Germans, Jews, Muslim homosexuals, a former Soviet officer and meat August 16, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
All I can think of as blog-meat for today – well, I wouldn’t mind a quick moan about what some translation-demanders are willing to pay. Thieves. But I won’t – is, well, meat. And I’m going to have to get Abrahamic on you. Or monotheistic. Or whatever you want to call our lovely little trio of Mediterranean faiths.
We’ve had guests of late. The former Soviet officer has had a mention before, and he’s going to have to get another, such was the oddness of some of his revelations. He should definitely establish his own cult. Or his own offshoot of Orthodoxy, if that is, indeed, the basis of his fantastically weird world-view.
The Russian and I did get a tiny lecture on homosexuality. Genes are stronger than any theory, the former Soviet officer assured us, and we’d find ourselves going over to the other side any minute now. Which, I must say, is a tiny bit of a rude thing to say to a couple. I had a minor urge to blow a whistle and chant something, but we were in our sleepy French restaurant again on our sleepy street, and I was struggling to stay awake as it was.
The former Soviet officer and his wife and child live in Finland. Reluctant as I am to ever have any conversation stray philosophically more than half a degree off things Eurovisual, I asked if Finland had partied like it’s 1999 at their stunning success in Athens back in May. The wife picked up that I was in a not-entirely-wanting-to-set-the-world-to-rights kind of mood and was about to take up the gauntlet with gusto. But the former Soviet officer saw things much more deeply than either of us did, shallow 30-somethings that we are.
“Was the Finns’ success met with dismay in Germany?” he asked, with considerable gravitas. Dismay? In Germany? At the Eurovision? Could he have really noticed and remembered that Germany’s song deserved to do quite a bit better than it did? The Russian and I, perhaps even his wife, darted numb looks at each other as furtively as we could.
“Because of WWII.”
I know voting at the Eurovision is obviously pretty political, but yer average German minding the Finns winning? In 2006? And, anyway, the Finns and Germans were allies, even if only in their anti-Sovietness. We said we thought Finland probably didn’t feature highly on the Germans’ psychic list of enemy nations, and left it at that.
But the best theory was left till the last day. There had been much talk from the former Soviet officer of getting raw mincemeat for breakfast, which he claimed every German has every day. The Russian and I had never had it, and our breakfast table groaned under the weight of far less exotic offerings. But as the Russo-Finnic family trundled into our flat on Monday morning, hot off the train from Paris, the former Soviet officer could hardly slip his shoes off before gushing to tell us they’d found the raw mincemeat at the train-station. The Russian and I explained how happy we were for them. “By the way, there’s a theory about that,” he went on, settling cosily into a soft seat and loosening his clothes, sure sign of a Russian man’s intention to hold forth. “It’s why the Germans are such a belligerent nation. Whatever there is in raw meat – I’m not a doctor, I couldn’t say. But a doctor would tell you. It has a psychological/physiological effect – it makes you more aggressive, more bloodthirsty. And it’s why Jews are so wishy-washy. Jews don’t eat red meat at all, you see.”
It’s amazing the things you learn from your elders.
I’ve got a religious Muslim homosexual guest arriving this weekend. I’ll be dashing off to Wedding to buy halal meat forthwith. I forgot to ask the former Soviet officer what his thoughts on the subject were. For I’m sure he had some. In any case, genes and religious conviction aren’t proving stronger than gayness in the case of this man. He is willing to accept every other precept of his faith, but when it comes to love, he has to draw the line. Compromise and loopholes. I don’t mind if you don’t.
As a non-religious gent, of course I don’t really understand the demands of kosher and halal. I mean, I know they’re hygiene-based rules which have become codified with time. (Incidentally, lest we should think there is never a good word to be said when Jews and Muslims are mentioned in the same week, this same Muslim homosexual has said he would/does happily eat kosher meat, as the rule is so similar.) But hurrah for (partially) unintended consequences. Did folk see the famous abbatoir docu on British TV earlier this year? Turns out the quality of kosher and halal meat is often significantly higher because due care is taken at every stage of the animal-to-meat process. A caterer I know in the middle of nowhere in Sussex buys halal at every opportunity.
Anyway, red-meat-eating homo that I am, I’m off to find myself a wife, whether she’s willing or not. There’s no arguing with those genes.