Abu Shreek responds to the first batch of essential inquiries.
Caution: If you suffer from ADD, feel free to print it out. It makes for great bathroom reading.
I am a 24 years old single male. An alarming number of my buddies are getting married. How am I supposed to deal with the situation?
Completely boycott any and all of these (ex)friends. Limit the interaction with them to the occasional phone call. You don’t fit in their new social structure anyway. You will find yourself in multiple socially awkward situations and stuck in a bunch of uncomfortable conversations. Remember, this is not a betrayal to the friendship, after all this now-married guy is not the same college buddy whom you spent your days hanging out with, aimlessly driving around, chasing girls, and playing cards. He is now “domesticated” (not to say neutered), and being around him will drag you down and kill your game.
When you end up with absolutely nobody to hang out with (usually happens around 27-28), you know it is time for you to get married yourself. Then you can start exchanging family visits with all of them, talking about the good old college days while complaining about the high prices and the traffic, but don’t forget to bring a case of Classic Butter cookies and a house warming gift (an exquisite vase or a blender).
What was the best/worst excuse you ever heard for missing a midterm in college? A friend of mine came to class right after the test ended and showed the instructor that his watch was 2 hours late, and he thought that he arrived to take the test on time. The instructor made his decision to fail him the test mainly based on the stupidity of the idea.
My friend Anass, a seventh-year senior at the time, told our “Mechanical Vibrations” professor that he could not attend the first test because he had to spend a couple of nights in jail. The reason: “Lagoo fee dabett il Honda klashenn wa ana tayye7 3al Karak” (They found an AK-47 in the trunk of my Honda on my way down to Karak). He had documents to prove it.
Have you heard that prince Bandar bin Sultan gateway mansion in
Harry & Lloyd,
God bless the prince and the Saudi people who allow the righteous Royal family to anally rape them collectively, constanly and literally. But the real question here is:
Did you that according to Forbes magazine Most Expensive Homes section, Donald Trump mansion holds the current record price at 125 million?
Did you know that the CNN news anchor was laughing when she read the piece, wondering who needs 15 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms?
Did you know that the real estate agent (Joshua Saslove) who is shopping the thing around is the president of the Aspen Jewish Congregation?
And this last question is directed to the Bin-Ladens-cave-dwellers and all the fake bearded idiots who support them: Don’t you think that directing your efforts against the Royal blasphemy at home, in the land of the Two Holy Mosques, should take some priority over targeting innocent civilians? Or is it OK as long as you are on their payroll?
If we historically track back the phenomenon of the popularity of Arab female singers, based solely on their looks and their sexual subliminal messages, with complete disregard to any vocal talent, who can we credit for creating that recipe for success?
Nancy Lover, Amman-Irbid.
I think good looking women were always a part of Arabic music. I remember lots of the eighties pop singers featured a belly dancer in the background.
In his mega-hit (Noor il Ain) Amr Diab featured Miss
Najwa Karam had some sex appeal to her, especially when she sang on stage wearing dresses that revealed some cleavage. Clauda Shamali could be my first memory of a singer whose looks and wardrobe contributed more to her success than her actual music. (More on her later).
The Lebanese era followed. Nawal Al Zoghbi (her nip-slip poster was a best seller for years), Pascal Mashaalani, Elaine Khalaff… and a bunch of other Lebanese female singers emerged, all relying on a certain level of good looks and “soft” word delivery to achieve stardom. However most of them had a certain level of talent or worked with composers that made their songs acceptable and enjoyable. Their wardrobe was still relatively conservative and showed minimal skin. Ghassan Rahbani (another musical genius and a pioneer) put together the first Arab “Girl-band”. He gathered four random good looking girls (replaced almost annually based on circumstances), and had them cover remixed Lebanese folkloric songs. The (4 cats) idea was brilliant: the music was enjoyable ( at least the first two albums), and their second video (Ya Naseeni), that featured the four cats on a camping trip, was a must see at all time for every teenager. However the idea of sacrificing “sound” in favor of “sight” was established.
Elissa appeared in the video (Biddi Doob) simply wrapped in a white bed sheet. Elissa was referred to as (Um Al-Sharasheff (Ms. Bedsheets)), since in her next two videos she was wearing the same wardrobe (but this time she is submerged in a pool!) and in third video (Bitgheeb Bitroo7) she was rolling in bed sheets with Ragheb Alama. Still her music is very good and innovative, and the same can be said about Nancy Ajram, even though she uses and extra sexy “soft” tone in her voice, and usually appears in revealing clothes in her concerts.
So, in conclusion, I want to give the credit to the queen of trash (Haifa Wahbi), who set the blueprint for the version of music that is absolutely repulsive, yet she remains successful for all the wrong reasons. Hundreds of talent-less, unsuccessful model wanna-bees and night club singers from across the Arab world flooded the airwaves.
As for Clauda Shmali, around 1996 my friend Kais got us free tickets to attend a concert as a part of (Al F7aiss art and culture first annual festival). The concert featured Lebanese one-hit-wonder (at least at the time). Clauda had a decent voice in the same mold of that of the more successful Najwa Karam. She was definitely overweight, yet deliciously curvy, and her hit song (Tontorni ala ghalta) did not have an actual video, but was shot on a cheap stage with a green background, where she shook lightly in her very short, dollish red dress.
The clay (dirt) soccer field was divided in 4 sections, three facing the stage, and a fourth in the far back designated for "singles". Big mistake. 20 minutes before the concert began the “singles” made a collective charge towards the front seats, in what we later referred to as the first revolution.
Riot police quickly contained the situation, and the singles were assigned the right section of the front seats. Each of the three sections had a wooden tower for the TV cameras flanked with a metal pipe carrying a big stadium light. Clauda appeared on stage wearing a tight blue suede dress that was later described by a daily newspaper “exciting and stimulating to the crowd”. Momentarily “singles” began climbing the camera towers and the camera man had to be protected by 3 policemen who kept swatting down the climbers. The climbers were hanging on the sides of the tower for a better view. The concert had to be interrupted a few times to break some fights that resulted in clouds of dust coming from the right section, while the tower swung (obviously there were fights for “position”). The PA announced that this is a very serious situation and the lights next to the tower are of very high power that can cause a fire if it is short-circuited. Eventually the inevitable happened and I looked to my right and through the rising sand storm, I noticed that the tower no longer stands there, and the pipe carrying the lights is shaking violently. A guy quickly snatched the mic from Clauda and started yelling: “ sitteen alf sham3a ya nass, karetheh, ra7 iseer karetha, sitteen alf sham3a, ra7 nin7araegg: 60,000 Watts, people a disaster is going to happen, 60,000 Watts, disaster, we are all going to burn”. The worst part is we did not get to listen to the hit song since she was saving it for the finale, on the bright side we did not burn.
How can anyone in his right mind follow baseball? Stop being an idiot. You are not from
Mohammad, Your Roommate.
I sympathize with you, and I have no problem taking criticism for my passion for (American) football and baseball. I understand the frustration toward a sport that:
1. Takes an average of 3.5 hours to finish a single game, and features 162 regular season games per team.
2. Involves minimal athletic action that appeals to the casual spectator.
3. Involves athletes that look tremendously overweight and out of shape, who are constantly chewing sunflower seeds and spitting, chewing tobacco and spitting and touching themselves and spitting.
I admit this sport is not for everybody. But Notice that:
1. You either follow baseball or you do not, there is no middle ground. It is not one of those sports that you can catch a game once every couple of weeks, enjoy it and move on. In order to enjoy the experience of a single game, you have to be familiar with the overall picture.
2. Baseball is one of the few sports that could provide you with 95% of what happened in a game through its box score. You can keep up with every team on day to day basis by simply reading the newspaper. Now, once you get a chance to watch that “once every couple of weeks” game, you will be familiar with the players and their stats which will make watching the game enjoyable.
3. Speaking of stats, baseball is a sweet treat to anyone who appreciates numbers. The whole game is numbers-based. It generates stats for every action on the field (as well as combinations of them) that accurately evaluate performance nad describes action, and believe it or not, statistical models have been built to simulate the game. The science of sabermetrics, Bill James and his abstracts is a fascinating phenomenon, unmatched by any sport.
4. Baseball is the only active league during the summer, unless you want to watch WNBA games or follow crappy reality TV and trashy
5. The game needs way more skills and effort than what may appear to the naked, unskilled eye. Running down and catching flyballs, making bullet-speed throws with crazy accuracy across long distances, hitting a homerun (rated as one of the hardest 10 things in all of sports, in the same lines of the quadruple jump twist in ice skating), all these are athletic tasks that are harder than what they appear. Not to forget t the art of pitching (which requires its own post).
6. As for baseball and performance enhancing drugs, this is hardly news. Unfortunately the league office chose to neglect the issue even though it was evident to the sport faithfuls since 2001. I don’t think it affects the drama and competition level of the game (the reasons I follow sports in general). More importantly, at a certain professional (or even semi-pro) level in sports there is no “clean” athlete anymore. Every star athlete is on some kind of performance enhancing drug or supplement, and the labs that make these drugs are always ahead of the efforts of detection. A simple example is Human Growth Hormone (HGH), allegedly popular among different athletes. HGH is undetectable in urine and most pro sports player unions refuse to provide blood sample for testing. Even the IOC who uses blood samples admitted that the tests they have are not effective enough in detecting HGH. Not to sound like I am defending cheaters (remeber there was no rules against the use of PED in MLB), but I choose to take baseball at its face value, as entertainment.
Where do you stand on the latest Israeli atrocities in the
What gave you the impression that I am an expert on the strategic conflicts on the east side of the
7abeebi, the outlets are full with “answers” from experts, analysts and average Joes. You can’t check your email without running through a slide show of torn apart bodies (by the way, who decided that it is acceptable to pass around pictures of the disfigured bodies of our martyrs ?!!), you open your browsers and instantly two articles by Naom Chomsky and another three by Carlton Fisk pops in your face. And here is a song to answer your question.
Please reconsider your question and don't ask it again.
For everbody else, your questions are welcome (firstname.lastname@example.org).