M is for Mcdonalds. Billions and billions served. After navigating Erez, the border crossing from
She asked, “Do they have public transportation there?”
I said no, they have taxis. Every car is a taxi, or at least that is how it seems. And every taxi is a Mercedes diesel. Gazans are sensible about cars: a Mercedes diesel holds the world record for mileage. Someone drove it for a million miles before it died. So Mercedes diesels are good if you know that you will never have any money to buy a new car and you have to drive taxi every day to live. It’s what you would call a good investment.
M is for Mcdonalds. That’s where the driver of that pickup dropped us off. The Mcdonalds was in a bus station in
Now he doesn’t go to
M is for Mcdonalds. Billions and billions of cubic yards of rainforest ecosystem destroyed to make way for beef cattle. Billions and billions of underpaid non-union workers. Billions and billions of dollars trickling upward into the bank accounts of bosses CEOs and stockholders. Billions and billions more spent on advertising. Don’t those Palestinians have any sense? They should buy stock in Mcdonalds and forget about the Intifada. But people like them probably don’t have the fiscal know-how to manage a well balanced portfolio. That’s okay: Mcdonalds is a place for everyone. It’s a dream of free-market utopia. If they would just grow up and realize there is no future in
M is for Mcdonalds. Ramone orders a Big Mac meal and I order a coffee. After extensive experimentation and research, I have concluded that there are only three redeeming aspects to Western Civilization: coffee, chocolate, and booze. All three are poisons in disguise. I’ll tell you a secret: Mcdonalds spends almost as much money on the coffee as they do on the food. So the coffee is not quite as bad as one might expect.
S is for Soldier, Sha’hiid, Security, and Sacrifice. Sha’hiid means martyr, means someone who dies because of the Occupation. There are security guards outside Mcdonalds in
Soldiers are fighters who don’t understand jihad: jihad is action in service of community and the divine creator. Fighting is actually the least desirable form af jihad. The problem with war today not that wars are happening, it is that they are fought in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. Wars, like funerals, are solemn affairs, seldom desirable and usually occasions of unfortunate sorrow. What the hell kind of war is Kalashnikovs and rocks against tanks and nuclear bombs anyway? What the hell kind of war is missiles with a 100 mile range operated by an army too broke from ten years of economic sanctions to buy spare parts for its tanks against ICBM nukes, spy satellites, and stealth bombers? Lousy no count dishonorable war. All fighters with self respect should avoid it like plague.
Mcdonalds is where cows go when all their dignity is robbed, when they are killed with no respect for the life within them. The problem with hamburgers today is not that cows are killed to make them, it is that no one says thank you to the cows. The epidemic spread of Mcdonalds on earth is symptomatic of a planetary spiritual malaise much more devastating than E coli. There are too damn many soldiers, too much security, and too many sha’hiid.
S is for Sacrifice. What is the meaning of sacrifice?
Finally, once and for all, let me ask you what the world trade center bombing has to do with this or anything? Fellow Americans, perhaps 9-11 is best regarded as an emergency wake-up call. Like this: your phone rings like an explosion, you answer, and someone tells you in a language you neither speak nor understand that you are part of a larger world, that many people live in this world, and billions of us are enraged by the secret fingers of USA, of CIA, of covert military operations, training programs for killer militias, loan-shark weapons dealers who get rich providing machines to kill, economic and military aid to dictatorial thugs from Saddam Hussein to Auguste Pinochet and beyond, the gunmoney tentacles of USA have killed their mothers, sisters, sons, tortured their friends, sentenced their fathers and daughters to wage slavery, destroyed their homes. Sometimes in
It is time to start learning the language this warning is given in, and simply condemning a language as evil is not how to learn it. Do you actually believe that sad line about suicide bombers being cowards who are afraid to fight fair and in the open? Consider, for a moment, the total dedication necessary to willingly die for what you are fighting for. How does this compare with the courage it takes to sit in a cockpit thousands of feet above the ground, facing erratic salvos of inaccurate fire from antique anti-aircraft guns, knowing your chances of surviving the war are as good as your chance of surviving the commute to work through traffic, and to press a button that releases a missile? Perhaps ‘suicide bombers’ are desperate people who know full well that their suffering is a direct consequence of
C is for Coca-cola. Rachel sees a Coca-cola delivery truck parked on a narrow Arab street. “Our embassy,” she says. Poison in disguise.