Here’s a clear example of how quick generalizations develop. In case you missed it last Sunday, an Iraqi reporter flung his two shoes at U.S. President George Bush, apparently in outrage.
What I find more interesting, is how quickly the idea of “shoes in Arab culture” has grown almost overnight. A quick google search on “Arab, Shoe, Culture” instantly calls up literally hundreds of articles covering the Bush incident and the reference to shoes in Arab culture: (just a few below say the same thing)
Telegraph: Showing the sole of your shoe has long been an insult in Arab culture.
BBC: In Arab culture it’s considered rude even to display the sole of one’s shoe to a fellow human being
Daily Star: Soles of shoes are considered a harsh insult in Arab culture.
Bloomberg: In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect.
Which was the saying? If you hear something often enough, you believe it? Or it ceases to have any meaning? Meanwhile, in addition to the above examples of split-second cultural insight, there have been some very interesting “analysis” done on the cultural reference to shoes in the whole affair. (more…)
Oil, Smoke and Mirrors is a documentary about the concept of Peak Oil production and its implications on economics, geopolitics, and financial markets. This film is interesting viewing in light of the recent surge in the price of oil following the subprime crisis, and the current cratering of Oil futures following the recessionary fears in the US, UK, and Europe.
Oil Smoke & Mirrors offers us a sobering critique of our perceived recent history, of our present global circumstances, and of our shared future in light of imminent, under-reported and mis-represented energy production constraints. Through a series of impressively candid, informed and articulate interviews, this film argues that the bizzare events surrounding the 9/11 attacks, and the equally bizzare prosecution of the so-called “war on terror”, can be more credibly understood in the wider context of an imminent and critical divergence between available global oil supply and increasing global oil demand. The picture “Oil, Smoke & Mirrors” paints is one of a tragically hyper-mediated global-political culture, which, for whatever reason, demonstrably disassociates itself from the values it claims to represent. While the ideas presented in this film can at first seem daunting, it’s ultimate assertion is that these challenges can indeed be met and perhaps surpassed if, but only if, we can find first the courage to perceive them.
Is this really the reason? Assuming it is really the reason, would that be the the reason why they went to Iraq in the first place, or are they only in it now since they don’t trust what the U.S. will do in Iraq?
I have heard of this conspiracy theory years ago. Now it’s on youtube. With all the hearsay conspiracy theories subsequently being documented on the web, I wonder how the U.S. will weather all the news. I tell you, people are just starting to talk now and they are now beginning to blame each other. Respectable Americans are now coming out and even asking to sell U.S. assets. How much lower will the U.S. economy go?