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December 02, 2007

Lebanon Needs Love

McClatchy correspondent Hannah Allam has written a personal ad for Lebanon:

Failed state seeks new date. Country of good-looking, beach-going people who killed one another for 15 years ISO strong, presidential type. Let's start with reconciliation and statesmanship, and see what happens. We're not into sectarianism, we swear, but our ideal match must be a Maronite Christian. Eloquent and bold in a Nasrallah kinda way, sans the beard and turban. Sedate and reliable like Saniora, except not a crybaby when the Israelis come calling. All inquiries should be sent directly to the American or French embassies (no ticking or oddly shaped packages, please). Letters postmarked Damascus or Tehran will be returned to sender. Can't wait to hear from you! No, seriously, we can't's in the constitution.

If I were teaching a class on comedy, I'd use this as an example of how humor depends completely on your audience understanding your references. This is very funny if you know the basics about Lebanese politics, but mystifying and unfunny if you don't.

Posted at December 2, 2007 06:48 PM

Hey, sweety, I'm the guy for you, bold and reliable. Okay, so I kept the army in barracks when the Israelis came, but I'll bring back the Syrian influence which will upset the Americans--that's bold. Plus I'm friendly with Hezbollah, and if necessary I know how to do the torture thing. Let's do lunch.--General Michel Suleiman

Posted by: Don Bacon at December 2, 2007 08:02 PM

Dear General Suleiman: I seem to remember your date had her birth pangs just last year. You like them young, do you?

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at December 2, 2007 08:55 PM

They don't call me Suleiman The Magnificent for nothing.--Mich

Posted by: Don Bacon at December 2, 2007 10:10 PM

If you explained it in greater detail would it ruin the joke?

Posted by: StO at December 3, 2007 07:50 AM

In particular, what is "ISO"?

Posted by: StO at December 3, 2007 08:09 AM

In Search Of

Posted by: Don Bacon at December 3, 2007 09:26 AM

This brings back bad memories of my first major college paper, an attempt to explain the PLO's relationship to Arab countries by writing it as a "Dear Abby" type letter about a troubled family. The TA was NOT impressed with my creativity.

Posted by: Whistler Blue at December 3, 2007 01:38 PM

news report: Michel Suleiman has been formally nominated for Lebanon's presidency with the backing of the majority coalition in parliament after the post fell vacant over a week ago.

Ho ho cheri, toujour l'amour, tonight for sure!--Your bold & reliable Michy

Posted by: Don Bacon at December 3, 2007 01:59 PM