America the Unbeautiful


The face of American hate

It was only a matter of time.
I have barely been back in Florida three weeks, following a seven-month hiatus in El Gouna, Egypt, and already the intimidation and harassment on the street by the notorious Gang of Three has commenced.
Today, as I returned to my house on my bike after a 15-mile ride, one of these individuals — let’s call him Loafer Guy — was standing in “his” driveway, which is about 200 or so feet away from mine, with the nasty white-haired old hag — known as The Wraith —who lives across the street from him.
They stood like sentinel plants, insolently staring at me pull into my driveway, as if I did not really have the right to do that — in a house I have owned for nearly twenty years — as if, as an Arab-American, I did not really belong in this country.
Suddenly Loafer Guy hocked up a loogie then, ptooie, spat it out in my direction, making a deliberately loud khaptouf sound in this grotesque process.  The Wraith did nothing except continue to stare, as if this behavior were normal and in fact called for.
Not to be seen was the ringleader of the Gang of Three — a despicable New Jersey runt, whom I’ve nicknamed Roger.
Rogee is pushing 90 and looks like a homeless person with one foot in the grave. He lives directly across the street from me, and has threatened me with physical violence in the past: I called the police; they did nothing.
Unusual for him, Rogee was not around for this little drama, but of course had again left his garage door open all day — though it is against the association’s rules to do so — as if to assert his twisted territorial rights.
Loafer Guy is in his 50s and has been unemployed at least a decade.
He hangs around on this street, after being thrown out by the County Sheriff for non-payment of his mortgage, around when the housing bubble crashed, in another association not far from here.
Now he’s just waiting for his 90-year-old bedridden Mama to kick the bucket so he can inherit the house and perhaps move on to wherever.
He’s from Middle America, one of the God-forsaken flyover states, and has spent the last twenty years as a transient in FLA, always lurking around its reddest fringes.
The Wraith with the dead husband — she could be from anywhere — is a hopelessly angry old coot who rarely leaves the immediate surroundings of her house.
This street may be in the middle of Nowheresville, but it’s their entire, pathetic world, one that they never leave, one they zealously guard against the blacks, the Mexicans, the Jews, the Arabs, Democrats… and whatever FOX news tells them is the enemy that is secretly plotting to make their way of life vanish.
When I left El Gouna less than a month ago, a few people whom I had become friends with bought me a goodbye present.  I am still wearing it — a Bedouin style ID beaded bracelet with my name on it — that has been on my right wrist since the day I left Egypt.
Yet when I arrived here, not one person bothered to say hello and welcome me back.
I don’t imagine it’s breaking news to anyone reading this post that most of Florida, especially white, old Florida, is Trumplandia every inch of the way.
No matter what the Orange Turd does, these despicable racists will vote for him as well as for every corrupt right-wing pol who supports their Fascist agenda.
For the most part, around here at least, these are deeply uneducated people: boorishly ill-mannered, and filled with hatred — perhaps because at some level they must realize how deeply pointless their wretched lives have turned out, how at the end of their miserable existence they never amounted to much.
And so for that they have to find someone or a group of people to scapegoat. They are not adult enough to recognize that they simply failed in life and it is nobody’s fault but their own, that they were never good enough or intelligent enough to do any better than hate and poison the body politic with their toxic collective disappointment that they can never squarely come to terms with or it would destroy whatever shred of self esteem they may have left.
I am not talking about the traditional grumpy old geezerhead here; I am talking about the sorts of people you find in places like Florida, whose every word is laced with the acid of self hatred turned into a perpetual sense of aggrieved victimhood.
Imagine condemning yourself in old age to being… that, a loathsome monster filled with impotent rage that once in a while turns murderous.
Meanwhile, what should I do?
Buy a pistol?
Take Concealed Carry and Krav Maga courses, which are popular around here?
Lurk around gun ranges?
Seal the outside salt filter system in case Loafer Guy creeps onto my property one night and dumps lye or strychnine in my water filtration system?
Hmmm…. let’s see.
I do actually have an October 1st return ticket booked on Egyptair to Gouna… only because it was cheaper to do so, not because Egypt with its even more rancid governing junta offers any kind of solution.
In the meantime, I will continue to make my 66-year-old body stronger. This incident has only motivated me further to body build — not bulk, but lean taut muscle — such that these creeps, and any others like them, might think twice about crossing that invisible line that keeps us all from reverting to some primitive feral state of being.
Buying a gun or taking Israeli self-defence course is only becoming one of them, just another crazy Florida creep.
Time has a way of sorting things out.
The Wraith and Roger are probably not long for this world. They cling on — in fact I refer to them, and people like them, as Klingons — as the poison of rancorous hatred courses more strongly through their varicosed veins with each passing day, giving them some putrid reason to continue living.
As for Loafer Guy, no doubt when Mama keels over he will get his money and end up drunk or stoned and in jail somewhere for assault or worse.
From my point of view, as a classic old-school Manhattan Liberal immigrant, the three of them are a perfect metaphor for the still beating, unbeautiful, right ventricle of a 47% diseased, black-hearted America.
I’m going to bide my time.  With each month that goes by, I grow stronger.
As the French say: on verra ce qu’on fera.

leaving america

Cheap is Dear

florida beach

My wife walking to our favorite beach near where we live

Been a couple of days since (‘ve posted.  I’ll make this quick as I am really mad at you guys for not contributing to my Free the Glutens fund.  Only 1 person coughed up half a sawbuck, and he was my best friend from college.

Jeez, what a bunch  of el cheapos!

So I’m ending the campaign, and will have to find a way to return the 5 dollars to Eric C. I heard he still lurks in the Jersey swamps, so it might not be that easy finding him without a canoe.

In other news, the delicious fig jam I bough in El Gouna is almost out.


fig jam

Egyptian fig jam

That was one of the nice things I brought back with me from Egypt, and now it’s almost gone.

Last few days have been all about mobile app prototyping using Dropsource.

I won’t bore you with the details, but it looks like this product is mainly useful for wireframing mobile app ideas.

Alas, it looks like I will have to do that which I have been avoiding — attempting, at age 66, to conquer the great beast that is Xamarin.

The fitness thing continues as before, and on Friday I went to see my cardiologist who was ecstatic over my nearly 35 -40 lbs weight loss while in El Gouna.

Now I don’t have to seem him again for another year.

But I am not just about trying to get my body in shape.  Half the reason I am doing this mobile app thing is to force my brain to deal with new concepts and apply them in the immediate feedback environment that is rapid UI/UX prototyping.

It’s not just the body that gets old.

A product like Dropsource is relatively cheap, but as my wife’s Dad used to say:  cheap is dear.

Ameen to that!


leaving america


Salah the Conqueror


Mohamed Salah mural in Cairo

Almost 3 weeks ago, already, I returned from El Gouna, Egypt. I’d spent 7 months on the Red Sea in this dodgy, rich man’s enclave, where dictatorial monstrosities such as General Peepee, Donald Feces, and Vlad the Impaler are tacitly admired.

There is not much to do in El Gouna, unless you’re into tyrants, as you pass the time watching a pointlessly sweaty game played by bearded baldos trapped in a glass cage (squash), give it up for entitled beach polo playing assholes, waste away on booze and hash through the discrete underground network of illicit Johnny Walker Black procurers and drug dealers that delivers whatever you need to your doorstep via tuc-tuc, chase foreign skanks who’ll spread ’em for nothing more than a Tramadol or two, especially if you spring for a dinner at The Smokery, go on boat rides to Tawila Island with fat disgusting old men who made their money trading in North Korean arms or raping the Egyptian public sector economy, wind surfing, if you’re still in your 20s, and, even if you’re not, tuning into the phony, frenetic groovebeat festival (you can read some gushy Kiteworld promo about Sandbox here) that descends upon El Gouna the way algal bloom infects the Gulf of Mexico every summer.

Such a lovely place, El Gouna.

Lovelier still was NOT having to listen to La Liga and Champions League football via the vile intermediation of Essam Al Shawaly, who literally makes watching a football match akin to scraping your fingernails against a black board. The hyperinflated, oddly personalized, vaguely faggy, repetitive cadences of Arabic football announcing drove me up a wall in El Gouna, as I attempted to follow Real Madrid on shitty, small screen non Hi Def TVs in the villas I rented during my stay. Here’s a typical over-the-top example of Shawaly announcing:

Why are doing this Salah, O man, O man (ya ragl, ya ragl!), you are  the hero of the Arabs, you are the Saladin of soccer, you are the flower of the desert, ah, what a 3’rdiyya, what a cross, what art, what beauty, even Maradona is weeping as he watches you, ya Egyptian Messi, ya hero, ya genius, oh, koura khateera now, dangerous ball, Salah, Salah. Salah, SALAH SALAH SALAH SALAH SALAH GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

The moronic level of Arabic football intonational announcing made me cringe. which is yet another reason it was so pleasant to return to the US and watch the UEFA final rounds in the comforts of my home on FS1, with calm English speaking announcers, without having to deal with crappy small TVs, idiotic announcing, or watching the match in downtown Gouna, and inevitably being subjected to endless whiffs of cancer-producing second-hand smoke from the ubiquitous shishas in some loud sports bar filled with strangers.

san siro gouna

The San Siro sports bar in El Gouna, notorious for attracting shisha sucking hijabis

Home sweet home. Can’t wait for May 26th to roll around for the clash of the young Egyptian phenom versus the wily old Portuguese master!

In other news, for those who are following this blog, I have decided to develop a cross-platform mobile app this summer, after trying out a product called (which is built on top of Google’s AppMaker and Firebase products) and decided it was too immature for my requirements.  I have very particular ideas as to how I want the mobile app that I envision for my wife’s business to look and feel, and if you want custom functionality that doesn’t come out of some box, then there is no alternative but to go the DIY route.

Yes it shall be a challenge mastering the technology stack underlying Xamarin, but I thought about it, and have decided that not only am I up for it, but that I relish the challenge. Who ever heard of a mobile app developer pushing 67?

real madrid flag egypt

A flag in San Siro sports bar in El Gouna, on the ceiling of the area in the back where they show soccer matches on two big screens

I don’t know why, but ever since I’ve returned from El Gouna, I feel I can do almost anything, a feeling that I last had in the early nineties, when I started to have a measure of success as a relatively still young technologist in Manhattan.

Perhaps it’s the pleasure of watching the orange turd twist in the wind nowadays, perhaps it’s losing all that weight (and still counting), perhaps it’s the bike rides and weight lifting and soon-to-come SUP paddling (once my knee completely heals from the dermatologist’s scalpel, after she removed a benign wart), perhaps it’s the sheer enjoyment of working as a hands-on developer once again with sophisticated computer technology, something that I was first attracted to at age 14, or perhaps it’s that I realize that’s there not much time to lose anymore, so why not do something productive instead of mooning about the past?

Such is a conquering freedom that anyone should have at any age.

Did you enjoy this article?  Then please consider contributing $5 to my Free the Glutens fund!

Free the glutens!

This campaign is part tongue-in-cheek, as it were, and part serious business: for being grossly overweight (as I was), or having Celiac disease, is no laughing matter. All proceeds from this campaign will go to the Celiac foundation. Please note that I will not be shipping you a package of gluten-free brown rice following your donation!


leaving america