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Tandra Page 983, May 11, 2008

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My response last week to Sid in North Carolina inspired a somewhat less diplomatic reply than was the case in the first communication from Sid. Missing was praise for my excellent work and admiration for my story and characters. I’ll not reprint Sid’s most recent note here as it might cause Sid some embarrassment at a later date when he has had time to reconsider. In any event, Sid was mostly upset that I should refer to his good Muslim friend as a “hypocrite” and took pains to assure me such is not the case and insisted I should restrain myself from insulting people about which I know nothing.

We obviously have a problem with terminology here. Sid is possibly considering a hypocrite in the traditional Western religious meaning which is a less than honest person who pretends an adherence to a religion for which he truthfully makes little effort of being faithful unto. In plain terms, a hypocrite in Western terms is a fraud and a liar and to use such a designation in referring to a person is an insult to that person.

A hypocrite as related to a Muslim is a matter of some difference.

I could quite obviously have, electronic posting on the internet being what it is, gone to the Update Page posted last week and made more explicit the reason for my use of hypocrite in such context. However I have rather taken the path of making an issue in this week’s post and explaining in greater detail my reasons for suggesting Sid’s Muslim friend might in fact be a hypocrite.

To cut right to the chase here, it was my intention to imply Sid’s friend might well be a hypocrite as a matter of praise. A Muslim hypocrite is a Muslim who holds his friendship of Infidels and People of the Book in true regard. He means to be a friend to his neighbors exactly as he proclaims and Sid is lucky to have such a friend for he has indicated himself a hypocrite by rejecting the call of his religion to spread the ideology of Islam by deception and by war. While the label of hypocrite is certainly damning in Muslim eyes, to Westerners it is a sign of honor and integrity in a Muslim to be accepted with pride.

In closing his brief communication, Sid inquires if it is now my intention to turn Tandra into an Islamophobic propaganda vehicle and abandon all pretense of providing entertaining stories for my fans?

Briefly, for those who came in late, Tandra has from the first pages and following, contained references to the concerns of the real world. A chapter of the first adventure way back when is titled “The Sacrifice Syndrome” in which I take issue with religions holding sacrifice as one of their essential components. The Iron Cloud construction story is concerned with the condition in politics much similar to the national election this year in which the choice for candidates is the lesser of two evils. So I have not taken to a recently developed interest in real world concerns. The world we live in has always been part of the Tandra Universe.

So, who am I? How do I see myself. I am the guy who is too lazy to do honest labour. I saw people out working in the fields under the hot sun and decided that was not for me, so I went up into the mountains where I could be alone and sit in the cool shade and draw pictures of naked women. While thus engaged with frivolous pursuits, I glanced down into the next valley and saw the savages attacking the neighboring villagers, raping, looting and murdering at will. And I noticed they had turned their attention in my direction. I promptly gathered up my drawings and ran back down to my village to warn my people of the danger coming our way.

That is pretty much what I am about and Tandra is an attempt to dress the warning of impending peril up with pretty pictures so as to arrest the attention of my neighbors who are so concerned with their own daily affairs they do not want someone with wild tales of approaching doom to interrupt their safe and secure daily routine.

Next week; Tandra Page 984 titled “The Slave Masters.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.