Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Issues of race - with an international flavor

Tarek "started" it about two weeks ago with a post titled "Gorgeous by the Media" - in which he offers his opinions on the beauty of Halle Berry and Beyoncé. The post made some references to alleged racism by society and the media.

Intrigued by the post, I wrote a couple of comments. It wasn't long before a reader known as Amre commented on my site as well as on Tarek's. Amre suggested that those of Arab heritage needed to look at how they perpetuate racism before hurling allegations at others.

Tarek just wrote a follow-up post, Black and White. In it, he summarized the issues at hand. But it was how he began his post that was the most compelling:

Are we racists!? Do you really think, we, Arabs, are racists!

I will say that I have observed that some Arabs - and I emphasize the word "some" - can be condescending to people of other cultures. Often, it's subtle rather than overt.

When it comes to who is prettier, Halle Berry or Beyoncé, I think it’s merely a matter of taste. Tarek thinks Beyoncé is hot and that Halle is not. To argue with him seriously would be silly. I do think that Tarek overstates the case that the media is responsible for Halle's popularity. Halle has been working at her craft for a long time in an industry full of pretty women. Frankly, I think Halle has more depth than Beyoncé, but somehow I don't think Tarek is looking for depth. ;-)

I find it interesting that Tarek couldn't just write a post about which celebrity is prettier. He had to bring the issue of race into it. Then Amre posted his own comment on my site. For me, here is the most interesting part:

One more thing in case you are african american. I have to tell you that the ancient Egyptians were not black people. They were just like the contemporary ones of an arab or middle eastern material.

Let me get this right. We all are descendants from Adam and Eve, but people of color can't claim ancient Egyptians as part of their heritage?? The sad thing is that Amre obviously doesn't see the truckload of biases this comment carries.

Are Arabs racists? The question remains open for discussion. Kudos to Tarek for having the courage to put the issue out there.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Quote of the day

I love this quote by E. B. White:

You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.

Charlotte's Web

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Are computers masculine or feminine?

A French teacher was explaining to her class that in French, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. For example, house is feminine (la maison); pencil is masculine (le crayon).

A student asked, "What gender is computer?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups - male and female - and asked them to decide for themselves whether the word computer should be a masculine or feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for the recommendations.

The men's group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computer), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for immediate later retrieval.

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (le computer), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem.

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.


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Sunday, December 24, 2006

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

May the Light of the world shine in our hearts
this season and always.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 22, 2006

Tagged! My 15 favorite things

Long ago and far away, a blogging friend tagged me. I'm tasked with listing 15 of my favorite things. Here goes:

1. Writing
2. Staying up on current events
3. Learning new things
4. Being near water and/or fish
5. Reading mysteries/psychological thrillers
6. Meditating
7. Listening to music
8. Hugging my brother (he hates it!)
9. Watching 'Star Trek' and 'Law and Order'
10. Buying lipstick
11. Watching any movies featuring Robert De Niro or Al Pacino
12. Engaging intriguing people in conversation
13. Nibbling on dark chocolate
14. Hanging out with my father's or children's generation
15. Playing on the floor with toddlers

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm still here

I probably should have posted this message at least three weeks ago. I have not abandoned my blog. I've just had a lot of "stuff" going on.

I am at no loss of topics to write about. But because I felt as if I were painted into a corner, I was working overtime to maintain my focus and my cool. There are enough people ranting in the blogosphere. You don't need to hear me, too! Taking my own advice about pity parties was in order, I think. :-)

The "smoke" is clearing. I still have my challenges, but I'm coping better. What has kept me going is the treasure of friendship I experience here. Here's hoping all is well in your world.

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