The Sheikh's Batmobile
In Pursuit of American Pop Culture in the Muslim WorldBook - 2009
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 Sheikh's Batmobile , pop-cultural commentator Richard Poplak sets out on an unusual two-year odyssey. His mission is to see what becomes of his, and North America's, 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 is body slammed by WWE fans in Afghanistan, hangs out with hip-hop artists in Palestine, head bangs 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 building rocket-propelled batmobiles for a clientele of sheikhs.
With uproarious humour 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 differences that are tearing our world apart?
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'Brilliant.' John Allemang, The Globe and Mail
'One of the finest, funniest and most tragic memoirs I have read in years.' Heather Mallick, CBC, Analysis & Viewpoint
'Devastating detail comes via vivid and passionate prose . . . Brilliant.' NOW