Pour Décourager Les Autres

I was intending to write something about Macedonia, as it’s the next country on the Balkan List, but something rather more interesting is blowing up back home in London which makes me so furious that I can’t resist commenting on: the same-sex marriage bill currently being discussed in Parliament. Now, the main problem with same-sex marriage is that most politicians seem to regard it as a way of getting votes rather than an issue of principle.  Because of this, same-sex marriage bills often get dragged into the middle of pre-existing political squabbles: this happened in France, where the UMP decided … Continue reading Pour Décourager Les Autres

Lesbian Palm Tree Bondage

Now that I have your attention, here is my translation of a horticultural text concerning how to cure palm trees of their undying infatuation with one another.  It’s quite a famous piece amongst my friends and associates, although this translation is fuller than the one I have previously supplied to them.  This is the second of my intermittent blogging translation series in which I translate bits of rather weird Classical Arabic for the general amusement of the kind of people who read my blog, the first being the bat text. NABATAEAN AGRICULTURE Ibn Wahshiyya, 960 Palm trees are similar to … Continue reading Lesbian Palm Tree Bondage

Dan Savage in a Burqa

A friend of mine pointed me today to the fact that Italy, in its infinite Berlusconiesque wisdom, has drafted a law to ban the burqa, dragging it that little bit further from tolerant sanity and closer to France, Belgium, and the city of Lleida (Lérida) in Spanish Catalunya. The major argument against the ban on the veil is two-fold, half of which is alluded to in the Guardian article linked above.  It is an accepted fact that there are women in Europe who are forced to wear the burqa by their husbands, families, brothers, or societies.  This, I will agree, … Continue reading Dan Savage in a Burqa