February 03, 2011

Coffee, Tea or Alcohol?

From Jonah Goldberg's newsletter:
I have a weird theory. Maybe one of the reasons -- aside from the illiteracy, shame culture, anti-Semitism, authoritarianism, etc. -- that Arabs are both so conspiratorial and so complex in their political machinations is the lack of alcohol in their cultures. Maybe there's so much intrigue and duplicity in the Middle East because that's exactly the sort of thing you'd expect in a society where men sit around all night consuming stimulants like nicotine and caffeine. In, say, Russia -- another hotbed of paranoia -- people stay up late into the night, but they get drunker and more simplistic the later it gets. In hookah bars, you stay up later and later, totally sober and increasingly wired, like a college sophomore on a sleep-deprivation vision quest who, at 3:00 in the morning, suddenly realizes he should write his term paper on how Kierkegaard predicted Jersey Shore. Of course, this could be entirely wrong.

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