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  • prequel

    "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 29, 2003  
    The weekends failed mini coup d’état ( Coup Lite ) in the Philippines in which some three hundred disgruntled junior army officers took over a shopping mall for an entire weekend ( and didn’t buy a single thing ) is a sign of the times and a harbinger of things to come ( apart from a continuing decline in retail figures ).
    In the modern ALL- NEW! ALL- CAPITALIST! NOW WITH 25% MORE CAPITALISM! sans Berlin Wall world seizing radio stations, parliaments, presidential palaces and other archaic symbols of power are things of the past.
    Coup plotters need now only seize their local Westfield ( shopping mall ).
    Just as disgruntled consumers may boycott these “palaces” of capitalism, disgruntled political consumers can also make a point by inversing this – seizing the seat of capitalism ( the only seat of power in the modern world) to make a point that all is not well in their corner of the New World Order.
    In an instance of perfect convergence, their complaints and demands were also of a very capitalist nature - “more money please”.
    Which is a fair enough end, but I’m not too keen on the means.
    They’re reminiscent of those brave anti-American and/or anti-globalisation ( is there a difference?) “warriors” who choose to confront the Yanks not by the cowardly method of fighting the worlds most powerful army wherever they may find them but by courageously attacking McDonalds outlets PACKED WITH THEIR OWN COMPATRIOTS! ( McDonalds is meant to be a happy place people! )
    I.e. here in now peaceful Lebanon we had a spate of ( fortunately non-lethal ) bomb attacks on American fast food franchises ( mainly McDonalds – I knew that crap was bad for you! ) by fundamentalists protesting American and Israeli policies in Iraq and Palestine.
    Good one! Protest massacres of innocent Arabs by massacring innocent Arabs! Hello! ( excuse me for temporarily lapsing into the detestable American habit of saying "hello" out of context ).
    To paraphrase Shakespeare's Shylock "hath not Ronald McDonald two eyes, two ears,two all beef patties...on a sesame seed bun?"
    Despite the government’s denials that the thriller in Manila was not an attempted coup but rather a “mutiny”, “rebellion”, etc, it was indeed a coup attempt.
    The only difference between these euphemisms for coups – “mutiny”, “rebellions”, “army’s having a bad hair day”, etc – and actual coups is that they are merely coups that nobody attended and thus didn’t work.
    In other words, if a coup attempt happens in the forest and nobody sees it – did it still happen? Of course it did!
    Unlike Philippine President Gloria Some Middle Name I Didn’t Understand Arroyo’s soft coup d’état two years ago which was very well attended ( by the army and the populace ) and thus succeeded.
    Question – what does a Third World leader do immediately after coming to power in a coup d’état?
    Answer – ban coups d’état! ( “New rules!, new rules!” or - my elder brothers favourite line when we were kids and my younger sister and I would want to imitate something verboten he’d JUST done – “no, YOU cant do it, mum and dad will find out”* )
    Arroyo overthrew Joseph Estrada in 2001 with the military’s assistance and is now peeved and alarmed to learn that what’s good for the goose ( herself ) is also good for the gander ( Estrada ) – i.e. the army that overthrew Estrada on her behalf can also overthrow her on Estrada’s behalf! ( as the weekends shenanigans apparently were an attempt at ).
    The symbol of the Philippine army should be a double-edged sword.
    But, then again I suppose we shouldn’t begrudge and deprive the Third World of their national sport ( coups d’états ) as its often their only form of , albeit slightly imperfect, democracy.
    Put it this way, at least a coup prone continent like Africa can get to change , swap and vary dictators ( a change of blood – too bad about the spillage ) whereas the Middle East has to put up with the one dictator for life!
    Furthermore, Ms Arroyo’s rise to power (just like her Indonesian counterpart Megawati ) is a further example ( if needed ) of the dangers of giving women their so-called “rights”.
    Both the Philippines and Indonesia “enjoy” universal suffrage but no, that’s not good enough for Ms Arroyo and Megawati.
    They both became Vice – Presidents of their countries (which is a lot better then cooking or washing dishes, etc ).
    Do you think they were happy with that?
    They both overthrew their male presidents!
    Women! Give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile!

    *Of course we never went as far as actual coups d’état but several regimes ( municipal councils that is ) did breath a sigh of relief when we matured though.

    10:30 am

    - "Priests arent supposed to marry"

    7:56 am

    Tuesday, July 22, 2003  
    - British Prime Minister not as gay as he looks
    - Freedom of speech is like... so "old Europe"
    - God save the Queen because nothing will save this "queen" - Kelly Affair will be the downfall of Tony Blair

    10:05 am

    Friday, July 18, 2003  

    ( *no apology to Fox News )

    12:30 pm


    Ugandan President Yoweri Mussevini has a VERY funny name.
    Whilst Mr Mussevini is the darling of the international community ( who consider him the father of Ugandan democracy ) he, in actual fact, varies very little from his ( dictatorial ) predecesors who also had VERY funny names ( dont the names MILTON Obote and IDI Amin just crack you up? - funnier part of name emphasized in block letters ).
    Lets face it - the name Yoweri Mussevini sounds a lot like the name of the crazy farmer who was always trying to shot Bugs Bunny in the cartoon!
    African renaisance my foot!

    P.S : Uganda is also landlocked.
    Boohoo, boohoo - poor little landlocked Uganda.
    "We're landlocked! - we're stuck!, we cant get out!, what are we going to do?"
    Winge, winge, winge!
    Enough with the complaining already!
    Go climb a tree! ( those things attached to coconuts )
    I've got problems of my own!
    One man can't solve all the worlds problems on his own ( as I've been doing on this weblog ) - feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and unlocking land!
    Talk about compasion fatigue!
    If I never hear the word "Uganda" ever again it wont be soon enough...soon after...sooner enough or something like that!
    Whats good for the goose is good for the Uganda!

    12:23 pm

    Tuesday, July 15, 2003  
    Ariel Sharon is indeed a "man of peace" as George W calls him.
    He wants a piece of Palestine, a piece of Lebanon, a piece of Syria, a piece of Jordan and a piece of Egypt.

    10:34 am

    Friday, July 11, 2003  
    Singapore doctors are attempting to seperate the Australian Labour Party from the Liberal Party.
    The Siamese twins are joined at the Mark Latham - the Labour partys' poor mans Liberal.
    Latham suggested a Marie Antoinetesque solution to poverty - he proposes that struggling Australians be encouraged to invest in shares.
    He sees this as a way of weaning them off welfare dependancy.
    Good one! - get people off welfare dependancy and get them onto gambling dependancy!
    Besides, poor people are too busy trying to "invest"in FOOD!
    Something not easy for people governed by facists such as Latham to do!

    12:34 pm

    Tuesday, July 08, 2003  
    Kuwaiti men went to the polls on Friday in men-only parliamentary elections that have drawn criticism from womens rights groups ( anarchists - giving women their "rights" would surely lead to anarchy ).
    Typical women, always complaining -nag, nag, nag!
    I'm all in favour of women getting the vote ( in Kuwait or any other country ) that way we men get two votes - ours and our wives.
    That’s a t least two votes – if you have multiple wives (as some people do) or you have daughters or sisters or other women that you have influence over, that’s even more votes.

    11:06 am

    Liberian President Charles Taylor is up there with the Palestinians in the Civil Wars Caused category.
    He's tailor-made civil wars in three neighbouring countries ( Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea - collect the set ) and now they've boomeranged back to him at home.
    What a proper charlie!

    UPDATE : The Americans are reportedly on the verge of giving Taylor an ultimatum to step down.
    But, emboldened by their success in Iraq, they wont be affording him the luxury of the 48 hours that Saddam had.
    My sources ( who I cant name because I made them up ) have leaked an advance copy of the ultimatum to me.
    It reads,
    "We're going to turn around, close our eyes ( we promise not to peek ) and count to ten realy slowly ( the countdown includes 9 1/4, 9 1/2 , 9 3/4 ).
    When we've done that and we open our eyes and turn around we expect President Taylor to be gone"

    10:59 am

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