Two Brits Dead at Red Sea Resort

the Coopers, RIP

It’s Saturday.
There is so much to talk about, the mind reels.
Florida hybrid pythons, for example; now it’s not just the creepy old snake neighbor across the street (who refuses to die off, even as he pushes 90, and in fact thrives all the more, if I cast dirty looks his way) that I need to keep an eye on.

Or the Guardian, now casually referring — to paraphrase Eliot Cohen in his new piece in The Atlantic — to the poster incubus of bombastic senility as “an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal crime.”

A falsely buoyant US economy that is a few idiotic tweets away (I’m waiting for the announcement that Trumpo has decided to nuke Iran and North Korea simultaneously, as a distraction, after ordering the FBI to arrest Mueller for sedition) from a major correction that would most likely wipe away any post 2016 gains for retail investors dumb enough to keep riding the bubble.
Meanwhile the pig cuts another $200 million from aid to the Palestinians, as the UK wobbles like a drunken sailor, with a no-deal Brexit looming.
Where even to begin?
I must not drift like a loggerhead in the Jet Stream detritus of bad news, but instead remain true to the noble purpose of this inspiring blog — namely, how a sexagenarian such as myself maintains his sanity, despite a world that’s constantly changing for the worse.
Here’s a completely embarrassing vid by the Rascals, now no longer young, that underscores what I mean.

Let me focus on Egypt, instead, where this time last year, I was two weeks away from spending 7 months in the dust bowl resort town of El Gouna.
Earlier this week, a couple from Lancashire, John Cooper, 69, and his wife, Susan, 64, were vacationing at the Steigenberger (this, or some close variant, seems to be the name of every other fucking hotel along the Red Sea) Aqua Magic Hotel  in Hurghada (the same pitifully Third World town where a naive young UK woman named Laura Plummer was arrested not that long ago and is still languishing in jail, while retiring UK ambassador to Egypt  John Casson idly stood by and did nothing) on the Red Sea died suddenly within hours of each other.
The Egyptian political hack and death-head skirt known as Rania Al-Mashat, who is the country’s American-educated Minister of Tourism, was right quick to determine their death was simply due to “natural causes.”
Natural causes; nothing more.
First the husband croaks, perhaps from monoxide poisoning, then the wife kicks the bucket – within hours of one another. Completely normal, or aa’di, as Egyptians are wont to say about absurdities that are passed on as ordinary events.
Only Natural Causes, according to the slimeball government mouthpiece know as Al-Ahram — the story rapidly being buried, as the hours tick by,
Will this be the death knell of Egypt’s tourist failing industry?

A skirt amidst the suits

I hope so, if that is what it will take to permanently loosen the viselike deathgrip the army has had on Egypt since 1952.
The question is, will the various flacks and TripAdvisor idiots who blithely shill this mosquito-infested coast as some kind of a “Red Sea Riviera” ever develop a conscience or, in the latter’s case, actually know anything real about the country they are so keen on pimping?
Will Karim Benzema, as an act of solidarity, give back the money he was paid to promote Red Sea tourism?
Will Theresa May order the Royal Navy to blockade and shell Hurghada, like the English used to do when Brittania ruled the sea, until Tramadol Laura is freed by her dark captors?

Probably not, particularly as there will always be plenty of low life Russians and Eastern Eurotrash and working class Brits willing to fly to the Red Sea for a song, despite the inherent risks.

Kareem in Hurghada recently, on a promo tour with one of the bogus, pseudo-Westernized swarthy hustlers that are typical of places like Gouna

Meanwhile, many members of the Egyptian diaspora – for example, this PhD. student in Germany – are afraid to return to their own country for fear of being “disappeared” at Cairo airport once they land.
I know the feeling.
Probably 90 per cent of Egyptians (particularly males) under 30 (by my own estimate, and I am never wrong about anything) would be willing to emigrate to Europe at the drop of a hat, if given half a chance.

Peepee Pasha – Source Latuff Cartoons

To top it off, Egypt just passed draconian “cybercrime” legislation (you can read about it here, in Mada Masr, a publication that is blocked inside of Egypt by Sissi’s cowardly and paranoid regime, that, like the Orange Clown’s fecal administration, despises a free press that shines the disinfectant of sunlight on the machinations of corrupt turdballs) that in effect cripples any ability of Egypt’s ordinary citizenry to even sneeze at the presidency of Peepee Pasha, without risking huge fines and lengthy jail terms in solitary confinement.
Egypt is a sick, dying society that presently will have no future, if things continue this way much longer.
Sissi — or is it Isis spelled backwards? —  is a sort of political whore, who is giving away Egyptian land to the Saudis, in return for dubious baksheesh “investment” deals with the Saudis and unconscionable accommodations with Bibi and his violent, racist Zionist band of Arab-hating land grabbers.
All Peepee has to do is say MB, and the Americans will give his precious army enough tanks and dollars (which these ertswhile “generals” of course skim off the top) to continue suppressing the Egyptian people.
I urge all tourists, particularly wealthy Germans, Brits, Italians, French, and Spaniards to boycott Egypt and thus help bring this whore ruling claque to its knees.
Spending Euros in this cesspool of a country is the equivalent of tacitly supporting fascism, and prolonging the exodus to Europe by those who seek freedom and economic opportunity.
Fuck Sissi and his tribe of vile enforcers and state supported parasites.
Maybe out of their ashes will rise a free nation that will no longer feel compelled to turn itself into a vast prison camp, as the elites party the night away in mindless vacations havens such as El Gouna (surrounded of course by a vast security apparatus to keep the bearded ones away), while the rest of Egypt tries vainly to survive in a collapsing, hyper inflationary economy, where only the corrupt and already wealthy do well.
So what does your truly, the humble sexagenarian do amidst all this faouda?
Perhaps the MTA says is best:  if you see something, say something — silence implies assent, and I, like millions of others, will no longer acquiesce. Even if few read this blog, at least it is one voice, that might lead to another, and another, and yet another, until this shit all comes to a stop.
Trump and his supporters will not go down without a fight, and I am afraid that it looks like it will require a convincing reckoning — which I for one hope will be via fair elections and unflinchingly courageous legal means, rather than, say, duels at sunrise with malicious overlords and the racist peasantry who tend their vast dominions  — for things to substantially change.
The differences in the American body politic may seem too vast, too unbridgeable.
But we must never rest until tyrants such as Sissi and Trump and others of their ilk are permanently removed from positions of power, and humiliated to such a degreee that others will think twice before attempting this sort of malevolent crap again.
Will any of this seeming pipe-dream ever transpire?
John and Susan Cooper, to name just two, will never know.

I hope our fate shall differ, in that regard.

leaving america

The A Train To Inwood

Boiling hot, but we went anyway! Too bad we couldn’t walk through the park, but the threat of sunstroke was a bit too much, as was the stench of rotting garbage from all the sanitation trucks idling at the edge of Dykman Ave. We took the A back, but didn’t change to the 1 at 168th Street. Instead, we cooled our heels in the relatively empty A train, got off at 59th, & took the Broadway local going uptown. Got off at 103rd St, and had lunch — again — at Cafe du Soleil. Back at the hotel, we turned the sound off when the orange pig came on to grab some limelight off Aretha’s death. Don’t bother, shithead: not too many brothers are likely to be voting Republican anytime soon, except for those race traitors that you pay to show up at your so called rallies. I remember when John Lindsay, a former Republican mayor, went to Harlem, without a security detail during a time of racial turbulence. Why don’t you try that out, bone spur boy? Show us all what a tough guy you really are, as you trash talk authentic American heroes like John McCain, and lie about John Brennan being a security threat. The only real threat to this country is you, fuckface and the fun people who still support your sorry ass. Hear that? Mueller is coming… tic toc.

We are all Palestinians

Recycling urns in Abu Tig Marina, in El Gouna, Egypt

The Arab world is agog over Trumps’s plan to announce Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The president of Egypt has rightfully called Trump to warn him of the consequences of this dangerous action, as have numerous other Arab and Muslim leaders. The EU has also condemned the move; even Haaretz has come out against it.

Sadly, the truth is that this announcement is nothing new; in fact, it is recycled old news.

The facts are as follows:

  1. Except for 1956, the United States has always been 100 % behind Israel;
  2. Congress passed a law in 1995 declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel;
  3. President Obama showered Bibi with the largest military aid package in history, in hopes of pushing forward a 2-state solution, and failed due to Israeli intransigence;
  4. The Israeli government has relentlessly pushed its West Bank settlement and annexation policy for decades.

That the West Bank if now part of Israel is a de facto reality; instead of trying for the impossible, perhaps we should listen to what some Palestinians have to say.

For instance, I recall a conversation I had a decade ago, at the Tribeca FIlm Festival, with Mohammed Bakri, the veteran Palestinian actor/director. He vehemently opposed the two state solution, arguing for working within the Israeli system, with the help of the International community, to fight for Palestinian rights.

Certainly demographics and the anti-apartheid stand of the EU would support this view.

In a single state model, Israel would of course one day cease to be a Jewish majority state — unless it was prepared to permanently adopt internal policies that would make it even more of a pariah on the global stage than it is today.

But such a position may be tenable in the short run — so long as Christian evangelicals, right-wing plutocrats, and the Jewish lobby continue to call the shots in Washington.

But American demographics, too, are rapidly changing, and the prospect of a major upheaval in the United States in the next few years is likely.

Such is the long view, one that Trump is likely to care little about: this Jerusalem announcement, whatever its specifics, is but the latest deliberate shiny object distraction from the Muller inquiry and the grotesque Republican tax bill he is about to sign.

But should Israel really bank on the permanent ascendance of the US right to guarantee its long-term existential security in a region of the world where it is loathed for what is has done to the Palestinian people?

Is that the smart move?

We live in a time of massive change.

Lines are being drawn, dystopian scenarios are now common in political non fiction as well as serious literature, with Exit West by Mohsin Hamid being the latest example.

As for Bakri, he continues to make movies, and is currently starring in Annemarie Jacir’s Wajib, her third, and latest, submission to the foreign-language Oscar category. Palestinian voices will never be extinguished, and global historical currents are unlikely to allow the disturbed ravings of a perverted American gangster capitalist to permanently decide how the ultimate fate of Palestine pans out.

Donald Trump, his right-wing supporters, and Bibi Netanyahu and his ilk are relics of a corrupt, ugly past.

The future does not belong to them, but, blinded with hubris, they may be unwittingly digging their own political graves in Jerusalem.

leaving america