I started this blog because I left Boston to live and work in London for a while, and I wanted to stay in touch with family and friends. I'm back now, but still have plenty of opinions on world news, politics, the media and the absolute craziness that comes from dealing with people. Bring it.

26 February 2006

More Cartoon Craziness

Honestly, I can't believe I'm posting YET ANOTHER crazy story about cartoons, but apparently, dissecting cartoondom is now in vogue. If brown was last season's black, then apparently, cartoons are this season's brown.

With a hat tip to The Sandmonkey, I'd like to direct you to this post at Respectful Insolence, entitled "Tom & Jerry: a nefarious Jewish plot." Apparently, at Iran's universities, they are teaching that Jews are controlling the minds of children and spreading propaganda through Tom & Jerry.

Honestly, this one has me stumped. (I thought for sure no one would figure that one out... I mean, we've been hiding that little mind control strategy since 1940 when the cartoon debuted. It's only taken 66 years. Mazal Tov, Mr. Iranian Professor, on your incredible stick-to-it-iveness and powers of deductive reasoning.)

Read the article, though. It's pretty funny (if you forget to be scared for minute) and the comments at the end are excellent, too.

As promised, I'll keep bringing you the cartoon action as it happens.

ps -- Superfriends is also a Jewish plot. Aquaman. Israel has a coastline. Get it? Just wanted to save you a few decades and let you in on that one now.


Hahahaha! Johnny Rotten slays me.
Read this article headlined: Bollocks to fame, we're the Sex Pistols.

Best quote:

Next to the SEX PISTOLS, rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss stain.

25 February 2006

US Ports Flap

You know, when Al Jazeerah writes an editorial, it would be helpful if the writer wasn't INSANE. Now, I know you are sitting there saying, "Um, did you really expect them NOT to be insane?" but I'm telling you, this one takes the cake.

In this OpEd in which the writer -- surprise, surprise -- calls the opposition to the UAE-based company running US ports racist, the most obvious instance of insanity is the following quote:

The deal's opponent claim that Dubai Ports World is owned by a foreign government whose nationals were involved in September 11 attacks on the U.S., but nobody cited similar concern when the ports were under the management of a British firm, despite the fact that some “terrorists” have also carried British passports. No concerns were ever raised about the UK involvement in the U.S. ports, although the British Army once burned Washington.

Now, leaving aside the audacious use of quotataion marks around the word terrorists, as if people who fly planes into buildings and blow up trains aren't terrorists, can we just spend a minute on this argument about the British Army burning Washington DC? This occurred in the year 1814. Not 2001. Are they idiots?

Sadly, the masses who turn to Al Jazeerah for their news probably won't know when the War of 1812 took place, so I suppose they might think it happened on Clinton's watch, before Bush and Blair fell in love.

I'm not going to comment here on the overriding issue, because I'm conflicted in how I feel about this controversy. On the one hand, discriminating against a country because of its ethnic/religious make-up is wrong (and if I don't want that done to Israel, I can't advocate it being done to other countries), on the other, it's not like this is just random racism.. There do seem to be security issues involved...

But I WILL comment on Al Jazeerah's stupidity. Go ahead and make your argument, but come on. 9/11 + 7/7 does not equal 1812. Not even close. And in saying it does, you just look STUPID.

23 February 2006

Tag, You're It!

So I first started this blog intending it to be read only by my friends (well, maybe 50% of my friends). Then I started getting readers from all over the world that I didn't know, and I thought that was cool. Shortly after that, some other bloggers linked to me, and I got in touch with some other bloggers and I thought, "Cool. I'm part of a community."

And now, I've been introduced to a new blogging tradition -- the meme -- by
AbbaGav. What this means is that I've got to answer the below list of questions, then tag four other bloggers. Who knew this would be so much work?! In the spirit of being a productive member of my new blogging community, here goes:

1) Black & White, or Color: How do you prefer your movies?

Considering my favorite movie of all time -- Casablanca -- comes only in b&w, I'm gonna have to go with that. That being said, I can't imagine another of my faves -- Good Fellas -- in anything but color.
2) What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death?
3) MP3s, CDs, Tapes or Records: How do you like your music?

MP3s, although one of the best things about MP3s is the fact that I can use them to burn CDs for people and for my commute -- a new one every day to match my mood, if I want to.
4) You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … Ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run?
This is a tough one. Every fiber of my being is screaming, "say yes!" but I don't think I could do it without telling (and taking!) my friends and family.
5) Seriously, what do you consider the world's most pressing issue now?
I like the spirit of AbbaGav's answer: "The growing divide between Islam and the Western world" but I'm gonna take it further/broader and say, the increasing polarization of the world in general, even as technology is supposedly making earth a "global village." Traveling here in Europe, talking to people of diverse backgrounds and reading the news, I am troubled by a culture of blame, an increasing "us & them" attitude and a focus on issues or taking sides rather than on people. If humanity can't get past that, we're screwed.
6) How would you rectify the world's most pressing issue?
If I knew how to do that, I'd have a much more important job than I currently do.
7) You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life. What would that be?
I would have moved to Israel right after graduating from high school, done my army service and stayed there.
8) You have the chance to go back and change one event in world history. What would that be?
It's not original, and I'm copying both AbbaGav
and his tagger,
Scottage but I would prevent the Holocaust.
9) A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole' Opry. Which would you choose?

The opera. The fancy dress. A wildly romantic opera like La Traviata. And waterproof mascara.
10) What is the one great unsolved crime of all time that you'd like to solve?
I'd like to find out who robbed Geraldo of his moment in the sun by emptying out Al Capone's vaults.
11) One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be and what would you serve?
J.D. Salinger, no question. And I'd make paella. He would love my paella.
12) You discover that John Lennon was right -- there is no hell below us and above us is only sky. What's the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact?
Wait, do Jews even believe in hell? I don't, so this revelation wouldn't make one bit of difference to me.
Now I am supposed to tag four other bloggers. I am a bit unsure of the etiquette here. I believe the tagging process is driven mostly to highlight other blogs and provide links, introducing visitors to other blogs I find interesting or noteworthy.

Still, some of the writers of the those blogs do not necessarily know me... So what to do? I am going to assume that they will appreciate the link, and make their own choice as to whether to participate. If I've breached etiquette by tagging you without having communicated with you before (or you've done this before and don't want to do it again), please accept my apology and know that I tag because I love...

An Unsealed Room

New Cartoon Crisis

Now that recent events have elevated the importance of cartoons in today's global marketplace, lawmakers are looking closely at the broad spectrum of cartoondom, and passing important legislation to regulate this powerful medium.

China has thrown down the gauntlet and said, "cartoons must follow the conventions WE decide upon." Lest you think this is a "freedom of speech vs. religion" issue, let me put your mind at ease. We're not going to rehash the Mohammed cartoons again. It's actually a "humans and drawings intermingling" issue.

China's TV regulator announced today that "so-called cartoons that mainly feature real people and only occasionally have computer-generated elements" (that's an actual quote!) are hereby banned. Initially, this appears to affect the Teletubbies and showings of 1988's tour de force, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

I'm not sure why this is necessary, but who am I to question Chinese regulators, especially since neither Jessica Rabbit nor Po seem to have come out in opposition nor begun organizing demonstrations. (I'll need to do some more digging to find out whether there is a movement afoot to use the Chinese flag as toilet paper, or kindling.)

Watch this space for further cartoon-regulation news. I can't even believe I just typed that...

21 February 2006


So while I was away, and not paying attention last week, AbbaGav honored me by including my post -- Make Sense? -- in Haveil Havalim, the rotating weekly round-up of notable writing from Jewish bloggers. This week, the round-up is hosted by Soccer Dad here.

I only wish I had been paying attention and offered new visitors to my site something new and exciting to read. (Oh, the pressure!) Instead, they got to read about my business trips. Not that interesting to people who don't know me (or dare I say it, even to people who DO know me... but my friends have to pretend that they care...)

In any case, whether you are Jewish or not, there is some great writing being highlighted, so please check it out -- and I will try to provide a link to the latest host each week. You'll enjoy the reading, and you might learn something, too.

And thanks to AbbaGav for the shout-out. (and raising the bar!)

The Centre!

In my continuing quest to be responsive to my readers, who like their political rants tempered with stupid, Beavis & Butthead style humor, I offer the second installment in the occasional feature entitled, "Funny Signs in London." I apologize for the quality, but this was taken from a moving taxi with a camera phone. You get the gist. And no, male readers, if you come to visit, I will not take you to "the centre" -- you're gonna have to find it on your own. Enjoy!

20 February 2006


I know, I know -- the cartoon thing is getting old, but I couldn't help but notice that this cartoon ran on the Saudi Arab News site yesterday. Apparently, they are saying that Jewish people chop the ears off other people and collect them.

This is offensive to me. I am planning to boycott Saudi products. Hmmm, since I don't have a car here in London, boycotting gasoline would be an empty gesture. So, I will need to boycott..... ummm, I have no idea. Maybe I'll just send them some paper cups?!


Whew! After two+ weeks of business travel, it's nice to be back at home base. I left London on February 3 to spend a weekend at home in Boston before heading to a company meeting in Florida. The surreal nature of spending the next two weeks with coworkers ALL THE TIME was bit much to bear... Although Florida did have some bright spots, including watching my boss dance like the white man he is! We had a company event at some antique car museum (don't ask!) and when the DJ played AC/DC's Back in Black, he MADE me dance with him. It was quite an experience.

From Florida, I spent half a day at home, getting massive amounts of dental work and then hopped a plane for Barcelona, where I once again had "all work all the time". I think I may have gotten myself in a bit of trouble the night I stayed out drinking until 4 am (including helping to empty a colleague's mini bar) before an 8 am meeting. Good thing I'm charming or I might be unemployed.

After the tradeshow ended, my friend Margie joined me in Barcelona. I'm embarrassed to admit that we didn't do much over the weekend other than eat and sleep, but I did manage to buy two fabulous handbags while I was there!

12 February 2006

Fireworks in Barcelona

I'm in Barcelona after spending half a day in Boston (in transit). I used my few hours in Boston to go to the dentist. Apparently, when they gave me novocaine, they hit a nerve, resulting in a good 5 hours of an inability to speak, eat or drink any liquids whatsoever. My attempts at ordering a smoothie were rather embarrassing, as I tried to take a sip in the store and ended up with the drink all over my sweater... Good times.

At least I can eat and drink now that I'm in Barcelona. Last night, my co-worker made me walk all over the city with her while she looked for "interesting socks" -- seriously. Interesting socks. Ummm, ok?

She also kept talking about terrorism. I tried to explain to her that to the best of my knowledge, no newspapers in Barcelona printed the Mohammed cartoons, but she insisted that we should be vigilant. (BTW, CNN Europe's coverage seems to now be composed 50% of bird flu and 50% of the cartoons)

So about 10 minutes after this "terrorism" conversation, we're walking down the street and we see a parade. She starts getting all nervous, because she fears the terrorists will attack the parade. She even says to me, "We should get off this street. It's unsafe to be among crowds as that is where terrorists are most likely to hit." Now, starting tomorrow we're going to be at a tradeshow of like 40,000 people, but she's worried about parades.

Meanwhile, this is a main shopping thoroughfare, but she's convinced someone is going to attack the parade. Just as she's trying to hustle me off the street, some firecrackers go off as part of the parade -- she FREAKS OUT and starts screaming, "I told you so!" Meanwhile, I am on the ground laughing hysterically as all the little children on the street are pointing at the grown woman who is afraid of firecrackers.

08 February 2006

Where in the world?

Just a quick post to let you know I am traveling for work untl Feb. 20, so the posts may be sporadic for a few weeks. Keep checking back, though, because when I have time, I will let you all know about AC/DC, Leroy Brown, my informal global TV show poll and many other things that I am sure will be hilarious.

05 February 2006

Make Sense?

When a Danish newspaper publishes offensive cartoons, assuming you choose non-violent means to protest (rather than, say, burning down embassies...), who does it make sense to target? Here are your choices:
1) The publisher of the newspaper ?
2) The entire industry of the country where the paper is published?
3) All of Europe?

WRONG AGAIN -- it was a trick question. Obviously, you'll want to take full advantage of this opportunity to lash out at the Jews! Especially if you happen to live in Europe and would find it rather inconvenient to (a) never buy anything in the country you live in again and (b) be arrested for burning down buildings in the EU when you actually live in the EU.

That's right, apparently, The Arab-European League decided to fight back against the offensive Mohammed cartoons by publishing a cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler, some Holocaust-doubting cartoons and other lovely anti-Jewish comics as "an exercise in free speech." Read about it here. And by the way, just so you save yourself the trouble, I googled this topic eight different ways and apparently, the only non-Israeli news outlet who thought to cover this is in Canada. For coverage, check out the web sites of Ynetnews, Haaretz or the Jerusalem Post. The leader of the AEL, btw, also suggested Muslims use the Danish flag as toilet paper. Seriously. At least according to the Iranian News Agency -- read about it here.

So you're probably thinking, as I was, that some of the cartoonists, or the publisher of the paper, or someone else involved in getting the cartoons out there was Jewish. You know, a kind of "you insulted me, I'll insult you, and see how you feel" lesson. Well, I googled that 20 different ways, and couldn't find evidence of that either. And given that Denmark is overwhelmingly Christian, I'm not surprised. So please tell me, what is the purpose of this "exercise in free speech?"

I actually found the original Mohammed cartoons racist and offensive. But I also believe in free speech. I do think that there were ways that Muslims could have made their voices heard. But threatening Europeans, burning down embassies and dragging a group that has nothing to do with this is undermining the cause. And is showing that extremist groups within the Muslim world never miss an opportunity to share their own brand of racism with the world. That is, if anyone other than other Jews bother to notice this latest crazy reaction to the controversy.

BTW, the AEL's cartoons are on the group's web site, along with some really smarmy language about "free speech" but I just can't bring myself to provide a link.

It Haunts Me

I'm in Boston -- for a quick weekend before heading to a company meeting in Florida, then off to Barcelona for work, and some pleasure as well.

So today is Superbowl Sunday, a fact that totally escaped me before I came home, as they don't publicize that sort of thing in the UK. So the "other" TV channels are running specials to try and capture viewers who don't watch the Superbowl. And guess what TNT is running all freaking day today? A CHARMED marathon. Because I don't get enough of that 5x a day in the UK.

I bet Liftetime is running a Golden Girls marathon, Sci-Fi Network is running a Quantum Leap marathon, Cartoon Network is running a Futurama marathon and Fashion TV is running a Tyra talk show marathon. Just my freaking luck.

02 February 2006

More TV

Based on my previous posts on TV, I imagine lots of people will have something to say about this one.

New revelations about British daytime TV

Apparently, Quincy and Kojak (with Telly Savalas, not Ving Rhames) are still alive and well here in the UK

Tyra Banks, who had a talk show that lasted about 4 episodes in the US, is referred to as "the queen of chat" here, and
apparently, she still tapes her shows in the US and exports them here, because it is on every day

I've just looked up and noticed a drama, that appears to be a regular show, about a Canadian Mounty. Does anyone know
what this show is called? Today's episode is about a wolf running around. It appears that the wolf is both the Mounty's pet/regular part of the show, and the focus of this episode's "crisis."

In the interest of full disclosure, by the way, I feel that I need to admit that yesterday, while waiting for the internet engineer to come fix things, I watched entire episodes of both Quantum Leap and Charmed, but only because I was wildly bored, couldn't use my computer, had been watching the news for 2 hours already, and was entirely stressed out about the internet situaion. Really. I swear.

01 February 2006

Amusing News

I did it again. Read the Saudi Arab News site. I don't know why I keep doing this, but I do. Most of the stories totally depressed me. And just as I was about to give up (I've already posted about the Danish boycott and Hamas), sure that I wouldn't find nothing new, I came upon this gem of a news item, titled, Family Drives Son Insane. Enjoy!

JEDDAH, 1 February 2006 — A divorced couple went to extremes in a battle over influence of their son by forcing him to marry four women in six months, the Al-Watan daily reported. It began when the father insisted the son marry a
woman from his side of the family. The mother retaliated insisting that he marry a girl from her side of the family. A wife from each side wasn’t enough for the father in the balance of power; he insisted on a third wife — you guessed it — from his side. Not to be outdone, the mother upped the ante by including another wife from her side. Finally cracking from unbearable family pressure, the son was admitted to a hospital for psychological treatment. He currently refuses to see his parents or his wives. Can anyone blame him?

Poke in the Eye

You gotta love France. In my case, its because of their ability -- and propensity -- to poke people in the eye. Like, for example, A French newspaper's reprinting of the offending Mohammed cartoons that have resulted in death threats and boycotts against Danish citizens, businesses and interests across the Arab world. Read about it here.

As a result of its colonialist past, France has more Muslim residents than any other European country, and ps, I think they're still pretty angry about not being respected. At least you would think so given the riots that happened all over France not that long ago. Just a guess, really, but that's what I'm thinking.

And yet, they say to the Muslim world (and their Muslim citizens), "you make me laugh wis your seellee flag burnings and threats of death. Viva la liberte! Look at zee cartoons again!"

I mean, I'm as into free speech as anyone. But is it necessary to fan the flames? Its just so stupid. And so provacative. And so, so French. Gotta love it.

On a related note, I highly recommend another blog coming out of Cairo -- Egyptian Sandmonkey -- who's got a great, amusing, on the ground take on the whole Danish boycott and everything else under the sun. Check it out here.

Got Net!

So I have Internet access again. Finally! Although it hasn't been without its challenges. I got my company into the act, and they threatened the hotel manager with moving me out and not paying. The hotel then wrote back to my company saying that I REFUSED to meet with their technician. I immediately sent off a nastygram (that coincided with my internet finally being fixed!) and I'm gonna share that with all of you because I am so proud of my angry writing skills.

Here it is:

I have just seen the email string regarding the internet situation. I categorically DID NOT refuse to see the technician on Monday. When he arrived, after waiting all day (and not having internet access for four days), I was on the phone with an important customer. When the staff came to tell me that the technician had arrived, I said that I was finishing my phone conversation (I had already lost quite a bit of work time and was frankly explaining to the customer why she had not received the documents she was requesting -- a direct result of my not being able to do work in my apartment).

I hung up in less than 10 minutes, went directly to the desk to ask to see the technician and was told that he left because there were no problems. I was not casually chatting with friends, but rather, trying to repair damage to a customer relationship that was a direct result of the issues I was having with the internet in my apartment.

This is a far cry from my "declining to see the technician and saying I was too busy." If you recall, from our conversation yesterday, I have been repeatedly ASKING to speak to the service provider. Given the level of stress I have undergone and my lost work time, it is absurd to suggest that I would not want to be involved in getting this resolved.

The technician has been here this morning, and for the moment, the internet access does appear to be working. However, I must say that this practice of "blaming the customer", not communicating and not following up, but rather pointing fingers and passing blame is not in line with the level of customer service I experienced prior to this incident. Other than CXXXX on the Royal Service Desk, my dealings with almost everyone else at the hotel in regard to this matter have been either disappointing, or downright infuriating.

I trust that now that my internet is working, and I have brought these issues to your attention, I will again experience the type of service for which the hotel is known and I had experienced prior to this unfortunate, drawn-out incident. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss this further.

Feel free to use any part of this diatribe if you have any angry letters to write. And btw, I am still waiting for my complementary bottle of apology champagne...