The gilded life

It can be so enlightening checking in on Taslima’s tweets. She appears to be in New York at the moment, and is reporting on her adventures. She didn’t much like the 9/11 memorial and especially not the gift shop.

See 9/11 business! Selling tear-jerking 9/11 cards, books, mugs, shirts, ties, toys, bags, boxers etc.

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I would have found this part too painful to look at for long.

So many ppl had to die for fucking belief in a fucking god which doesn’t exist.

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But her best discovery was several hours before the visit to the memorial.

OMG Saudi king Abdullah gifted a gold toilet to his daughter on her marriage. But the poor girl was married to a man who has 11 wives & 16 kids.

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She got a golden bidet, too.


  1. moarscienceplz says

    I hope that gold toilet has built-in heaters, otherwise it is going to be colder than an outhouse in the Yukon in winter to sit on.

  2. Ariel says

    As for shops at such places, my own stance would be: it crucially depends on what they sell.

    There are usually shops at such places. It’s quite common. There is one even at Auschwitz-Birkenau, selling books, guidebooks, dvds, posters, and postcards.

    Books? I would say: fine. I have no problem with books – they are clearly for education and one of the points (no, not the only one) of creating such places is education. The same goes for guidebooks and educational dvds. But right after that, a dangerous slippery slope begins. Posters and postcards? What’s the purpose? Are they for education and remembrance as well? Well, someone could argue that this is exactly their role. But if so, what about fridge magnets and T-shirts (just for clarity: no, they don’t sell them at the Auschwitz shop)? Or maybe ashtrays with the words “Arbeit macht frei” (no, they don’t sell them either)? Would we defend them as serving education and remembrance as well?

    My own line of what’s clearly acceptable would be: educational books, guidebooks, cds and dvds. All the rest is controversial (at best!) and it’s better that shops at such places don’t sell it. Some of the additional stuff (e.g. postcards) could perhaps be sold elsewhere – but not on the memorial premises. Still other things (T-shirts, fridge magnets) are better to be avoided altogether.

  3. Decker says

    I’m somewhat uncomfortable with this gift shop. Am I supposed to buy a mug with the towers on it, or what?
    As for the gold toilet? Perhaps the king’s daughter could have it melted down and the money used to fight ebola.

    Or would that be just too sensible?

  4. peterh says

    The dividing line between tacky/insensitive/manipulative and honest regard has always been very blurred.

  5. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    Toilet connection to the King of Saudi Arabia is bogus. Its a picture from a toilet exhibition.

  6. Ed says

    I’d be pretty much OK with anything that wasn’t:

    a) An image (even a nice one) on a utilitirian object like a mug, glass, article of clothing or handbag. My objection would be rooted in the fact that objects that are used become worn and damaged and also that some forms of use like eating or drinking from it would not seem respectful to the solemn subject matter.

    b) Anything that could reasonably interpreted as a cartoon-like image.

    c) Games or toys, like models or puzzles of the buildings.

    I don’t think I’d have a problem with products bearing images that don’t violate common standards of good taste and are simply meant to be displayed as art or decoration.

  7. John Morales says

    Phillip @6:

    Toilet connection to the King of Saudi Arabia is bogus.

    Upon what basis do you declare this?

  8. Decker says

    Its a picture from a toilet exhibition.

    You mean there are actually toilet exhibitions…as in trade shows held at convention centres?

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