Sunday, May 8, 2016

Beirut Madinati defeats Bierte list!

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly

Yes, the title of the post is intentional.
To my shame, it turns out I knew too many people who consider a quinoa salad a full meal.
But now the hype - which was frankly too much to handle as I was inundated with messages, posts, from friends and whatever, telling me to go vote when I do not even vote in Beirut - is gone, and what is left is a crushing defeat for Beirut Madinati.
The reason I put the Dewey Defeats Truman headline above is because the Chicago Tribune did a basic mistake - it chose its sample from industrialists or rich farmers not from the common folks who believe it or not, have a vote as worthy as that of any millionaire. And naturally, Truman won, just like the Bierte list won. Because it turns out artists, designers, Mar Mikhael regulars, gluten free cupcake eating hipsters, advertising agency associate creative directors, and other assorted intelligentsia are not the only ones who vote. Judging from the internet frenzy, one could have predicted a landslide win for all souls on the Beirut Madinati list - there were too many smoke and mirrors, too many surrogate instagram posts, too much "coolness"; which let us face it, was an "echo chamber" - a self-believing, self-deluding spectacle which fed itself into a frenzy but had no translation on the ground as it turned out.
Do note, I really appreciate what Beirut Madinati did, they managed to be in the eye of the storm and ride it out all while giving a fresh hope to the people - some of them at least - and I expect the swanky pubs to be full with Beirut Madinati supporters trying to rise above this defeat (it takes energy to instagram, tweet and facebook all day so it will be the "repos du guerrier").
But this is politics, not a game for newbies, and lest we learn from our past, this is exactly what we did in 2005 - we thought marches and agglomerations and creative banners would change everything (everything!). But that's what it is to be young and innocent I suppose.