Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a joke you may have missed...

Sense of humor?       Watching Jackie Mason perform is near the top of my list of entertainment treats. When I met him in a tiny Manhattan restaurant, I told him so. 

While at his shows in Vegas, I noticed that Jews and non-Jews enjoyed his humor. In fact, at my table, I was in the minority in that regard.  (No surprise; I’m Jewish!) Just before Jackie began his R-rated, Yiddish inflected English shtick, I recalled kosher bread ads that quipped, “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish rye.”

Regarding Mason, I laughed till I cried. Last night, years later, I watched a nine-and-a-half-minute You Tube clip of a Candid Camera type comedy show from Egypt that made me gasp. Where was the humor? Figuring that I must have missed some subtitles, I watched it again.

The show’s patsy, a well-known Egyptian actor who looked a little like Mason was being interviewed by an attractive young woman. Minutes into the interview, she identified herself as being an Israeli. Outraged because he’d believed he was appearing on a German channel, he attacked her verbally, then physically.

Eventually, the men in the room came to her aid, but not before he’d slapped the male director and knocked the female host to the floor. The actor had been tricked, deceived by abominable Israelis. That’s when three men surrounded the actor, Ayman, and told him it was all a joke.

“We’re Egyptians!” the cast shouted.

Relieved, Ayman helped the girl stand, hugged her as he told her it was “your fault” and she seemed to agree. He may have pinched her sore butt, but that’s just a guess.

When I saw the same video on the site of Israeli writer Naomi Ragan, I figured she too had failed to laugh at the Egyptians and their crude Islamic humor:

[This video is still available at the following addresses: or <>

Nothing like Jackie Mason’s, it made me wonder whether laughter, to an Islamist, was the equivalent of a mere flesh wound. At least that was what I asked when I saw another sidesplitting example (not!). It came from someone I respect who had forwarded it from someone else. Although I will post the site, I must say that I checked it for accuracy.

The funny part of this story is that I found that it’s not what it seems. Like a jokester’s sleight of hand. Sort of.

Still laughing? I wasn’t. What I wondered about was this: who wouldn’t be offended? Isn’t there a rulebook that addresses the fun aspect of Islamic humor? If not, perhaps Jackie Mason should write one.

After finding a site that explained the real intention of the Islamic stab at making a joke, I saw a need to volunteer to help Mason. We might call the book How To Make Muslims Laugh.

If you too want to understand why, please read this:

... The Advocate David Horowitz Freedom Center Middle East Forum pinkwashing ...

Or you might not. Like me, you may wonder what it takes to have a good laugh when you’re more than waist deep in jihad.

                            B. Koplen 7/25/12

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In memoriam:

Activists: Syrian Sculptor Dies Under Assad Loyalist Torture
by Chana Ya'ar

Syrian artist Wael Issa Kaston has been murdered by government security forces, according to activists in Homs.

Kaston, a Christian, died under torture, noted the U.S.-based Syrian Expatriate Organization spokesperson Sawsan Jabri, who said the murder refutes the Assad “regime's repeated claim that they protect the minorities.”

In a statement sent from West Bloomfield, Michigan, the organization wrote, “The village of Marmarita dressed in black last Sunday in a grief over the martyrdom of their son Wael Kaston, the Syrian sculptor, who was detained in a security branch in Homs and died under torture. His family received his body from a military hospital in Homs. Large crowds of people participated in his funeral from the town and neighboring villages.”

Born in the Homs suburb of Marmarita in 1966, Kaston was survived by his wife, Eva Allati and two sons, Yara, 12, and Nowar, age 7. "Rest in peace, Wael!" saluted a follower on the "Yalla Souriya" website.

His work was shown in a number of art galleries in the central Syrian city, in addition to special exhibitions held in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Much of his sculpture focused on themes relating to “freedom of women.” 

The spokesman quoted the artist has having once said in an interview that “he would not prefer to work with 'stone' but loves 'mud' and wood'.' The first is the human being because we emerge from mud, and return to the mud, and the 'wood' because it is the closest to us, born gently, reaches adolescence vigorously, [and] dies wisely...”

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