Thursday, August 21, 2008


not the money governments take off imports - i'm talking about what people agree with each other as being "right". had i not known about the prohibition, i would say it's a typically arab response to anything different than what we're used to be dealing with it: throw our hands up and start screaming that this is "mukhalif lil3adat wataqaleed" (which literally, if poorly, translates into "against habits and customs"). i saw this statement used in response to everything from fashion trends to slutty satellite channels to social interactions.

i agree with my loathing of some of these abhorrent phenomena, because i find them idiotic in themselves. another thing i find idiotic in and of itself is the concept of customs. behold the following questions:

who defines what a custom is?
who defines what is good and bad in said customs?
is there some sort of punishement to custom sinners?
if there is, who has the right to carry it out?
if these customs are so great, why do they change over time?
in fact, why are these customs considered as great in the first place?
can i create a custom custom?

customs are a form of crowd democracy, where things are considered as right and wrong in a most subjective manner that somehow produces a "reaction" (which the democracy uses to enforce its decisions). an example of that is things like social scorn, parental wrath, public outcry and other useless and seemingly senseless reactions. girl holds guy's hand: harlot. dude dressed in baggy jeans: fag. however, if you ask the same judges: what about your sister? oh that guy? they've been dating for 3 years and they're getting engaged next summer. what about your neighbor? who him? no no no he's just a kid he'll grow out of it. what is common to all these reactions is this: they seem to measure the "public" reaction, in other words, almost everyone would instinctively and immediately agree on whether something specific is right or wrong without getting all the details.

with me so far? good, here comes the crux.

enter nour. nour is a turkish soap opera that was dubbed into arabic recently. it was (is) one of the most popular tv shows in the arab world. nour is a cute chick who's the star, plus muhannad is her estranged lover/husband/boyfriend or some shit or they’re still kicking it or were or... i mean i don’t know but the names are important. nour took the tv channels by storm. the actors became instant stars, the shoot location is a touristic attraction, you get all sorts of nour merch in the market. fucking baby names nour and muhannad are the most popular now. saudi muftis decried it as an evil sin and influence and the work of the devil. there’s a special pay-per-view channel that will play you the episodes a day before the public one will. another by-product of its fame is experts who start voicing opinions about it.

one discussion i heard was why it is so popular. something about it depicting nice turkish scenery, attractive people with complex love lives, intimate relationships not available in arab families and a host of other things. what do you think the common sentence after every opinion is? yup, “nour is popular, but the reasons of its popularity are against our customs”. really? nour is not watched by young rebellious teenagers, it’s watched by the common people. by families, by the average joe, by the very person whose lifestyle defines customs.

which brings me to my point: it seems that the lifestyle alternative to our customs is more attractive than the reality. in other words, these things we decry as against our customs are what make the show so attractive; this escape from our reality to theirs is what makes the show so attractive.

so going back to my question, who defines what a custom is?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

arabic speaking hayden panettiere

in addition to andy mcdowell, jeniffer love hewitt, kristin kreuk, and many other american celebrities who somehow promote skin care products in arabic. i'm talking about arabic dubbed originally english speaking commercials.

did it ever occur to those who post the ads that the target audience who doesn't understand english and thus requires translation doesn't give a rat's ass about obscure american celebrities? that it, in fact, doesn't even know who they are? why not invest some money and get arabic speaking celebrities promote these products.

coffee... filters?


i am still struggling with words to describe this. idiotic, ludicrous, unbelievable, stupid are just a few to come to mind, but i'll leave it to you - my one reader - to judge for yourself.

a company that manufactures coffee filters prides itself that their filters are organic or bleach free or some shit only americans care about. anyway, the filters are brown and their texture is, well, filtery, for lack of a better word.

what really caught my attention was the instructions written on the back. they suggest additional uses for the coffee filters. what may they be, pray tell? filter dirty water? help with chemistry experiments? make drugs? no. the suggested uses are:

1. serve chips and popcorn in them. this one actually makes sense.
2. use for 100s of crafts projects. i swear to you - if your kids want to cut out a few figures give them brown coffee filters
3. use for wrapping sandwiches before wrapping them in plastic. i mean, wtf. wtf. it's in a fucking plastic bag, why the fuck would i want to wrap it in a coffee filter!
4. the filters are lint-free, so use them to clean glass and shit. of my god! i mean seriously, oh my god! i can't continue this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

big girls don't cry

but the internet is full of idiots who will leave comments - apparently these are all about fergie's video

Friday, August 01, 2008

the americans have bush, we've got this guy (more accurately, we have guys)

then we wonder why we're viewed as flaming idiots.

and just so you know what's going on, some qatari idiot shipped his lambo all the way to the uk to get its oil changed - and then shipped it back.