Tuesday, May 27, 2008

From Lebanon neither 8 nor 14

The order of engineers windshield sticker

First of all, you would think that with the centuries spent cumulatively in various design classes the order would come up with a more aesthetically pleasing sticker. Well, any attempt to alter the logo in the current politically charged environment would undoubtedly lead to a color battle that would make a gay pride parade seem pale.

The sticker is there as is, but why is it so common? It must be for insurance purposes or some quirk like that because I can't understand why would anyone want to brag that his or her Harvard aerospace engineering degree has landed them a Picanto; in installments over the next 7 years.
Or maybe mister engineer wants to divert your attention with his dazzling order of engineers windshield sticker away from that red license plate that adorns his car.

A tough job market, struggling engineers, a yearly reminder call from your sectarian party representative, and kickass math skills: these come together symbolically packaged in that boxy design of the order of engineers windshield sticker in Lebanon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

لا خاسر ولا مخسور

I think it's time I lift my self imposed gag order. I'm a person who lives in a state of denial. I could not handle the Lebanese week of honesty. People expressing their feelings freely was long overdue in Lebanon, and what do you know; all it took was a few days of open hatred and then  a la Emeril Lagasse ... Baam a group hug to heal all. 

Here's how Andre Breton defined Surrealism:

Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

و بيتين عتابا للمناسبة

سبع بورومبو معيّد بواحَد و مأضْرِب بسبعة مايو
ما في شغل، نازل عالبحر و معو لابسة سبعة مايو
اليوم يومو إن نصَبّ زيت عنارو أو تلج صَب عمايو
غصب عن اللّي بالضاحية والرابية و قريطم و معراب

شو عم بيصير هالإسبوع بين بيروت و محلّة
هون حكومة ما بيرفّلها جفن و باقية بافية باقية محلاّ
و هونيك تلاتين سنة و إنّو تشبع سرقة و قمع ما حلاّ
إن لفظتو الجيم جيم أو الجيم جيم كلكن سوا بلإضراب

للمزيد أنقر هنا

... and on May Day

Nudity. I still have a clipping from an October 1993 Nouvel Observateur, an opinion poll: twelve hundred people describing themselves as on the left were sent a list of two hundred ten words and asked to underline the ones that fascinated them, that appealed to them, that they found attractive and congenial; a few years earlier, the same poll had been taken: back then, of the same two hundred ten words there were eighteen on which left wingers agreed and which thereby confirmed the existence of a shared sensibility. In 1993, the beloved words were down to three. Only three words that the left can agree on? What a decline! What a collapse! And what three words are they? Listen to this: “revolt”; “red”; “nudity.” “Revolt” and “red,” those are obvious. But that, aside from those two words, only “nudity” quickens the heart of left-wingers, that only nudity still stands as their shared symbolic legacy, is astounding. Is this our total inheritance from the magnificent two-hundred-year history solemnly launched by the French Revolution, is this the legacy of Robespierre, Danton, Jaurès, Rosa Luxemburg, of Lenin, Gramsci, Aragon, Che Guevara? Nudity? The naked belly, naked balls, naked buttocks? Is that the last flag under which the final brigades of the left simulate their grand march through the centuries? 

-Milan Kundera, Slowness