}

Where were we? And where is everyone?

Ride like an Egyptian

Ride like an Egyptian

Inbetween travelling to and back from NYC, trying to keep up with the news from Italy (my deepest sympathies go to the victims and their families), guilt-tripping all that had forgotten my b’day (Am I really supposed to email out reminders?), enjoying the gorgeous spring weather over here at temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, contemplating about asking Playmobil to issue an Israelites edition as they’ve already got a Pharaoh with his chariot out, figuring out MSG-free dishes with my fab new wok, planting flowers and herbs, there hasn’t been much to blog extensively about, so I’ll just do a round-up post (and thus possibly even give CTC a chance of commenting yet staying on topic).

Gregory Katz reports the gradual Americanization of Britain:

Remember the dapper English gentleman? Shoes polished and dressed to the nines? He’s often found in blue jeans, an open shirt, and sneakers these days.

And those bad English teeth, neglected for years? Tooth-whitening is catching on, a l’americaine. There has been a surge of cosmetic surgeries as more women _ and teenagers _ embrace the Hollywood ideal and have their breasts enhanced and wrinkles Botoxed. Pillbox psychiatry is catching on too, with record numbers gobbling antidepressants, and Britons are turning to fast food at such an alarming pace that obesity among young people is reaching epidemic proportions. [Full article]

The article’s pretty interesting; when I first stayed in Britain for a longer while in 1993, the widespread availability of fastfood appeared distinctively British to me compared to Germany; ever since, I’ve lived and worked in Britain for an extended period of time and have spent at least as much time in NYC, and I can understand if Britains object to the masses of fastfood places and coffee chains appearing all over their old cities. Good fish’n’chips there really are a treat (so are the curries and masalas), and Britain’s probably the best place to have a decent cuppa in all of Europe, so why water either down with generic burgers and sorry excuses for coffee? (As a popular language-cabaret artist / musician / author of Italian origin correctly noted, the demarcation line between generally available good and bad coffee can be drawn where the main stress on the word flips from the second to the first syllable.)

Israeli tourism pros anticipate the cash-flow Pope Benedict’s XVI visit to Israel will likely bring about, but why need I read about this on the Lebanese Daily Star?

The Jewish state is pumping some $10 million into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel. It also hopes the papal trip will help polish Israel’s international image in the wake of the Gaza war. [Full article]

Will CK come up with a clever T-shirt design to sell to the incoming masses? Afterall, we need to re-establish his dental plan and retirement savings in his soy-piggy bank.


A Jüdische Allgmeine contributor
laments that shopkeepers in Borough Park did not keep the promise they’d made to Dov Hikind to either reduce or maintain the prices of KfP food items in these days of economic hardship. What can I say? Oh puhleazzzzze! I love my BPers, but I know that a large bulk of them do not need the wellfare they clamour. (If you want to see Lexus-driving, high end-designer garb-wearing, food stamp carrying individuals, then I suggest you take a trip to BP. Note, there are poor religious Jews, in BP as well as elsewhere, but there are far poorer communities than BP, and $1.99 to the half-gallon of milk is still considerably less than I pay for my lactose-free milk here, and our dairy farmers receive subsidies to be able to offer their products at competitive prices.)

A Swedish congregation built a Jesus statue out of Lego bricks. I’ll dedicate a unique cake recipe to anyone who can come up with a Lego brick Kelsey.

Oh, and finally, in case you should have missed it among the overflow of extensive coverage on politics and the economy, the Presidential dog has been inaugurated.

10 Comments

  1. froylein

    4/14/2009 at 10:40 am

    CTC, when talking about the reception of biblical scriptures, you must bear in mind that practically all Jews till about 300 years back knew that they often were stories that emphasized the core ideas of Jewish theology. The texts were not read and passed on for their historicity but for their theology.

    I hope you got that the mentioning of the coverage re: the Presidential dog was sarcastic. It’s indeed immensely frustrating to see how much coverage that dog, Michelle O’s fashion choices and the O’s education of their children get when the US is facing an economic collapse. But hey, you need to set priorities.

    Don’t know about the Palestinians; they’re not very popular among Arabs, so granting them too much might not be in the best Arabic interests. Please note that no sources on the Crusades, whether Western, Turkish, Egyptian or Arabic ones, mention the Palestinians. They did not exist in that area then, so they, according to my Arabic students, are not generally perceived as natives of the land (my students have rather unflattering terms for them). Many of the wars being led are about access to water resources rather than religion; nobody claims a chunk of desert. But I do believe that the situation needs to be resolved somehow, also with regards how Christians are treated by the Muslim majority in the Palestinian territories. You cannot convincingly claim rights for yourself that you won’t grant others.

  2. cognitive dissonance

    4/14/2009 at 11:31 am

    let me guess your arabic students are mostly christians and lebanese,no surprise there,

    and since you responded in a civil manner, sorry for the low blow about eastern europe, i am not an evil person, i just have a black sense of humour, it helps me to deal with the stresses of life

    as for the christians, come on froylein, you know more than me that the PLO is very secular, it has plenty of christian fighters, and you also know that during the 90s israel actually gave funds to hamas to weaken the PLO,

    and no its not a stupid blood libel, go ask any ex israeli security guy, he will confirm it

    wait a minute, you are a teacher????????
    now i cant imagine you in a sexy european bikini, crap

  3. Tom Morrissey

    4/14/2009 at 12:13 pm

    The tipping point re the UK was when the Glazers and Tom Hicks bought teams in the Premiership.

    Here’s hoping Jews make plenty of money off the Pope.

  4. froylein

    4/14/2009 at 12:30 pm

    CTC, all of my Arabic students are Muslims; in addition, I’ve spoken to Palestinian Christians. While their elite cast gets pampered to keep their mouths shut, the more peasant ones are not even able to pursue the jobs they want, live in safety etc. Just because the media don’t cover it and buy into ready-made statements doesn’t mean it happens.

    BTW, if you try to apply a Muslim lense on looking at the Middle East, please make yourself aware that the Quran notes that all “book religions” (i.e. the Abrahamite religions) have to be respected. Mohammed for sure was an intelligent person and a skilled politician and businessman. Early Islam was also progressive in regards to science. It’s when the extremists took over that things got corrupted drastically, and those Muslims that choose to disagree with those extremists often find themselves in a situation where they may not stay safely in their native countries.

    If you start picturing me in a bikini, god will smite you as he did the Pharaoh according to biblical narrative when the Pharaoh tried to lay hands on Sara.

    Tom, we used to have a blast whenever we had American customers that so terribly got lost in the old city. Maybe they need coffee chains for orientation.

    CK and I have already discussed launching a line of bath oils.

  5. cognitive dissonance

    4/14/2009 at 1:21 pm

    why isnt themiddle deleting my posts??????????

  6. Tom Morrissey

    4/14/2009 at 1:34 pm

    Be careful what you wish for.

  7. froylein

    4/14/2009 at 3:18 pm

    CTC, you stayed on topic in a few aspects, so over here at the think tank, we’re discussing the options of deleting complete comments, erasing paragraphs or just let you be. Apparently, you’re looking for friends, and we think that’s heart-breaking. Like a Bangladeshi Bambi…

  8. themiddle

    4/14/2009 at 4:44 pm

    I say, keep him on his toes.

  9. DK

    4/15/2009 at 9:42 pm

    I’m sorry I flaked your birthday.

  10. froylein

    4/16/2009 at 12:16 am

    Sure sign I’m getting old. 😉

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