I’ve never noticed “the gulf” magazine before. It’s normally thrown at our door-step with our GDN subscription. It (like others delivered with the GDN) meets the inside of our recycling bin unopened. But having nothing better to do this morning while waiting for this site to upgrade to the latest and greatest release of WordPress, I rifled through it, looking at the pictures to come across this rather daring gentlemen with some sort of jute sack on his head vigorously biting into an uncooked piece of jerky.
Closer inspection revealed that the delicacy the young (ferocious?) gentleman is enjoying is non other than a snake!
Why would such a picture make it into such a publication in the first place?
Well, your guess is as good as mine, but from experience with the copious output of the august Hilal Publishing Group, you and I would be forgiven for guessing that it’s for filling space, fattening yet another non-descript magazine contributing to the further depletion of the world’s national resources, for the purpose of generating mo money for its publishers.
Why else? Does such a picture (or any of this particular magazine’s contents for that matter) add any value? I personally don’t think so. Though, I fully understand that such enterprises are not produced for the education of the masses (or add a valuable insight for those “7,500, mostly among senior executives and policy makers based in the Middle East or with an interest in the region.”) If it’s distributed by default with the local rag, one would be excused for having serious reservations about the purported reach of such a publication. But, I guess some morons fall for it and spend their company’s hard earned cash to advertise in such slop, which is the object of the game. Smart.
But that’s not why I chose to share this picture with you. The reason was to simply ask why would our highly regarded (cough!) military forces (cough!) find it necessary to demonstrate their “toughness” (persistent cough!) by killing, skinning and then biting into a snake! Is it to scare our enemies? I don’t see the Israelis quacking in their boots because of these demonstrations, do you? The IDF would probably laugh themselves to death looking at this picture. Oh hang on a minute! Maybe that is the plan! Kill Israeli soldiers with laughter and incredulity!
God save us.
This is not the first instant where I watched an image of Arab military prowess. I seem to remember another disgusting episode where a Bahraini military person catching a hapless snake in their military graduation and gnashing into it in front of dignitaries. I remember thinking of several things then which remain unanswered: (1) were the dignitaries able to stomach their lunches or dinners after seeing such gastronomic delight? and (2) where the bloody hell did they find that snake from? Living in Bahrain all my life I’ve only come across one crossing a country road and another little puny thing a friend caught on a farm and stuffed in an old Pepsi bottle. Did they buy that particular one from a pet shot I wonder and released it just in time for the toughie to catch and crunch? Was it the same scenario with our Saudi cousins too? It’s the desert for f**&^k’s sake, any and all self respecting reptiles are underground keeping away from the harsh sun!
Oh I remember an even worse scenario. Yes. Before Saddam finally fell and went slithering into his hole underground, images were broadcast on our televisions showing the undefeatable Revolutionary Guard (or some crap artists like that) chasing down a wolf, catching it and then ripping it apart chewing at it with their bare hands. That was to demonstrate their prowess I’m sure, and to scare off the Allied Forces too. And look what happened to them.
So my humble suggestion to our illustrious armed forces is this: please leave our wildlife – little as it is – the bloody hell alone! They didn’t do anything to you, and the age of having to twist the neck of a little kitten to scare your wives on your wedding nights, or killing a reptile or another animal as your right of passage in your graduation ceremonies is really not required. We all know how tough you are and we are scared even without you having to demonstrate your murderous traits by such kills. We know. We are scared. But, my friends, they aren’t and never have! With these actions, you’re (to them of course, to us we know better) just a laughing stock. So change that right of passage please. Maybe you can consider demonstrating your literacy by writing your name on a board or something for graduation? I don’t know…
Anyway, if anyone knows the gentleman depicted in the picture above, could you please ascertain whether snake tastes like chicken?