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What’s Really Wrong with Radical Islamic Muslims?

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I’ve been reading a lot of the views and interacting with some of those supporting radical Islam, trying to figure out where all the hate and discontent is coming from.

I see a huge amount of denial (or possibly ignorance) when it comes to Arabs' (and/or their supporters') views of what’s going on in the Middle East concerning Israel and Western Civilization. In seeing that denial, I have to ask myself; as a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to exist and the continuation of Western Civilization, am I missing something? Am I the ignorant one in denial?

The Arabs are pissed, obviously. But why? They say they want their land back. And they say (repeatedly) that they want Israel “wiped off the map.” The land was taken (again) from the Arabs over a half a century ago by the Jews. That same land was supposedly promised to the Jews in the Bible by God. Biblical entries show that King David brought the Jewish people together around 1000 B.C., in the land that is currently (still) being contested in the Middle East.

But it goes beyond just wanting their land back. I used to believe that radical Islamics hated Western Civilization because of the freedom of religion and civil rights we exalt and cherish and much to do with the US policy in the ME, and that the recent attacks on Israel were simply a by-product of that hatred, coupled with the land dispute that’s been going on for so long.

But what if the main cause of violence and hatred was much more simplistic that that?

I’ve looked at both sides over the last few months, and in my opinion, the Arabs are completely dysfunctional. Dysfunctional in every sense of the word. So dysfunctional that it makes them inutile, counterproductive, and dangerous to their neighbors.

I don’t think it would matter if Israel submitted to the demands of Radical Islamic Muslims. I don’t think it wouldn’t matter if Arabs had controlled that land for the last 50 years and the Jews never raised arms against them. It just wouldn’t matter.

Here’s why…

The Arabs have roughly 3,000,000 people in over 20 countries, and more oil than they can shake a stick at. Oil is not their only game, either. They have other natural resources. But for all the wealth possessed by the Arab League, the gap between the rich Arabs and poor Arabs is astronomical. You’ve (hopefully) seen what effect this can have on a country (Mexico), and what it can do to that country’s people and the neighboring countries.

Yet that, in and of itself, is still not entirely the problem.

The biggest problem is that most of the rich in the Arab League did not get rich by being good, honest businessmen. They got rich by dishonesty, exploitation, extortion, murder, and venality. That dishonesty is viewed as normal behavior to Arabs, and removes much of the respect for life that should be present in humans naturally. Something most of Western Civilization cherishes.

Also, many in the Arab League are dead set against human rights, especially for women. They have no issue with treating women like animals or even property. They have no issue with torture, rape, murder, and other numerous atrocities which the civilized world has condemned in the last 150 years and more. This is proven over and over again by the constant targeting of women and children, and the persistence in hiding amongst civilians, in schools, churches etc by radical Islam in its quest to ‘rid the world of the Zionists’.

The Arabs have failed to rise up from savagery, barbarism, and hatred. They refuse to move into a reasonable state of modern development and civility like most of the rest of the world has done over the centuries. At the same time they want to move towards a global Islamic Rule. And to be honest, I don’t think they intend to do it peacefully.

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  • moonraven

    You had the hypocritical nerve to ask:

    “In seeing that denial, I have to ask myself; as a staunch supporter of Israel’s right to exist and the continuation of Western Civilization, am I missing something? Am I the ignorant one in denial?”

    Of course you are missing something. Everything.

    God–which does not even exist–is the real estate agent that gave you the land of Palestine?

    If I didn’t think you were dangerous, I would be falling off my chair laughing.

  • zingzing

    you really have no grip on reality, matt. i would go more into detail, because i know that’s no good argument, but i doubt you would listen anyway.

    suffice to say, the arab problem runs much deeper than “they’re crazy!” it’s got nothing to do with some perceived muslim hatred of freedom. that’s just dumb. it’s got everything to do with israel, western intervention, religion (all three of them) and a people who have been exploited by those who run business and religion. and no, muslims do not find lying and stealing to be “normal.”

    if you consider what you have written to be productive in any way, you need to have your head examined. i really can’t believe it was posted. it’s ignorant, moronic and frankly racist.

  • wdufkin

    The Arabs have failed to rise up from savagery, barbarism, and hatred. They refuse to move into a reasonable state of modern development and civility like most of the rest of the world has done over the centuries. At the same time they want to move towards a global Islamic Rule. And to be honest, I don’t think they intend to do it peacefully.

    You’ve expressed something I’ve been thinking myself. Many living in the Arab world do not seem to be civil. Even if God didn’t exist and the United States really was’nt the Great Satan, they would still seem rather primitive in culture, not that that makes them of lesser value. It is rather savage cruel to train children to want to die, in the name of a god that does not exist. I think that is moronic and frankly I don’t think a more racist people exist than they themselves.

  • I agree with Matt,

    Arabs do possess rich resources, and 99% of the middle East. Isreal on the other hand composes 1% of mainly worthless desert. Isreal in just 40 to 50 years has risen to be economically, socially, and politically successful.

    Such creativity exists in the arab world, and the power of the human spirit is a treasure they no doubt possess. The only problem is that ever time one of there citizens uses there brain to think independantly they are murdered or imprisioned.

    Any time they use there “judicious” reasoning ability to dicifer why western states enjoy such a higher standard of living versus the megga poverty the average arab lives in. Upon raising such logical arguments they are killed, or “disapear” from mainstream society.

    So what you have is an ideology that kills off its own creativity, murders the judicious individuals who have the wisdom to make the neccisary adjustments in there thought.

    The middle east was not always so backwards and violent. Before the Arab invasion that brought the lunacy of islam upon them Persia for instance alredy enjoyed a flourishing society. King Cyrus the great wrote the “worlds” first declaration of human rights ever.

    Afganistan was a flourishing Buddhist society, with great libraries, and meditation masters; contributing to the emotional maturity and development of those people.

    The only legacy Islam has brought the world, and societies/ individuals they come upon is “misery and death”

    Misery and death with out end; the end will come when Islam is eradicated from the human concious.

  • suffice to say, the arab problem runs much deeper than “they’re crazy!”

    To be fair, Matt didn’t dismissively say they’re crazy, he categorized them as essentially culturally and economically retarded, and the evidence does back up that position. His point about income disparity among Arabs is a very important one, IMO.


  • zingzing

    dave, i wasn’t quoting him. i was paraphrasing. obviously, two words won’t do the whole argument justice. by any stretch of the american imagination, most of the world is “economically retarded.” a good portion of the population is oppressed and poor.

    truth be told, i wish there was an edit function on blogcritics. i overreacted a bit, i suppose.

    i never seemed to read “radical” before “islam…” it just skipped right by me. so, i’ll take back the last paragraph of my first comment. just ignore it.

    but i do think the history of islamic-western relations plays heavily into just how radicalized certain portions of islam have become. from the colonial days to our economic exploitation to sticking israel in their territory to our constant military intervention, we have created this monster. maybe it was there in some form already, but we sculpted it into its present shape.

  • gail scott

    I agree, except for believing Israel should NOT exist. The poster for Islam might be the female clothing. I had to wear a black thing for hours once. Can’t see, can’t breathe and it is really hot in the desert.

  • Matt


    I’m glad you decided to go back and read my post. I hope you read more than every second or third word the second time around.

    I mean, I guess I didn’t make it clear enough, and that it’s hard to see that “radical” part. even though it’s in the title and all over the post. I can see how it’s easy to miss.

    I never insinuated that the Arabs were economically retarded. I said there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor, and made reference to how many of the rich got rich.

    As for the Islamic/Western relations and Israel, I believe I stated very clearly about the Arabs that they’re pissed because “They say they want their land back.” Perhaps you missed that, too?

    Finally, Radical Islamic Muslims have been trying to spread Islam radically for centuries, not decades. Granted, the other religions used to do it the same way, but they’ve, for the most part, grown out of it over the last few hundred years. RIMs have not.

    It seems you got a bit overly worked up after not reading my post. Reading and comprehension are key, and I would appreciate you not flaming me until you have read AND understood what I’ve written.

  • Arch Conservative

    “What’s Really Wrong with Radical Islamic Muslims?”

    Fucked if I know. I don’t really give a damn either.

    I’d rather we kill every last one of them then try to help them with their “issues.”

    People say that we shouldn’t be the world’s policeman. that’s fine..then we also shouldn’t have to be the world’s psychotherapist either.

    You wanna live in a third world shithole muslim theocracy you say? that’s fine but the minute take any step toward harming American interests or citizens we’re gonna kill you. We’re not going to ask you how you fell about this or that, we’re just gonna drop a bomb on you or put a bullet in your head. Don’t like it? Too fucking bad! Don’t fuck with us then!

  • whataworld

    Yes, radicals are everywhere, you’ve made that clear. Ever thought that you might be the one needing psycho analysis “Arch Conservative”.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well whataworld let’s do a little comparison between myself and RIMs shall we

    Threatened to kill people over a cartoon”

    AC – No
    RIMs – Yes

    Hijacked planes and used them to kill 3,000 civilians:

    AC – No
    Rims – yes

    Murdered a Dutch filmaker named Theo van Gogh because he made a movie that depicted them in a negative light:

    AC – No
    RIMs – Yes

    Emigrated to another nation and demanded that that nation change it’s culture and law to adhere to the beliefs of a specific religion:

    AC – No
    RIMs – Yes

    Bombed a train in spain killing spanish civilians:

    AC – No
    RIMs – Yes

    Rioted in France:

    AC – No
    RIMs – Yes

    If I need psychoanalysis it’s not because I pose a threat to society at large as RIM’s do. I hate leftists probably as much as RIMs hate Jews and Americans but I can assure you I’m not going to start killing them anytime soon whataworld.

  • moonraven

    Dave says the EVIDENCE?????????????????????????? indicates Arabs are culturally and economicall retarded. WHAT evidence?

    What do those phrases even mean¡ Sound like they were coined by a ten-year-old.

    The US has NO culture whatsoever.

    The average Arab in the Gulf States has 100 times the net worth of you jokers posting here.

    Give me a break, ignorant savages.

  • I have no idea how you can ever hope to have a civilized dialogue with people (RIM) who think nothing of taking human life–other’s or their own–because their fictional diety told them to.

    I have no idea why we have allowed Bush and Congress to create MORE of them by mucking up the Middle East.

  • Mohjho

    The muslims of the mid east are oppressed from the top down by kings, petty dictators and nutty religious conservatives. Their leaders have to give the people someone or something to hate or the population will tear them apart.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I read through the article and the comments. We get the usual from Bing (aka Arch Conservative), the usual from Marthe (aka Moonraven) and the usual from zingzing (aka zingzing).

    From what I can see, reading about the Arab world, their economy(ies) seem(s) dysfunctional, their governments seem terribly corrupt, the way they treat their women, as well as their their donkeys, awful and pretty much beyond the pale of human behavior, IMHO. But, that doesn’t change the fact that one can sit in the J-lem Central Bus Station and see young Arab women eating at a table, laughing and giggling as though their men did not treat them like animals, and see Arab women waving at you from their rooftops in Jebel Mukabr as their children play on summer afternoons…

    First of all, they are people, just like I am a person, and some of the dehumanizing comments on this comment thread do not belong. But a culture of killing young women for the crime of being raped is not, in my opinion, a culture that civilized humans indulge in. If this is the 100 times more culture that the Arabs have that others seem to lack (according to Marthe at comment #12, anyway) they can keep their damned culture. AND KEEP OUT OF MY COUNTRY.

  • Wow — this might be the most uneducated, simplistic view of the middle east conflict that I’ve ever read save for Ann Coulter’s.

  • Zing, “maybe it was there in some form already, but we sculpted it into its present shape.” Very mportant line you inserted here. Yes, the Arab world was already in descent well before the arrival of the West after the discovery of oil. Israel only hastened it and became a convenient scapegoat to mask their own fall. As for the economy, and his ties into Moonraven, there is no shortage of proof and statisitcs and realities of the Arab world’s steadfast decline. In the 1920s the Arab world was ahead by every reasoanble economic statistic of Asia. By the 1950s Asia witnessed its own econoic miracle. Lookt at it now. Look at the Arab world. It’s a amazing what a little enlightened leadership can do. As for the Arabs being “uncivilized” I disagree. While compromise is not their forte they are a product of bankrupted Arab governance. Give them true governance and they can be just as functional as any. Just look at the ones who come here and adapt very well – assuming they don’t fall prey to banal conspiracy theories.

  • moonraven


    1. It is NOT YOUR country. Get over it. You do not have a country.

    2. I did not say 100 times more culture–I said 100 time greater NET WORTH–that’s money, assets, moolah, plata, lana.

  • I know I shouldn’t be bothering but what they hell.

    “The US has NO culture whatsoever.”

    Wrong. If America has no culture, then so does none on the continent. Enlighten me: how do you define culture?

    “The average Arab in the Gulf States has 100 times the net worth of you jokers posting here.”

    Wrong. Besides being ridiculously presumptuous, no they do not. A tight, small circle (known as an oligarch) does. Arabs are great merchants but the oil profits stay at the top – which causes much misery at the bottom. Enlighten me: produce the figures/report that support this.

    “It is NOT YOUR country. Get over it. You do not have a country.”

    A comment in poor taste indeed. Yes it is his country; and a bloody -albeit imperfect – successful one in a sea of madness. Huff and puff until thy Kingdom Come….

    “Give me a break, ignorant savages.”

    Actually, we should reverse this.

  • moonraven


    Or are all those pyramids and other archaelogical sites–including a group 3 kilometers from my house–just mirages?

  • Wow — this might be the most uneducated, simplistic view of the middle east conflict that I’ve ever read save for Ann Coulter’s.

    Staci, if you want analysis of the Middle East, try my blogsite, or sample some of the sixty or so articles I’ve written for Blog Critics Magazine, or some of the 3,000 comments I’ve left on articles hy others on Iran, or the Middle East.

    And who is Ann Coulter that I should give a rat’s ass about what she thinks?

  • “‘It is NOT YOUR country. Get over it. You do not have a country.’

    A comment in poor taste indeed. Yes it is his country; and a bloody -albeit imperfect – successful one in a sea of madness. Huff and puff until thy Kingdom Come….”

    Thanks for the back-up, Alessandro. By the way that kingdom is coming – sooner than you might imagine…

  • So you equate “culture” with having archeological sites? That’s my point, Latin America has its history, while America has devised its own style of culture. American culture is New World culture. And there isn’t a society on our great continent that comes anywhere close to America’s contributions and achievements- not Canada, not Mexico, not Chile, not Argentina, not Brazil – to world affairs and history; from science to literature and arts to sports to philosophy and so on. This implies it does have a culture in a modern context. Its civilization is young but deep in substance. Just because you choose to deny this does not make your stance correct. They are the leaders of this continent. You may not like it but it does not logically follow that you conclude they have no culture without defining the parameters to which you claim this . All you’re doing is engaging in weak sophistry.

  • moonraven

    You ignorant savages are not the leaders of anyone.

    Get over yourself.

    You don’t go anyplace except to WalMart and the malls.

    You don’t speak any other languages, and you speak English poorly (I stopped hiring folks from the US as English teachers 10 years ago because they did not speak the language.)

    You have no history–except that of genocide.

    You have no street life–all you do is sit inside and watch t.v.

    There is no US cuisine.

    Who are you kidding?

  • Are you referring to me? In case you are, let’s see and FYI: first, I am Canadian and live in Quebec of Italian heritage. So, I speak three languages.

    Second, I frequent the U.S., France and Italy for personal and business reasons. As luck would have it, I am surrounded by friends and family who travel to the places I can’t go to. I studied History and paint my toe nails red.

    Third, you are nothing but massively presumptuous and judgemental – to the point I am not sure if you’re joking. And when asked to engage in real debate you dance (poorly I might add) and move on to infantile rantings and musings.

    For example, I have no clue what you are referring to when you claim “you’re not the leaders of anyone” and it is difficult to discern exactly what you’re so fricken upset abou you go off on frivolous tangents. Trust me, I would not want to lead you into anything. Regardless, there has to be a better way to convey and express it.

    Let’s talk about cuisine shall we? Oh, I’d love to discuss culinary history and practices with you. Right here, right now I challenge you to a proper culinary debate. Let’s see if you can put your spices where your mouth is. If you’re so damn good at attacking let’s see you defend those assertions.

    Alas, the joke is on you. In your case, ignorance is bliss to boot. Where in the world do you come off speaking in such a manner? You teach people? Ugh.

  • Clavos

    Bravo, Alessandro!


  • moonraven

    You still gave no examples of the US culture that is supposedly the leader in this hemisphere.

    Apparently you are all bullshit and no substance. No surprise to me.

    If you are Canadian you should be up to speed on the legends surrounding Raven the Trickster.

    Apparently that was also bullshit….

  • Thank you, Clavos.

    Oh shut up, Moonraven. With apologies of course.

    First, you never asked. Second, if you need me to explain this to you then you need more help than this lousy scribe can describe. Really. All it means is that you have a highly suspect, trivial and parochial view of American history. One thing I will say is that its history is not a sham. No nation on this continent rivals it. NONE.

    There you go again. You pick and choose what you want to attack and answer.

    MR, you’re the one that lacks effen substance. The story of the Raven has many aspects to it and he’s not Canadian per se. He’s a product of Native culture that stretches all the way into Eurasia – and oh yes, he’s the creator of human beings. Of the Universe. What a kidder indeed since he helped produce you. The myth surrounding it is a little deeper than you tried to pull off.

    It’s very easy to debate like you do. Make a wild assertion that can’t possibly be proven, dismiss anyone who challenges you as “not getting it” and call all before a savage. You jab a lot but you run, hide and curl. And when you do reappear it is not to engage but attack.

    Yet, something tells me that if you can properly challenge your excitement free of the utter gutter talk, people may actually listen to you. They will probably still disagree but at least you’ll get your point across more effectively.

    Just my opinion.

  • You ignorant savages are not the leaders of anyone.

    Get over yourself.

    You don’t go anyplace except to WalMart and the malls.

    And you know this because you spend a lot of time hanging out at those places scoffing at the culturally bankrupt riffraff?

    You don’t speak any other languages,

    This is a common misconception. Many Americans do speak other languages. Americans are no more linguistically ignorant than the citizens of other colonial nations and way ahead of people living in some of the more culturally isolated nations like China.

    and you speak English poorly (I stopped hiring folks from the US as English teachers 10 years ago because they did not speak the language.)

    You obviously made the mistake of hiring English majors. You should have hired based on skills rather than academic credentials. After all, based solely on academic credentials, someone might hire you as an educator.

    There is no US cuisine.

    Fear the cultural dominance of our burgers and fries!


  • STM

    “There is no US cuisine.”

    Oh yes there is … burgers and fries, for sure – and you can add pizza to that list. It’s not eaten that way in Italy, and the only similarity is the name. Pizza, as we know it outside Italy, is an American invention. Footy fans the world over salute you, America, for your culinary ingenuity …

  • Clavos

    Brunswick Stew, Hush Puppies, Grits, Country Fried Steak, Southern Fried Chicken, Stone Crabs, Philly Cheese Steaks, Coney Island Hot Dogs, NOLA Pralines, Beignets.

    And that’s just in the East.

  • STM

    Chowder … as in zing’s famous call to Dave Nalle :”Dave, you chowder head”.

  • Mohjho

    Do you realy paint your toenails red Alessandro?

  • Marthe Raymond (moonraven) writes,

    “You have no history–except that of genocide.”

    This is the shining key to Marthe Raymond that you are all ignoring because with it comes a fusillade of withering scorn.

    Marthe identifies with the Indians on the North American continent. That is the part of her heritage that moves her the most, that thrills her. When she reaches into her soul for resuscitation, that is where she reaches. Those pyramids a few kilometers off from where she lives inspire her and remind her of the greatness of her own people.

    I have no trouble understanding this at all, even though her view of the State of Israel is that it oughtn’t exist because of its sins against its neighbors.

    After all, when I see Tel Shiló, when I look out of my windows at the mountains of the Shomrón, or visit the Tayélet in Jerusalem and down look into the Valley of G-d’s Judgment, I also draw inspiration. My spirit is resuscitated by my land. And it is very hurt when I see Israelis abuse it in attempting to mimic America or Europe.

    From an Indian’s point of view, all the greatness that is America was accomplished over the dead bodies of Indians. The culture of her people was eradicated murdered off by the grasping European culture that negated its values of communal land ownership, stewardship over the land, and respect for it and for the animals that shared it with people.

    I’m guessing, but I suspect that to Marthe, the replacement is not culture at all, but barbarism. I suspect that if I were magically transported 1,900 years back in time to Rome, I’d feel the same way about the Romans. In fact, I do, even though I have not been transported back in time. From my point of view all that the Romans accomplished is mere savagery, because it was accomplished with, amongst other murders and enslavements, a genocide of MY people, a genocide pursued over several centuries, just as the genocide of Indians on the North American continent was.

    I direct this at you specifically, Alessandro, because you were kind enough to come to my defense against one of those fusillades of Marthe’s scorn, and also because you can trace a portion of your own ancestry to those Romans. What I say is not said out of ingratitude, but in an attempt to provide light and understanding where there is only darkness and disputation. I would hope that Marthe can see in what I say, not a patronizing attitude, but the understanding of one determined not to be a victim of history, someone similar to her.

    History is an unbroken chain of events, or more precisely, a huge series of unbroken chains of events. When a new chain arises, you get a major disturbance in history – rebellion, war, death, destruction.

    The rise of the Wahhabi strain of Islam, a new chain of events in the history of the Arab world, has been occasioned by all that I mentioned above, rebellion, war, death, destruction. The story of how it has prevented any real progress amongst Arabs is really the topic of Mike Finley’s essay. Unfortunately, it is hidden by misleading names, like “radical Islamic Moslem”. And because Mike decide to go the route of the mainstream media titles, instead of reality, much that he says is “off,” though it is not wrong. So, I reiterate what I said in comment #15, with these additions above.

  • Mohjho, no. I’m more into the blue tones. Yeesh, I have a toe fetish like a character in a Lou Reed song.

    STM, yes and no. Before Italy cultures of the Mediterranean (as well as in Italy) ate something called a flatbread that was lightly garnished if at all. It was similar to the modern day focaccia due to its thin, crusty characterisitcs.

    The pizza, with a thicker, softer bed began to take root in Naples. When tomatoes were introduced to Italy in the 17 th century (I’m not sure of the exact date or century but plus or minus) that’s when the pizza changed forever. Different regions in Itay – not surprisingly since there is no national cuisine. Italy is a regional cuisine (like its wines) – make a their own version of it. The North-South dietary dichotomy is interesting onto itself.

    My mother for example is from South-Central Italy (though she was born here) but they tend to make their pizzas thinner. My brother-in-laws mother who hails from Naples makes a thick pizza. Both are to make you die.

    The American created their own version of that pizza. On a per capita basis the American eat more pizza (and ice cream – another food item with stellar Italian roots) than anyone on earth.

    I don’t know. I’ve seen American cook books. It does have its own take on how to prepare food. It may not rival the national cuisines of countries like -for example – China, India, Lebabon (the Middle-East), Mexico, Italy and France( or the Mediterranean in general) but there is one. In many ways, it resembles Quebec diet and cooking.

    For the record, historians are pretty confident that drum wheat pasta too had Italian roots. The Chinese were doing something completely different. In any event, Italians don’t eat that much pasta as we think. It’s a part of their diet.

    A European study showed that not only are the Italians living longer (along woth the French) they also weigh less than the average European – which suggests they do a great job of balancing their diet. The Dutch are the lightest by the way.

    All useless information you need to know come to me. How did we get here? Oh yeah, MR thinks she’s the only who knows how to eat.

    Yeah right.

  • I neglected to mention, that the Americans popularized pizza and in many ways it has become their own – so in the vain STM is right. Some of the best pizza I ever had was in the USA.

  • moonraven

    I AM obviously the only one on this site who knows how to eat–as EVIDENCE the list of completely unappetizing garbage you jokers offered up under the name of “cuisine”. Burgers and fries, indeed.

    You could not pay me enough to eat shit like grits. Even farm animals wouldn’t eat that.

    I am a member of the Slow Food movement, and in addition to a vast repetoire of Mexican dishes, I also make French food to die for, Italian (and real pizza, not that plastic garbage you eat in the US), Greek, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Russian, North African, Syrian, Hungarian–and so Ruvy doesn’t think I am a Jew Hater: fabulous challah and latkes.

    I have washed my hands of Alessandro the Know It All. He still hasn’t come up with any examples of US culture.

    But, just to set him straight, this Raven the Trickster is not to be taken at face value. He should know better.

    This is a virtual space, after all.

  • What is this, a cooking site?

    Alright, given that everybody is fessing up to what they like, I have taken to eating Middle Eastern food – but I stay away from the lamb because the fat is too hard, and having had one heart attack, I do not need another.

    In fact, now that I think about it, we eat lots of pasta, lots of eggplant, lots of olive oil, lots of salad, and lots of coffee – real coffee. I don’t like the Turkish coffee that much though.

    I’d eat more cheese, but well, those arteries of mine keep me away from the stuff. I also like to eat something called leben, which is similar to yogurt.

    And now I’ll be looking forward to PesaH – Passover – and the joys of eating bread that has as much flavor as the cardboard box it comes in, along with lots of potatoes. No Hallah and no latkes…

    Did I say I was looking forward to this? I’ll have to slap myself.

  • zingzing

    moonraven’s sort of right. the us culture isn’t the deepest around, nor is it entirely original. being a young, diverse nation, we take from other cultures, put a little spin on it, drain it of some of its eccentricities and call it our own. that said, what we lack in depth, we more than make up for in breadth.

    ours is a wide culture, where i can walk a couple of city blocks in seattle and find indian, italian and french restaraunts, european and middle eastern delis, techno, rock and hip-hop clubs, old world-style open markets, jewish bakeries, a brazilian bar, a finnish fashion store (right next to the harley dealership and a place called “buckets” that sells… buckets), european clothing stores, a mexican lunch bar, a cuban restaraunt, a korean kareoke… it goes on. oh, i left out the strip clubs.

    there is very little you can point to that is “american” to the core, but that’s because america is made up of many different cultures. sometimes, they appear mixed together (like a taco bell/kfc… yuck), sometimes they appear separately. trying to find purely “american” culture is ignoring our history as a nation. most of us arrived as whatever culture we emigrated from. a few generations later, we’re american.

    we get to appreciate the best of what the world has to offer, even if, admittedly, it is sometimes watered down.

  • STM

    Ruvy: “Alright, given that everybody is fessing up to what they like, I have taken to eating Middle Eastern food.”

    Me too … falafel, baba ganouge, hummous, tabouli, kibbe, shish tawouk, lamb kebabs (sometimes) etc. You will get some of the best middle-eastern food outside Beirut in this town.

    And don’t get me started on Thai, that other Aussie favourite.

    A bucket of fresh cooked prawns (shrimp) and a couple of (dozen) beers remains a staple, though.

    Also, we are the only nation on Earth that puts its coat of arms on the barbecue … emu and kangaroo. ‘Roo is nice, marinated and seared both sides and cooked quickly so that it is still a bit pink inside. Almost no fat, and full of iron.

  • moonraven

    I was not fessing up to anything. I was talking about what I COOK.

    Middle Eastern food is fine–EXCEPT for falafel, which is like eating a hand grenade. I prefer the versions in Syria, as there are more vegetable dishes. I learned how to make several of those a couple of years ago from a friend who has a Syrian restauarant in….Quito, Ecuador.

  • “Middle Eastern food is fine–EXCEPT for falafel, which is like eating a hand grenade.”

    Many years ago, when my room-mate Phil and I were active in the Democratic club in the North Bronx, we cooked up some falafel for a fundraiser.

    This reform democrat (who shall remained unnamed for reasons that you shall see shortly) loved the falafel that we had made (actually had bought from a falafel shop) and kept stuffing himself on them in spite of our warnings not to.

    The next day he was on the phone after several runny sessions on the ivory throne.

    “Phil, what did you put in that food you served, yesterday?”

    The “back blast” from too much falafel is enough to power a grenade launcher…

  • moonraven

    During the 2 months I spent in Jordan at NYIT in the summer of 2005 I had to buy falafel “sandwiches” every morning when the driver came by to take me to the university because there was no place around there to eat lunch or dinner.

    My intestinal tract has never been the same. And the stuff is REALLY boring–even with hot chile sauce.