Monday, June 19, 2006

From Lebanonesia With...ALARM. I have known this alleged country all my life, but I don't remember a time when the clerics, Sunni, Shi`ite, Christian, and Druzes, have exercised a more influential role in Lebanese politics and society. That is most alarming for me. If it is up to me, I would send all of them into exile, and force them read the speeches of Robespierre or the Collected Works of Anver Hoxa--(I can't believe that I own the collected works of the latter. I used to be fascinated by that bizarre tyrant). They deserve no less. I ran into a college friend the other day: he was a member of a radical anarcho-syndicalist group back then. He suggested, to my horror, that I meet with this right-wing awful liberal in Lebanon. When I expressed my utter disgust for that person and what he represents, he said: But what do we have. We have the "Chadors" on the other side. I said: Why does it have to be one or the other, Bush or Bin Laden? Why not neither? Should we not insist on neither? I went to the Art show in Jummayzah last night: I have never seen such a festival of kitsch, vulgarity, cliches, vapidness, mismatchness, conformity, and vertigo in my entire life. But rest assured that I will take some pictures for immortalization on this site before I leave. There was one Rafiq Hariri picture that will be posted on this site, with an angry rant. I can't even describe it for you. I told my friend that the painting was deliberately put for me to mock. Mini-Hariri toured Sunni neighborhoods yesterday; if you only could see how out of place he looked. Where is the Dorchester when you need it? Ahmad Fu'ad Najm, the Egyptian poet, was on Al-Arabiyya last week: he said that he is against "development." He said that development turned Arab people into "terrified rabbits." We need somebody to write a PhD dissertation on Shaykh Imam and Ahmad Fu'ad Najm. What a phenomenon. My favorite Najm poem was the one when wrote when Richard Nixon visited Cairo to escape the press scrutiny during Watergate. It goes: "You have honored us, o Nixon, with the visit, o the one of Watergate; the Sultans of ful and [olive] oil have made you a quite a fanfare [try to translate "'imah w-sima" into English]." My sister, Mirvat, accompanied him 2 years ago to the Sabra and Shatila camps and she tells me that people would walk behind him in awe. Banned everywhere, and celebrated everywhere. What a talent. His collected works are now available in Arabic. Let me report this again: nobody, NOBODY, watches Al-Hurra TV. I was told that people at Al-Hurra don't even watch Al-Hurra. The right-wing Lebanonese American zealot, Walid Ma`luf is visiting Lebanon. The papers don't know of his background, it seems. They don't know how he was a errands' deliverer for Doug Feith and company. An-Nahar reported two days ago--I am not making this up--that there is now an inoculation for cancer, and that it was based on an idea by Lebanonese doctor, Philip Salim. If I want to refute lies and fabrications in Lebanonesia, I would not have time to eat or drink, etc. I watched the Simpsons with subtitles in the GYM: they translated Maple Syrup as "local juice." They must have thought that maple was local. Tomorrow, An-Nahar will report that maple was invented by a Lebanese. Lady of Bishwat statue today dripped a gallon of hummus. Celebrations will ensue. So tell me: has Bush been making "progress in Iraq"? Have they been capturing "senior aides" to Zarqawi? A cabdriver told complained to me about the Iranian team in the World Cup. He was furious that, according to him, they sent men in their 30s? Did they send their nuclear reactor's scientists to play football, he asked me? Why would I know. What do I know. I am drenched in Hummus as we speak.