Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Evolution of a messiah: The story behind Christianity’s founding trauma -

The story we all know about Jesus' crucifixion has taken many forms over the years. Here's how it all began

It was a spectacular late summer morning in New York City. I was at a Sunday worship service at Broadway Presbyterian Church, September 16, 2001, five days after the September 11 attack. The whole country was in shock, but in New York we did not just see images of the catastrophe, we could smell it. The ruins of the World Trade Center continued to smolder for days. Flowers were laid at every firehouse, and posters were posted on lampposts asking after missing loved ones. The pastor, Walter Tennyson, pointed to a saying across the back of the sanctuary that read, "We preach Christ and him crucified." "The Romans used crucifixion as a way to terrorize those they ruled," he said. "They tried to do that with Jesus, but he was resurrected. The cross, Christ crucified, is our faith's symbol of facing and living beyond terror."
I had seen crosses for years: on churches, necklaces, stationary, highways, but I gained a new understanding of the cross that week of September 11 in New York City. For many the cross is a symbol of Christian faith, of piety or religion in general. For me it became a sign of trauma, but not just that: of trauma faced by God alongside us. The cross, a symbol formed in the midst of early Christian trauma, was used effectively by Walter Tennyson to minister to a traumatized Presbyterian community in New York in the wake of 9/11. His sermon invited his church to see Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans, as the symbol of a traumatized God, a god who was right there with them as they faced and lived beyond their own trauma.
It is important to get clear on what ancient crucifixion was. The word "crucifixion" comes from the Latin word cruciare— "torture." The Roman Cicero describes it as suma supplicum, "the most extreme form of punishment," and goes on to say: "To bind a Roman citizen is a crime, to flog him an abomination, to slay him is almost an act of murder, to crucify him is—what? There is not a fitting word that can possibly describe so horrible a deed." The Jewish historian Josephus describes it as "the most pitiable of deaths." The victim was first brutally whipped or otherwise tortured. Then his arms were attached to a crosspiece of wood, usually by nails, sometimes by rope. Finally, the victim was hoisted by way of the crosspiece (crux in Latin) onto a pole, and the crosspiece was attached to the pole so that his feet did not touch the ground. There the victim was left on public display until he died. Sometimes death came quickly through suffocation or thirst, but sometimes death was postponed by giving the victim drink. After the victim was dead, the Romans often left the body on the cross as a public display, rotting and eaten by birds. The point was not just to hurt and kill a person but to utterly humiliate a rebel or upstart slave, while terrorizing anyone who looked up to them. Crucifixion was empire-imposed trauma intended to shatter anyone and any movement that opposed Rome.

The Earliest Preserved Story of Jesus' Crucifixion
The impact of the crucifixion can be felt palpably in the earliest narrative about the crucifixion of Jesus found in the New Testament. This narrative is preserved particularly in chapters 14 through 16 of the book of Mark, the earliest gospel in the New Testament.
The exact contents of this early crucifixion narrative are unknown, but it seems that a form of the story of Jesus' death was known by the authors of the gospels of Mark and John. These two gospels overlap in how they tell of Jesus' death and rarely elsewhere. In addition, these final chapters in Mark stand out from the rest of the gospel in their style and depiction of Jesus. As a result, most scholars agree that parts of Mark 14–16 are an early crucifixion narrative used by Mark's author, though they disagree on whether one can determine its exact contents.
These final chapters of Mark present a bleak picture of Jesus' final days. The story opens in Mark 14 with the decision by "the chief priests and the scribes" to secretly arrest Jesus and kill him before the Passover for fear of starting a riot among the people. Soon thereafter Jesus has a final meal with his disciples at which he predicts that he will be betrayed by one of them, that all of them will desert him, and that Peter, the head disciple, will repeatedly deny to others any association with Jesus. Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray to be allowed to avoid death, and his chief disciples fall asleep while waiting for him. Judas then arrives with an armed contingent to arrest Jesus, and Jesus is taken away to be interrogated by the priests of the Jerusalem Temple. While they are interrogating Jesus inside the Temple, his apostle Peter outside denies association with him three times, just as Jesus had predicted. At the outset of Mark 15 the Jewish authorities turn Jesus over to the Roman governor, Pilate, for interrogation and execution. Pilate asks Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" To which Jesus replies, "So you say." Otherwise, Jesus refuses to respond to any of Pilate's questions, just as he had been silent before the Temple priests. Pilate speaks to the Jewish crowds and offers to free Jesus, since (the narrative says) it was the custom for the Roman governor to free a Jewish prisoner at Passover. But the crowd loudly proclaims their preference that Barrabas, an anti-Roman insurgent, be freed instead.
From here the crucifixion narrative describes step by step the torture, mocking, and execution of Jesus. Jesus is flogged. Then Roman soldiers dress him up as "the king of the Jews," strip him, taunt him, and divide his clothes. Finally, they take Jesus to Golgotha, "the place of the skull," and crucify him between two criminals, who mock him too. Around noon the soldiers offer the dying Jesus sour wine to drink, and he soon dies, crying out in his native Aramaic tongue, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Hung on the cross, Jesus has been abandoned by all who know him except for three women watching from a distance, among them Mary of Magdala and another Mary identified here in Mark as the mother of "the younger James and Joses." Jesus is hurriedly buried just before the Sabbath. Then, in a section that may or may not have been part of the early crucifixion narrative, three women come after the Sabbath to anoint his body, but they find the tomb empty, and a young man instructs them to tell the disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead. The narrative (and the Gospel of Mark) closes with the women running away "in terror, telling no one anything because of their fear" (Mark 16:8).
This crucifixion narrative reveals the rawness of early responses to Jesus' death. The Jesus remembered here is no hero offering eloquent speeches and welcoming torture and death. Instead, he prays to God to avoid death and is silent or evasive when questioned. This narrative blames the Jewish leadership first and foremost for Jesus' death, while the Roman governor, Pilate, comes off as an indecisive and unwilling participant in the process. Yet Jesus' closest disciples also come off poorly, betraying, denying, and abandoning Jesus in his death. Even the female followers of Jesus who watch his final passing do so from a distance. Formed by the first generation(s) of Jesus' followers, perhaps this crucifixion story of Jesus' abandonment preserves tinges of self-blame. These followers, so the story goes, survived by deserting and denying Jesus, while he suffered a humiliating and solitary death. Be that as it may, the story enjoyed a circulation far beyond Jesus' first disciples, becoming the basis for all four of the New Testament gospel accounts of Jesus' death.
We do not know when this crucifixion narrative was written, but it is about as close as we can come, I believe, to seeing the early impact that Jesus' death had on his followers. It was not just that Jesus did not match up to some messianic expectations laid on him. In crucifying Jesus the Romans used a time-tested strategy to obliterate movements they deemed dangerous, devastating his followers.
Now, thousands of years later, with Christianity a worldwide movement, it is easy to overlook the fact that this Roman attempt to obliterate the Jesus movement was almost successful. One of Paul's early letters, the first one to the Corinthians, acknowledges decades after the fact that "the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing" (1 Corinthians 1:18) and "a stumbling block to Jews, folly to gentiles" (1:23). Even a couple of centuries later we find a prominent critic of the church, Celsus, mocking Christians for following a figure, Jesus, who was "punished to his utter disgrace." For many in the Greco-Roman world, there was not much more to say about a movement that had its leader, a demonstrable failure, crucified. End of story.

Resistant to Roman Imperial Terrorism Among Early Jesus Followers
But it was not the end of the story. The Messianist community centered on Jesus reinterpreted the crucifixion in ways unanticipated by the Romans. Jesus' crucifixion became the founding event of the movement and not its end. The move was so radical that many Christians now wear symbols of the cross as a mark of their membership in the movement. The cross is no sign of humiliating defeat for Christians. Instead, it is a proud symbol of movement membership. Jesus' followers did not end up fleeing from the reality of his crucifixion, but "took up the cross" themselves. Such a thing would have been incomprehensible to Romans. It is an excellent example of the adaptability of symbols, especially in cases like imperial domination, where a dominated group confronts symbolic actions imposed on it by its oppressor. The Roman symbol of ultimate defeat became the Christian symbol of ultimate victory.
How did the first generation of Jesus' followers accomplish this reinterpretation of crucifixion?
Answering this question is no easy task, since even the above-discussed "crucifixion narrative" probably was written years after Jesus' death. Yet we have another resource available for uncovering early responses to Jesus' crucifixion: the traditions of Jesus' followers preserved in the letters of the New Testament. These letters sometimes date from earlier periods, especially the letters most clearly written by Paul (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon). Through uncovering early traditions known by Paul and other early Jesus followers, we may gain clues to how the early church first responded to Jesus' death and reinterpreted it. These traditions about the crucifixion may date only years or even mere months after Jesus' death.

Jesus As The Suffering Servant Of The Hebrew Bible
I start with a quotation of early tradition about Jesus found in Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth, which he had founded. Writing about 53 or 54 ce, about twenty years after Jesus' death, Paul says in chapter 15 of that letter:
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)
Paul's reference to "what I in turn received" indicates that he is reciting here an earlier teaching, one Paul himself was told in the founding years of the church. And this brief teaching tells us at least two important things up front. Both assertions, that "Christ died for our sins" and that "he was buried and then raised on the third day" are according to the (Hebrew) scriptures.
This indicates the importance for early followers of Jesus of interpreting Jesus' death and resurrection through the lens of scripture. These early followers of Jesus, like Jesus himself, were Jewish. Being Jewish, they drew on the Hebrew Bible to make sense of their lives. They readily identified themselves and figures like Jesus with the major actors of the Bible, and they could invoke a given text from the Torah and Prophets through mentioning just some key phrases or a mere rare word found in the given text.
In addition, the first-generation Jesus community did not choose just any Hebrew scripture to understand Jesus' crucifixion. Rather, in the wake of Jesus' crucifixion, early Jesus followers found themselves focusing on Hebrew scriptures formed in the midst of earlier Jewish traumas. The scripture best corresponding to the assertion that "Christ was raised on the third day according to the scriptures" comes from the book of Hosea, formed amidst Assyrian trauma. In it, his people look forward to being resurrected as a community—"In two days God will make us whole again, on the third day God will raise us up" (Hosea 6:2). Apparently Jesus' followers found comfort in this text, finding in it a promise of their community's revival in the wake of his death. This idea of communal survival after Jesus' death will be important shortly.
But let us turn to Paul's other statement that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures." This quote is reminiscent of the suffering servant song in Isaiah 53 formed amidst Babylonian trauma. Recall its repeated focus on the servant's bearing of the community's sin—"ours were the sins that he bore; our pains he endured" (verse 4); "he was wounded for our crimes, crushed because of our bloodguilt"(5); "Yahweh allowed the bloodguilt belonging to all of us to harm him" (6). The tradition quoted by Paul looks back on this song, asserting that Jesus' death on the cross for "our sins" was analogous to the exilic servant's suffering for the sins of his community. In this sense, Jesus "died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" and was a "suffering servant."
Some other early Christian sayings are yet more explicit in seeing Jesus as a suffering servant. For example, the author of the late-first-century letter of 1 Peter says that "Christ suffered for you" and then quotes an early hymn that describes Jesus' death in terms that repeatedly echo the suffering servant song in Isaiah:
Many Christians assume from texts like this that the suffering servant song in Isaiah 53 accurately prophesied Jesus' death. Yet it is far more likely that ancient hymns like the one in 1 Peter represent an attempt by Jesus' followers to retell his story so that it matched and could be interpreted in terms of Isaiah 53. In and of itself, Jesus' execution at the hands of Romans featured few parallels to the suffering servant seen in Isaiah 53. He died unjustly. But early traditions like the hymn in 1 Peter discussed here connected Jesus' brutal and apparently senseless death to the poem in Isaiah 53, arguing that Jesus' death—like the suffering servant's— made a positive difference for the community that survived him. Jesus died on his people's account, so that they could, as 1 Peter says, "be healed" and "live for righteousness."
Through singing this hymn, early Jesus Jews make themselves the "we" seen in Isaiah 53, the "us" whose sins were borne by Jesus, and the "many" made righteous by his pain. Thanks to this redescription and reinterpretation of his death, they behold not just the Roman humiliation but the suffering and vindication of Jesus. They see how his suffering on the cross benefited them.
This link of the suffering servant song to the death of a contemporary figure Jesus was unprecedented. Earlier Jewish texts do not depict Jewish heroes, like those who died resisting Antiochus IV in the Hellenistic crisis, as suffering servants. And Jews before Jesus did not read Isaiah 53 as a prediction of a suffering Messiah. Instead, the closest contemporary analogy to the idea that "Christ died for our sins" was the widespread idea in Greco-Roman culture of heroic figures dying "for" others—their family, friends, or their community. These Greco-Roman ideas probably helped Jesus' followers understand the significance of his death as well.
Nevertheless, both the brief pre-Pauline teaching that "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" and the longer hymn in 1 Peter add an element of communal guilt to the story of Jesus' noble death. If we look for a precursor to that element, we find it repeatedly in Isaiah 53 ("our sins," "our pains," "our crimes," "our bloodguilt") but not in the Greco-Roman parallels. To be sure, the early followers of Jesus probably saw him as another hero who had "died for" others. But they seem to have seen Jesus as a particular type of such a hero, one modeled on the suffering servant of Isaiah 53.

Excerpted from "Holy Resilience: The Bible's Traumatic Origins," by David M. Carr, published by Yale University Press in November 2014. Reproduced by permission.

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‘Muslim-free’ Arkansas shooting range turns away brown-skinned father-son duo

Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range owner Jan Morgan (

A father and son say they were turned away from a "Muslim-free" Arkansas shooting range because they are brown-skinned.
The duo, who are not Muslim but are South Asian, said they were questioned about their religion and background while filling out paperwork at the Gun Cave in Hot Springs, reported the Arkansas Times.
The men told a woman at the counter they were from Hot Springs, and she informed them the business was "a Muslim-free shooting range," and if they didn't like that rule they should leave.
The younger man told the newspaper that they were not Muslim, but his father asked about the ban and they discussed the rule.
"Then, all of a sudden, I don't know what went wrong, but she stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said, 'I don't think you guys should be here,'" the younger man said. "She told us to leave or she'd call the cops on us."
The men decided to leave to avoid additional trouble, he said.
"We're brown — I don't know if she assumed we were Muslim," said the younger man, who asked to keep his name out of the newspaper. "When she first asked us, she said, 'I would hope if you were Muslim you guys wouldn't be cowards and would be up front about it.'"
The man said he was born in the U.S. and lived in Hot Springs for 10 years, and he and his father had gone to the shooting range to enjoy "guy time" before he went off to college elsewhere in the state.
He said the shooting range had changed owners since then, and current owner Jan Morgan claims she has thoroughly studied the Quran and found "109 verses commanding hate, murder and terror against all human beings who refuse to submit or convert to Islam."
"Since I have no way of discerning which Muslims will or will not kill in the name of their religion and the commands in their (Quran), I choose to err on the side of caution for the safety of my patrons," Morgan posted on her website.
The newspaper said a call to the gun shop seeking comment was "rewarded with a swift hangup."

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By 2050 no one under 80 will be dying from cancer, study says - Telegraph

New research shows a daily low-dose aspirin is the single most effective action to protect against cancer

By Laura Donnelly, Health Editor
6:00AM GMT 14 Jan 2015

Cancer will kill almost no one under the age of 80 by 2050 due to continued advances preventing and treating the disease, a major study suggests.
The research by University College London was published as experts said that a daily low-dose aspirin is the single most effective action to protect against cancer.

Prof Jack Cuzick, who leads research into disease prevention, urged GPs to do more to ensure patients were given advice to take "baby aspirin" for a decade between the age of 50 and 65.
He cited research showing that such action reduces the chance of cancer, heart attacks and strokes by between seven and nine per cent, in 15 years and cut overall death rates by four per cent in two decades.

The new study by University College London suggests that on current trends, by 2050, cancer will rarely kill anyone under the age of 80.

Dramatic improvement in cancer death rates in the UK in the last 20 years mean that half of those who die from the disease are over the age of 75, researchers said.

Author Prof David Taylor, UCL Emeritus Professor of Pharmaceutical and Public Health Policy, said that within decades, it would become rare for cancer to kill those in middle age.

"This is a projection of what is already happening," he said. "Overall age-standardised cancer deaths are down 20 per cent since about 1990."

"What makes this a special point in history is that cancers are in the process of becoming either preventable or effectively curable," he said.

Prof Taylor said that with the right positive actions – such as wider uptake of aspirin, and more sophisticated tracking of prostate cancer – improvements could accelerate further.
The report says: "It is realistic to expect by 2050 nearly all cancer related deaths in children and adults aged up to (say) 80 years will have become preventable through life style changes and because of the availability of protective technologies and better pharmaceutical and other therapies.
Prof Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, said not smoking and not putting on too much weight were both effective ways to reduce the chance of cancer – but he said taking a daily 75mg aspirin was the best positive step to lower their risk of the disease.

Experts have argued over the benefits of aspirin versus its risks, because the drug can increase the risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers.

But Prof Cuzick said the recent study found that aspirin saved 17 lives for each death caused.
Anyone at high risk of bleeding should talk to their GP first, experts said including those on blood thinning drugs, with diabetes or smokers.

Cancer experts said preventing cancer and diagnosing it early was crucial to improvements.
However, at the launch of the report yesterday, leading researchers and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry expressed anger at the decision by NHS officials to withdraw funding for 25 life-extending cancer treatments.

Around 8,000 patients a year suffering from breast, bowel and prostate cancer will be denied NHS drugs which could extend their survival under plans to limit spending by the Cancer Drugs Fund.
Many of the treatments are currently given to those with advanced disease, who have no other options.

Paul Catchpole, from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said the decision by NHS England to strike 25 treatments off the list of those it funds was "crude and rushed" and would devastate patients.

He said: "This is a further sticking plaster on a sticking plaster when time should have been taken to address this problem at the source."

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

20 Must-Try Street Foods Around the World | Fodor's

Can you imagine visiting Paris without having a crêpe? Strolling through Hong Kong and not eating an egg waffle? Passing up authentic jerk chicken in Jamaica? Trying street food is an integral of traveling to new places, and it's a delicious window into new cultures, a taste of human history. In many countries around the world, if you're skipping what's being served on the street, then you're missing out on more than just a quick, cheap lunch. We've scoured the globe for 20 iconic street-food dishes, from bánh mì to tacos al pastor, to add to your travel bucket list. Some will be familiar, some completely foreign, but all are worth a taste.


Photo Credit: BBQ Pork Banh Mi from the Vietnamese Sandwiches stand at Main and Market Streets by Gary StevensCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Ho Chi Minh City Bánh mì is a term for all types of bread in Vietnamese, but it's become synonymous with a mouthwatering sandwich that might best be described as a Vietnamese hoagie. A product of French colonialism in Southeast Asia, the bánh mì seamlessly combines Western and Eastern ingredients. Fillings vary, but a standard bánh mì consists of a baguette stuffed with meat (perhaps grilled pork, meatballs, or cold cuts), cucumber slices, sprigs of cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon, liver pâté, and a swipe of mayonnaise. They're increasingly popular and easy to find in the West (in somewhat less-authentic forms), but the best place to eat one is still on the streets of Saigon. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Vietnam Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Photohaydar | Where to Eat It: Istanbul Translated as "roll", dürüm is a wrap made with flatbreads like Armenian lavash or Turkish yufka. Inside the wrap, you'll find typical typical döner kebab ingredients: spiced meat—usually lamb, though chicken or a beef-veal combination are sometimes options—cooked on a vertical spit then sliced off and topped with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce, along with herb-laden yogurt and hot sauce. If you've ever spent a late night out in a European city, you've likely had one of these to soak up some alcohol—döner (also known as shawarma) is arguably Germany's most popular street food—but the Turkish version, in which the rolled wrap is grilled to maximize crispiness, is as good as it gets. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Istanbul Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Stefaniav | Where to Eat It: Rome A smaller version of Sicilian arancini, these fried rice balls are named for the word "surprise" (albeit the French pronunciation), a reference to the oozing bit of mozzarella found inside. Though the recipe once included chicken gizzards, the ingredients have more or less stayed the same for the past century: rice, ragù made with ground beef and tomatoes, and mozzarella. Supplì were once sold by street vendors, but these days you can find the addictive croquettes at any Roman pizza spot or grocery store. The traditional recipe is still ubiquitous, but in recent years Romans have taken a liking to innovative versions that feature a wide—and, appropriately, surprising—range of ingredients. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Rome Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Chicken Roujiamo from Tianyaoqiao Lu by Gary StevensCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Xi'an Essentially a Chinese version of döner kebab, rou jia mo is one of the world's oldest sandwiches, dating back at least 2000 years. The traditional version combines pork that has been stewed in a heavily spiced (think lots of cumin) soup for several hours, which is then minced and stuffed in a flatbread with cilantro and mild peppers (beef is a common substitute in Muslim areas, and lamb is also popular in some regions). Rou jia mo originated in Shaanxi Province, whose capital is Xi'an (home to the famous Terracotta Army), but is now widely consumed in other parts of China. It's easiest to find in the northern part of the country, so look for it in Beijing if Xi'an isn't on your itinerary. And should you ever find yourself in Beijing, be sure to try jian bing, habit-forming crepes stuffed with eggs, cilantro, and crispy wonton crackers, made at street carts around the city. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Silk Road Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Porpeller | Where to Eat It: Bangkok You'll find satay throughout Southeast Asia, where beef and chicken are sometimes used, but pork is most popular in Thailand. Thin slices of meat are marinated in coconut milk, turmeric, and other spices before being skewered and grilled over charcoal. That's just one part of the dish, though, as satay is also traditionally served with tangy achat (a pickled cucumber salad) and sweet-and-spicy peanut sauce. Satay originated in Indonesia, but its popularity in Thailand—you'll see it being made on outdoor grills everywhere—is such that the rest of the world thinks it's a Thai dish. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Bangkok Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Tacos al Pasto by William NeuheiselCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Mexico City Like many great street foods around the world, tacos al pastor is the result of one culture colliding with another. In this case, Lebanese people who emigrated to Mexico brought with them the tradition of spit-roasting meats, typically lamb. In local adoption, the meat was replaced by pork, which is marinated in dried chiles, spices, and pineapple before being cooked. Sliced off the spit like shawarma, the tender meat is then served on small tortillas with onions, cilantro, and, in some cases, a tiny bit of pineapple; lime juice and hot salsa are popular toppings. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Mexico City Travel Guide


Photo Credit: La Maison Arabe Cooking Class by The TravelistaCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Marrakesh Named for the earthenware pot in which it is cooked, tajine is a Berber stew from North Africa that is slowly cooked for hours over hot coals. Beyond that, there can be a lot of variation between one tajine and another, but the basic components are meat (lamb, chicken, or beef), vegetables, and lots of herbs and spices; fruit and nuts are also common ingredients. Typically served with couscous or bread, these irresistible stews are served everywhere in Morocco, from street stalls to the finest restaurants—but a humble dish like this is best eaten in non-gussied-up form in a simple setting. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Marrakesh Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Choripan by DavidCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Buenos Aires Sausage sandwiches are a staple of South American street food, popular in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela. The Argentine choripán is a model of simplicity: a grilled beef-and-pork sausage, split down the middle and placed on crusty bread, then topped with garlicky chimichurri sauce. It's a popular food item at sports venues, and it's also commonly served as an appetizer during the preparation of an asado, but you can find them at street stalls any day of the week. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Buenos Aires Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Bhelpuri is served by Barry PousmanCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Mumbai India's street snacks, collectively known as chaat, vary greatly from region to region, but bhel puri can be found in most parts of the country. Still, Mumbai is the best place to find the real deal: a combination of puffed rice, fried vermicelli-like noodles called sev, vegetables, spices, and chutneys. The result is an exciting balance of textures and sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy flavors. The dish is often associated with Mumbai's beaches, but it can found at street stalls throughout the city. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Mumbai Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Arepas con Chorizo by William NeuheiselCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Bogotá Typically eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack, arepas are filling flatbreads made from maize or flour that can be grilled, baked, or fried to pillowy perfection. Though arepas are often used to make sandwiches in Venezuela, that's not the case in Colombia, where they're commonly topped with butter, cheese, eggs, condensed milk, chorizo, or an onion-based sauce called hogao. If you want to feel like a true Bogotá local, go for the traditional breakfast of a plain arepa with a cup of hot chocolate. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Bogotá Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Crêpe making at Quasimodo café by Serge MelkiCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Paris Available any time of day, the crêpe is a beloved feature of any Parisian street scene. Savory crêpes, usually made with buckwheat flour and served for lunch or dinner, are commonly filled with ham and cheese, though you can find versions containing vegetables, eggs, and other meats. Sweet crêpes, typically made with wheat flour and served for breakfast or dessert, contain sugar, fruit preserves, custards, or Nutella. For the widest selection in the city, head to the boulevard Montparnasse, where you'll find stand after stand of budget crêperie options. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Paris Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Egg Waffles by BingCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Hong Kong Egg waffles (gai daan jai in Cantonese) first appeared on the streets of Hong Kong in the 1950s, and they've been a popular snack ever since. Their unique look is produced by cooking an eggy batter between two metal plates of semi-spherical cells over an open flame or electrical heater. Egg waffles are best eaten hot off the griddle, and usually enjoyed plain, though you can find spots that will add fruit or chocolate. Some vendors even have different flavors of batter, such as chocolate, green tea, or ginger. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Hong Kong Travel Guide


Photo Credit: s_oleg / Shutterstock Where to Eat It: Rio de Janeiro In Portuguese, espetinho means "little skewer," and you'll find them sold from small charcoal grills all over Rio and the streets of other Brazilian cities as well. The most common varieties are spiced beef or chicken, but anything that can be stuck on a skewer can be found: sausages, hot dogs, shrimp, cubes of fish, and even a non-melting cheese called queijo coalho. Vendors often have some sort of hot sauce on hand to spice up the skewers, as well as farinha, the crunchy, gritty flour that Brazilians enjoy sprinkling on their meat. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Currywurst by Thomas CloerCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Berlin Currywurst has only been around since 1949, but it's become an icon of popular German culture in the decades since. This hearty street food combines a steamed-then-fried pork sausage with ketchup and curry powder, all of which is typically served with French fries or bread. Currywurst is served across Germany—an estimated 800 million currywursts are consumed in the country every year—but it's particular popular in Hamburg and Berlin. Typically, the sausage is served whole, but some places serve it pre-sliced. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Berlin Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Tel Aviv, where everything is fresh by Ted EytanCC BY-SA 2.0 Where to Eat It: Tel Aviv The origins of falafel are unknown and controversial: Egypt, Palestine, Israel, and other nations have all laid claim to it. Regardless, it plays a large role in Israeli cuisine and is widely considered to be the national dish. The word falafel refers to deep-fried balls made from chickpeas, though it can also mean a sandwich containing the fritters. Served in a pita, falafel can be topped with salad, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, spices, and tahini sauce. Though it's widely available around the world, you're likely to find that the falafel you get on the streets of Tel Aviv edges out any other you've had before. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Tel Aviv Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Nam Heng Restaurant (Simon Road) Fried Hokkien Mee by Kyle LamCC BY-SA 2.0 Where to Eat It: Singapore Singapore has one of the world's most vibrant street-food cultures, and Hokkien mee is a classic dish to try while you're there. Invented in the years following World War II by Chinese sailors from Fujian Province, this stir-fried noodle dish contains rice noodles and egg noodles, pork, egg, shrimp, squid, garlic, bean sprouts, and soy sauce. The dish is often garnished with lime and a chili sauce called sambal; traditionally, pieces of lard would have been added as a finishing touch, but that has largely fallen out of favor for health reasons. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Singapore Travel Guide


Photo Credit: BBQ Jerk Chicken by OUTography.comCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Jamaica Jerk chicken is easily Jamaica's best-known culinary export, but if you've never eaten it on the island, you've never experienced the real thing. That's because anyone can make a jerk sauce (allspice berries, thyme, Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, fresh ginger, and oil or soy sauce) and marinate chicken in it before grilling, but only in Jamaica is the meat cooked properly. All jerk chicken is cooked over charcoal, which imparts a smoky flavor while producing crispy, blackened bits of meat; in Jamaica, logs of fresh green wood are placed on grates over the charcoal, and the meat is cooked directly on top of the wood, absorbing oils and fragrance that significantly affect the flavor of the finished product. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Jamaica Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Elvis Pylsa by Tomi KnuutilaCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Reykjavik Forget fermented shark, sheep's heads, and whale meat—Icelanders' culinary obsession is the hot dog. Though you can find them just about anywhere you can buy food, the country's most popular hot dog stand is Reykjavik's Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which translates to "best hot dogs in town." Open since 1937, this harborside stand has fed famous visitors including Bill Clinton, and attracts lines of hungry patrons at all times of day. Icelandic hot dogs are unique in that they are made mostly of lamb, with some beef and pork, and a natural casing. Toppings include ketchup, spicy brown mustard, rémoulade (mayonnaise with finely chopped pickles), raw white onions, and crispy fried onions. If you want to eat like a local, order one ein með öllu (literally "one with everything," pronounced AYN-ah-med-UTL-lou). Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Reykjavik Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Mmm Ceviche by Tomasz DunnCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Lima Served throughout Peru, ceviche is widely considered the county's national dish—there's even has a holiday in its honor—and it's increasingly popular overseas. The recipe is simple: fresh chunks of raw fish are marinated in citrus juices and mixed with sliced onions, chili peppers, salt, and pepper. Because freshness is key, ceviche is usually served within minutes of being prepared. Sea bass is considered the traditional fish of choice in ceviche, but in Lima, sole is the preferred option. It's also not uncommon for ceviche to be served with some sweet potato, lettuce, corn, or avocado. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Lima Travel Guide


Photo Credit: Halo-halo from Chowking Philippines by punctuatedCC BY 2.0 Where to Eat It: Philippines Directly translated as "mix-mix," halo-halo­ is one of the world's craziest sundaes, a perfect foil for sticky days in the Philippines. The main components are shaved ice and evaporated milk; beyond that, a whole host of ingredients can go into halo-halo. Here's an incomplete list of what you might find inside: boiled kidney beans, garbanzo beans, sugar palm fruit, coconut, caramelized plantains, jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, crushed rice, flan, and ice cream. Though the dish may seem completely wacky, there are similar desserts served all over East and Southeast Asia. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Philippines Travel Guide
By Michael Alan Connelly
Michael is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015 teaser

Aptly called the 'Spider Dress', this piece of wearable tech features animatronic mechanical limbs that respond to external stimuli while defend the personal space of the wearer. The dress provides an extension of the wearers intuition: It uses proximity sensors as well as a respiration sensor to both define and protecting the personal space of the wearer. Approach the wearer to aggressively and the mechanical limbs move up to an attack position. Approach the system under calmer circumstance and the dress just might beckon you to come closer with smooth, suggestive gestures. 3-D printed sensor based animatronic/mechatronic dress enabled by the Intel Edison acts as the interface between the body and the external world using technology and the garment as a medium of interaction. Testing-phase. The design will be showcased during CES alongside the Synapse dress for Intel, January 6-9th in Las Vegas, soon more...

Robotic Spider Dress [Intel Edison based] // 2015 teaser from Anouk Wipprecht on Vimeo.
from Anouk Wipprecht PLUS 3 weeks ago / via iMovie NOT YET RATED

Why Does Ancient Art Contain Depictions Of Flying Aircraft, Helicopters And Dinosaurs? | Earth. We are one.

The history of our planet is far more complex than most people would dare to imagine. According to the commonly accepted version of history that is taught in high schools and colleges all over the United States, ancient man was a very simple creature with extremely limited knowledge. Unfortunately for those that promote this flawed version of history, archaeologists keep digging up stuff that directly contradicts it. The truth is that there is a tremendous amount of evidence of great intellectual achievement in the ancient world. For example, just consider the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is a true technological marvel. It is such a massive structure built with such extraordinary precision that modern technology is only just now starting to catch up with it. We think that we could possibly build a similar structure today if we wanted to, but modern man has never actually constructed anything like it. And as you will see below, the Great Pyramid of Giza is far from the only example of advanced technology in the ancient world that we find in Egypt.
Posted below is a photograph of a wall in an ancient Egyptian temple at Abydos. Look at the hieroglyphics very carefully.

Do you see anything strange?
Researcher Lyn Leahz wrote about these incredibly bizarre hieroglyphics the other day. The following is what she had to say about them…
Decorating an Egyptian temple wall at Abydos are strange hieroglyphics which depict what appears to be modern day aircraft. This finding has caused much controversy among Egyptologists and archaeologists who are not sure what to think. How could people 2-3,000 years ago possibly have known about modern-day aircraft?
When Dr. Ruth Hover and her husband took a trip to the pyramids and temples of Egypt, they were shocked when they discovered, in the temple at Abydos, hieroglyphics depicting modern-day aircraft. She photographed a wall panel in a section where an overlaying panel with Egyptian hieroglyphics crumbled and fell, revealing an older panel beneath it. This older panel, shown above, contains images of what appear to be modern-day technology—a helicopter, a submarine, a glider, and another unknown type of aircraft (some believe resemble the Hindenburg).
So how do those promoting the commonly accepted version of history explain this?

They can't.

In the video shared below, Lyn Leahz shares even more about these hieroglyphics and discusses additional "out of place artifacts" around the globe…

There is also mounting evidence that mankind had knowledge of dinosaurs in ancient times.

Posted below is a photo of an ancient engraving on a Buddhist temple in Cambodia known as the Ta Prohm Stegosaurus. According to the commonly accepted version of history, such an engraving should be absolutely impossible because dinosaurs died out millions of years ago and modern scientists only started digging them up a couple hundred years ago. And yet this engraving is there…
According to archaeologists, this temple in Cambodia is approximately 800 years old
Deep in the jungles of Cambodia are ornate temples and palaces from the Khmer civilization. One such temple, Ta Prohm, abounds with stone statues and reliefs. Almost every square inch of the gray sandstone is covered with ornate, detailed carvings. These depict familiar animals like monkeys, deer, water buffalo, parrots, and lizards. However, one column contains an intricate carving of a stegosaur-like creature. But how could artisans decorating an 800 year old Buddhist temple know what a dinosaur looked like? Western science only began assembling dinosaurs skeletons in the past two centuries.
Very strange stuff.

Another unexpected place where we find "ancient dinosaur art" is on the ancient Ica Stones that were discovered down in Peru. These stones were originally found by the Spanish in 1535, and Spanish explorers sent some of these stones back to Spain in 1562

The art on many of these stones is extremely beautiful, but what makes them extremely controversial is the fact that many of them appear to contain clear depictions of dinosaurs. Here is one example…
And here is another example. If you look closely at this one, you can see what very much looks like a Triceratops
Once again, those promoting the commonly accepted version of history are at a loss to explain this. Most commonly, they attempt to explain this phenomenon away as a hoax because locals did start creating fake "Ica stones" in recent years once they discovered that tourists wanted to buy them.

But the Ica stones that are considered to be authentic contain some remarkable details. In fact, much of the anatomical knowledge about dinosaurs depicted on these stones was only discovered by modern scientists just very recently
Other items of anatomical accuracy that attest to the authenticity of these Ica Stone depictions include the positioning of the tail and legs. Early critics said the Ica Stones were fakes, in part because their tails were sticking out while walking. Paleontologists in the 1960s were confident that dinosaurs dragged their tails. The paleontologists were wrong and the Ica Stones were right. Scientists now believe dinosaurs held their massive tails off the ground while walking, because there are no drag marks on dinosaur trackways. The dinosaurs on the Ica Stones are depicted standing upright, rather than with legs splayed out in a lizard-like position. That, according to dinosaur experts, is "dead on" accurate.
Of course the Ica Stones are just one of the incredible examples of ancient dinosaur art that have been discovered all over the world. For many, many more examples of this phenomenon, just check out the article that you can find right here

Anyone that attempts to convince you that humans that lived thousands of years ago were bumbling dolts that were lucky to build mud huts and cover their genitals with grass skirts is lying to you.

The truth is that human history is incredibly complex. There are monolithic structures all over the planet that are still standing after thousands of years that remind all of us that great civilizations with amazing technologies once thrived.

And there is actually evidence that modern humans are actually getting dumber. A Stanford University biology professor recently published a work in which he expressed his conclusion that humans have been getting dumber for thousands of years

Also, Dr. John Sanford of Cornell University has conducted groundbreaking research that demonstrates conclusively that the human genome is steadily degenerating and is eventually heading toward extinction.

So perhaps we should not think of ourselves as so superior to ancient humanity. The reality is that they may have been physically and mentally superior to us in many ways.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled "The Beginning Of The End" is now available on Amazon

These 17 Journalists Were Killed by Israel In Gaza

During the recent War on Gaza, a disproportionate number of civilians – many of them children – were killed in attacks by the Israeli Defense Forces. But there is another casualty of war which has received surprisingly little international attention. Since the bombing raids began, 17 journalists have been killed in Gaza, prompting calls for war crimes charges to be brought against the State of Israel and those involved in carrying out this war.
For example, back on July 9, a driver for the local agency Media 24, Hamid Shihab, died when his car was bombed by an IDF air strike. The car was clearly marked as press but it was hit by an Israeli strike anyway.

Then, on July 20, Khaled Hamad, a cameraman for the local Continue Production Films, was killed by Israeli shelling in the Shijaiyah neighborhood.
A cameraman for the Hamas-run al-Aqsa TV, Sameh al-Aryan, and two staff working for the Palestine Network for Press and Media, Rami Rayan and Mohammed al-Deiri, were killed by the IDF who said they were "legitimate" targets since they were "Hamas."
An investigation led by Human Rights Watch concluded on July 22 that IDF strikes on journalists are one of many "apparent violations" of international law. The IDF has even acknowledged that they targeted journalists and media buildings, saying in a letter to The New York Times, by IDF's Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, that: "Such terrorists, who hold cameras and notebooks in their hands, are no different from their colleagues who fire rockets aimed at Israeli cities and cannot enjoy the rights and protection afforded to legitimate journalists."
Lt. Col. Leibovich's interpretation is completely baseless in terms of international law. Journalists are journalists, regardless of who their employer is. They do not become "terrorists" just because their paycheck is cut by Hamas. It is only if a journalist directly take part in hostilities that they lose their protected status. Thus, the IDF letter to The New York Times is an open admission of war crimes.

Here is a full, current list of those journalists who have been killed by the IDF while working in Gaza:
1. Hamid Abdullah Shehab – "Media 24″company.
2. Najla Mahmoud Haj – media activist.
3 Khalid Hamad – the "Kontnao" Media Production company.
4. Ziad Abdul Rahman Abu Hin – al-Ketab satellite channel.
5. Ezzat Duheir – Prisoners Radio.
6. Bahauddin Gharib – Palestine TV.
7 Ahed Zaqqout – veteran sports journalist.
8 Ryan Rami – Palestinian Media Network.
9 Sameh Al-Arian – Al-Aqsa TV.
10 Mohammed Daher – Editor in al-Resala paper.
11. Abdullah Vhjan – sports journalist.
12 journalist Khaled Hamada Mqat- Director of Saja news website.
13. freelance journalist Shadi Hamdi Ayyad.
14 photojournalist Mohammed Nur al-Din al-Dairi – works in the Palestinian Network.
15. journalist Ali Abu Afesh – Doha Center for Media.
16 Italian journalist Simone Camille – photographer in the Associated Press.
17. Abdullah fadel Murtaja.

It should be emphasized that killing of journalists and media workers is a violation of international law. This crime must be included in any future investigations into the War on Gaza.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has announced that it has formed an international commission of inquiry into whether war crimes were committed in Gaza.

For their part, the Israel Defense Forces says it will conduct an "internal investigation."

About the author: M.B. David is the author of several scholarly works on Middle Eastern politics, history and religion, such as People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur'an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of "Islam" as well as the recently published Sci-Fi novel Sleeper Cell 2240: Memoires of the 21st Century Interplanetary Revolution. He is currently working on his doctorate, writing a dissertation focused on the non-profit Hashlamah Project Foundation and associated global study circles.

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Legendary Cartoonist Robert Crumb on the Massacre in Paris | New York Observer

The ex-pat artist, who has lived in France for 25 years, talks to the Observer about his new cartoon of Muhammed

By Celia Farber | 01/10/15 6:11pm

The cartoonist Robert Crumb has lived in France since 1991.


Robert Crumb is considered by many to be the single best cartoonist America has ever produced. The creator of counter culture icons like Fritz the Cat, the Keep On Truckin guy and Mr Natural, Mr. Crumb was inducted into the comic book Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he moved his family to France, where he has resided ever since. Writer Celia Farber reached him at his home in Sauve, France on Friday, January 9, 2015, to talk about the massacre of cartoonists and others in Paris this week. 
Celia Farber: Have journalists been calling you today to talk about the assassinations at Charlie Hedbo? Are you willing to talk about it?
Robert Crumb: Liberation wanted me to draw a cartoon, so I did this cartoon for Liberation about it.  So far, you are the first American journalist that's asked me to talk about it. I'll talk about it, yeah.
No other journalists have called you? Really?
No, you're the only one. You don't have journalists over there anymore, what they have is public relations people. That's what they have over in America now. Two-hundred and fifty thousand people in public relations. And a dwindling number of actual reporters and journalists.
We don't have a context for this tradition here, merciless, political satire. One thing I keep noticing is commentators here are pointing out that the cartoons were very offensive and insulting. It's as if we don't understand that was by design. Very intentionally offensive, and very clear about why that couldn't be compromised. That's the part we don't get, as Americans. It's like, "Why did they have to be so mean?"
It's a French thing, yeah, and they value that very highly here, which is why there's like a huge amount of sympathy for the killing of those guys, you know, huge demonstrations and crowds in Paris – people holding up signs that say, "Je suis Charlie." Even here in the village where I live, we had a demonstration yesterday out in front of the town hall. About 30 people showed up and held up "Je suis Charlie" signs.
Were you there?
Yeah, I went to it, sure. Since I'm the village cartoonist, I had to go. [Laughs.]
You didn't know any of those guys?
I knew Wolinsky a little. I had some conversations with him over the last 20 years, but I didn't know him real well. I didn't know any of them real well. I didn't become part of the circle of cartoonists in France, you know. Probably because I still can't speak the fucking language worth a damn.
I think they were well aware they could and very likely would get killed.
The editor knew. He knew. The office got fire bombed in 2011. The government started, like, you know, offering them protection, and when he said that thing about, you know, "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees," he said, "You know, I'm not married, I don't have credit cards, I don't drive a car. I stay very …I keep everything very simple…I don't want to have these connections, because I could go at any time." He knew that.
These guys were not trying not to offend, and that's what an American media-conditioned mind cannot understand. The idea that yes, you offend those who abuse power.
[Laughs.] No, they can't.

Robert Crumb and his wife Aline attend a party launching a T-shirt line incorporating an original R. Crumb design by designer Stella McCartney on March 17, 2005 in London. (Photo by David Westing/Getty Images)

It's not the faith that is being insulted. It's the extremism, the psychosis. The totalitarian impulse.
Aline [Mr. Crumb's wife is the cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb] saw something on the internet…All the big newspapers and magazines in American had all agreed, mutually agreed, not to print those offensive cartoons that were in that Charlie Hebdo magazine. They all agreed that they were not going to print those, because they were too insulting to the Prophet. Charlie Hedbo, it didn't have a big circulation. A lot of French people said, "Yes, it was tasteless, but I defend their right to freedom of speech." Yeah, it was tasteless, that's what they say. And perhaps it was. I'm not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics, you know, by insulting their prophet. I wouldn't do that. That seems crazy. But then, after they got killed, I just had to draw that cartoon, you know, showing the Prophet.  The cartoon I drew shows me, myself, holding up a cartoon that I've just drawn. A crude drawing of an ass that's labeled "The Hairy Ass of Muhammed."  [Laughs.]
You did what?!
Yeah, I sent that to Liberation, so we'll see what happens. You know, that's the most I've stuck my neck out for a long time…
Did you discuss that with Aline?
I showed it to her, and she said, "Oh, my God, we're going to have to go into hiding." [Laughs.] So, then Aline had this idea for another cartoon, which we also sent to Liberation, a collaboration, that's showing her looking at the drawing saying, "Oh, my God, they're going to come after us! This is terrible…I want to live to see my grandchildren!" And then she has me saying, "Well, it's not that bad. And, besides, they've killed enough cartoonists, maybe they've gotten it out of their system."
So you submitted both?
Yeah. We sent it to them this morning. Scanned it, and emailed it. It's going to run in Liberation tomorrow.
I think that's very brave.
Charlie Hebdo, they print so many insulting cartoons about Muslim extremists, you know, geez, they just kept at it, you know…but that wasn't the only people they insulted, they insulted everybody. The Pope, the President of the country, everybody! They were merciless, to everybody. It was a really funny magazine. They just didn't hold back towards anybody. You know, they didn't let anybody off the hook, which was good.

Robert Crumb gives a press conference on September 28, 2009 at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris to launch "Book of Genesis" (La Genese), a comic adaptation from the first book of the Old Testament (Photo credit should read PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)
What was your reaction inside when you first heard about it?
I had the same reaction I had when 9/11 happened.  I thought, "Jesus Christ, things are really going to turn ugly now." That kind of thing, just like 9/11, it gives the government the excuse to crack down, to become very much more, like, you know, "Homeland Security" oriented.  And the right wing gets like this kind of like fodder for its arguments. The right wing here is very down on the Arabs. And France has an Arab population that's like, 5 Million, something like that – huge population of Muslims in this country, most of whom just want to mind their own business and don't want to be bothered. Those kinds of extremists are a very small minority. We have friends here who are from that background, you know, Moroccan or Algerian. And they just don't want any trouble, and their kids are mostly even more moderate than they are.
There was a quote yesterday in the New York Observer from a writer who once worked for Charlie Hebdo. He said, "Mad Magazine is to Charlie Hebdo as Taylor Swift is to R. Crumb."
[Laughs.] Oh, yeah? That's funny.
I'll send it to you.  Is there anything in the US in our history that comes anywhere near this tradition – the Hedbo tradition? If so, what would it be?
Underground comics, back in the 70s.  But today, I don't think there's anything like that now in the US. The thing about Charlie Hebdo is that it started in 1969. The gang of guys that worked for that magazine, they just kept at that for decades. Those guys are fairly old, you know, older guys most of them. There wasn't a whole lot of, you know, 20- somethings or 30-somethings in that group. The cartoonists are mostly older guys. There is lots of critique of the left also. They say the left is hypocritical, bullshitters and opportunists, and all that. But generally I would say there's a leftish sympathy in Charlie Hebdo. But they just came out with that every week. Every week. And people would just look at it and laugh, "Oh, you know those guys, those crazy guys.  They're outrageous."
They had offices and staff – they seemed to have reasonable funding…
Yeah, I just read this recently that they were actually being subsidized, especially after that 2011 bombing, they got subsidized by some bigger publication. Some mainstream successful thing. It was like an old institution on the radical end of things, you know. Yeah, it doesn't exist in the US, there's nothing like that. It just went on for so long, you know. And it's gonna still go on, they're going to keep it going
So why wouldn't you just not do it? Why would you go ahead and submit a cartoon like that? Isn't that really scary and risky?
Well–they asked me to. Liberation called me and said, "Crumb, can you do a cartoon for us? About what you think about this, you know, you are a major cartoonist, and you live in France." So I thought about it. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I'm doing the dishes, or whatever,  I was thinking, "What should I do for that cartoon…" I had a lot of ideas.  Other people come up with these, you know, clever cartoons that comment on it, like…This one guy did a cartoon showing a bloody dead body laying there, and a radical Muslim standing over him with a Kalashnikov, saying, "He drew first!" Stuff like that. That's good, that's clever, you know, I like that. But, me? I gotta like, you know, when I do something, it has to be more personal. I said, first: "I don't have the courage to make an insulting cartoon of Muhammed."
Then I thought, "OK, I'm the Cowardly Cartoonist…As a Cowardly Cartoonist, I can't make some glib comment like that, you know? I have to, like, make fun of myself.  So instead of drawing the face of Muhammed [laughs], I drew the ass of Muhammed.  [Laughs.] But then I had myself saying, in small lettering, "Actually, this is the ass of my friend of Mohamid Bakshi, who's a film director in Los Angeles, California." [Mr. Crumb is referencing Ralph Bakshi, the director of animated films including Fritz the Cat and the Lord of the Rings.]
So if they come at me, I'm gonna say, "No, look, it's not Muhammed the Prophet, it's this guy, Mohamid Bakshi." So, you know.
But there was never a moment when you thought about not doing it?
No. I thought, I gotta do it. They asked me. I gotta do it…Otherwise, everybody's going to think: "Where's Crumb? Why doesn't he come forward? What the hell's the matter with him?"  Then I would get calls saying, "How come you didn't do a cartoon about this?" Every other cartoonist in the country has done something about it. What are you, scared? What's the matter with you? You're too, like, comfortable in your, you know…your success and your blah blah blah…" So, I thought, I gotta do it. You know? [Laughs.] And I didn't want to do anything glib or, sorrow for the dead heroes and all that.  Everybody else has got that covered.
Was it a relief when you were done and turned it in?
No, it felt like, "Jesus, what am I doing? Am I crazy?" Aline said, "Oh, my God, we have to go into hiding." So we'll see if we get any death threats. I think, maybe, they got it out of their system. They killed four cartoonists. And I didn't actually draw Muhammed's face, so…and it's actually the ass of Mohamid Bakshi, so…[laughs].
So, we're good?

Celia Farber has written for Spin, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper's, Interview, Salon, Gear, and The New York Observer.

A cartoon drawn by Robert Crumb is seen at the private view for "Robert Crumb: A Chronicle Of Modern Times" at the Whitechapel Art Gallery on March 30, 2005 in London. The first major UK retrospective of the US cult-cartoonist – who is renowned for producing controversial and politically incorrect work – surveys his career spanning 40 years.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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Aleister Crowley Hello Kitty Figurine - disinformation

If only I could see my way to spending so much...

When Etsy gives us something such as Hello Aleister Crowley Kitty, available for a mere $222, we must not question how or why it came into being, but just be thankful that it exists:
A polymer clay and acrylic sculpture of Hello Kitty as the "Wickedest Man in the World" in his Hermetic Horus pose with the Seal of Babalon on his chest.
This One-Of-A-Kind (OOAK) sculpture is part of the limited edition line of All-Seeing Cats. Each comes signed and cannot be found anywhere else, so be the first to give him a good home.
Aleister Kitty was hand-painted with high quality acrylics along with three coats of chip-resistant polyurethane varnish applied for protection and long lasting beauty.
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