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Le Morte d’Egypte

By on Oct 30, 2014 in Featured, Politics | 0 comments

Excuse the title. I like the Camelot myths. I’ve never read the original Malory though and wasn’t quite so interested in it when I was a child. The whole knight in shining armor thing never quite caught my fancy. However, I was lucky enough, years later, to run into The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White’s wonderful take on the Arthurian myths, in the first volume, we see a young Arthur, slowly becoming aware of what Merlin’s oblique lessons were forcing him to understand. It is a key moment, and here it is, brutally shortened, for your benefit. It’s still a bit long for an excerpt, but it’s important, and if you give me your attention for a few minutes, you’ll see why it’s so important that you get a feel for how it unfolds… “I have been thinking,” said Arthur, “about Might and Right. I don’t think things ought...

Egypt’s Growing Catalog of Absurdities

By on Oct 27, 2014 in Politics | 0 comments

As an Egyptian in Egypt these days, you get used to absurdity, it starts when you wake up and look at the news, and then frustrates you during the day as you see it resonate with some of the people you meet and interact with, and finally, at evening, on TV screens across the nation, the absurdity is re-framed into ever more convoluted scenarios before which any sane mind would surely strap on a nuclear bomb and rid humanity of its’ misery. It seems only appropriate, at times like these, to show the world just how crazy we have become… Here are some samples in no specific order: 1. General Hamdy Bekheet, on TV, saying, in no uncertain terms that “We are in a war on terrorism! We are at war with the world! We are at war with great countries! We are at war with the European Union! We are fighting the United States! We are at war with Israel, Turkey, and Iran! We are at...

Bonfire of the Vanities

By on Sep 12, 2012 in Media, Politics | 2 comments

Shenanigans. We are witnessing shenanigans, tomfoolery, and much clownish ness. Also, a good deal of buffoonery, poppycock, and a wide whisk of whimsical witlessness all marked as balderdash. Getting the picture? A fantastically bad movie was made. It may have been made so badly for nefarious purposes, or possibly by a creator who really is that bad, that stupid, and that impervious to both taste and reason. Whichever. And yes, Muslims are nuts – but so is everybody else on this planet who chooses to maintain unprovable beliefs. You are all…technically…insane. I mean it; ask a Vulcan. He’ll fill you in. Is it stupid to draw attention to a movie that you think is bad or insulting? No, of course not – on principle it is the only wise choice of action. Is it useful to do so? No. Not at all. The Sex Pistols were made when their song ‘God Save The...

The Doomsday Hijab

By on Nov 30, 2011 in Politics | 1 comment

Several years ago I was sitting in a restaurant downtown. There were no prophetic utterances of ‘revolution’ or but my friend was expressing fears regarding Islamist control of Egypt. ‘What, exactly, are you worried about?’ I would ask. The Hijab. Alcohol was a second issue. My counter at the time was that if the government / leadership was actually honest, then the amount of good they could accomplish would by far exceed what I considered the mild inconveniences involved. If the Brotherhood would swoop in, I argued, run a non-corrupt, honest government, and actually channel the country’s resources to create better standards of living for millions now deprived of it several stages down along Maslow’s Pyramid – then who the hell am I to complain if I can’t have a drink? But, of course, that’s simplistic. It’s just as easy to...

Sultans and Scarves

By on Jul 30, 2009 in Media, Politics | 0 comments

Three weeks ago, an Egyptian Muslim mother and wife, four months with child, was stabbed to death in Dresden, the civilian city bombed to the ground by the allies during World War II. She was stabbed in full view of her son and husband, and when her husband rushed to defend her, he himself was shot by the German police because they assumed him to be the attacker. Go figure. For the last three weeks, I’ve heard people say, and I’ve said it myself based on what I’ve seen – that the international media hasn’t found this story quite as interesting as that of The Death of Neda Sultan. I’ve now done the numbers: As of today, a search for Neda Sultan on Google, brings up about 1.14 Million results (I’m accounting for spelling variations by adding up the results for ‘Soltan’ and ‘Sultan’ – so this is the total of the two) for Neda. A similarly conducted search for Marwa Sherbini (with...

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