We all have our vices, whether we like to ‘fess up to them or not. Mine are slightly embarassing. But I’m willing to own up to them:
* Independent bookstores: the one in my neighborhood has the most incredible Middle Eastern politics, current affairs and history sections I’ve ever experienced. It’s tiny, but hard-to-find and rarely-encountered volumes abound. I’m like a kid in a candy store.
* Caffeine: I don’t drink alcohol (no, not at all). Nor do I smoke. But I drink a good four shots of espresso a day. Six if my hours are especially long. Yes, my doctor and I talk about this. She’s not thrilled with me. At least it’s fair trade and organic, right?! (If you’re ever in San Diego, you must check out my favorite coffee shop in North America).
* Miscellaneous: book-collecting, za’atar, the feeling I get after a great workout, the smell of jasmine, orchids, and clean floors (swoon).
But the worst of my vices? The one that makes my friends think me truly bizarre?
CNN / MSNBC / the whole political-commentary universe that is auto-programmed on my cheap analog set.
I can’t get enough. I even get glued to the commentators who make my skin crawl. After all, what’s more invigorating than countering their slimy, often empty points with scholary and sassy remarks?
Love, you say? Fortune? No way. I’ll take my nerd-time over both any day. Politics never bore. I can’t say the same for romance. Sorry – do I sound bitter? Must be all of that espresso.
Last night, when my internet cut out for several hours, I spent my Friday night (this is the “this Muslim knows how to have fun” part) simultaneously cursing at and commending MSNBC.
In a feisty conversation about Obama’s presence on the world stage and McCain’s – uh – blathering at a restaurant (‘scuse me, he was blathering at “Schmidt’s Sausage Haus” – closest he could get to Berlin I guess), I ruminated on some recent commentary by one of my favorite pundits, well, ever. I’m talking about the hyperintelligent, quick-as-a-whip Rachel Maddow.
My Friday night TV-watching buddy didn’t know of Ms. Maddow – nor do a lot of people I come into contact with. Sad, considering that most people can recognize at least a name or two off the roster of ornery old dudes she outshines on MSNBC.
I won’t belabor you with biographical data – that’s what Google’s for. I will say that I personally think she should have her own show — perhaps she could replace the one show on CNN I simply cannot stomach.
Below, one of my favorite debates: Rachel Maddow vs. Pat Buchanan on healthcare. It’s just too delish.