Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saudi Sorcery and Middle Eastern Country Western Remembrances

So the Saudis are on the brink of sawing a guy's head off for practicing "black magic" (i.e., fortune telling). Gotta love it. Granted, "Uncle Arthur" was pretty stupid for flying to Saudi Arabia in the first place, but it turns out he's a devout Shiite Muslim and was on a Hajj pilgrimage from his home country of Lebanon when he was arrested in 2008. Apparently Crockett and Tubbs from Medina Vice recognized this master criminal from the fortune telling TV show he does back in Lebanon and nabbed his ass to protect the faithful. Guess they don't burn their witches in SA and drowning is likewise too rock and roll. No faddish post-modern Salem stuff for them - beheadings are ever classic (they never seem to go out of style). Global outrage has succeeded in one stay of execution for our intrepid warlock but it's just a matter of time before they take a little too much off the top and that ol' black magic hasn't afforded him a means of escape (they must have his nose immobilized or else he'd have twinkled himself free by now, Samantha-style, though perhaps that only works for witches). Through it all, we American's just seem to go right on loving the Saudi government. What's a little human rights violation here, the number #1 breeding ground of terrorism there, when you're sitting on the lion's share of the world's oil reserves.

I had a chance to spent several weeks in Bahrain a little over 19 years ago and had a chance to witness the surreal on a nightly basis courtesy of the country western bar attached to my hotel. The Saudi Arabian government puts alcohol on similar footing with sorcery, so many of their citizens would make the drive over the causeway into Bahrain to get hammered at this shit kicker bar, in full out middle eastern garb save for the cowboy boots sticking out from under their robes. They'd be "ye-hawing" and two stepping it on the dance floor all evening and then presumably drive blind drunk over the causeway back to the land of no-no-no. They seemed to be good guys mostly - hopefully they didn't kill themselves or somebody else (or lose their head at a DWI checkpoint). "I'm sorry, sir - have you been drinking? Yes? Could you please keep your chin up? You won't feel a thing ..." I'm not condoning drunk driving, certainly. Nor do I think much of fortune tellers - most of them are con artists and the rest simply fools, in my eyes. I don't think decapitation is the answer, though.

Personally, all this is just more affirmation of my passionate belief in non-belief. History is littered with such acts and far worse in the name of God; no religion is immune from this - certainly not those dealing in absolutes, which includes all the major ones.

So the Saudis are on my list. As are the Chase Sapphire couple who've seemingly amassed an endless supply of points having never actually used their credit card to earn them. I hope they ski off a mountain. And as always, "Chuck" Schwab. May everyone associated with these two advertising campaigns fry in their own special hell, forced to watch their insipid commercials endlessly for all eternity.

Happy Easter, Ester, Passover, Pass out, or whatever other reason you find to be happy. Just try not to be happy at the expense of another person's head ...

As Mr. Zimmerman said, "When you're lost in the rain in Juarez and it's Easter time too ..."