Saturday, December 3, 2016

Beirut Mayhem-ek by Tarek Chemaly (Part VI)

Beirut mayhem-mek by Tarek Chemaly part VI:

Two minutes Maggi® noodles:
Boil 300 ml (1 1/2 cups) of water.
Cook noodles for 2 minutes.
Add flavour sachet. Stir to dissolve. Ready to serve.

Two minutes sainthood:
Belong to the opposition (Any opposition).
Get yourself killed by your enemies (Or allies, who cares?).
Leave a widow and orphans behind you. No miracles necessary.

In a totally unrelated event:
4162 new members were sworn in to the Phalanges; a right-wing Christian party, which – by his own admittance – was created by Pierre Gemayel after being so severely impressed by the Nazi Youth in the 1936 Olympics.

In a totally unrelated event:
"The Christians are the ones who lost the most from the July 2006 war!"
"How can you say that? As a Shiite who had family dying in the south I resent that. I myself lost my entire house in the southern suburb. The furniture alone cost more than one hundred thousand Dollars!"
"Well, my father's shop stopped working because of the war!"
"Well, my father doesn't have a shop any longer, it was totally destroyed!"
"Anyway, you Shiites never paid for electricity. Christians were paying double their bills to cover for you."
"Well, I could have shown you the receipts but they were burned with the house!"

In a totally unrelated event:
(Daily Star, 15 December 2006) Abu Ahmed has cleaned his Kalashnikov, and as a Sunnite says: "It was put away in a nylon case, I cleaned with diesel. I have about 500 rounds. They say they don't want a civil war or a sectarian war, but if they made a mistake and there was blood, there will be blood in return."

In a totally related event:
25% of a class of 40 people believes that a civil war will happen.

As seen on the Hezbollah backed Al Manar television.
The event: A mass celebrated by the opposition in the St. Georges Cathedral for Lebanon's sake.
Event transmitted live by Al Manar now that a major Christian part is their ally.
"Min ajli sayyidina wa ilahina wa moukhallisina Yasou' al Massih wa min ajli tadbirihi al khalassi (For the remembrance of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ and for his salvatory redemption)"
[Rotating over-impression on the screen goes: It is now the "Azan" (Moslem prayer) of noon according to Beirut's time]
[Cut – without any warning to:]
Muezzin chanting:
"Achhadou anna la ilah illa Allah, Achhadou anna la ilah illa Allah, Achhadou anna la ilah illa Allah (I testify that there is no God but Allah)"
[Cut back - without any warning to the mass- with the people chanting an old Syriac prayer]
"Kyriye layson, kyriye layson, kyriye layson" (God answer our prayer, God answer our prayer, God answer our prayer)]

This is Lebanon. In all its absurdity. In all its surrealism. Lebanon in a nutshell. A nutshell hard to crack. A code so impossible to break. "You never bather in the same water twice" said Heraclites. And you never see the same Beirut twice, I say, I say. A mad city, with a memory as faithful as that of Parkinson's patient, an entity with a purposefully elusive identity, a prostitute with a forever regenerated virginity, a demon with a perpetual redemption towards the heavens. I am Beirut, you are Beirut, he is Beirut, she is Beirut, it is Beirut, we are Beirut, you are Beirut, they are Beirut. And it is never twice the same city.

Serial clicker out on the loose, trying to unthink the thoughts, to unsink the ship, to unwhatever the rest, escaping the automatic Microsoft self-corrector, driving carlessly carelessly on roads with bridges July-mmvii-bombed, taking side roads and following newly placed road signs to get to coastal towns, road signs are never a good sign, putting temporary ones means they are not temporary, suffering from Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder six months too late, PTSD – pity the soul despaired, walking on self-curfewed streets, trying to find an empty spot for one in crowded pubs, "reservation for how many people?", one people, one drink, one plate, one sous-plat, table for one in short, vagina for one in skirt, girls in flammable skirts, in neon-colored tops, smilingseducingactingbored all at once, dancing queens having parked their platform shoes, dancing barefoot on tables, celebrating the life, cherishing the undeath, partying as if there was no tomorrow, in a place where tomorrow there might not be, with unsellable manuscripts unedited and unabridged in bottom folders never to be opened again.

Versus is a separation between two entities, often if not always, antagonistic. The Sharks and the Jets, the Caputlets and the Montagnes, the north and the south, the good and the evil. But is there not a meeting point for antagonistic entities, for contradictions? And what if the reference point or axis of classification was inverted, does this not mean that what was north is now south and vice versa, what was good is now evil and the opposite true?

Finally, someone had understood that the meeting place was more important than what it was meant to separate. Versus no more. Welcome to contradiction. Welcome to a city, much like snake, having to shed its skin periodically in order to survive. Welcome, you are entering Be