It’s not a family event without an argument about the middle east

Went to the family reunion this weekend. Thirty-some-odd folks, including several I hadn’t known about: Dennis Skinner, Labor MP for Bolsover, UK, and a couple who descended from one of my great-grandfather’s brothers.

The whole weekend was filled with insistent voices. My clan is stubborn and well-read, and that means there was a lot of declaiming about Thomas Friedman, Hezbollah, Israel, and Iraq, in addition to the standard gossip about whose kids are being raised wrong, or who ran off with someone Poppa didn’t approve of back in ’36, and how many years they went without speaking to each other. Breakfast with my grandmother included a ninety-minute lecture on terrorism, the clash of civilizations, and how Arabs treat their women, plus a twenty minute lesson on what constitutes proper yogurt and how Americans all oversweeten all their food. Good breakfast, though.