Monday, February 05, 2007

To throw the shoe, or not to throw the shoe: a cultural dilemma. Don't you love it when Western reporters explain to their readers differences between their culture and Arab culture? I don't know about you, but I really love it. Here is from the New York Times: "During the argument, heated words were exchanged and shoes were thrown, a severe insult in the Arab world." So throwing a shoe at somebody is a "severe insult in the Arab world" but not anywhere else? How exotic. Tell me more, o culture experts of the New York Times. So today, I wanted to test this theory. So 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).