Bigotry and intolerance come in many forms. And they come around again and again. A bizarre New York Times “news story” demonstrates this:
Baghdad has weathered invasion, occupation, sectarian warfare and suicide bombers. But now it faces a new scourge: tastelessness.
Ah, the last twist of the knife! After all the bloodshed and tyranny, Iraqis celebrate newness with color:
In downtown Baghdad, a police headquarters has been painted two shades of purple: lilac and grape. The central bank, a staid building in many countries, is coated in bright red candy cane stripes.
The reporters list many examples.
Matt Welch, at Reason magazine’s Hit & Run, has choice words for this particular article: “obnoxious” and “contemptible” and “latent ‘taste racism.’”
Put me in Matt’s camp. Aesthetic intolerance like this is ugly.
Contrary to the New York Times, the so-called color-crazed Iraqi people have latched onto a good thing: Property rights. You see, says a quoted expert, their mentality is “that you have to be the owner of your building, and you do what you want with it. But there are no government regulations like in Paris or Rome. It’s anarchy of taste.”
Oh, how shocking.
But is our tyranny of taste in towns and cities in the western world better? We have busybody City Councils and nasty neighbors telling you that you’ve painted your house the wrong shade of brown.
Freedom should be celebrated in many colors, including colors that annoy writers for the New York Times.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.