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Ray Hanania  

 

‘Don’t let Starbucks drop from my hand’

I can’t fight the terrorists; I am not really a freedom fighter

Published: 09.16.06, 18:27 / Israel Opinion

One man’s Bury-orrist is another man’s Freedom sighter.

 

Oh, I have it right. I didn’t misspell anything. The world in which we live is divided between two kinds of people. There are “Bury-orrists” and there are “Freedom sighters” in the world waging a war as surely as Palestinians and Israelis are constantly at each other’s throats, even when there is no need to be.

 

Which are you?

 

Well, it’s relative, I guess. I am not alone. There is a war going on between the two determined factions and there is nothing to discourage the rise or spread of either of these new phenomena in ideology.

 

A “Bury-orrist” is someone who walks into a book store, sees a book by an author they dislike – usually hate – and they go out of their way to bury the book from sight.

 

It happens all the time.

 

A “Freedom sighter” is the person who walks around a store and sees books and magazines buried behind other books and magazines, ands restores them to their just cause.

 

It’s not unnatural. I bet everyone does it, maybe at different frequencies. Some do it more than others. But it is certainly human nature.

 

I’ll bet that more than half the people who browse book stores and magazine racks are one or the other or both.

 

I see Ann Coulter’s face on a book and I have to gag. So when I put a book by, say, Ted Koppel over the Coulter book to bury it from public sight, I feel like I am serving the cause of justice.

 

Coulter is such a you-know-what. What irks me more than her idiotic conservative hypocrisy is her arrogance, which makes hypocrisy even that more disdainful. She puts her picture on every book cover.

 

Pe-yuke!

 

Did you ever notice that the conservative demagogues almost always put their faces on their books. What is that about?

 

'They are all over'

To me, burying her book is not “bury-orrism” at all, really, but a public service.

 

I can go down the list of victims of my “bury-orrism”: Sean Hannity. Alan Dershowitz. Any book with George Bush’s picture, Dick Cheney’s picture or Donald Rumsfeld’s picture on it, regardless of the author. Charles Krauthammer. Michael Savage. And Barney, the purple children’s dinosaur.

 

Thank God my kid hates Barney as much as I do, and he’s a Palestinian-Jew.

 

On the other hand, I also have a good side. I am a “Freedom sighter,” too.

 

I go around undoing the “Bury-orrisim” of the other side.

 

I was in a major Chicago book store just yesterday reorganizing the magazine rack. Islamica Magazine was turned upside down behind other publications in the Gay Rights section. I dutifully searched for and found every copy of Islamica Magazine, a new high quality magazine on Muslim life, and put them in a neat little row right in front next to The Nation and Progressive Magazine.

 

And then I go right down the line, looking for what I know will be victims of “bury-orrism” in book stores.

 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is probably the number one target of “bury-orrists.” They grab all the copies and relocate them not just on magazine racks, but hide them in unusual, unrelated places like in the kid’s section.

 

You have to be exhaustive when looking for victims of “bury-orrism.” They are all over.

 

'I am only what I can be'

So I walk through the book store like I am a book store clerk, tipping my hat to other employees who give

me strange looks, and customers who always ask me where certain book sections are: “The media section? Well, sir, you don’t want to poison your life by reading about the media. I suggest instead you go to the Middle East section and look up books by Edward Said.” … “Glad to help sir. Anytime. Serving the customer is my duty,” I say with a smile as the customer walks away. Briskly.

 

I put the copies of the Washington Report right in front along with the New York Times Sunday magazine, one of the most popular selection on most magazine racks.

 

It’s not about race or religion. It’s about politics.

 

I also go around and save copies of my favorite publication, Heeb Magazine, and also find prime real estate shelf space where I relocate them to give them exposure.

 

Heeb Magazine is one of the funniest magazines on Jewish life in America. And not just because I performed comedy for them at Second City in Chicago recently. This week. To a packed audience. Of Heebs, of course, who thought I was Puerto Rican until I was introduced as a Palestinian.

 

Convinced that the challenges of “Bury-orrism” and “Freedom Sighting” go far beyond my local book store, I often travel to other book stores for no other reason except to impose my political mindset on other book and magazine browsers.

 

What’s really neat is that the book stores now sell Starbucks coffee to customers to enjoy as they engage in “Bury-orrism” and “Freedom Sighting.”

 

Now, there is a whole culture of bloggers and Internet writers and forum posters who produce millions of words on this very topic. There are 11,800 references on Google for “hiding books.”

 

It is very common.

 

It’s become a cultural phenomenon driven by the polarized societies in which we live. Amnesty International, I have heard, is about to issue a denunciation that “Bury-orrism” and “Freedom sighting” are War Crimes.

 

“Bury-orrism” and “freedom sighting” are characteristics of people seeking to break free from the other more disturbing trends like terrorism, moral hypocrisy and the abandonment of righteous principles.

 

I can’t fight the terrorists. I am not really a freedom fighter.

 

I am only what I can be. A “Bury-orrist” and a “Freedom sighter.”

 

To borrow the war cry of the great “bury-orrists” and “freedom sighters” of our time, I say, “Don’t let the Starbucks drop from my hand.”

 

Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and standup comedian. Reach him at www.hanania.com

 

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