Michel Houellebecq's 'Submission', the state of Europe, and other related thoughts

Who here is going to read Michel Houellebecq's 'Soumission', which hits stores today? I will, as soon as I can get hold of an English language translation. Perhaps they already have been translated, even before the French version comes out, and they're shipped abroad to be released at the same time? I'm not sure how it works, but I doubt Monsieur Houellebecq will deny publishers the right to translate his work for overseas consumption - that's the territory of a certain English singer-songwriter. [Speaking of whom, his upcoming novel could easily explore similar themes to 'Soumission', if past comments are anything to go by. Will he allow his trolling tendencies to seep into his fiction? Would he have the audacity? That's an in-depth discussion for another thread, which we'll return to at a later date.]

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...e-says-novel-is-not-islamophobic-9958954.html - Houellebecq looks more like Phil Spector with each passing year. It's a shame that his novels can't act like a 'Portrait of Dorian Gray' for him, but he seems to carry around the torment and suspicion in his everyday life.
http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/01/02/scare-tactics-michel-houellebecq-on-his-new-book/ - in this picture he looks identical to A.N. Wilson. I'm not sure which is worse.
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02386/an-wilson-portrait_2386772b.jpg

I've been aware of Houellebecq since two years ago when a 78 year old man walked into a French cathedral and shot himself in front of 500 people in protest against same-sex marriage legislation, and also as a warning "that the "population of France and Europe" were going to be "replaced" and brought under "Islamist control" and "sharia law".
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-in-protest-against-gay-marriage-8625877.html

Houellebecq's name came up during the ensuing furore. I note in the first article above that Houellebecq was "prosecuted and acquitted" for his comments on Islam in 2002, where he called it "the most stupid religion" in an interview. If he was tried for that, then why was Christopher Hitchens not arrested for saying basically the same thing (in fact he went a step further and called the religion's teachings "bullshit") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tN75e5gtw4

I clasped my head in agony when I saw this video three months ago (skip to 1:15 to see Ben Affleck blowing a gasket about Bill Maher and his guest criticising aspects of Islam, and Liberals' cowardice on the subject - if you haven't seen it already) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60

It's brave of Houellebecq to write a book about this, when you consider the Salman Rushdie fatwa, the reaction to the prophet Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2005, and the killing of Theo Van Gogh in 2004 because of a film where he called into question the treatment of women in Muslim societies. The film was called 'Submission' - the same as Houellebecq's book. http://www.france24.com/en/20110916...dsk-tristane-banon-socialists-hollande-royal/

The reaction to the book is telling; there has been uproar even before its release. I'm reminded of the banning of Madame Bovary and trial of Flaubert during the 1850s and wonder if the current era is as progressive as we'd like to think. There can be little doubt, that if they could incriminate Houellebecq, and ban his book, then some modern 'progressives' would do so with glee. For that I'm eager to read it; but without the commotion it would have passed by unnoticed. The discussion is needed, although some 'liberal' people have been trying to contain it, and silence 'dissidents', for well over a decade. That post-colonial guilt rears its shameful head again. I wonder where Zizek et al. (public intellectuals) stand on this issue?

Dieudonné was successfully silenced by the French Establishment a year ago. Francois Hollande says he'll read Houellebecq's book; however he wanted Dieudonné's shows to be shut down at the time. I couldn't judge for myself as none of his videos online were translated into English - it's at times like these that I wish I were multilingual - but from what I read, I could see why the government took the position that they did (Dieudonné is purportedly an anti-semite and holocaust denier, and a 'comedian' - who had an influence on some footballers and other celebrities with his 'anti-Establishment' hand gesture - some say its an anti-semitic inverted-Nazi salute - called the 'quenelle').
http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/67/590x/secondary/119455.jpg
http://www.theguardian.com/theobser...s-hollande-support-ban-comedian-france-debate

http://oi57.tinypic.com/312jt3l.jpg
http://oi62.tinypic.com/5bbqcg.jpg -Wait a minute, he's not doing what I think he's doing, is he? LOL! Get the NME on the phone, we have our latest exposé!

I thought Hollande would similarly support a ban on Houellebecq's book, so I was surprised when he said that he'll read the book himself. It seems somewhat inconsistent. You would think he would support either the banning of both men's work or of none. Especially because Houellebecq's book *will* be used by some far-right protesters as a justification for their actions.

Hollande probably should have opted out of both discussions, or at least waited until reading the book before commenting. I thought one of the fundamental principles of European societies is that you defeat your opponents with logic and reason, not by attempting to censor them (take note, 16th century freedom-of-speech decriers of Morrissey-solo).

As pernicious as Dieudonné and his supporters seem, it may have been wiser not to ban his shows, because then you only give him more fire-power against Establishment figures, and his admirers feel aggrieved and wronged. But it is indicative of Europe in the current era, where even leading figures have no definite values, and consequently they jump back and forth on different issues, often seeming hypocritical or conflicted.

Even some Feminists, who fight for women's rights in Europe, will still call people 'Islamophobic' for their criticism of Islam and Muslim societies, despite many of the women there having the bleakest of existences, beyond our comprehension.

We're living in a very confused society. But I'm looking forward to the book. Which may make some things clearer - and encourage a discussion of Europe's future and what kind of society we want it to become - or it may descend into chaos and make modern life seem even starker and less stable than before. Time will tell.
(Or we could avoid reading it, and all the palaver will die down within a few weeks, and we'll forget it ever occurred.)

But no, I'm intrigued by it all. It's a Cause Célèbre. He was very clever to release the book so soon before the French Presidential election, I'll give him that, considering the issues on which some of the candidates will be campaigning it was bound to attract attention . Along with 'The Interview' film, it's likely to be looked upon as one of the defining releases of this year - with the buzz entirely micromanaged by the ubiquitous and all-powerful media conglomerates of course.

On the artistic merit of Houellebecq's work, I found this too, from 2010: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ebecq-accused-of-Wikipedia-cut-and-paste.html

It cheapens the upcoming work if true. I can see him typing at his computer, stopping to Google something, reading it for two minutes, then pasting a couple of the sentences into his word file. It only would have taken an extra two minutes to completely rewrite the sentences, or to leave them out entirely. It's not like the passages which he was accused of plagiarising were at all riveting.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...rs-Behring-Breivik-plagiarised-Unabomber.html

Both of those Telegraph articles are full of spelling errors. It's a shame that the articles' authors didn't copy-and-paste some sentences from people who could spell. In this case, two 500 word news stories, it would have been a marked improvement on their own writing.

'Mozambiguous' wrote the above post earlier this morning. Although he's in the process of retiring from Morrissey-solo.com (maybe permanently, or will he "come back like Jordan wearing the 4-5"?), he decided to have one last hurrah before he leaves. He might email me his thoughts on 'Soumission' after he reads it, and I would be more than happy to post his findings here, that is unless he wants a *complete* break from this website. He's still plotting his next step, and I know better than to ask before he's ready to divulge.

Hopefully the above musings will spark an invigorating debate on the book in question. 'Mozambiguous' won't be able to partake, I offer my condolences to you all, as you're really missing out, but he doesn't post here any more. However, I will keep an eye on how the thread develops, and report back to him with any pertinent comments. So now, in the words of Admiral General Aladeen "enjoy, enjoy". There'll be no censoring here! You can breathe free and be happy, and debate to your heart's content.

See you again in 25 years,
Sookie R. Wang, secretary, and informant, to the poster formerly known as 'Mozambiguous'

Vive la France!
http://pics.filmaffinity.com/Vive_la_France-972443544-large.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mOrkSF8HQI
 
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realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
Houellebecq's name came up during the ensuing furore. I note in the first article above that Houellebecq was "prosecuted and acquitted" for his comments on Islam in 2002, where he called it "the most stupid religion" in an interview. If he was tried for that, then why was Christopher Hitchens not arrested for saying basically the same thing (in fact he went a step further and called the religion's teachings "bullshit") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tN75e5gtw4
The difference is that Houellebecq is French. The charges had been brought by France's Human Rights League. Hitchens was an American resident (later citizen) who was protected by the First Amendment. :)

I clasped my head in agony when I saw this video three months ago (skip to 1:15 to see Ben Affleck blowing a gasket about Bill Maher and his guest criticising aspects of Islam, and Liberals' cowardice on the subject - if you haven't seen it already) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60
Affleck is an idiot.

It's brave of Houellebecq to write a book about this, when you consider the Salman Rushdie fatwa, the reaction to the prophet Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2005, and the killing of Theo Van Gogh in 2004 because of a film where he called into question the treatment of women in Muslim societies. The film was called 'Submission' - the same as Houellebecq's book. http://www.france24.com/en/20110916...dsk-tristane-banon-socialists-hollande-royal/
Yes.

The reaction to the book is telling; there has been uproar even before its release. I'm reminded of the banning of Madame Bovary and trial of Flaubert during the 1850s and wonder if the current era is as progressive as we'd like to think. There can be little doubt, that if they could incriminate Houellebecq, and ban his book, then some modern 'progressives' would do so with glee. For that I'm eager to read it; but without the commotion it would have passed by unnoticed. The discussion is needed, although some 'liberal' people have been trying to contain it, and silence 'dissidents', for well over a decade. That post-colonial guilt rears its shameful head again. I wonder where Zizek et al. (public intellectuals) stand on this issue?
Yes.

Even some Feminists, who fight for women's rights in Europe, will still call people 'Islamophobic' for their criticism of Islam and Muslim societies, despite many of the women there having the bleakest of existences, beyond our comprehension.
This is reprehensible.
 

Emil

A Burnt Child
Michel Houellebecq is a horrible (and yes - racist) human being, but a great novelist. The Celine of his day indeed.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Michel Houellebecq is a horrible (and yes - racist) human being, but a great novelist. The Celine of his day indeed.
I don't know much about him, also don't speak a lot of French, but was he more anti-religion rather than racist?

He only came on to my radar as there was a bit of a controversy about him last year in the UK and I did a bit of googling. Also with the Nicoloas Anelka incident.

I've been watching a bit of the News footage of this debacle in Paris and they've just interviewed a Muslim woman who was banging on about the magazine at the centre of the incident being racist. There's a big difference for me between being anti-organized religion and racism. I guess the people who worked at that magazine have been vindicated by what's happened today, unfortunately murdered too.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
I don't know much about him, also don't speak a lot of French, but was he more anti-religion rather than racist?

He only came on to my radar as there was a bit of a controversy about him last year in the UK and I did a bit of googling. Also with the Nicoloas Anelka incident.

I've been watching a bit of the News footage of this debacle in Paris and they've just interviewed a Muslim woman who was banging on about the magazine at the centre of the incident being racist. There's a big difference for me between being anti-organized religion and racism. I guess the people who worked at that magazine have been vindicated by what's happened today, unfortunately murdered too.
Vindicated? Seriously. Terrorism and murder are acceptable solutions/retributions to feeling offended? You hurt my feelings, I kill you. Please. Oh and Islam is not a race; it is a religion.
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
Vindicated? Seriously. Terrorism and murder are acceptable solutions/retributions to feeling offended? You hurt my feelings, I kill you. Please. Oh and Islam is not a race; it is a religion.
I think you've misunderstood what I was saying. The people who worked at the magazine were vindicated in what they were doing.
 

Emil

A Burnt Child
I don't know much about him, also don't speak a lot of French, but was he more anti-religion rather than racist?
I've read all of his novels and he hates arabs just as much as he hates Islam, if not more. The novel The Possibility of an Island showcases his feelings towards muslims at best. It's his worst novel though.
 
When and where did I give you permission to respond to one of my posts? In fact, I told you before that the next time you reference me in any way, you would earn yourself a special place on the 'Index Personas Prohibitorum'. I made my opinions towards you clear in my anonymous condemnations of your character over the past couple of weeks. And you can't say you didn't know it was me, because I revealed that it was, in this post: (I chose to write them anonymously because I didn't want to waste any more of my post count on you) http://www.morrissey-solo.com/threa...norama-gr-(Greek)?p=1986892369#post1986892369 "*Removes hood* Surprise! It was me all along!"

These constant emoticon posts are spam. We know you do it because you have nothing worthwhile to say, and are unable to use the written word to convey your disjointed thoughts, so the emoticons are your only refuge; however, the moderators should really give you a warning for clogging up the forum with this inconsequential, back-patting foolishness. If you want to plant your lips on someone's rear end, then at least do it with a few written lines, not a flurry of simple-minded emoticon responses. DavidT introduced the thumbs-up system so people would stop responding to others' posts with "I agree!", and the like, or in other words to bring about a reduction in spam and unnecessary posts. Something which you're continuing with your quota of 4 or 5 sycophantic flower smiley contributions per day. You already admitted to giving BrummieBoy 3/5ths of the 250 thumbs-up he received this past month alone. Subtlety and nuance are lost on you.

On second thought, perhaps it's better that you contribute only smileys and gifs, like that person with the Ringo Starr avatar, then we don't have to endure any more of your Tea Party levels of gobsmacking, mind-blowing, IQ-lowering ignorance. Your FAIL Based Epistemology. Actually, yes; that would surely be for the best. Everybody wins that way. You won't keep sucking the soul out of every debate with your bag-carrying, bandwagon jumping, coffee-bringing lackey persona; and in the process will no longer come across as such a hopeless, brain-dead fool. "Critical thinker", my arse. Although, indeed, your thinking is certainly in a critical condition at the moment - on life support and about to flatline. So if you meant it that way then you're quite right. But otherwise - my arse! What else could one expect from a person with a Sociology degree? If we have to withstand more posts from such a soulless, attention-seeking boor like you, then I would rather they were in emoticon form rather than written form. My critical thinking skills have caused me to do a 180 degree turn. Keep up the emoticon posts, they suit you! Might you consider doing those posts exclusively, and therefore no more written ones? It behoves you! Viva Emoticons! Who's with me? Somebody create a poll! Let's put a muzzle on this monstrosity!

Mazel Tof,
Morrissey's #1 admirer
(Mmmmmm - that's good polemic)
I'll respond to you one more time, but after that get back on topic...

From your incredibly sinister blog post "Chasing Brett", 18th Oct. 2014:

"I fell for another Jew. Three's a charm? Hardly. Another elusive Jew. Will he be the very last? Has the spell been broken? The fetish extinguished? The chase over? Have I have finally let my demons go? Said goodbye to the Jewish knight..."
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/entries/1882-Chasing-Brett

Not a "fetish" then? But you use the word yourself in your rambling 850 word descent-into-dementia bleurghhh. You can't keep on top of all the bullshit you write. Anybody with a bit of background information on you can quickly wrap you into knots. And it's not difficult to find that information as you provide it all yourself on this site. There is no doubt in my mind that if you were alive in a different age you would be virulently Anti-Semitic.

Your views would be quite similar to this bile you spewed in the past...

"I have tried the olive branch route with CG. It doesn't work. She is incapable of letting things go. She is a monster. I honestly think this world would be better off without her ilk. She is toxic sludge of the most hideous sort. I hope we never cross paths IRL. I am not certain I would be able to refrain from spitting in her face." - September 8th 2014
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/content/2084-Joan-Rivers-statement-on-TTY?page=10#comments

"FBE. Show me where I ever said they should be euthanized? Banned is not the same as killing. Forced sterilization--taking them out of the gene pool would be my solution. Eradicating the breed, in other words. They were bred, like all dogs, to serve humans. That breed went horribly wrong. Time to eliminate it." - August 24th 2014
http://www.morrissey-solo.com/threads/132510-Does-Morrissey-Hate-Dogs

You have the views down pat! But, as Anti-Semitism is generally abhorred in 2014 you instead place your genocidal hatred onto dogs and Californian Vegetarians. And rather than openly hating Jewish people you turn them into a dehumanized fetish. You're a sycophant to them. And yet it somehow comes across as not too dissimilar to Anti-Semitism, because you don't treat them like regular human beings. If we were back in 'Simon of Trent' times it's obvious which side you would be on.

And you disregard Hadley Freeman's experiences - she must be one of those "Bad Jews" she said Julie Burchill talks about in her book.
"Burchill divides up the chosen people into Good Jews (hardliners, Israelites) and Bad Jews (liberal Jews) with the enthusiasm of an antisemite."
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/07/god-save-jews-from-philosemitism

Nice attempt at a "diss" at the end with your 'butt-hurt solution', it's not like you've ever used that one before. *rolls eyes* You've already said everything that you will ever say. Your views are known, and everything you say from here on out is repetition. You're a very limited person. I suggest you hit the books for another five years -ceasing all online communications- and then come back in 2020 after you've expanded your mind a bit and learned how to write. You might then actually have something valuable or worthwhile to contribute. But probably not.

Merry Christmas.
I can do without reading your one word replies to my carefully considered prose. It's an insult, and I could hardly bring myself to waste the 30 seconds that it took to read it. My advice to you would be to delete your posts and we can try to forget that this unfortunate incident ever occurred.

The difference is that Houellebecq is French. The charges had been brought by France's Human Rights League. Hitchens was an American resident who was protected by the First Amendment. :)
My question was rhetorical, to highlight the senselessness of Houellebecq's arrest, for his justified criticism of a Medieval ideology. But you think you've outsmarted me, and that's nice for you. Like the time you informed me about my misspelling of 'Maltesers' - another worthy contribution.

Affleck is an idiot.
That goes without saying. Although if you're going to say it I would prefer you wrote me 1,000 words on the subject. Not that I would deign to read any of it. But it would be the thought, and the effort you put in, that counts. Then I could say "Everything you just wrote is beneath contempt, but at least it took you more than five minutes to write it." - that still won't save you from the ignore function though.

Sycophant.

See above.

This is reprehensible.
That goes without saying. Although if you're going to say it then I wish you would think twice and not bother.

The original post was written before I heard about the masked men who barged into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris today with kalashnikovs and other weaponry, murdering at least a dozen people. I dedicate this thread to their memory, and won't post in it any more out of respect. It would be a thoughtful gesture if everybody else did the same. That way it won't become another 20 page thread, full of egoism, self-aggrandizement and bickering. R.I.P.

Houellebecq is a [...] racist human being, but a great novelist. The Celine of his day.
I agree that Houellebecq does for Literature what Celine Dion does for singing. Both giants of their respective fields - unmatched - from now until the journey to the end of the night. I know I'm in the presence of an unenlightened mind when they resort to using the "r" word. I called Skylarker that once, but that was just to pay him back for past indiscretions. It worked too, he had a mental breakdown, wrote a scathing message to realitybites, and then disappeared for two weeks. Definitely worth it. LOL! The word "racist" is often used by middle-class people as a way of belittling the working class. As if they ever had any power, or were responsible for the policies governments implemented.

Yet it's a word which is overwhelmingly used against them today, while more affluent folk are better at concealing their prejudices thanks to their superior education. If middle class and upper class people want to call each other 'racists', then by all means, knock yourselves out. But once working class people are dragged into this dirty charade then my patience leaves me. It's laughable when a white person calls another white person a "racist" anyway - what are you trying to prove? Get a life, mt8!

Dictated to Sookie the Secretary by 'Mozambiguous', who doesn't post here anymore.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Affleck is not an idiot. he may be ann uninformed jackass but hes not dumb. hes also not welcome in vegas because he counts cards
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
Affleck is not an idiot. he may be ann uninformed jackass but hes not dumb. hes also not welcome in vegas because he counts cards
I didn't think he was either until I saw that YouTube clip of him on Bill Maher's show a few months ago. You can be intelligent and be an idiot--hold irrational beliefs.
 
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