Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lemming Reporters

The Angry Arab gives me a good laugh:

I got out of my house with a bag of shoes: I started throwing them, shoe by shoe, at my neighbor, aiming at the face. My neighbor laughed, and could only say nice things to me as a good neighbor. He then explained: you see, o Arab neighbor, in our American culture, throwing a shoe at somebody is not an insult at all. In fact, it is taken as a sign of affection. I returned back to my house, having learned about American culture, what I knew not before. Thanks to you, New York Times (and your intelligent and culturally informed reporters).


At 8:46 AM, Blogger Kristen said...

Why did that make you laugh? I found him to be completely wrong-headed. Why does the Angry Arab write an English blog - to talk about his day-to-day activities with other angry Arabs ( and maybe not-so-angry or even-angrier Arabs)? Or is it to make his point of view ( which may at times be the majority point-of-view of his community, or culture) known to other communities? That's what the reporter explaining the convention of show-throwing as outrage was doing. I didn't understand that convention until it was explained to me. I assumed that it wasn't a complimentary act, but it has no reference in my community. As someone who has worked in ESL, I can tell you that we don't always read each other's conventions correctly, so an explanation is often in order.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Hmm - I laughe because every news outlet I watched last weekend said shoes were a specifically Arab thing, and the Angry Arab rightly points out that throwing a shoe at someone is not so culture-specific.


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