More proofing to be done tonight, but hey — it’s Wednesday, i already got a lot done this week, and once Thursday starts the weekend is more or less under way. At least to my mind.
As you might imagine, I’ve been reading about Iceland between chores. Of course the Derringers will be visiting the Icelandic Phallological Museum, i.e., the penis museum. Which is? A collection of more than 200 penises from the animal kingdom, from whales to elves, and no, I’m not sure how the elf deal works. “I want to see the elf weiners!” Alan chirped. This marvel is only blocks from our apartment, so yeah — on the list.
I’m also looking forward to swimming there, as it’s apparently a big-deal national pastime, with wonderful public pools in every town, and each includes at least a couple of hot pots, for after-lap soaking. The oldest one in the country is steps from our apartment, and this amazing complex is a mile or two away. All the guides go into great detail explaining the scrupulous scrubbing one is expected to give oneself before dipping so much as a toe into the pools. It’s a very clean country, and I intend to abide by local customs.
Beyond that, I’m thinking lots of skyr, lamb, local beers, steam, walking and birdwatching at midnight.
Super Tuesday turned out pretty much as advertised. I’m trying to be aware that I’m living through history, and I should pay attention and take good notes, but I keep getting distracted by a) terror; and b) the need to laugh uproariously from time to time. That look on Christie’s face is one for the ages.
But now we have a little time before the next primary (it’s Michigan’s, although the mood here is not exactly outward-looking, as the Flint disaster is still the story everyone talks about), so let’s look at some different topics today.
Remember when Hamtramck, the little city within the big city (Detroit), elected the first majority-Muslim city council in the country? The local alt-weekly did a story about how they’re getting along, now that everyone’s settled into office now. The answer? There’s plenty of conflict, but not the kind you might expect:
One weekday afternoon I sit down at Aladdin Sweets, a popular Bangladeshi restaurant, with Kamal Rahman.
He’s with the Bangladeshi-American Public Affairs Committee, and he’s here to help set me straight on the history of immigrants from Bangladesh. A thin, well-educated 47-year-old with a slight accent, he tells me that people have come to Detroit from Bangladesh since the 1920s, although it’s been just a trickle compared to the flow of immigrants from, say, Lebanon or Iraq.
Rahman’s duties as cultural emissary have included documenting the way Islamic culture has blossomed in the Detroit area, and have even seen him take Sen. Hansen Clarke back to his grandparent’s village in Bangladesh. But the meat of his job is helping native-born Americans understand that immigrants aren’t invaders, in fact, they’re most often the victims of racism and bigotry. He tells of a Bangladeshi family who bought a house near Hamtramck High School and found it vandalized with the message, “You are not wanted here.” The family sold the house and never moved to Hamtramck.
“I think the fear is mostly of the unknown,” Rahman says. “People aren’t familiar with the new culture.”
These are the sorts of patently obvious things Rahman has to say over and over. Though he can do it articulately, you wonder why it’s necessary to explain that people fleeing sectarianism and terror would embrace America’s secular culture and ballot-oriented politics.
“Those who experience conflict, those who experience suffering, they tend to not to want to repeat it,” he says. “The Muslims that are coming here, most of them have suffered through war, through terrorism, through everything. They know what to avoid. It’s highly unlikely that someone would like to be in the same situation as they were before.”
These days, after seeing media people bring up Sharia Law again and again, he doesn’t even care to joke about it.
It’s a very good story. Recommended.
Because I don’t follow sports, I wasn’t very familiar with the Erin Andrews story. I find my old friend Jones’ story about it very compelling, though. God, what a horrible experience to go through; I hope she recovers everything she’s asking for. And when she testified that it never stops, she was right. It never stops.
On to the proofing.