Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Icky. Yech.

What's that old adage say... "Hold your friends close and your enemies closer"? Um...I think Bush may be taking that a bit too literally. I mean, he canNOT be serious.

Icky. Yech.

Byron York asks: Has the president read his second inaugural address lately? What message does he want to send to the world by being photographed literally hand-in-hand with the Saudi leader?

Jonah Goldberg has a slightly funnier take on it: Lots of readers are saying it's just a custom in the Arab world for men to hold hands. From a guide to such things:

"Touching, long handshakes, grasped elbows, even walking hand in hand by two males is common place in the Arab world. A considerable number of Arabs touch more between the same sex, to show liking--not sex. They hold hands, hug each other, kiss if close friends. As Arab customs and behavior condones the outward display of affection between male friends, one may see Arab men, even officials and military officers, holding hands as they walk together or otherwise converse with one another. If an individual Arab does not touch you, he does not like you--or he may be trying to restrain himself because you are not used to being touched. A full body embrace, accompanied with hugging, should not be initiated until you are sure that the Arab is a close friend. If the Arab initiates it, participate and consider yourself honored and/or accepted. Contact between the opposite sex in public is considered close to obscene"

I was, in fact, aware of this. However, we have customs here too.

Dudes rarely hold hands, and when they do it's usually because they're cops and one cop couldn't complete his rooftop leap across an alley while chasing a perp and his partner has to grab his hand to pull him up. Also acceptable is when your buddy has been shot by a Columbian drug lord and you hold his hand as you promise to look out for his wife and kids and you vow to exact revenge on Mendoza and his entire organization. When life flickers out of your buddy's eyes, you may continue to hold his hand as you shout heavenward "Mendozzzaaaaaaa!" at the top of your lungs. But most times men rarely hold hands. Even Butch and Sundance grabbed an ammo belt rather than hold hands when they jumped off the cliffside.

I have searched the manual and there seems to be no exception for holding the hand of a theocratic Islamic potentate. But I may not have gotten the latest monthly supplements.

Lastly, Andrew Suttaford says: Forget holding hands, George Bush shouldn't even have shaken hands with that man. Still, it could have been worse...

Ewwwwww. Ickier.

Hat tip: National Review Online