"Business and Leisure Hub."

Dubai: Vegas for Fundamentalists:

A policeman saw the couple hugging and kissing in a taxi [...] He took the unidentified man and his Egyptian acquaintance to a police station for questioning. The two "confessed to hugging and kissing inside the taxi," and the man also admitted to being drunk. He was fined $3,270.

The affluent emirate is in the midst of a drive to establish itself as the Gulf's business and leisure hub.


16 Responses:

  1. partylemon says:

    Once again, they stun us with their photographic talent.

  2. khephra says:

    Which is funny, because it's also the hub for the Middle Eastern Slave Trade. (Dubai).
    They love those blonde/blue-eye'd Eastern European girls.

    I told you that whole story didn't I?

  3. susano_otter says:

    Public Displays of Affection are hurtful and insensitive to those of us who, for whatever reason, are unable to enjoy like experiences.

    The social more of reserving physical displays of affection for private venues is orthogonal in principle to religious funamentalism, cultural/ethnic bigotry, or any other form of social injustice.

    And really, where's the injustice, here? You want to make your booty call in the public streets? Go to Amsterdam. You want to conduct Illuminati business, and get your smooch on in the privacy of your hotel room? Go to Dubai.

    • zapevaj says:

      Please to Christ tell me you're joking.

      • susano_otter says:

        PDAs = insensitive to the unloved and those tragically separated from their loved ones?

        A society which prefers to keep its kissing indoors != a society of fundie jerks?

        A world where (Amsterdam = PDAs) and (Dubai = Get A Room) is a world where things are working out just fine?

        Dubai = Illuminati Convention Center?

        Or are you simply jaw-droppingly astounded at the comedy gold that is the phrase "foo is orthogonal in principle to bar"?

    • spendocrat says:

      Public Displays of Affection are hurtful and insensitive to those of us who, for whatever reason, are unable to enjoy like experiences.

      True, yet irrelvant. This is about as fair as asking stupid kids to stop talking on the bus.

      • susano_otter says:

        This is about as fair as asking stupid kids to stop talking on the bus.

        So you're saying it's pretty fair, then?

        Obviously, in this particular instance, the ban on PDAs is coincident with religious fundamentalism. I'm just saying it isn't necessarily so, nor that a society that agrees upon such a norm is necessarily unfair.

        • spendocrat says:

          I don't know, a society that arbitrarily limits your actions based on potential emotional harm to others doesn't seem that fair to me. The same society might very well agree that trolling is wrong, or arguing on the Internet for that matter.

          • susano_otter says:

            Society puts arbitrary limits on things all the time. When was the last time you saw a cigarrette commercial on prime-time TV?

            "trolling" and "arguing on the internet" are both different from "public displays of affection" in at least a few important ways, though.

            For one thing, the first two are largely matters of opinion (what constitutes "trolling", for example?), whereas the third is a simple matter of fact. There's little room for controversy over where to draw the line between "kissing in public" and "not kissing in pubic".

            For another, the first two usually come with a clear "opt-in" component for the audience (nobody is forced to participate in an internet argument, nor do they have one thrust upon them without warning or against their will), while the third does not. Porn is free expression, but it's definitely opt-in by law and custom.

            Maybe this isn't so much a question of free speech, but of what activities a society considers to be intimate and private. A society that takes sexual intimacy seriously isn't automatically an unfair society.

            I understand your concern about the slippery slope from "banning PDAs" to "banning subjectively rude behavior", or whatever. I just don't think the slope exists, or that the long slide is inevitable.

            But now that I think about it, I admit that "PDAs are insensitive" is a pretty feeble line of argument. "Kissing in public may be considered intimate and private by a reasonable society", while involving many more letters, seems much more interesting. Or maybe not. Can good manners be safely legislated by a free society? If so, to what extent?

            • billy_goto says:

              you said "not kissing in pubic"..

            • valacosa says:

              Ban public displays of affection, eh?

              Please ignore the other post, as the link didn't work...

              • valacosa says:

                ARGH. It's too late tonight.
                HERE! CLICK THE DAMN LINK!

                I'm going to bed.

              • susano_otter says:

                Consider the other post ignored.

                In fact, can we just ignore this whole "debate by comic strip" approach?

                Not only is it inane, but in this case it's repetitive, too. JWZ introduced the topic by making the exact same point (only with the UAE instead of Iran).

                This thread starts there, and moves on. Or tries to, anyway. Did you have a reason for dragging us back to the beginnning like this? Can't keep up? Or do you honestly think that there's nothing more to say here?

                Obviously, it's possible to legislate decent behavior without being a totalitarian theocratic tyranny. Or do you blame our rules against explicict sex on broadcast television for the rise of W?

                All I'm curious about, at this point, is to what extent kissing could plausibly be considered an intimate act that should not be indulged in public.

                All societies have such categories. My argument is that a reasonable society could reasonably put kissing into such a category. Your argument seems to be that because I'm raising the question, I must be a theocrat pining away for the good times in Tehran. But maybe there's some nuance or finesse or insight that you've brought to the discussion, that I'm somehow overlooking in my analysis.

                Enough! Kissing: Reasonably intimate and private, or one of those things like smiling or yawning, that should never cause offense or be restricted?