This will get them into the EU

And it’s basically what I mean when I make comments about semi-civilized third worlders and destination transformation:

Turkish Airlines gets the hump
A job well done is worth celebrating, but Turkish Airlines say staff went too far when they sacrificed a camel. To mark the last delivery of 100 aircraft, maintenance workers clubbed together to buy the beast – and then consume it.

The sacrifice took place at Istanbul international airport.

One merely hopes that the rite didn’t take place as laid out by Aleister Crowley, although that headline is disturbingly suggestive. I’m wondering precisely where Turkish Airlines draws the line… at chickens? Goats? Presumably virgins are similarly off-bounds as well, although just give those increasingly pagan Brits a few years.

Vegetarian or regular meal?

Veggie, please.

Window or aisle

Window, near a bathroom if that’s possible.

And would you like to hump the virgin before we cut her throat?”

Oh, sure, why not? But I’ll pass on the communion afterwards, I’m a vegetarian, you know.

Top SF/F blogs

Somehow, this blog escaped Mr. Scalzi’s notice, but according to him – we exchanged email – I’m in some rather lofty company as William Gibson and Stephen Brust suffered the same fate.

1. Neil Gaiman’s Journal — Neil Gaiman (487) W
2. Whatever — John Scalzi (1,142) W
3. Making Light — Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden (1,293) E
4. Beyond the Beyond — Bruce Sterling (5,240) W
5. The Sideshow — Avedon Carol (6,289) F
6. Paperback Writer — S.L. Viehl (6,916) W
7. Charlie’s Diary — Charles Stross (7,622) W
8. They Must Need Bears — Elizabeth Bear (11,541) W
9. The Mumpsimus — Matthew Cheney (14,156) C
10. Anna Louise’s Journal — Anna Louise Genoese (16,017) E

According to Technorati, Vox Popoli would come in at #8 here, right behind the estimable Mr. Stross. A Top 10 SF/F blog… how dreadfully embarrassing for the SFWA!

It does seem bizarre that this blog would come in ahead of those belonging to much better-known, better-selling, and generally all-around better writers such as David Brin and George RR Martin, but then, mysterious are the ways of the Technorati.

Social survival strategies

Burt Prelusky manages to get himself labled an anti-Semite:

Nothing that I have ever written has provoked as huge a response as a piece I wrote recently called “The Jewish grinch who stole Christmas”…. What I found most telling was that those who damned me didn’t, as a rule, refute what I had written; they were merely angry that a Jew had written the piece. They accused me of lending aid and comfort to bigots.

One of the very few points for which I was specifically taken to task was for referring to America as a Christian nation. To those people, I pointed out that I wasn’t claiming this nation is a theocracy, but Christians of one denomination or another compose nearly 90 percent of America’s population. That is 10 percent higher than the percentage of Jews in Israel, but I am willing to wager that none of my critics would deny that Israel is a Jewish state.

The sad fact is that the ACLU is made up in good part of Jews, and it is that organization and its lawyers who are leading the assault against Christmas. What makes it particularly unfortunate is that most Jews are not only opposed to the policies of the ACLU, but are embarrassed by and ashamed of the organization. However, when every ACLU lawyer who appears on TV to announce the latest attempt to remove Christian symbols and traditions from America seems to be Jewish, it’s all too easy for Christians to assume the rest of us support this vile campaign.

These are exactly the same points I have made in the past. It’s interesting to note that not even being Jewish is enough to defend one against charges of anti-Semitism these days.

I just wonder, do these ACLU Jews truly believe that the Jews have so many friends around the world that they must look to create enemies at every turn? But after reading Harry Kemelman’s “X the Rabbi Y Z” mysteries again, I am beginning to think that this seemingly illogical predilection for irritating the majority is actually a reliable group survival mechanism which serves to combat the natural human tendency towards assimilation.

From a Social Darwinist point of view, this strategy would appear to be wildly counterproductive. But it actually isn’t, if one is primarily concerned in maintaining the purity of the social group rather than the survival of its individual elements. While the mechanism would increase the risk of losing part of the group in any one society, it would also increase the probability that the group as a whole would survive untainted.

Not a bad trick, really, although more than a little hard on the individual members of the group.