper"?

This is intolerance in action, people -- the second most deadly sin. The first
most deadly sin is self-righteousness, from whence intolerance and all the
others spring.

I'm always leery of people who preach intolerance, which is why I disapprove of
the so-called "zero tolerance" policies that have sprung up like toadstools over
here in the last few years. Intolerance always begins by targeting the
intolerable, but it's always just the foot in the door. Once you establish
intolerance as being acceptable, you can extend it to anything you find
unacceptable.

But tolerance is not acceptance. Quite the opposite -- you tolerate something
because you DON'T accept it, but are willing to put up with it in the interest
of peace.

Intolerance is just a way of saying that you have no interest in living
peacefully with anyone who doesn't see things your way.

Me, I'm willing to tolerate a little intolerance. Unfortunately, the intolerant
refuse to tolerate my lack of intolerance.

Ironically, the least tolerant people are those who've been oppressed, mainly
because they've been forced to tolerate a lot of intolerance -- when you're in
the minority, you have to accept the majority rule, no matter how intolerable
you find it. When the oppressed get out from under, they tend to go overboard
with their new freedom and to become oppressive and intolerant of those who
disagree with them.

Lord preserve us from the underdog who is getting its day.

There's been a lot of discussion already about the UC / AC division. I've
tolerated it for quite awhile. My own experience has been that everyone's
favorite Gundam is the one to which they were first exposed. People who were
introduced to the sage with First Gundam tend to hark back to First Gundam,
those who came in with Z Gundam to Z Gundam and so on. There's just something
about your first love that makes it special, no matter how strongly you may love
another thereafter. So it was inevitable that we'd have an influx of people to
whom G Gundam, Gundam Wing and Gundam X are the alpha and omega of the Gundam
World.

It was also inevitable that they'd be a minority.

And, unfortunately, it's just human nature that there'd be intolerance on both
sides.

But there needn't be. All we need to do is alter our thinking just a little and
view the other side as merely being unacceptable, rather than intolerable.

I reject you, I abhor you, I find you unacceptable and I refuse to discuss the
matter any further with you ... but I'll tolerate you and your discussions with
others.

Now, that's not so hard, is it?

Deplore as you please, but tolerate.

Don't accept anything you find distasteful, but tolerate those who think
otherwise.

After all, if you wall yourself away or shut out those who fail to see the
light, how will you ever convert them to your way of thinking?

-Z-

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