Saturday, May 02, 2009

Wow! They said they would. They did.

Have to give credit where credit is due. In yesterday's paper the police chief in Jeddah said that they would be arresting the six men responsible for raping a woman last week within twenty-four hours. I commented that they had to already have some information that would effectuate that or such a brave statement wouldn't have been issued. All six men have been "rounded up." Here's the thing... Am I the only one who wonders how it is that in so many cases confessions are made in such a short time? Not that I care. The methods used, whatever they are, seem to work, apparently. "Working on information provided by the victim, police... located one of the individuals suspected of being involved in the crime. Five hours later the rest of the gang had been rounded up." Did the first individual squeal on his friends, maybe? That is my guess. "The six detained men reportedly confessed to the police details of the crime..." Hmmm. So, a police man has only to ask nicely, "Did you rape a woman?" and, here, a detainee says, "Yes. I am guilty." Uh-huh. That is how that happens. Right? [Still no mention of the nationality of the men who have confessed to the rape, although in each and every article on this incident the woman's nationality is reported. Why is that?]

PCRC. Here and here. Lots of it. 50 or 60 injured. Ten or eleven dead. Separate accidents - quite a few accidents. Barely a mention of anyone speeding or violating any road rules. But of course... One report makes it clear, though, that an Indian truck driver is being blamed for nine deaths - he has been arrested. Someone has to take the blame regardless of whether it is his fault or not.

This probably deserves its own post - it is lengthy - and I must comment. Must. About movie cinemas in The Sandbox. Controversial. No "X-Men Wolverine" for you! "The Kingdom has recently witnessed signs of a greater acceptance of the possibility of opening cinema theaters for the public screening of films, but views differ not only on whether such a thing should be allowed to occur...
but also on how it should occur if permission were finally granted." Ya, know what? Why bother. Just sign up for Showtime or Orbit. You can watch movies in the privacy of your own home and not have to deal with all the extraneous issues surrounding whether or not you should go to the cinema. Of course, that isn't yet an option. Too many barriers and variables to work out, the biggest of which seems to be the how to resolve the "segregation of the xeses." [Yes, I have to spell it that way - otherwise I get blocked by the powers that be on MY own site. Thanks to the most useless program in the entire world, Websense.] Cannot have men and women in the same theater together! Just imagine what could happen. Oh my goodness. [Snort.]

The people interviewed for the article have varying opinions. They sound like brain-washed opinions to me, but that's just my view. One person says, "I support the idea of having cinemas in Saudi Arabia, I'm a cinema lover, and I think it's an invitation to get to know other cultures and the less positive aspects of other societies in a unique way." What? Do you think cultures outside of Saudi Arabia's are the ONLY ones that have "less positive aspects?" No doubt, you do. [By all means, don't bother looking in the mirror.] Another young man says, "If we had cinema we wouldn't have to go to cafes and shopping malls, which are basically a waste of time. The cinema is education and informative." I've not seen "X-Men Wolverine" [or any of the other X-Men flicks], but I'd be willing to wager that there is not a whole lot of "educational" material that can be gleaned, there. Oh - and as far as cafes and shopping malls being a waste of time? Why do you go, then? Never mind. Another young man says, "Cinema could give us a bit of variation to our lives" blah, blah, blah " I think it is necessary for Saudi, but within acceptable limits." [Prime example of a brain-washed response!]

Back to the whole segregation issue - the most important part of this whole debate. "Days for men, days for women." Well. There you go. Problem solved. [So much for "date night." No dinner AND a movie for you!] One woman says, "We need cinema in Saudi, we need to follow the example of other neighboring countries and the rest of the Arab World..." Heh. With the exception of Kuwait, the rest of the Arab World allows alcohol to be sold. You might be going down a slippery slope with the argument of following the examples of neighboring countries and the rest of the Arab World. Oh, and there are no other Arab Countries - well, okay, I guess there is one - that segregate the xeses like they are segregated here. The same woman says, "I think giving two days to show social and cultural films to women would be an interesting idea, and they could give one day to men to show their sort of films. Films that contradict our culture shouldn't be shown." Well, of course not. Which leaves you with, what? So much for "social" issues. More brain-washing, with this statement from a twenty-one-year old, "I support the idea, but as long as they keep the segregation of the xeses. They could give one day to women and one day to men." Yeah. That is the answer that everyone thinks you should give to that, isn't it? It isn't how you really feel though. Right? From someone else, "The presence of movie theaters in Saudi would be a positive step forwards [so would allowing women to drive - and I think we all know that is never going to happen], but the films they show shouldn't conflict with customs and traditions, and shouldn't cross certain lines which we have been brought up to respect in our religion, customs and traditions." Back to traditions, respecting religion and customs. And from someone else, "In my view it's a way of educating people and increasing cultural sensibilities, but on the other hand it might affect this conservative society, so personally I hope they don't open cinemas, even for documentaries." Not to worry. The debate is going to keep the issue stalled for sometime.

From the perspective of those involved in the genre of television medium, on man says, "Cinema is a branch of cultural growth... In terms of positives and negatives, the cinema is no different to the theater [how many theaters are in The Sandbox?] or television, in that it can be used for good or for bad depending on how it is used." [What a revelation!] Another "news reader and discussion show host" says, "It will provide a much needed family atmosphere, but what's shown needs to be subject to approval." [Translation: Censorship. Big time.]

There is more. Several paragraphs more dealing with how to do this - have "cinema," and keep men separated from women. Divide the theater in half? Give separate days to men and women? Put families together? What about popcorn? No mention whatsoever of popcorn. The last paragraph is the best and I think will basically decide the issue for everyone. Concern yourselves no more. Read it, here.


  1. I'm thinking cinema in the Sandbox is not going to happen anytime soon. If ever. You know all those 'corrupting and evil' influences just CANNOT be available for exposure to the society.
    I was at a friend's house a few weeks ago. We were laughing hysterically at the movie that was on a supposedly satelite channel. One of the Aladin movies. Every single scene featuring Jasmin was cut. EVERY one. We thought it extremely funny a Disney movie, and a cartoon at that, was censored in that manner. I might be mistaken, but didn't the story of Aladin come from the Arabian Nights tales?

  2. Pleased that the Saudi Jack Bauer did what he said he'd do. Men there appear to be immune to most minor laws, making for rude individuals. When devolved men start running in packs there is no limit to their capacity for evil. Gotta put that behavior down fast, before you go home and your wives give you That Look.

    Am trying to imagine Aladin sans Yasmin and it sounds like a dada art project. One of the Uigher (chineese) inmates at guantanamo bay threw a tantrum and smashed a television set when it showed a commercial wherein a woman appeared with bare arms. He could not handle the horror (the horror!). He, and several Uigher friends, are about to be released in a USA city yet to be determined, since there is nothing wrong with them. And this makes me think that Saudi Arabia is actually a lot more tolerable than the tribals that they bankroll.

  3. "... respect in our religion, customs and traditions."

    Reciprocity. Like the Governor who ended suttee/sati in India who said basically
    "I will respect your custom of burning alive widows, but in return you will respect our custom of hanging those who commit murder."

    ? Alladin - Allah-Din?


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