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Classic example of Perl Advocacy...
IMHO you can't judge if one language is suckier than the other if you donno both languages equally well. (Except for COBOL, coz I KNOW it sucks, that's just a fact).
If you're gonna discuss this in detail with him, grab a good Perl book and try to counter all so called bad things he states about Perl. Also get a good Python book and learn it too. Have a language war (and get pictures) :))
Ofcourse if all other programming languages were considered illegal, you could just have him arrested for even mentioning that stuff... *wink* *wink*
... Quidquid perl dictum sit, altum viditur.