"Humor is a funny way of being serious"
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Copyright© 2001-2010, Renato Obeid
"Top blog/Renato Obeid's World/Today's pick: This rambling weblog is worth reading not so much for its satirical posts but more for its insight into the minutiae of life in Lebanon, including the etiquette of road accidents and how to hire a taxi.”
-Jane Perrone, The Guardian
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
“BACKYARD BLITZ” FOR OUR PACIFIC BACKYARD
The Australian government has refused a request by the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu to relocate its entire eleven thousand strong population to Australia.
Tuvalu says that rising water levels will eventually waterlog and submerge their entire nation.
Why don’t we just send the “Backyard Blitz” (“popular” home improvement program on local television) crew to build a giant pergola or something for the entire Tuvaluan population to shelter in?
A question for nonsmokers – “how many cigarettes do you not smoke a day?”
“Have you cut down?”
I know some nonsmokers who don’t smoke up to two or three packets a day.
When you accept that life sucks (to put it simply), you’ll never be sad or miserable again – you’ll just be sad and miserable all the time (which is to be expected in view of those circumstances).
But it’s a different sort of sadness and misery, a sort of ambient sadness and misery that is a lot easier to cope with than sadness and misery that occurs occasionally when one is of what would be called a “normal” disposition.
This “sadness” and “misery” is not of the kind usually associated with those terms, it’s a kind of “happy”, accepting, resigned, worldly fatalistic and realistic sadness and misery.
When sadness and misery are constant they cease to be sadness and misery they just become normal and something one is used to and expects and accepts – without delusions and illusions.Besides, they’re the only things in life that are consistent and faithful
Tuesday, July 17, 2001
Just about to go to sleep (hopefully).
While having a couple of cigarettes in windy weather outside I was reminded of the man who told me, sitting on our balcony in Harisa, that he smokes three packets a day but four packets if it’s windy.
I think that they ought to ban television ads or programs that have telephone ringing in them.
There are so many of them and they’re so stressful – you constantly think that your phone’s ringing, until you put the volume down and finally figure out that it’s not your phone that’s ringing.
I read in the paper today that Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was divorced, after thirty-five years of marriage, by his wife, Janet, because she thought that he had no sense of adventure.“One of these days, Alice, pow, right to the moon!”
I can’t understand all the fuss about technology – e.g., you can’t open a newspaper these days without seeing a section on computers.
They’re appliances for Christ’s sake!
Imagine having a newspaper supplement called “Fridge”.
I also think that calling a newspaper supplement “Money” (the Sydney Morning Herald) is a bit indelicate and vulgar.
“BEAUTIFUL APATHY” – THE STORY OF MY LIFE
My Year Eight Italian teacher wrote that comment on my report card (next to the F).
How poetically evocative, how Italian!
Know everything, care about nothing.
We’re just visitors on earth, just passing through.
Like ambassadors to a foreign country, you know everything about it but it doesn’t concern you.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Half watched (whilst reading the paper) the Wimbledon final on television yesterday with Rebecca and Jeff – Croatian Goran Ivanisevic prevailed over Australia’s Pat rafter in what was described as one of the closest and most exciting finals in the history of the tournament.I’ll take their word for it.
Sunday, July 08, 2001
Recovering today after a big night out in Sydney.
Caught up with Anthony and we had a couple of drinks and dinner in the Cross and then went to a pub to watch some of the football.
It was a great night for sport, as it almost always is in Australia, with an Australian playing at Wimbledon, the Australia versus. Britain rugby union game somewhere in Australia and the Australia versus England Ashes cricket test match at Lords*.
After that we went to the upstairs section of the pub (the Laugh Garage) and saw three pretty unfunny acts – one of them was particularly unfunny and Anthony said that he was a new age comedian who didn’t have to be funny.
I almost felt that I’d be kicked out for laughing – it wasn’t in the spirit of things.
Gary Eck who was very funny and still walks like he wants to buy carpet saved the night.
That was one of his old jokes about being harassed by carpet vendors in Turkey – “you walk like you want to but carpet”- and it was the first thing that I greeted him with after having not seen him for three years.
Unfortunately he didn’t do said carpet routine, nor “Transport” – about being harassed by taxi drivers in Bali – but he’s promised that he will do them by popular demand next week if I come and see his gig at the Comedy Store.
I’m still smoking and still unpopular – smoking is very unfashionable and unpopular in Australia these days.
Such is the extent of the fear and horror about smoking that you could probably rob a bank with an unlit Marlboro Red cigarette these days, threatening to light up if your demands for dollars aren’t met – a la people who are robbing banks and shops with syringes allegedly full of AIDS contaminated blood.
Imagine the ensuing siege - police armed with big Cuban cigars outside encircling the bank.We all know that JFK was really assassinated by passive smoking and that it couldn’t of been by Lee Harvey Oswald – the cigarettes that he was smoking up there in the Texas Schoolbook Depository were really weak (Alpines or something) and that it must have been a second secondhand smoker on the grassy knoll who really did the deed.
*“Watching the Aussie’s is like a porn movie – you always know what is going to happen in the end”-Mick Jagger on the Ashes
I suggest that the ACCC – the Australian consumer watchdog – investigate the board game Monopoly for monopolization.
Tuesday, July 03, 2001
Just got home from a fairly busy and productive day (by my standards) in Sydney.
Shopping and lunch with Maha, dinner and drinks with Anthony and catching up with Matt after that.
Anthony and I came up with an unorthodox solution to the Palestinian/Israeli quagmire – appease and placate Yaser Arafat with a position on the Campbelltown Council.
Arafat is one of the stumbling blocks to the peace process and seeing his main ambition is to have any position of power at any cost then that would be ideal.Anyway, it can be argued that the President of the Palestinian Authority is just a glorified (Israeli) Councilor.