Speaking of International Affairs, I forgot to mention that on Saturday we went to a hotel bar in the Ville Nouvelle of Fes. We just wanted some beers. One of our friends was there so we went to join his group, and it turned out that they were mostly prostitutes. One of them was fairly attractive, but she was missing most of her right pointer finger. She asked for 500 dirhams (about 60 dollars) because she “needed the money.” I considered offering 50 dirhams if she’d just tell me how she lost her finger. But I guess that is a mystery I will just have to live with.
Anyway, that’s not the note on international affairs I wanted to mention. I understand that there is a school of thought that considers the modern era to be a “clash of civilizations.” Sort of the George Bush, Them-or-Us school of thought, you could say.
Just to clear things up for everyone, let me be blunt: if you think there’s a clash of civilizations going on, you’re either a chump or don’t get out enough. Read that above part. I got falling down drunk with a nine-fingered hooker the day after a major religious holiday in an Islamic country. That’s the eact same thing I do on the day after thanksgiving. Our civilizations are a lot more similar than you may think.
And this hogwash about “they hate us for our freedoms”, you may ask? That’ s a crock. My entire time in the Arab world, the closest “they” have come to admitting any dislike for the US was when one guy told me he was sort of upset that you can see a McDonalds from the roof of the Karaouaine Mosque (one of the holy sites of Islam). But shit, I was upset about that too.
Look here: There are millions of arabs in the world. A handful start some trouble sometimes. There are 60-odd Heisman Trophy Winners, and one of them is a deadly ninja assassin. You are, statistically, more likely to have your civilization clashed by a running-yards leader than a swarthy foreigner. This idea that it’s all-or-nothing, them-or-us is a load of crap.
Anyway, this is a gut reaction based on a conversation I had this weekend. There is no such thing as a clash of civilizations. At worst, it’s a clash of handfuls of guys, while the vast majority of the civilizations on both “sides” want only to mind their own business and aren’t all that different anyhow.