"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, December 30, 2003
RENATO OBEID IS RENATOOBEIDSWORLD'S MAN OF THE YEAR
"I'm shocked and stunned!
This is just so unexpected - a total surprise!
When did this happen?"
- www.renatobeidsworld.blogspot.com's Man of the Year, Renato Obeid on learning of the honour.
RENATO OBEID ANNOUNCES MOON MISSION
I'm putting a moon on the moon!
For a while I've been marvelling at the fact that they can put a man on the moon but that so and so cant do this or that etc - i.e that it would be easier for me to put a man on the moon then for so and so to do such and such and that I might as well put a man on the moon then try and get whatever it is done.
The final straw and launch of my space program was the service driver I stopped on the Jounieh highway who couldnt comprehend that I wanted to get off at Jal el Dib (some ten minutes away) on the highway but on the left hand side (permisable and quite common in Lebanon) and not on the right hand side so I wouldnt have to cross the busy highway.
He kept insisting that he's not going into Jal el Dib proper (that is the town) just through Jal el Dib (on the highway) and I said that thats where I'm going but on the left.
We finaly appeared to of reached an understanding and I got in - only to be dropped off about a kilometre down the road when he said (surprise,surprise!) that he's not going into Jal el Dib proper (that is the town) just through Jal el Dib (on the highway) and I said that thats where I'm going but on the left.
Short of making a scale model of that section of the highway and using a pointy stick (military style) to push a toy car over from the right side of the highway over to the left side of the highway I wasnt going to convince him so I decided to put a man on the moon instead.
It will cost about a billion dollars.
editors note : it sounds like renato obeid is already on the moon doesn't it readers? (snigger,snigger)
Monday, December 29, 2003
Just got back from Beirut where I caught up with Iyad and his friend Catherine who are visiting from Sweden.
While at Burger King this evening, we saw, on the TV screens there, live coverage of the state reception (i.e. President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Foreign Minister and other political and religious dignitaries) at the airport of the plane carrying the bodies of the victims of the tragic crash of a chartered plane shortly after take-off from Cotonou, Benin on Christmas Day in which over one hundred Lebanese expats on their way home for the holidays perished.
I found it bitterly ironic that the same Establishment that essentially drove these people to the airport and exile should now receive their bodies at that same airport.
This is indeed a national tragedy and not a time to be scoring political points (which this piece is by no means attempting to do) but Lebanese emigration is essentially a modern form of transportation carried out by the Lebanese Establishment.
Hundreds of thousands of the best and brightest (thus potentially troublesome) Lebanese have been forced to leave their country in search of the mere basics which they're denied at home.
There is an invisible Statue of Illiberality at Beirut International Airport.
The inverse of the New York landmark, it faces outwards (the direction it sends Lebanese in) telling the world to "take my tired, my poor, my huddled masses"
Most of them don't leave because they want to but because they have to – this is borne out by the fact that so many of them regularly come back for holidays, as the victims of the crash were doing, or permanently when they can.
My hope is that one day Lebanese are not forced to leave their country but will willingly travel and live abroad, driven by their spirit of worldly multiculturalism and a yearning for education, experience and knowledge, and that they will not have to do this as petitioners, penitents or refuges but as ambassadors spreading the word about this proud nation.
In fairness, I do think that it was very admirable of the State to pay so much attention to looking after their citizens involved in this tragedy – the reception at the airport, Foreign Minister Jean Obeid rushing to Cotonou (the first such mercy mission by a Lebanese Foreign Minster that I know of), sending a Lebanese Army rescue and recovery team, medical teams, etc, and airlifting casualties and bodies back to Lebanon.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
HAPPY CHRISTMAS (WAR ISN'T OVER)
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
This year's traditional candlelit Christmas brought to you by
Electricite du Liban
go fly a kite!
Light up an entire room for only 166 LL per night.*
Electricite** du Liban
go fly a kite!
*Price calculated according to two standard candlesticks costing 83 LL each (as part of pack of twelve retailing at 1000 LL) required for twelve hour period encompassing sunset to sunrise.
**Actual electricity not available.
When available pay only if you live in a Christian area.
Electricite du Liban
go fly a kite!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I reduce my electricity bill from one hundred and fifty US dollars a month to zero US dollars a month?
A: Become a Shiite.
Friday, December 19, 2003
VIVE LA FRANCE!
France "unveils" - now every Frenchman can be proud to show his face!
The only "covering" in France should be the proud tricolor that was born of the fight against fundamentalist religious fascism and now stands up to it again!
The sons and daughters of liberte, egalite and fraternite should not, can not,need not and will not hide their faces!
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
HE'S MAKING A LIST HE'S CHECKING IT TWICE
Ariel Sharon has barred Yaser Arafat from attending Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem for the third straight year.
Sunday, December 14, 2003
I’LL TAKE YA’S ALL ON
I’m not one to brag but today I won the pub quiz all on my own.
My team is away, so I went solo and beat seven other teams.
I would have scored my first solo victory a couple of weeks sooner I believe had I not been sabotaged – I was ahead after the first round when a girl from another team (AKA femme fatale double agent) “defected” onto my “team” (of one) and “we” ended up coming last after she answered every single question incorrectly.
Being a gentleman I had deferred to her answers and also because, no matter how sure I am, I always defer to someone who thinks their answer is correct.Of all the clubs in all Beirut she had to walk into mine.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
-How to read renatoobeidsworld
If you don't like what you read at the top here I invite you to read on.
I considered stacking the articles here in the same way punnets of strawberries are stacked with the bigger,better and juicer strawberries (so to speak) at the top but this would skew the chronological order.
Discarded first draft of above piece.
-How to read renatoobeidsworld
If you don't like what you read at the top here I invite you to fuck off!
"MATE" - AUSTRALIA'S LINGUISTIC STALEMATE MATE
Played chess today and won.
This being Australia*, where you have to add "mate" to the end of every sentence,my victory declaration was a bit tautolgous - "checkmate mate!"
*Technically I'm not in Australia at the moment but its a state of mind anyway.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
LOSE WEIGHT NOW!
Become a writer
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
The television news headline - "Latham elected leader of Australian Labor Party"
What I heard - "It's burst into flames!...Its crashed...Get away from it...This is one of the worst catastrophe's in the world...Its crashed to the ground...Oh the humanity...I cant talk to people*".
One of the oldest political parties in the world,the Australian Labor Party (the ALP),has been assassinated.
The ALP hasn't been immune from the global lurch to the right but yesterday it crossed the Rubicon - electing Mark Latham (see 07/12/2003) as its leader.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Latham is a Liberal Party mole infiltrated into the ALP with the aim of destroying it (as it is said of Mikhail Gorbachev and the downfall of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party).
If he isn't a mole per se,then he might as well be one because that is what he and his ilk have effectively done and will now finish off.
You need no further proof of this than the fact that Liberal friends of mine were celebrating his election.
One of them said to me that Australia needs to go further to the right.
Yeah, I agree - further to the "yeah right".
Australia needs to go further to the right as much as Francos' Spain did!
I said that if we were to go any further to the right we'd be off the radar and that we cant go any further right then this!
He said that we could - Pauline Hanson.
I said that Pauline Hanson is Gandhi compared to Latham
She never acted out her fantasy's whereas Latham has - two years ago he broke a migrant taxi drivers arm.
Where have you gone Gough Whitlam?
The answer is that Gough Whitlam has gone right to Mark Lathams side!
Why Mr Whitlam,why?
I've always considered you the father of today's ALP and the president (in internal exile) of the (undeclared) Republic of Australia - the only statesman and world class leader Australia has ever had and subsequently the only Australian leader to be overthrown in a coup de etat (which your dismissal was).
Lathams no Gough Whitlam and (I hate to say this - I don't want to sound presumptuous,disrespectful or arrogant)) neither are you anymore and I'm no Laborite anymore.
Despite dallying with the idea, I never joined the ALP but I have been an informal Laborite for about twenty years (since my early teens).
I'm not leaving the Labor Party, the Labor Party is leaving me and all the other True Believers who made it what it was and whom it has abandoned.
Good luck as the Liberal party's B team.
It's the last call before (permanent) closing at the Old Labor Party Saloon, nothing but ghosts left there anyway.
As the last of our old ideals crash to the ground somebody yells out "taxi" (the traditional cry in Australian pubs when somebody breaks something - as in its time to go home).
Mr Latham, your taxi's here.
Good luck and break a leg,you've already broken his arm and our hearts.
The Australian Labor Party
1891 - 2003
*Radio reporter Herbert Morrison describing the explosion of the Hindenburgh (May 6 1937).