Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ministry confirms population cull

Spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior Bashar el Gelied confirmed today that his department has received marching orders from the Ministry of Supply to reduce “excess population” in “over-dense sections of the Delta and Upper Egypt” by liquidating approximately a third of the people living there.

“In the face of rising food prices, we have no choice but to roll back some of the population increases that have taken place in the last fifty years.” Gelied said. Officials were quick to deny, meanwhile, that the area most sharply effected by the cull—Mahalla al Kobra—was chosen for political reasons rather than lottery, as was claimed earlier in the week.

“We’re professionals at this sort of thing,” said Gelied, before calling the press conference to a conclusion.

“It’s really past time for this kind of action” said Maria Smythe for the American Embassy in Cairo, “we’ve been calling on the Egyptian government to do something about the population problem for years. And if their actions also serve a social stability agenda, so be it.”

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fitzpatrick to Mubarak Regime: "Shape up,

and start getting stuff under control you lazy toads!"

In one of his hardest hitting editorials to date, Egypt Yesterday's controversial Editor-in-Chef Patrick Fitzpatrick (seen here in a recent file photo) is telling the government in no uncertain terms that, with the prices of basic commodities continue to skyrocket, it's time to crack down hard on protestors.

While applauding the decision "to order the armed forces and the police into the fray" last month, Fitzpatrick comes down hard on Field Marshal Goha's loosey-goosey attitude toward social unrest, warning ominously that only "time" stands between the regime and the equitable spread of the wealth, and urging them to make "social stability" the government's priority.

Fitzpatrick, who narrowly escaped prosecution last year after posing for the cover of the magazine dressed as Susan Mubarak, is well known for his vigorous attitude toward authority and social injustice.

Cairo: Modern Architectural Highlights

Cairo Tower. Nasser’s sharp stick in the eye to the Americans and their imperialist drones at the World Bank. Proved that Egypt could get along without western money and technology by getting it from the Russians. A fine nationalist statement by any measure.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A giant penis done up with a lotus-tipped prophylactic on the banks of the Nile. This is where the guys who deal with human rights work. How odd that human rights in Egypt should be configured as an international relations problem. Be that as it may, another fine nationalist statement here.

State Security HQ, Lazoughly Square. Dig those groovy black doors man! Looks like a cross between the DC Vietnam memorial and the entrance to Mordor. Almost makes you think that maybe they’re beating people in there, or sticking stuff up their butts like those whining liberal faggot-lovers over at HRW claim. But nobody would announce it like that would they? Ooooh, I get it! Those sly little doggies!

Excerpted from "In Depth: Architecture and food" in Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Traffic and Driving

Eeeeeeeee-oh! What the donkey did to the porn industry, the internal combustion engine did to the streets of Cairo: filled in all those little spaces, took up the margins left by the purely human-powered branch of the industry, and made a great rip-snorting thigh-shaking confusion out of what seemed so simple and so pure back in high school.

Crossing the street
Best thing to do is wait for a really big gallebeya to be heading out into the traffic and cross downstream of him or her. This is a time honored technique that you will see deployed on the streets of Rome: little old ladies scurrying through the traffic in the wake of some pasta-bloated Gino. In Egypt, it’s best to get downstream of a really bulky brute of a gallebeya—the kind of monstrous peasant that eats his weight in fuul in the morning. How far you should be from him / her depends on the speed of the traffic. Think of a rock in fast moving water—there’s a hollow there on the downstream side. That’s where you want to park the boat. Careful though, you don’t want to be so close that if s/he gets nailed, the flying body takes you out as well. NB: this only works on urban traffic: the urban car-driving Egyptian, brought up with intimidating stories of the virility and brutality of the peasant, is frightened of gallebeyas. Donkey-cart driving gallebeyas, conversely, are frightened of urban car-driving suits. Know your traffic type, judge its speed, and may the gods take care of you.

Excerpted from Fuck Off Guide to Egypt (NOP Publications, forthcoming).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wrecked. Fucked. Staring up at the giant’s underwear.

This is the Hyatt: a bedlam of bad taste, fake marble and faker brass and those Saudis with the receding chins. You know the ones who drag themselves around the lobby, looking for the breakfast buffet at three in the afternoon with the dragon chaser bags under their eyes? Nike sweatshirts and a couple of wives, or husbands—who the fuck wants to take responsibility for the doe eyed mischief that lurks beneath the garbage bags they pulled over their heads this morning?—in tow.

This is big time journalism: chasing the shot. Hanging about in the lobby. Twenty-two and a half hours now, waiting for Britney or Colin or whoever the fuck it is that Frank wants now.

And this is us: nothing but half a pack of Rennie’s and a flare gun between us and perdition. Snatch holding down the fort with a fifth of Knob Creek and a bazooka lens strapped to the front of his 1D. Waiting for the shot.

When Amr Moussa walks through the door.

“Jack,” yells Snatch. Blows off forty frames or so. “Mr. Nicholson. Over here.” But it’s just whatshisname, the door guy from Rythmo. The one who looks like Amr Moussa.

Later Snatch makes me stand between the pillars by the breakfast buffet while she takes my picture.

“Hold up the flare gun.” She keeps saying. “Hold it like one of those Jihadi guys.”

I cover my face with a napkin I took from dinner a night or three ago.

“stamped on these lifeless things,” waving finger here at the ceiling about a mile up. Rythmo man’s over by the desk, staring. Motherfucker’s forgotten us. Scratch my head. “Nothing beside remains—round the decay of that colossal wreck. Fuck you.” That was for Rythmo-man and his little buddies at the reception desk. “Boundless and bare.”

Should have fired the flare gun then. Might have scared off the gorillas. Set their polyester suits on fire. Fuckers. Saved us the ignominy of being thrown out. But what the fuck.