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                  Growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago, there were two kinds of houses: Tribune houses, and Sun-Times houses. The Tribune families tended to be more erudite, more concerned with the bigger picture. They indulged in the paper’s annoying habit of featuring national or global news

While there may not be a specific topic for Episode 10 of the Popdose Podcast, we promise you more intriguing and immature conversation between Jeff Giles, Jason Hare and Dave Lifton, culminating in an analysis of prosthetic

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Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi TV reporter who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last December, was released from prison on September 15 after serving nine months of a one-year sentence. (Throwing a shoe at a person is considered highly disrespectful in Islamic culture.) Immediately hailed as a hero in the Arab, Muslim, and NPR-listening worlds last winter for his act of defiance — he yelled “This is your farewell kiss, you dog!” and “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!” as he hurled each shoe at Bush — al-Zeidi emerged from prison into a world with a new American president and a decreased U.S. military presence in his home country. Now, in a loosely translated Popdose exclusive, he speaks out about his experience.

When I went into prison last year, I was 29 years old. Now I am 30 years old. I am a man now, and in prison I was the man, as you Americans say. People made T-shirts. A game on the Internet called Sock and Awe was created by people with much time on their hands. And the video of me throwing my shoes at President George Bush “went viral,” I was told. My prison guards even threw me a birthday party in January. (“Throw” is a versatile verb, is it not?) They gave me bright green shoes with holes on the top side that are called Crocs. It was amusing for a minute or two.

Many things can change in a short amount of time, however. The zeitgeist, it has shifted. The world has moved on. My people say to me, “The sectarian violence is not like it was, Muntadhar, and this new American president, unlike the previous one, he has a brain.”

But now there is a very bad crime wave, and it is led by the same people who almost pushed Iraq into a civil war. They cannot find jobs, so they kidnap and demand ransoms instead. Learn new skills, gentlemen. Take computer classes. Oh, that is right, I have forgotten — there is no electricity to run the computers! Carry on, sectarian thugs.