I my last post I referenced my trip to The UAE for Expo 2020. While there I drove over 600 miles to the edges of the Emirates, and into areas off the beaten tourist track. Visited industrial sites and ports, housing projects and government facilities. I spoke with cabbies, barbers, shop keepers, tourists, expats, government and business leaders. Why?
This is my sabbatical year. I have 12 trips planned. I will try to document some of what I think I may learn in this blog. Obscure oddities that hopefully will intersect to create a FONT.
Steve Jobs once audited a calligraphy class, he was high, bored and had dropped out of traditional school to become educated. I have tried to remind myself of this story and how sometimes those who wander are not truly lost.
"From Russia with... " my take-away was ___Propoganda___ but I respect the effort. See the visual and friendly images. Well done. Soften the sharp edges of the USSR and you have Putin's petrol fueled empire.
Another statement I remind myself on these wanders - Everyone loves their children, pets, family and they wish for their happiness in this life. Everyone, means critters too. You see this when you are invited into homes, cabs, barber chairs. When the elderly lady on the tram stands to offer you her seat, you, the foreigner who looks tired and road worn. "Welcome. It's nice to meet you."
In Dubai, the skyline and the hotel TV has changed since 2008, and 2018 - my last visits. Dubai now has an entire city called: Media City, the leaders understand the value of the media. Of the power of diplomacy of the Hollywood Industrial Complex. The way the American Century was shaped by our media - music, TV, movies. The messages in these stories we told the world about American greatness became so.
Dubai has a media city today, and the TV stations are all in Arabic here. Morocco, Oman, Saudi, Bahrain to UAE has their own 2-5 channels each. The radio only has 1 western station out of about 20 stations I could pick up. Russia Today was the only English-speaking news channel in Ajman. The only English speaking TV was MBC Action Network - it showed violent American Movies. During my stay, Kingsmen was repeated at least 3 times that I saw.
The plot of this movie? American tech businessman uses free cell phone sim cards given to the world of people to control their minds, drive them to psychotic rage and kill one another all in in effort to reduce the World's population and reduce carbon emissions.
The American villain character played by Samuel Jackson says: "When you get a virus, you get a fever. That's the human body raising its core temperature to kill the virus. Planet Earth works the same way: Global warming is the fever, mankind is the virus. We're making our planet sick. A cull is our only hope. If we don't reduce our population ourselves, there's only one of two ways this can go: The host kills the virus, or the virus kills the host. Either way..."
Messaging matters. Imagines count. Gone are the days where America has a white hat, strong steed and John Wayne stands proud to save the innocent in our movies?
Yes, I know Wayne was fiction, but let's hope Jackson is as well...