Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your mission, should you choose to accept it

Talk Amongst Yourselves: The Cultural Differences Edition

It's naptime but I'm still up since Mama is working and I'm wired from too many mimosas and the fun of having good friends over for brunch this morning. It's a couple that we haven't seen for too long and we did some fun reminiscing and catching up between concerts and strip shows from 3B.

Yes, 3B did make it down to his birthday suit before they left--and he didn't even have any mimosas. That's the Californian in him, I guess.

We were planning to get together with this couple for a booze scenic cruise on the river, but it's been hard to find babysitters with spare time to look after our naked cowboy while we enjoy less mature company than what 3B offers hang out with friends.

Speaking of hanging out, I've been sitting here reading the NYTimes and the WaPo instead of doing laundry and cleaning up. They're full of stories about culture clashes and I find myself wondering what anyone else thinks about these stories.

Since I can't invite you all over to brunch--or rather, I have, but you all turned me down, muttering something about virtual friends aren't real friends and distance and time and immutable laws of physics and that Barky takes up the whole couch--here's my reading list so far.

What do you think?

The Accidental Breadwinner

"Jackie Onassis told me to never marry or mix your money. I took her point."

Redefining the Pajama Hour
"Getting past that 11:35 barrier was like slipping into a world that was cooler, hipper, more spontaneous. In the heyday of late night, the era of Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, people even smoked on TV and drank from coffee cups stuff that might not have been coffee."

11:30 is late for I becoming a baby boomer? Oh, the horror!

Different Rules for Different Cultures: Be Prepared
"Sometimes a little cultural shock therapy can be beneficial."

They're Having Babies. Are We Helping?
"School social worker David Wynne states the obvious: 'Whatever we're doing, it's not working.'"

... and ...

"Cynthia Quinteros, however, has a theory. 'I feel that the community is afraid to talk about all the girls who are getting pregnant,' she says. 'Once you get pregnant, they do everything for you, but they ought to be doing all they can do to show girls how difficult their lives will be if they have a baby. I love Angel, but if I didn't have him I wouldn't have to work after school, I could study more, I could be a normal teenager.'"

Woman Blinded by Spurned Man Invokes Islamic Retribution
Amini said. "These crimes are violent reactions to sexual limitations in this country."

In public life, men and women are often segregated in Iran, and sex before marriage is illegal.

Amini said she doubted that the sentence against Bahrami's attacker would reverse the trend. "Social violence will not be cured with more violence," she said.

... and ...

"It's a harsh sentence, but she really had to go through a lot. I don't know what I would have done if she had been my daughter."

Subscribe to the Bradstein feed--Vorsprung durch Technik!

Better by design
Or get new posts via email . . . Enter your email address:


  1. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I picked one story for now. The Iran one. It angers me. What angers me is that I never hear from any of the Muslim community here in America come out against this sort of thing. The same could be said of us who are Christian to speak out against abortion clinic bombings. Which seem to have tailed off. And thats good. Yet in any of these sorts of crimes in the Muslim world I have never seen on CNN or in the POst etc a cleric respond and say this is wrong.

    TCB on making me angry today.

  2. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Different Rules for Different Cultures:

    "drink like an Assyrian"...I'm sure the Bangles were glad the songwriter didn't come up with that one instead.

    The Accidental Breadwinner:

    Well, money sure seems like a hard thing to handle. Funny how the author seemed to seek out what turned out to be uncommunicative lazy bums. I've often wondered why we still have that "some day my prince will come" thing going on in our culture. I guess we're still working through post-feminism or something.

    Are We Helping?

    I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of 13-year-olds getting Depo-Provera shots. I wonder if some of these girls are having sex and actively trying to get pregnant in order to fill some kind of emotional void. Good luck with that when they graduate high school and no longer have that handy-dandy support network.

    Woman Blinded:

    What happened to that woman is horrible. But I just can't relate to her desire for "justice", or really, retaliation, which is a different thing. If the man could do something to heal her, then he should be made to do it, but harming him does nothing but perpetuate more violence.

    Of course, the man who did this is a big freak: he "still loves her" and thinks he hasn't done anything bad?

    The Pajama Hour:

    Dude, anything after 10:30 and I need serious coffee and ibuprofen the next day.

  3. I suppose that it wasn't a cultural comparison piece, but a straight news piece, but it seems odd that no perspective was given. How common are these punishments in other Muslim countries? How are such complaints handled in Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries? How are such complaints and punishments viewed here?

  4. Amama: You and I must be on the same schedule. I posted my response to The King, only to see your comment pop up on top of mine.

    Different Rules: There's still time for them to record a cover with new lyrics.

    Breadwinner: Maybe someday our prince or princess will come and save us all, but until then, my princess and I are going to work our asses off and put as much as we can into our retirement accounts.

    Are We Helping?: Yes, this piece could use a follow up with some of these women after they leave high school and this program.

    Woman Blinded: Yes, someone wiser than I observed that justice isn't necessarily fair, but it is just. Not that retaliation is fair either.

    Pajama Hour: So, ibuprofen with your coffee tomorrow, then?

  5. Did I ever tell you about the Girl Scout meetings at my house, where every time #4 would escape the bath and come running down to see what we were doing? Yeah, at that age putting clothes on would have cut into the fun.

    I did not read those articles and was confused if that Pajamas after 11 meant in the morning or at night. I know I fade around 10 at night, but my teenagers know it is a good day if they are still in pajamas after 11 in the morning. My older teenager was in pajamas when her boyfriend came over, and when they ventured over to his house.... no need to change. They are pajama casual over there.