I watched the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the other night…and while I wasn’t awestruck by the work itself, I was amused by one rather dark scene wherein the protagonist, played unconvincingly by Daniel Craig, has been bound and gagged and forced to listen to our serial killer [Stellan Skarsgard] pontificate on the subtle nuances of butchery in his basement slaughterhouse where his exclusively young, female victims met the same gruesome end. As our killer prattles on, he reminds his captive reporter that people will literally risk their lives out of politeness as our protagonist did by simply not refusing the killer’s invitation to join him for a drink – even though he suspected him of murder most foul. Once inside, the killer pulls a gun and marches him down to the wine cellar/torture chamber where he is gassed and suspended in a hoist so as to give the Mr. Skarsgard his undivided attention.
It’s rather fitting that the original TGWTDT was Swedish because the entire country has come to resemble a polite Daniel Craig who willingly agreed to have a drink with a man whom he suspected of being a murderer. Humans, for fear of violating certain protocols of political correctness, namely, religious minorities cannot be painted with the same brush when one or several of their adherents go berzerk and decapitate two young women, sending the video of said decapitation to one of the mothers of the deceased. Of course one cannot lump everyone into the same category based on the actions an individual(s). However, a failure to acknowledge what is obvious is Sweden’s real existential fight.
The Muslim integration question will sort itself out once someone finally breaks from the herd and has a Howard Beale Network moment where the exquisite and exquisitely uncomfortable truth is sprayed all over the public like so much skunk musk – highly offensive but honest. At that point, fear of standing out as the only person in possession of a modicum of common sense will have dissipated as the pseudo-intellectuals race to take credit for recognizing the cultural shift and declare that Islam and the West are like oil and water and that this was apparent to anyone willing to simply acknowledge what was playing out right in front of our eyes.
When humans ignore that which is apparent for fear of offending others who, ironically, are generally ignoring the obvious because they, too, are fearful of upsetting anyone. And so it goes. Everyone looking around, seeking reassurance that they “fit in” in a world that is so varied and whimsical that one couldn’t possibly hope to feel totally accepted anywhere. But failing to acknowledge that Islam has spawned generations of serial killers wrapping themselves in the Quran and calling it jihad. Decapitating one’s perceived enemies (naive twenty-somethings from affluent Scandanavia??) is, as far as I know, the sole provenance of Islam when carrying out religious acts of retribution.