25 February 2006

USA Today, how awesome art thou?

So one of the perks (?--it's a feature, not a bug) of being in a top hotel (the Marriott Copley Square) is that you get the paper on your doorstep (although there is no step--on your threshhold?) each morning. The morning that the UAE port issue broke, which with Emery I'm a little shocked that it's the Republicans who are upset and not the Dems, but whatever...that same issue USA Today had an insert that looked like the paper, but much like real estate ads in the middle of glossy magazines, or informercials posing as real TV shows, was not actually part of the paper. It was about the glory of the UAE, the UAE's relation to the US over the past three or so decades since it started its existence, and how fabulous the place is. I will admit that the airline out of UAE, Gulf Air, is one of the top if not the top airplane travel experiences I have had in my life, from the I dream of Genie headwear the flight attendants wore (prompting me to perhaps switch back to the not-so-PC stewardess, as sadly, there were no male flight attendants sporting the fezzes with gauzy veil. a missed opportunity for them, I think...) to the oh-so-fabulous duty free shop in the airport when we stopped over...so I'm all about UAE. sure. but it is a bit weird not just that we are farming this out, that we're farming it out to other countries, that these countries happen to be in the Gulf (which, on one level is fine if you recognize the diversity of political and social practices/relations to the US/relations to things right and good in the Arabian peninsula region, but still...), that we're letting other governments do something we should be able to do, and then the coincidence (what timing! perhaps they knew about this! interesting!) of the advertisement/newsy insert in the USA Today. Sigh. it's all commercial anyway, right? I heart high capitalism.

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