Monday, December 13, 2004

Do Arabs Hate Dogs?

I've sort of OD'ed on these debates over treatment of women, veils and so on. How about we get some sympatico guests on Oprah or someplace to discuss our respective views on dogs (kalb -- about all I remember from my one semester of Arabic at Princeton).

We could have some video clips of the kinds of disgusting intimacy Americans find perfectly natural when consorting with these big-fanged canines (sharing a bed, face licking, belly rubbing...). Our Arab guests could then comment. Maybe the guy from Syria could already be a dog lover for balance. Any dog lovers in Syria?

In general, we don't have nearly enough "getting to know you" type talk shows, where busy home makers might tune in and get some culture. Like, what do Arabs really think about Americans, anyway (their penchant for destructive desecration aside -- we'll talk about that later); is it true that exposing the sole of your shoe could be misconstrued as an insult? What do they think of our monster trucks? Is alcohol really off limits, or is that just a fundamentalist thing?

Yes, these are touchy issues, but haven't the USA media developed ways to discuss just about any topic under the sun?

I'd not recommend doing this on Jerry Springer though. The last thing we need to see are poor Iraqis getting hammered with chairs -- standard fare in brutish corporate-sponsored TV land I realize, but probably too shocking for cultured Persians to stomach. Even the dog thing might gross 'em out. That's why we need Oprah. She's kind. Donahue was good too.

Next topic: So, what about those camels?