A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bring Out Your Dead . . . Um, Wait

Okay, I'm going to start swearing off swine flu posts. But now that WHO has declared it a pandemic and Egypt, after its mass hamicide, actually has real honest to God cases of swine flu, I can't help but note that Al-Masry al-Youm, your one source for all things swine flu all the time in Egypt, has a headline boasting their having the "First Photo of the Five Americans Kept in Abbassia Fever Hospital Published by Al-Masry Al-Youm" Wow. What a scoop. The Typhoid 'Mericans themselves.

The Horror, the Horror: There they are, writhing in their death throes — um, wait, they seem to be smiling, standing, and looking pretty self-confident, even a little cocky, perhaps a tad insouciant. They look like young Americans who are having a bit of fun with their newfound fame, in fact. Three have their face masks down on their necks and two seem to have them protecting their chins. Nobody has his or her mouth or nose covered. Perhaps the Black Death isn't at hand? Or just isn't all that bad? They look like they feel better than I do on an average day without swine flu.

Also, no one's in a hospital gown?

Oh, and I've used the "Bring Out Your Dead" comment on this subject before, but realize that some of you aren't even old enough to have Monty Python memorized. We baby boomers think everybody understands our jokes. For your cultural enlightenment, what I'm referring to is this:

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