I've arrived at some rough analogies for programming languages.
C is like driving a Formula One race car. Most people just shouldn't. But if you're really good, you can meld man and machine in ways that just can't be done any other way, and you can build a truly fast, lean, and powerful system. But all kinds of things can go wrong, and usually badly.
C++ is like driving a Formula One race car towing an elephant. You have all of the risks of C with a whole bunch of weight making all the advantages of C moot. There are exceptions, but very few and far between.
Java is like dispensing with the car altogether and just driving the elephant. It's big, slow, and has a mind of its own.
Python and Ruby are different... they don't fit the car analogy so well, but instead fit into art forms. They just work differently. So I see Python as more like a musical composition. It has structure, and some rules, but at the same time has a free-flowing creativity and can have real elegance.
Ruby is more like painting, very pure, each stroke combining with all the others to create a whole much greater than its parts, but lacking the rules and structure that Python has. Ruby lends itself to incredibly elegant solutions. Unfortunately it doesn't have the system or networking robustness of Python, so sometimes it's as practical as a career in painting (but other times, as in the case of Rails, it's just about as perfect as any language is likely to get).
Apologies if I stepped on your pet language. I've just been doing this a long time (almost 20 years) and have developed distinct opinions and impressions. I don't want to argue about it.