Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Reader Comment Answered

A reader comment left the following comment on this post

Anonymous said...
dear madame, I'm an italian going to live part of the year in Cairo next january. I found your blog in catching informations about the common day x day life in Cairo, beside knowing egypt (no turistic areas)and seems to me that you, as an newyorkeers have a difficult feeling with the great muslim world of which Cairo is a flag.
Socially speaking, yes, the riots after the match ARE necessary due to the stress of unimployement and poverty. Yours replys to the post about Xmas are a bit arrogant, in my opinion. It's more important that you go around the most poor quartiers in Cairo to see the real life of people and not only going to Carrefour and back (like wal-mart) And, dont take this as a supponent suggestion, the italian rap is quite stupid for two simples reasons 1) Italy has nothing to do with rap and 2) the song is bad (fa schifo!)It's time to rethink the idea that in every corner of the world are imitating the "gringos". The USA are falling apart both economically and social quidelines. Europe is a usa colony as you know and many others countries included Egypt too, but at high level or political-military level but for the intelligent man of the street the way of life of "usacans" like spanish people call the americans (your country have no name even) is becoming more and more molesting. The times have changed. After the disaster of iraq and the bailout of banks managed by the top executives of the "nigger" amministration, american people and people around the world are sick and tired of this kind of supremacism. So, my suggestion is to take thing more modestly and in a critic way of weltanschaaung. I'm professor of philosophy and being italian I know well what means the fall of an empire. in every case take this just a contribution for your blog and meantime have my best regards

My Response:

For someone who claims to be a professor of Philosophy I expected a more coherent argument. I had to read your comment twice to understand half of what you were saying. Granted, English may not be your first language, but it is not the language or wording I have issues with - rather the content.

You indicate that riots after a football match are necessary due to poverty and unemployment. So this justifies Egyptians destroying their own buildings and setting their own trees on fire as well as throwing rocks at people from bridges? I couldn't disagree more. I'm not disputing the fact that Egyptians are frustrated, but why not encourage them to find more productive ways to deal with this stress. If they are upset about poverty and unemployment why then don't they organize protests about that instead of waiting for another excuse - like a football game to come along.

You find my comments about the Christmas tree post to be arrogant. Fine, that is your opinion. But I did not put that post on this blog in order to be proselytized by others. I know who I am and I am happy with that. La cosienza di se e fondamentale per ongi essere umano. I don't take too kindly to others who don't like who I am or what I do telling me how I should be living my life. We are only responsible for ourselves in the end.

I'm sorry that you find Mondo Marcio's song so awful. I guess you won't be buying his CD then. Mi piace. I like it. Italian rap emerged as a genre all it's own. I believe in creative expression by artists and apparently there exists a whole generation of young artists in Italy who are choosing to express themselves through the form of rap music. If it's not your style then feel free to listen to something more to your liking. But don't be so blind to the reality of what is going on in the world to make a blanket statement like "Italy has nothing to do with rap". Judging by the number of YouTube channels in Italy that are supporting Italian rap - Italy does have something to do with rap. The times have changed, haven't they?

When I first saw you call President Obama a "nigger" I considered just deleting your comment. African Americans, and people of color all over the world will be extremely offended by the use of this word. However, I don't believe in censorship. After I thought for a minute back to my childhood in New York it began to make more sense that you would refer to a black man in this manner. I grew up in the Bronx not far from Arthur Avenue - otherwise known as Little Italy. I saw the discrimination and the prejudice with my own eyes. It was reflected accurately in the movie A Bronx Tale. As a young adult out on my own, I was once evicted from an apartment in the home of an Italian couple simply because I was dating a black man. I have never been to Italy, but I sincerely hope that your degree of prejudice is not reflected by the entire population of the country. I'm the type of person who believes there is good and bad everywhere and I don't paint everyone with the same brush.

Your summation of the "state of the union" appears superficial and illogical in places. I also detect a hint of bitterness in your opinion. It seems as if you spend a great deal of time watching CNN and FOX News and forming all your opinions of USA based on their reports. Or have you travelled and lived in the United States of America? Seriously, a country with no name? Blaming everything wrong with the world on the economic crisis and bank bailout? Empires falling? "Gringos" (another derogatory term) and Spanish people? What ever are you going on about? And what, pray tell, does any of this have to do with me living in Egypt and shopping at Carrefour (which by the way is nothing like WalMart)?

If this is the brand of "Philosophy" you teach to your students then God help them. But if you want to wax philosophical then keep this in mind:

La realta e ben diversa da quello che pensi tu. Tutto e relativo a questo mondo.

Translation: Reality is quite different from what you think. Everything is relative in this world.


  1. I didn't understand his/her text either but I just thought it has something to do with my English skills...not my first language either.

    Re Christmas thing, people cannot stop living just because there are poorer people around you. We have a Christmas tree from Carrefour and I never thought I should feel quilty about it. And how does anyone know where you or anyone else has been? I for sure have seen with how little money some Egyptians live and have visited poor areas and villages here and there, gave money, clothes and food.

    It's like thinking that hey, because someone does not have a house to live in I also should go out there and sleep on a park bench, or sell the fancy house and give the money away...

    But I do hope I misunderstood the comment.

  2. Dear Madame, first of all the language problem:it's evident that english is not my mother tongue so excuse me for that, but you are not better about italian i.e. "la cosienza di se e fondamentale per ongi essere umano" sound better this way "la coscienza di sé è fonamentale per ogni essere umano". Second, seems to me that you have catched the irony of the word "nigger" related to the rap music genre. As you know Berlusconi called the guy in the White House two days after his election "young and tanned", so dont give me lessons about the politically correct inside a blog. Usually I give lessons and for my age rarely I receive. You can't razionalize the rage of a riots (this seems to me evident) so your reasons about are purely retoric: this for the football match. As for the italian guy singing rap you obv iously may love want yo want but is incredible the a kind of musics born into the "african americans" suburbs may be included among the italian music. This italian ignorant guy try to mimetize something far from commonse sense and intelligence just to appaise the fashion of a decadent american way of life. For me it's only a stupid, you like his music ok, but culturally speaking the man is nothing more that a puppet imitator. I'm sorry to be little bit hard but, about Xmas, I'm of different opinion. In the Islamicm world as you know there are a "ummah" i.est a common feeling about life, quite different from the individualistic approach of the westeners and you live in THIS contest. I know that it's difficult to understand this switch but the things ontologically are this way around not imposing a westner behaviour as seems to me you try to do "defending your privacy". In a few words if you are married with a muslim for them also YOU have to be muslim, otherwise is AHRAM, or a sin. Have the courage to admit that when I was speaking of a supermarkets was the ironic mode to take distance to an individualistc approach inside a contest where this kind of behaviour is banned, it's another "paradigm" of life (to use the word of Thomas Kuhn about the development of science) but at the end of the day everyone do what he believe be the best for himself. The mine was only a critical reflexion (when if not coming fom a philosopher?) in connection to the empiric fact the from next january I go to live in Cairo and enjoy, as done in the past, the pulsant chaos of that beautiful capital in contrast with the monotony and conformism of, for exemple, NY or Milan.I'm happy to have had a dialectic confontation with you, Madame, and receive from my part the best wishes for next Xmas (beeing the four days festival of islamic Id al-Kabir or Eid al-Adha just finished yesterday

  3. I know where the accents go on "di se e" but my keyboard does not allow me to type these since I have an Arabic keyboard and I'm using it in English.


  4. By the way, there are two things that really bore me to tears and I rarely talk about them: POLITICS and RELIGION.

  5. You don't have to be a Muslim to marry one, but you ARE a Muslim.

    And if you don't want to talk about religion and politics, why do you post this professora's comment as a post? She is right. You are arrogant.

    Just like the HeHeHe woman, you like to take certain posters that you don't like and put them front and center and then rip them to shreds. Grow up!

  6. the one thing that bores me to tears is seeing some one who is a LECTURER in Philosophy, and Yes i did read that English is not your first language. But it still Shocks me that he can write such a shockingly abstract attack on some one with out beeing able to ensure that his language skills were more upto date EG Why not use the WWW to find a good site for translation and then try to write what you are trying to say.
    SOrry if i sound Harsh but all i see in his Posts here is Gibberish and to me for some one who is a lecturer to do so just goes to show how wrong the world is really becomming.
    So as an Proud Dutch/Australian here is a saying for you Sir
    get that feather out of your A*** and ride away on your Horse, either make sense in what you write or dont write at all

    Peter AKA AUSIPEET AKA Farkenoath AKA Kenoath

  7. lol - ok, I was away for the holidays, but wow - how interesting!!!! I'm at least glad that beppe's second posting was a bit easier to read - I'm still not all that clear on the first one :)
    Right... it is NOT haram to not be Muslim and married to a Muslim... if you are the non-Muslim girl married to a Muslim guy. The other way around, it is not allowed. (Muslim girl married to non-Muslim guy) This is very known everywhere - the only people I know who say that Muslims can ONLY marry Muslims... aren't Muslim. They are usually people who don't know anything about it...
    So, is beppe ACTUALLY Italian or were they born somewhere else and got Italian citizenship? I know both groups of people and there is a very different point of view on things which probably counts for a lot in this case...
    In general - the rap stuff in Italy is pretty much their own thing, influenced by American rap, I'll give you. But, as any American will tell you - it's VERY different and there is a whole culture behind both that have very different roots and expressions within the cultures and even within different groups of the culture. And so, beppe either doesn't recognize that or they like to use the American copy-cat reason to try to intellectualize their dislike for rap. (you can just say you don't like rap - I don't particularly care for it either, although I also find Italian rap a bit better than most American rap...)
    lol - I love the comment that Europe is a mini America! That was SOOO funny; I actually tell my students coming in that if they want to go someplace like the U.S. to go to a Gulf country - there is VERY little difference there. ...Made it easy for me to drive around :)

    Anyways - I'll leave the rest alone, but I wish that we were able to get a better argument from beppe - perhaps due to our language differences, if they chose to respond a more simple format, that would be better. That way, they can move away from the silly points (like the accents in words - I never have people abroad (or in the U.S.) get picky about this because they know what the person is saying and differences in keyboards) - and perhaps work on other points that would be constructive. Perhaps if you just made short sentences, that would help? In general, an argument to convince other people of your point should usually bring in points that are easy to back up...

    In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the silliness of the posting. Oh, if they want to write in either Arabic or Italian, I can get my friends to help translate... ;) (yes, they are actually Italian and... do you feel better if I actually tell you which Arab country they are from?) :)

  8. "Beppe", my ass you are Italian, I read your posts and it has Egyptian all over them. Are you so ashamed of your own culture and people that you would pretend to be something else?? Just because you ate some pizza once, does not make you Italian, grow up.

    And "anonymous" wow are you a stalker or what?? Just because your "visa journey" didn't end well and your 22 year old husband left your 50 year old ass once his feet hit U.S. soil doesn't mean you have to spew your bitterness on people who are really happy. How sad.