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On The Only Turkish Restaurant in London You Need to Follow on Twitter

The best thing is that Mangal 2 is actually legitimately one of the best (and inexpensive) places to eat in London. It's one of the many reasons why I maintain that London has better food than New York.

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm 0

On The Day 4Chan Tried To Shut Down Gawker: The Animated Saga

I can't believe I put in my earphones for that.

Posted on July 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm 0

On Me Against The World

I actually read the piece again and realised that it was less 'why doesn't this include me' and more 'why can't I access this?' than upon my first and second reading. I do still feel though, that there is some uniquely American difficulty to all this, whether it is because of the USA's lack of national emphasis on soccer or partly because when you are from the world's superpower, somehow you have a different relationship with the rest of the world's nations than they have with each other, both in terms of how you view them and how they view you.

And now I wonder if perhaps the thing for you to do is to simply go to the next World Cup (assuming the USA qualifies for it)? I think Americans are in a good moment international-sympathy wise -- the election of Obama sparked goodwill and a fondness and excitement not seen for a long time around the world for the USA -- and, if things are the same in 2014, there is no better place than football-mad Brasil to go and soak up the excitement and blend in. Of course you have traveled before, and met people from other cultures and countries before, but maybe what you need to do is go as an excited fan, not a tourist/for work, watch the games in the day and cheer alongside everyone and drink beer at night with Brazilians and Greeks and Nigerians and Australians and Spaniards and the French and the English and whoever else happens to be there, and just feel part of it. Get into all the good-natured teasing and the unexpected random friendships and the cacophony. After all there's nothing like the actual atmosphere of a game being played in front of you, right?

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm 0

On Me Against The World

Okay - I've been thinking about this for a bit and why your piece sort of troubled me and I am going to write something which, if I am wrong, I quite welcome getting shouted down over.

Maybe the 'extra foreign' example is a particularly apt - why not stop looking for reassurance, and for something familiar, and seek to simply be part of what is strange and unusual to you? It has often seemed to me that (many, but not all!) Americans travel abroad with the expectation that they will find the familiar somehow, and get traumatised when it's beyond their understanding. And at the same time, that they don't feel 'part' of the world the same way that others do, as if everything foreign should either immediately make sense and square in with their personal view of the world, or simply be an exotic or curious quirk (so that you can come home and say, 'When I was in Spain/England/France, we did this *insert delightfully foreign thing*, or this particular thing was so weird'). There is less of an ability to see foreign ways of life and culture simply as is - another way of doing things, equal and no worse and no better to home, just a matter of fact part of the diversity of nations, cultures and societies, and to simply adapt as such without exoticising it or treating it as unacceptably strange. In my experience, in particular immigrants from other countries and young people from other countries who travel around, tend to better absorb other cultures on their own terms, with less expectations from what they 'should' be.

I expect this is nonsensical as I'm not quite sure how I feel about this piece, but I think it says more about just your personal inability to like soccer/football, but also about general expectations (since it echoes other American pieces) about not being part of something bigger, and more global.

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm 0

On Me Against The World

I am suggesting this gently - maybe you simply don't get into the World Cup because America isn't a big enough part of it. You don't, traditionally, have a team to feel pride in and that is very much part of the World Cup - every four years, the same hopes and passion, and the same (friendly) foes. In the Olympics, the USA dominates. You can feel pumped about it. I would note that for the rest of the world the WC inspires far more 'we are the world' than the Olympics does. Somehow (not sure why), it is a more democratic game, and there is the feeling of actually being amongst equals in terms of the other nations, no matter what's behind the scenes.

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm 0

On Who Are You Awl?

Oh my god. How can one thing be so cute. The people on Daily Puppy are all understandably hysterical from staring into the eyes of something so.fucking.CUTE!

Also, what about Oh No They Didn't?

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm 0

On Who Are You Awl?

Me too! It's really sad.

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 4:48 pm 0

On Who Are You Awl?

Long time lurker, sometime commenter. I like dreams, relaxing and laughing by an open fireplace. This puppy is how I feel inside.

Posted on May 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm 0

On Ask 'Them': Hello, I Voted For George Bush. Twice! Let's Talk!

1. How could you vote for Bush after his administration authorised torture? And if your answer is 'because we needed to torture people to yield valuable intelligence', can you tell me what proof you have that any valuable intelligence was actually obtained through coercive interrogation and torture? If the answer is 'very little' (which by all accounts it is), can you tell me why not even torture was capable of shaking your faith in the administration? What were you afraid of the Democrats doing, that could be worse than failing to stop a catastrophic terrorist attack (9/11) and then instituting torture?

2. I understand you are religious, so I assume you have some insight into the minds of people who believe that marriage is an institution that should be 'protected' from the gays. Can you explain why, in this context, so many religious conservatives believe that they, solely, know what is the correct way to live? In other words - what gives these people the right to tell human beings who to love, who to commit to, and the form their relationships should take?

3. Do you believe in emphasising abstinence as part of sex education? Why? Do you think it is successful?

Posted on May 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm 0

On Real America: Go On, Move Here Then

"...it's a good idea not to write an essay in which you call most of those you aim to "help" ignorant, poor, racist, or any other things one might expect a person to not like being called. Boycott, or come on in and spend your money and "engender change," whichever you prefer. One thing these communities certainly don't need more of? The paternalistic expressions Liu mentioned, the kind that wonder aloud "Oh, what's to be done about them?" as if our communities are handicapped children."

I think the exact same advice can be given to people who want to talk about bringing about change in other countries - especially the developing world and cultures that are deeply religious. And in that context, this kind of paternalistic attitude is even more of a problem, because it immediately brings to mind colonialist attempts to 'civilise' people.

Posted on May 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm 0