Monday, December 5th, 2016

Self-referential society page

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The Crazy Shepherd’s Boris and Doris were out on the town last week, but they didn’t have to go very far to find the social scene:

Back in the lobby, B&D ran into Shepherd Express publisher Louis Fortis, who was still jet-lagged from his trip to Beirut, Lebanon, where he taught “a semester course jammed into six weeks” at the Hariri Canadian University-Beirut. No kidding. The course, titled “Global Shifts in the World Political Economy from World War II to the Present,” sounded a bit intense. Fortis said one of the highlights of his trip was a dinner at the home of a Lebanese criminal court judge selected by the United Nations to preside at the international tribunal on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Fortis said that it felt like a Le Carré novel because he took a cab to a downtown location, waited on the street, and then was picked up in a vehicle driven by the military and complete with blackened windows. That vehicle took him the rest of the way to the judge’s heavily guarded home. Despite Lebanon’s 15-year civil war and the occasional assassination, Fortis said that Beirut was extraordinarily interesting and also very safe. “It’s a European city located in the Middle East,” he said.

Amazing. Did you know something similar happened to me? Once when I was working for this major corporation, my boss came back from visiting a customer in Germany. Did you know that Germany is just like a country in Europe? And he told me how he spoke to everyone about circuit protection in the telecom industry. It must have been intense.

I will say this for Fortis. Given all the strife at the Crazy Shepherd during his tenure, visiting a country torn apart by civil war could hardly be said to be unfamiliar territory for him.

Boris and Doris forgot to add, “While Fortis was in Lebanon, he saw these great hats that he just had to share with America. They’re now part of the exclusive Fortis line in the J Peterman catalog.”

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