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The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World


The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World Cover

ISBN13: 9781593762926
ISBN10: 1593762925
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What happens to our pop culture when it meets another culture head-on—especially one that, according to some, is completely at odds with our own?

In The Sheikhs Batmobile, pop culture commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual two-year odyssey. His mission is to see what becomes of his and Americas obsessions—pop songs and sitcoms, Hollywood movies and shoot-'em-up video games, muscle cars and punk music—when they make their way into the Muslim world.

Over the course of his journey, Poplak gets body-slammed by WWE fans in Afghanistan, hangs out with hip-hop artists in Palestine, headbangs to heavy metal in Cairo, discovers a world of extreme makeovers in Beirut, bowls with the chief of police in small-town Kazakhstan, and encounters a mysterious Texan who builds rocket-propelled Batmobiles for a clientele of sheikhs.

With uproarious humor and keen cultural insight, Poplak asks some vital questions: How is American pop culture consumed and reinterpreted in the Islamic world? What does that say about how we are viewed by young Muslims? And can Homer Simpson bridge the divisions that are tearing our world apart?

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lukas, February 22, 2014 (view all comments by lukas)
It's a pretty good (if somewhat Vice-like) idea: travel to a variety of Muslim countries and find out how they experience American pop culture, from "The Simpsons" (featuring a Homer who doesn't drink beer) to pro wrestling to punk rock. Half-travelogue and half-rebuke to the much-touted idea of the "clash of civilizations," "The Sheikh's Batmobile" is lively, but also a little frustrating. Richard Poplak, a South African Jew, is enthusiastic and a little sloppy, prone to hyperbole like comparing himself to Robert Johnson at the crossroads. Intentionally or not, his you are there style owes a lot to Hunter Thompson, Lester Bangs and Anthony Bourdain. But it's a valuable, sometimes enlightening read about the unlikely things that bring us together. As one person says, "Pop culture is such a stabilizing force." And,yes, there is an honest to Allah batmobile in it.
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Product Details

Poplak, Richard
Soft Skull Press
Popular Culture - General
Popular Culture
Islamic Studies
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Islamic Studies
Travel » Travel Writing » Middle East

The Sheikh's Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim World Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Soft Skull Press - English 9781593762926 Reviews:
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