Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A week is a long time in politics - Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson - a British Politician - said: "a week is a long time in politics", and in Lebanon time is elastic - every day seems to bring in several developments (just today, resignation of the prime minister, attack on the manifestants and burning of their tents) but decades pass and nothing changes.
Look at the archive of any newspaper - allegations of theft, of corruption or bad politicians (with proofs and documents in tow!) and yet, little seems to change.
I am not here to dampen people's will or determination or dreams or (rightful) aspirations, but I have been here long enough to see thugs beat people under any pretext which can come to mind (as it happened today). You may say "brainwashed" or "ignorant" they are - yes, but they do exist. In the same country and space and city as all the others who are "free-minded" and "educated" (both terms here too used relatively).
In Einstein's relativity theory - time is diluted, but this pesupposes two clocks "either due to them having a velocity relative to each other, or by there being a gravitational potential difference between their locations", in Lebanon you do not need any such differences. Time gets diluted because it seems people in the same space, geography, and gravitational potential seem to measure it differently.
Some are erupting on Twitter calling Gebran Bassil (the man who was the subject of most of the ire and curses at the manifestations) as "former minister", others are erupting of joy saying it is now his time to form the government he always wanted with his allies. Same event different readings. I always go back to what the New York Times Bill Farrell said "there's no truth in Beirut, only versions" - on all accounts what happened since the beginning of the Lebanese revolution (October 17) is a lot. But that's because... A week is a long time in politics yet decades seem to bring little change!