Thursday, June 1, 2017

On the Wonder Woman movie being banned in Lebanon

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly based on the original Wonder Woman logo
Let me start by saying that the first censor in history was none other than Greek philosopher Plato. He wanted to purposely excluded certain characters from his virtuous city including musicians for example.
I also want to start by saying that Lebanon has an official department for boycotting Israel, and when the department was created long ago one of its tasks was to strike the word Israel in black in whatever publication that reached Lebanon. On the face of it the idea is not too smart, but if one goes back to the original Merlin fable, this is how the witch Map was defeated. Merlin simply instructed the folks of the town never to think of her or mention her name again.
So far it seems I am arguing for the banning of the movie Wonder Woman because apparently Gal Gadot is Israeli and served in the military. Well, I am not really arguing for that. The move which now headlines global media, makes us look petty, backward, borderline ridiculous to the eyes of the world, and frankly most reports are saying "this is not expected to make a dent in [the movie's] international grossing".
Mind you, I understand we are doing it out of principle. Not for the money stance. But even that seems a little shaky on the ground. Just to give an analogy: Lanvin had - for a very long time - a designer called Alber Elbaz who (like Gal Gadot!) was Israeli and served in the military, yet the Lanvin designs were never banned in Lebanon.
As a side note, since Gadot did appear in both “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Fast & Furious 6″ which were not banned, why should this movie be singled out?
See the logic? Or lack of it?
The Arab saying goes "what is forbidden is desired" (al mamanou3 marghoub) so by banning the movie we are killing the messenger, not the message itself, and amplifying the want of it from the public at large.