May 26, 2005
— Ace Okay, this is my last Star Wars related post for quite a while. I didn't even like the movie, for crying out loud.
Posted by: Nathan at May 26, 2005 02:25 PM (qy/5g)
Posted by: Sean at May 26, 2005 02:38 PM (cl3Om)
Posted by: Captain Precious at May 26, 2005 02:54 PM (BQZFA)
No, I don't have anything to say about the article itself; I didn't read it. C'mon, it's Juan fucking Cole...
Posted by: Megan at May 26, 2005 03:05 PM (LoCa8)
Posted by: at May 26, 2005 03:32 PM (fduTN)
Posted by: Jeremy at May 26, 2005 04:34 PM (PJ4Iq)
Posted by: Phinn at May 26, 2005 04:57 PM (TYNA0)
Posted by: Morgan at May 26, 2005 06:52 PM (97xai)
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle at May 26, 2005 07:07 PM (X0niT)
Posted by: bbeck at May 26, 2005 07:28 PM (qF8q3)
Posted by: jack at May 27, 2005 05:13 AM (DbDi4)
Posted by: Pompous at May 27, 2005 06:12 AM (pwn6J)
The worst part about the Star Wars movies is that with all the possibilities of this genre, all of the talented, creative people and the expensive technology employed, they had an opportunity to make masterpieces and chose to pander to a very low common denominator, kids and people who think like kids.
Someone will come along someday and make the masterpiece Star Wars should've been.
Posted by: 72HALLUCINATIONS at May 27, 2005 06:13 AM (dhRpo)
I had just walked off the comedy stage glad the audience spoke English when a young man who identified himself as a “devout Muslim” came up and asked me a question.
“Why are you making fun of 72 virgins?” he asked, face flushed with ire.
“I’m not making fun of 72 virgins,” I said.
“Yes you are,” he insisted, calling it “haram,” the Arabic word for “a sin.”
“No. I am making fun of the idea that you can kill your sister if some stranger says she slept with a strange man, but it’s OK to enjoy 72 virgins if you die for a good cause.”
That only made him more agitated. He explained that according to his religion, those who sacrifice themselves for a just cause will enjoy the beauty of heaven and 72 virgins.
It was exactly that kind of logic that got me into standup comedy in the first place. Standup comedy is an industry in America, a style of humor that is somewhat different from what most people in the Middle East are used to.
Humor the most powerful weapon
Both Palestinians and Israelis have humor, of course. But it doesn’t hurt to have even more. Humor is the most powerful weapon a person can use to defeat hatred, overcome animosity and to calm the angry.
Most of the time.
If you can get an angry person to smile, you’ve won.
Faced with this noble struggle, I decided I wouldn’t give up. I tried the joke on him again, just in case he didn’t speak English very well and thought I was making fun of 72 sturgeons, a tasty fish that has never been the cause of any Arab-Israeli conflicts that I know of. Well, there was that one incident during the Crusades …
Anyway, I launched back into my act, just for him.
“They said that American who wanted to blow up the airplane with his shoes, Richard Reid, was promised 72 virgins. Obviously, he doesn’t speak Arabic. It’s not like English. You read Arabic from right to left.… So, it’s not 72 virgins. It’s one virgin and she is 72 years old … and they promise her to everyone.”
Still no smile. But I wouldn’t give up.
“Let’s face it. Just what I always wanted. 72 virgins. For what? So when I get to heaven I can be rejected 72 times? That’s not my idea of a good time.”
Not even a smirk.
“Listen,” I continued. “If you want to make me happy, keep the 72 virgins and give me one good looking prostitute who’s only been at her job one week … that’s my idea of a real reward.”
At this point, he started to yell - in Arabic. And although my parents are Palestinian, it never made any sense to me. I just stood there nodding my head.
Finally, I interrupted him.
“You mean to say, it’s okay to defile 72 virgins. I don’t have to marry them. I don’t have to care for them. It goes far beyond the legal limit of four. But I can’t have a prostitute instead?”
Some people just don’t have a sense of humor.
Butt slapping one day, killing the next
I do know for a fact, though, that most Palestinians and most Israelis do have a sense of humor. The real tragedy is that Palestinians and Israelis have wide mood swings. We are both the most emotional people in the world. One day we love each other, and the next day we are killing each other.
Like Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak slapping each other on the butts at the entrance of the Camp David meeting one day and literally killing each other the next.
The best way to stop the conflict is to stop the anger. It’s easy to hate a stranger. It’s hard to hate a friend. Nothing builds friendship more than humor.
If we can laugh together, I know we can live together.
Okay. Maybe the stern jihadist who confronted me after my show and I were not going to be the best of friends any time soon.
But I was certain it wouldn’t be any different if we had sat together over a hot plate of freshly cooked sturgeon.
Sometimes, you just have to look past the anger.
Posted by: 72 DRUNKEN VIRGINS at May 27, 2005 06:30 AM (dhRpo)
Posted by: 72 DRUNKEN VIRGINS at May 27, 2005 06:39 AM (dhRpo)
Virgins, unfortunately, that's not going to happen when such movies are raking in profits left and right.
I went to the movie because of our children and they loved it. And, I'll probably go to MORE bad movies in the future because they want to. There's not a lot you can do until your kids are old enough to recognize what a BAD movie is. I have been working on it, tho, by showing them good films (like John Wayne's stuff ).
Posted by: bbeck at May 27, 2005 07:15 AM (qF8q3)
Your jokes were funny and your heart is in the right place, but don't count on acceptance. Lenny Bruce covered the whole "hate is a religious value" thing 50-60 years ago and many people still have not forgiven him for it. Read "How to talk dirty and influence people" by him. It is as sad as the line in HiHitchhikers Guide where they say (paraphrase) "The last guy that told everyone to be nice to each other got himself nailed to a tree" People just do not like having their views questioned-just yours. Like, for instance, how many rules do their prisons have regarding the proper care of the Bible or the Torah? Probably none, but it does not give any one the right-or desire- to kill anyone because of it. To them, however, this would signify a LACK of values on our part.
Posted by: J. at May 27, 2005 07:27 AM (a+Ngu)
I know very young kids like the Star Wars movies. But I am certain that if these were better, kids would like them even more. Comic books often have much better plots and dialog, i.e., they don't dumb down as much to the readers and kids appreciate it. Books like Harry Potter prove beyond a doubt that quality sells and that imagination, clever plots, charachters and dialog that doesn't dumb itself down is really appreciated by kids, and adults too.
Posted by: 72 DRUNKEN VIRGINS at May 27, 2005 08:00 AM (dhRpo)
I wish they were my jokes and agree with you that they won't make a difference and that after the war has been settled by force, perhaps we laugh at ech other. But it was a pretty good schtick.
Posted by: 72 FLYING HALLUCINATIONS at May 27, 2005 08:04 AM (dhRpo)
Posted by: bbeck at May 27, 2005 12:13 PM (qF8q3)
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