Thursday, March 10, 2005

The oud man out

A friend is (hopefully, actually probably) wowing an audience into awed submission as I type, with his oud playing prowess. I shan't name him for fear of driving him into further reclusiveness as he is the living embodiment of modesty - the rock and roll hermit if you like. Sufficeth to say that he is gifted.

It also provides me with an opportunity to namedrop the likes of Anouar Brahem and Naseer Shamma and thereby exhaust my entire knowledge store on this particular subject. Short and sweet.

Which conveniently leads me to a whole area of Coca-Cola appreciation that I have hitherto been totally ignorant of: the US vs Mexican brew debate. Apparently the US version uses corn syrup as the source of its sweetness whereas across the border cane sugar lends it an allegedly more palatable edge. There was a thriving industry in bootlegging Mexican coke into predominantly Hispanic US cities. The North American Free Trade Agreement has legalised the whole process and by doing so seriously dented US coke's profit margin. So forget Mecca and Qibla Cola, coke is putting itself out of business! (Or at least its filthy profits aren't as filthy as they could be).

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