Here’s a little mystery that intruded on my attention today.
The Pipes Rule of Arab Elections
Offered on the occasion of the “first free” elections in Tunisia:
If you know the result ahead of time, you are voting for the real powerbroker. If you don’t know the result in advance, then you are voting for a position that hardly matters.
This gives me several different occasions for perplexity.
- What the hell does it mean?
- Why is there a button on the post that offers “Translations of this item” into French, Italian, and … Latin, and “Greek (Ancient)?”
- Why did the obsessive British blog Harry’s Place, which doubles as Islamophobia Central and as personal trainer for the “muscular liberal” set, today headline this blog post in its Attic Greek translation, without further explanation: ὁ περὶ τὰς τῶν ᾿Αράβων ἐκλόγας νόμος ὁ τοῦ Δανιέλου Πιπέος, etc.?
I don’t understand these people at all, so I can only speculate that perhaps:
- Daniel Pipes is desperate to prove that he is a civilized Athenian, not a barbarian.
- The enigmatic original post is a code, reading “Bomb NYU!” or something, that can only be decrypted by translation into a dead language, and now the terrorist chatter in the Harry’s Place comments portends the coming attack.
- Harry’s Place has devised a secret plan, involving time travel, to recruit the military genius Alexander the Great to drive the Muslims out of Europe.