The New Bronx Bombers

Ok, so you’re a loser. The world has been a tough place and your life didn’t turn out quite as you had planned. You’ve done jail time and maybe you’ve got drug problems. Welcome to the desert of the real, as my man Zizek would say.

So what do you do with yourself? How do you pick yourself back up and put the fragmented pieces of your failed life back together again? Well, people used to go in for all sorts of stuff like 12-step programs (“give me the power to accept the things I cannot change,” etc…), new age pseudopsychology, or good old hard work.

Now there’s a new alternative: jihad.

The four men who attempted to blow up a synagogue in the Bronx the other day seem to fit the loser model. One had a crack addiction. One read the Koran between shifts as a waiter. All are petty criminals looking to make it big in the world.

The answer: murder some Jews.

Then, the logic would have it, they will begin to pay attention to your “cause.” They will begin to listen. They will probably even–if you become a jihadi superstar–interview you in the New York Times. That’s Warholian fame for a small-time crook.

Would the world listen if you attempted to kill, say, a group of Southern Baptists or Mormons? How about Amish? They would label you a sociopath and throw away the key. But if you kill Jews, or get caught trying, you must inevitably have a grievance. Newspapers and bloggers will spend precious words looking for your “motivation.” Perhaps you are an Arab or a convert to Islam, and came under the sway of a radical mosque where they preach “Death to the Jews!” You will have learned that you can commit an act of homicide in this world and people will actually respect you more. You might, if you’re lucky, get invited to Iran or Lebanon for a hero’s welcome.

From the NYT:

“It’s hard to envision a more chilling plot,” Eric Snyder, an assistant United States attorney, said on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. “These are extremely violent men. These are men who eagerly embraced an opportunity” to “bring deaths to Jews.”

Don’t call it anti-Semitism, though. Show some respect for Islam and its grievances against the West.

ps…I realize that neither waiters nor those who read the Koran (or Qur’an) are necessarily losers. Lighten up.

About Marc Alan Di Martino

I'm a skeptical poet, blogger, columnist, occasional cartoonist, atheist, kvetcher and all-around lovable mensch - in precisely that order. I live in Italy, a country in serious need of skeptics and secularists who will challenge the status quo. Kind of like the United States and most places on earth.
This entry was posted in America, Anti-Semitism, Miscellaneous, Terrorism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The New Bronx Bombers

  1. David says:

    Good point about losers rather than fighters with a cause.

    However, reading the Koran between shifts as a waiter is no indication, let alone proof for being a loser. I cannot believe that you think so.

  2. Marc says:

    Agreed. In itself it means nothing to read the Koran between shifts, as one might read Dostoevsky. It is undeniable, however, that there is an underlying pattern for this sort of radicalization of petty thugs in our time, in which Islam often plays an unfortunate part. I was writing about four men involved in a bomb plot, four men who believed “Jews” were an excellent–perhaps the second best (the first was already taken)–target for their rage. Three of them, if I recall correctly, converted to Islam in prison. In this context is it perhaps not irrelevant that reading the Koran in one’s spare time enriched the transformation from tough to jihadist.Perhaps this affords us a tiny window into the intellectual process of radicalization.

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