photo: AP

The above photo appears nearly everywhere today. According to the caption, it depicts Iraqis burning an effigy of Pope Benedict XVI. I tell you, it really makes me wonder about these people - is this the very best effigy they could make? Granted, making a realistic looking effigy can be a daunting task, but the Pope? Just dress it in white, give it a funny hat, and you're halfway there.

Let me come right out front and make a sweeping generalization. Muslims can't make an effigy for shit. Take this one.

Who can it be? An astronaut? The Pillsbury Doughboy? Here's a hint. It comes from the 1990's and it's being burned by Palestinians. Congratulations, you guessed right, it's Madeline Albright (if I'm to believe the caption).

Here's a real good one. Apparently the artist involved realized that his effigy looked like an airline seat in a white sweater, so he has remedied the situation by scotch-taping a picture of President Bush's face to it.

I don't wish to ramble on boorishly about the superiority of Western culture, but I happen to believe it only takes a glance at one of our fine American effigies to tell you everything you need to know.

Here in the U.S. of A, we take the time to carefully handcraft our effigies to give them that true aura of authenticity. Because there's nothing more embarrassing than having the cops ask why you're burning a pillow outside the Capitol.


2006, Mark Hoback