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13 November, 2005

Public lavatory pop-freak

Less welcome than avian flu, the plastic pop-freak Michael Jackson has invaded Dubai, making his first public appearance in a public lavatory. According to Gulf News eyewitnesses described a "tall and thin man, dressed in a black cloak and black hat" in a bookshop:

A bystander who said he had managed to speak to the man who had hidden inside a stall said he had replied with a strong American accent. "He said: 'I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.'"

Everyone's Most Derided No. 1 newspaper has Jacko cross-dressing in a muslim women's headscarf, putting on his make-up in the ladies' loo:

DUBAI — When she went to the ladies washroom in the Egyptian Court of Ibn Battuta Mall at 9.30 last night, 37-year old Latifa M. never imagined that she would come face to face with pop icon Michael Jackson, who walked in dressed in a T-shirt and trousers, with his head covered with the Emirati women’s traditional head scarf Sheila.

The Tunisian, who is a teacher in a private school in Dubai, screamed in shock and ran out of the ladies room when she realised that the woman-like person was a man. She went back in to photograph the pop singer with her mobile phone, while he was busy fixing his make up.

Khaleej Times - we all know you're the most cretinous atrocity to journalism ever printed - but you must have at least one person on your staff with enough basic literacy to know that a headscarf is generally transliterated "shayla", as opposed to a "sheila". Again, here's a call for the resignation of the entire KT editorial team for their continued, embarrassment-to-the-nation journalistic incompetence.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say this but...... If MJ is roaming around the malls, parents please be careful with your children.

13 November, 2005 13:35  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

I thought the gloved one prefered boys to Sheilas. Isn't Sheila an Australian term for young lady? (Tries to imagine Michael Jackson with a Sheila wrapped around his head.)

Sheila australian - Google Search

13 November, 2005 14:04  
Blogger Keef said...

I read that story and was left wondering why nobody was questioning what this 'bloke' was doing in a 'sheila's' washroom.

I also read the rest of today's KT. It's always been bad, but it's actually getting worse.

13 November, 2005 14:17  
Blogger samuraisam said...

sheila means just woman iirc, not young woman; also sheila was/is (she died and came back at least 3 times i think) a character on bold and the beautiful (for those of you that are familiar with channel 33's bad programming)

Imagine if it wasn't mr. jackson but any old male, he would've been arrested within an instant, and thrown in jail for an eternity.

I'm surprised no one went spastic at him and wooped the tar out of him.

Pity he didn't get arrested, it would've been funny watching the international media going postal over it.

13 November, 2005 14:44  
Blogger Jassim said...

Yuk! Thats for both Wako Jacko at Ibn Batutabata Maul(latest spelling btw) and the Khaleej Times which should be downgraded to free newspaper by now , if it hasnt been already (as if i even read the english newspares anyway)

13 November, 2005 15:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael... Michael ... Michael !!!

Atleast pretend to be normal.

13 November, 2005 15:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its 'Dangerous' when you are'nt sure if you're 'Black or White' and have to look continuosly at 'The Man in the mirror' until some 'Dirty Diana' tells you to 'Beat it'. I bet he feels 'Bad' and like a 'Liberian Girl' and sings to himself ' You are not Alone' :))

13 November, 2005 15:57  
Blogger alarfaj said...

I wish there was a way we could go inside Jacko's head, and see what kind of "thoughts" are in there that make him such a BLOODY FREAK.

What kind of BIZARRITY would we see...??? I dread to think.

13 November, 2005 15:58  
Blogger Keef said...

Alarfaj: well u might get the chance to do just that - rumour has it he's buying property here. I just can't believe he was doing this just 10 minutes from where I live and he didn't pop in for a cup of tea!

13 November, 2005 16:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keefieboy : If you'd stressed the boy in your name, he'd be there faster than you can say " I'll be there" :)

13 November, 2005 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on folks do u think that story is true? Do you think MJ would push his luck with the warm welcome the "authorities" have shown here?
Its just the local paper wanting to get some attention thats all.

13 November, 2005 17:13  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous it was reported in gulf news, and khaleej times, i won't be surprised if other papers pick up on it.
the govt probably paid michael jackson to come here, and by paid, i mean be really welcoming, and probably gave him money, it gives dubai lots of publicity.

the police's denial of the incident is a clear indication that it happened.

if you had tonnes of money (and were bankrupt) like michael jackson, would you hang out in bahrain or dubai?

13 November, 2005 17:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's entirely likely that Michael sightings will be like Elvis sightings now that he's known to be around here.

Honestly, this woman probably just mistook some polite Emirati lady for El Gloved One - a truly unfortunate looking Emirati, lady granted (ok, maybe she's Saudi or Qatari ... on second thought, probably the case ;)

Your major problem here is that you assume the Times is, well, a newspaper. Think of it as a tabloid and all will be well: cheap, meaningless entertainment, poorly written but always entertaining. "It's your favorite newspaper!"

13 November, 2005 17:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rupert Murdoch :So I take it you think 'the... Times' does'nt stand comparison to some of your shining examples of Editorial splendour like "The Sun"

13 November, 2005 17:43  
Blogger secretdubai said...

But most (international) tabloids are extremely well written, so the Khaleej Turd - what a perfect new name for it! - has zero excuse.

13 November, 2005 17:43  
Blogger samuraisam said...

khaleej turd, khrap times, lets try and think of a good new name fo rkhaleej times, i'll even email it to them and ask them to rename.

its quite a difficult name to insult, at least with Etisalat, it easily can be changed to etisacrap, etisashat, or etisashite.

13 November, 2005 19:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Err.. don't mean to end the Khaleej Times-blasting party bubble here, but I think the No.1 newspaper got a better version of the story ( more details etc. - If that really matters ) in the case regarding the king of freak.
I hate to say this, SD, but you are beginning to wreak of bias, and a shame too, cause i thought you were unbiased at least. If not amusing.
But lately, you are becoming really sarcastic about everything about the country. Perhaps you should consider relocating if you hate the place and all what its about so much.
But ofcourse... you will have to pay taxes back home then wont you?
A word of advice SD: Blogging is not about being a cynic all the time.

13 November, 2005 20:20  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

SacraLeej Times.

13 November, 2005 20:25  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous its a personal blog it can be whatever the author wants it to be about.

i hate idiots on the net like you; if you don't like content, then why are you viewing it?

13 November, 2005 20:26  
Blogger samuraisam said...

there is a part which many missed too;
While Latifa insisted on compensation, Jackson flatly refused to pay up. The police informed Latifa that the UAE laws do not entitle her to any financial gain from the situation and they convinced her to hand over the mobile, which she did after erasing the photos for the fear of being penalised.

13 November, 2005 20:38  
Blogger Balushi said...

Barry is wandering around the internet looking for the secret of Dubai!

13 November, 2005 20:42  
Blogger Balushi said...

Michael Jackson The King of Pop! What a Great Star, what has happened of him that even depressed and lifeless people on the internet are making joke about him :(

what a shame!

13 November, 2005 20:45  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Anonymous@20:20 - perhaps instead I should concentrate on the positive stories in the press here? I expect it will be no end of pleasure - and bring readers flocking - to write in praise of wonderful new projects in Dubai instead of being cynical.

Here's today's Gulf News Nation page - pick out the kind of stories you think I should do instead. As you can probably see, there's rather a lot of gloom and cynicism around at the moment. This is not a particularly happy place at present.

As for bias: I don't work for either newspaper or have personal friends on either. It's not about KT vs GN, it's that the KT is utterly crap, whereas the GN is generally tolerable. It is my personal belief that a newspaper should be properly written in error-free, correct, appropriate language - in this case International English - and that its stories should be written as proper pieces of journalism. The KTurd manages none of this, hence my contempt for it.

This also goes for WAM - they need to decide whether they are a press release agency or a news agency, and write accordingly. This story, which the KT has lazily cut and pasted verbatim, from what I can see, is written as a press release. If it was a proper news story, it would start with Sheikh Mohammed's powerful statement, not the dreary list of dignitaries it begins with:

ABU DHABI — General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Executive Council yesterday chaired the First Meeting of Abu Dhabi Educational Council (Adec). The meeting was also attended by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister for Presidential Affairs, and Council members.

Which it turns out - and I can swear I had not checked this story before writing the above - is exactly how GN has handled the story.

Education is a national priority in the light of modern technological revolutions and scientific advancements, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, said yesterday.

On one side: a good attempt at journalism. On the other, a lazy and incompetent piece of turgidness. It's not bloody rocket science, but there is some craft and talent involved. That's why the Khaleej Times is a national disgrace and an actual insult to professional journalists and editors worldwide. If you can't be bothered to train your staff, stop publishing your crappy rag. Or are the editors so clueless they don't even know (or care?) that there is a problem.

So if that makes me biased, I am extremely happy to be such.

And the saddest thing is that there are some potentially competent writers at KT that with a bit of training and guidance would be very good. And KT hacks even find a fair amount of interesting, often unique, stories. But more often that not they are ruined with appalling writing and structuring.

13 November, 2005 20:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this talk about journalism is... boring.

More camel romances! this time?

13 November, 2005 22:01  
Blogger samuraisam said...

well said SD, i think someone just got their ass handed to them on a plate / owned

rupert go on google and search for

13 November, 2005 22:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sd - i love it when you get all hot and bothered.

13 November, 2005 23:56  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

Ibn Battuta Mall? Surely Jacko's tastes would be more BurJuman or Wafi-ish, unless he was just on the troll for a contact high with some kidlets again.

14 November, 2005 00:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try that in RAK, Jack.

14 November, 2005 01:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, lighten up on the KT. I have it on good authority that "sheila" was spelled "shayla" -- until they ran it through the spell checker, anyway.

14 November, 2005 01:34  
Blogger samuraisam said...

wow, thats amazing, there is actually a GCC spell check authority

14 November, 2005 02:36  
Blogger samuraisam said...

to defenders of khaleej times....

14 November, 2005 04:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This so isn't newsworthy. Get a life you idiots.

14 November, 2005 05:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That's just hilarious! 60+ word sentences, "every inch of my moments," these guys must be doing this on purpose -- no one can be that unintentionally hilarious.

There's obviusly only one possible nickname for the KT: "The Onion."

14 November, 2005 05:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>A word of advice SD: Blogging is >not about being a cynic all the >time.

I agree. This was laid down by the International Blogging Consortium when they met in Geneva in 2003.

There is a clear list of what blogging should and shouldn't be and SD, as a responsible blogger, should really be reading that list and sticking to what it advises.

In addition to despising cynics, the Geneva Blog Convention also hates anybody who's clever and funny and makes insecure people on the internet defensive and rude.

A few words of advice, Anon at 2020: You've got to hide your inadequacies away.

14 November, 2005 06:56  
Blogger 1Desi said...

Bloody Indian - **YAWN**

SamuraiSam - Hilarious link!!! the guy really has a distorted picture about himself and the company he represents... all in all, make some really funny reading!..."having been at the helm of it all, and enjoying every inch of my moments - involving myself as a publisher in the processing and production of a journal that has a quarter of a century's unblemished record and reputation of being the first and foremost"

14 November, 2005 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Introducing journalism would be a good breakthrough for the local media.

14 November, 2005 11:47  
Blogger Desert Scorpion said...

MJ has become a joke!!!

To think I was an avid fan in the 80's

This countries desire to latch onto anyone or anything knows no bounds!!!

Be it Trump/Beckham/Julio Iglesias/washed up has been 80's pop groups

We all have an innate desire to be 'liked'

But surely they need to stop!!

This country has enough to be proud of and needs to wake out of this post-colonial hangover.


14 November, 2005 13:34  
Blogger samuraisam said...

there was some more news about it in GN today, or perhaps KT, cant remember;
it had another non-gold digging eyewitness who said MJ was "with his kids"

14 November, 2005 13:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1Desi, if you stop yawning and read the post, you see that it's about you as well.

14 November, 2005 21:58  
Blogger 1Desi said...

Nice one there BloodyIndian...

15 November, 2005 10:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always willing to be obliging respected kind sir.

15 November, 2005 10:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The AP has picked up this story and Jackson has (more or less) confirmed it!

Michael Jackson has stirred a small controversy in the United Arab Emirates by entering the ladies room in a shopping mall.

The pop star's publicist said Jackson, who arrived in Dubai this week as the guest of a champion rally driver, did not understand the Arabic sign on the door and left the bathroom as soon as he realized his mistake.

In the statement released late Tuesday, Jackson's publicist, Raymond K. Bain said: ''Upon his exit (from the ladies bathroom), he was recognized and a crowd ensued. He had to wait in a nearby bookstore until police arrived to escort him through the crowd.''

But local newspapers reported that the 47-year-old performer did not quickly leave the bathroom and was spotted applying makeup before leaving.

16 November, 2005 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im sure its spelt "sheila"
but shayla does make more sense

16 November, 2005 22:58  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...

Loved the comments on ' SacraLeej Times'.

We stopped reading KT about 2 years ago after M A Galadari authoring editorials. We never knew whether to laugh or cry at his prose. Does he still wrtite them?

SD, his edits are worth a blog entry!

17 November, 2005 00:29  
Blogger secretdubai said...

SD, his edits are worth a blog entry!

I have this strange fear that the cut and pasting of his editorials beyond the KT site would bring about the Apocalpse, with the whole world as we know it destroyed.

Still, the total annihilation of all technology and humankind would also mean a permanent end to his editorials, so it would be a sacrifice well worth making.

17 November, 2005 00:55  
Blogger samuraisam said...

bwahaha, i just edited the page for khaleej times to include this;
It is well known among the expat population for it's over zealous, illiterate punch line which prefixes many articles "Your favourite no.1 newspaper".

17 November, 2005 04:28  

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