The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

From The Ashes A Peace Can Be Shorn

You can’t turn on the news these days without seeing something coming out of Lebanon, where the Israeli army is carrying out a weeks-old offensive to root out Hezbollah guerillas. As you've probably heard, many people have opinions on what should be done.

According to Israeli leader Ehud Olmert and United States president George Bush, Israel needs to secure its borders by conducting an all-out offensive in response to Hezbollah’s act of aggression. Meanwhile, most of the International Community feels differently, hoping for an immediate cease-fire.

But I'm not sure either solution can solve the internecine warfare that has plagued the Middle East. Personally, I think both sides are offering stop-gap solutions that seem to be avoiding the true crisis that nobody seems willing to talk about. Yes, there is a problem in the Middle East, a problem so intractable that peace can only occur by the elimination of that one crucial and entrenched element.

The problem of course: the mustache.

No, you can’t turn on CNN these days without seeing a mustache. Take a look below at erstwhile Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

Who'd Have Thought a Place Called The Gaza Strip Would've Turned Out to be so Little Fun

On many levels you have to feel for Abbas. Sure, he spent most of his youth denying the Holocaust, but since taking over the Palestinian Authority, Abbas seems to be one of the few people trying to make peace in the Middle East. Too bad he has yet to negotiate any sort of settlement with Hamas that would allow for greater reforms and greater peace for all parties involved. His problem of course is that inevitably Hamas doesn't trust him. Why? His mustache. Obviously.

No, sorry, that's Z-Z-R-S-T, not B-B-R-S-C

Or how about former opthamologist turned Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Sure that snazzy little mustache he wears might impress the ladies, but is it helping create peace? No. If anything it's just helping to create flashbacks to leisure suits and Donna Summer albums.

Everyday I'm Hustlin'

Even the members of the Arab street seem to be afflicted with the root cause of conflict: mustaches. Of course, this isn't any one's fault per se. Mustaches happen to the best of us. A few days of letting yourself go free, a few careful shaving strokes and officially are no longer trustworthy.

Indeed the corridors of history are lined with the likes of untrustworthy men with mustaches. Witness Exhibit A: Adolph Hitler. You can't blame Neville Chamberlain for having attempted to make peace in exchange for granting Hitler Austria and the Sudetenland. However, you can blame him for not realizing that making peace with a mustached man was an impossible proposition. Oh silly Neville Chamberlain, will you ever win?

Or how about exhibit B: Joseph Stalin. Stalin too learned the perils of trusting a man with a mustache, when he agreed to a peace treaty with Hitler only for the Fuhrer to break the pact just a few years later. Indeed not even a man with a mustache himself understood the insidiousness of such facial hair.

But We Got Them Back at Leningrad, Eh, Comrade?
But one doesn't only need to turn to the history books to learn that peace can only be won by people without mustaches. Pop culture is also stocked with examples. Need I point to unsavory cartoon character Dick Dastardly shown below.

Meeing Nice Girls With the name Dick Dastardly Is Much Harder Than You'd Think. I think I'll Just Twirl My Mustache a few more times instead.

Along with his pal Muttley, all Dastardly ever tried to do was win at Wacky Races by cheating and trickery. I mean c'mon, this guy's race car was named "The Mean Machine." Do you think he could've been trusted? Doubtful. But I'll bet he was a choir boy before growing those strands of liquorice attached to his upper lip.

Whatever...Smee Like Totally Thinks It's In.
Or how about Capt. James Hook, perhaps the most feared man to sail the high seas. Everytime Peter Pan tried to broker a peace with him, Hook pretended that he was a willing participant, only to try to kill him when Pan let his guard down. Ultimately, peace was impossible. If it wasn't for that hungry crocodile who knows what the fate of poor Neverland would've been.

Yet animation isn't the only genre replete with examples of unsavory characters with mustaches. Need I remind everyone of the Scatman.

Just Like Cab Calloway, If Cab Calloway Had Really Really Sucked

Inded for a brief period in 1995, the Scatman's insufferable song "Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)", received non-stop airplay on the Box. The Scatman's mix of gibberish and scat served to inevitably lead to the insanity of thousands of Junior and High School students, who for some reason he conned into purchasing his album. Definitely not a man to trust.

But perhaps the best reason for not trusting a man with a mustache is famed television and film star, Tom Selleck.

The "Come Hither" Look Didn't Come Easy. It Took 16 Years of Practice

No, I don't necessarily have any problem with Selleck, but you take a look at this man and you tell me if you trust him. I won't even bring up his ill-advised decision to sleep with Courtney Cox on Friends (a decision David Arquette will never recover from). However, Selleck cannot be trusted under any stretch of the imagination. Because he's Selleck damnit. You think the two of you are cool, then bam! Next thing you know, Selleck's got your girl and he doesn't give a fuck.
I'm onto you Selleck.

The point is, take a look around this post. What do Hitler, Stalin, Hook and Dick Dastardly have in common? They're all dead. And as for Selleck, he's now sans moustache. Indeed peace is on the march. The mustache can and will be defeated. Soon and for the rest of our lives. So keep faith and remember this the next time someone blames the Israelis or someone blames the Arabs. Just tell them the truth, just tell them about the mustache.


At 8:41 PM, Blogger David said...

In your comments about how Mid-east mustaches have caused so much ruckus, you forget to mention the Arab world's most notorious 'stache: Saddam's. That thing was a monster.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger amphimacer said...

As a moustachioed man myself, I must object to your characterization of me as a girlfriend-stealing madman. As Boris Karloff may have said, "Mad? I'll show them who's mad!" Then again, he may not have said it. Anyway, Walter Cronkite has a mustache, and he never stole your girlfriend, did he?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Sandro said...

You and my mom are right...growing a 'stache isn't a good idea.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

It's true Amphimacer, Cronkite is a good man with a mustache as is Tom Freidman, one of my all-time heroes. There are always exceptions to the rule. It's like left-handed people. I'm left-handed and I'm relatively sane, but there are a whole lot of lefties out there that I'm wary of because I know their left-handed weirdness oh too well.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Jonathan Caren said...

insightful. provactive. you're onto something

At 3:59 PM, Blogger amphimacer said...

No no no. My brother is left-handed, and he's as nuts as -- well, as you are. If you were wholly sane, you wouldn't write about the Mideast Mustache Mess, would you? And we wouldn't bother reading your blog. Which reminds me, when will your book be done? Don't expend the entirety of your creative energies on your blog and your work. (And since you ask, mine experienced a freak accident at the printer's, and has to be re-set.)

At 6:13 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Thank you very much for the kind words. THe book should be done sometime by the middle of next month. I'm at 275 pages now and have about 20 left and then I'll probably try to cut another 20. I imagine it'll be ready to show people by Labor Day. Let's hope. Sorry to hear about your book. How incredibly frustrating.


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