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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
Thursday, January 01, 2004
"CHRISTMAS" IN "PARADISE"
This is how they "celebrate" "Christmas" at the "Paradise" Buildings.
King Herod gets his young daughter a lapdog for Christmas and then decides that the whole neighborhood should be cleared of all other dogs.
The height of bourgeois arrogance!
He is in breach of the law as the buildings regulations do not allow pets.
She – Sandy a harmless innocent friendly dog – is not in breach of the law as she is living outside on public property.
She, Sandy, is no longer required – his daughter now has a dog thus Sandy is of no further use to him.
This must be the literal word for word definition of "dog in the manger".
In a Stalinist action he deports the dog - allegedly to a farm (it must be a Stalinesque prison farm) on the outskirts of Beirut - on the day before New Years Eve.
He also didn’t want his dog to be distracted when he was taking her for a walk outside – noblesse exige.
An imperious act akin to clearing Harrods for a royal visit.
Why not have his policemen clear the area before the "royal visit"?
The only overlap and interaction between the Lady and the Tramp I ever saw was when I went outside to feed Sandy on Christmas night and saw Herod Scrooge (when he first broached the subject of deporting Sandy ON CHRISTMAS DAY FOR CHRISTS SAKE!) walking his dog.
Sandy was nowhere to be found – she was quite simply hiding from them.
Now there's a peaceful dog and a dog with taste!
I walked around the entire buildings looking for her and she only appeared (rather sheepishly and meekly) after my repeated calls.
Herods dog* – at least TEN TIMES SMALLER THAN SANDY – PROCEEDED TO ATTEMPT TO ATTACK SANDY AND HAD TO BE RESTRAINED!
THEY TOOK AWAY THE WRONG DOG!
SEND HER AWAY!
Sandy did not reciprocate.
This is Christmas at the Paradise Buildings.
Never has a name been so ironic.
Never has the seasonal spirit been so lacking.
Herod consulted me and I agreed to this because Sandy is better off away from them – we're doing her a favor not them.
Various civic sounding excuses and justifications were given to me which had they been the true motivations behind this would have been impossible for me to argue against but they are not true and are plain and simply pretexts!
The fact is that this is just the arbitrary whim of one man and his fellow-travelers (I and Sandy's charm had already pacified Sandy's original persecutors – the "stars" of the first piece I wrote about Sandy - they in fact prevented a first attempt by the police to take her away).
If dogs are such a problem to you then what about your daughters' dog and why has this suddenly become an issue to you now after so many months and after you got your daughter a dog?
The Sandy Snatchers say two hundred thousand people died in the war here and that
we're not going to waste our time making issues out of dogs.
I say that they're the ones who are making an issue out of a dog.
I merely wanted her left where God put her.
HELLO PEOPLE – LOOK UP AT AND AIM FOR THE SKY NOT THE FUCKING GROUND AND THE DOG ON THE GROUND!
They're the ones who have been carrying on and conspiring for months.
They're the ones who are making an issue out of this!
They're the ones who sent her into exile in a FUCKING POLICE CAR FOR CHRISTS SAKE!
DON’T WE HAVE ANY CRIME IN THIS COUNTRY!**
HAVE I FUCKING MISSED SOMETHING HERE?
IS SANDY REALLY SLOBADAN MILOSEVIC?
ARE THOSE BONES SHE BURIED WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?
ARE WE THAT PEACEFUL AND CRIME FREE A SOCIETY THAT OUR POLICE HAVE GOT NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN TRANSPORT DOGS?
I say you can judge a person or a society not by how they treat those stronger than themselves but by how they treat those who are weaker than themselves.
The fact that this country had a terrible war is more the reason why we should be concerned about these matters even more so than any other country or society should!
We should start from zero, from scratch, from the grass roots – universal compassion and tolerance! (on the same principle as "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves").
Think globally act locally!
You and I are not going to be able to solve all the worlds' problems or bring about world peace but we should start on a small scale – humanity, tolerance and compassion start at home and if enough of us think and act accordingly maybe this will be achieved on a larger scale (the world is but a sum total of its parts).
Compassion and tolerance should be just that – universal.
They can not be selective and arbitrary!
If one person or group of people decide that this should not extend to, say, dogs what's to stop another person or group of people from deciding that this doesn't extend to people of a particular religion, of a particular ethnicity, ideology,etc?
Where does it start and where does it stop and who decides?
It’s a double edged sword and a slippery slope.
One man kills a dog and another kills his fellow man.
Same principles involved!
I must stress that I don’t mean that human and animal lives are equal and worth the same but what I do mean is that both killers see nothing wrong in what there doing, in fact they think that what they're doing is right and justified, and they both think they're killing dogs!
We should all care about everyone and everything.
I, like any other human being, am not perfect but maybe if more people thought and acted like me maybe there wouldn’t have been a war with two hundred thousand people killed.
This may sound a bit simplistic, I know that wars aren’t caused by the masses but the masses are the ones who do the killing – if more people thought and acted like me there quite simply wouldn’t have been anyone to do the killing.
Two hundred thousand people died in the war here thus we must be mean to dogs is my idea of the ultimate non-sequitur.
The other night I was at a restaurant with my friend Iyad and a "white girl" (a friend of his from Sweden).
There was a teeny weenie little insect on the table.
The white girl (who else?) pointed this out.
Iyad scooped it up in a napkin and placed it outside.
My opinion of Iyad prior to that couldn’t have been any higher but it is now – anyone who thinks this is a logical or mathematical impossibility doesn’t know Iyad.
Not just because he spared the life of an insect but because of what that says about him on an overall scale as a person in general.
Just as sparing an insect says a lot about a person and is an indication of the type of person they are then chasing a dog away also says a lot about a person and indicates what type of person they are.
My young cousins are as devastated as I am about this.
They won't forget this (one of them even said as much) and neither will I.
The Sandynista movement is born!
My eight year old cousin asked me "why did they have to take her away on New Years Eve?"
She also said to me "we can visit her – we'll go to Sin el Fil (a suburb of Beirut were Sandy was ALLEDGEDLY taken to) and call her and she'll come to us".
That broke my heart.
The first piece I wrote on Sandy (see archives - 10/30/2003) was titled "Sandy to move to a compassionate neighborhood where dogs chase people and not vice versa".
I sincerely hope that that is what has happened but I very much doubt that if the people who deported her are anything to go by and, indeed, if people who deport dogs are anything to go by!
I was misled – I had been assured that she would be dealt with humanely (to those who'd say "but she's not a human" I say "but we are and are supposed to act accordingly").
That was not the case.
I have since learned that Sandy was drugged and electrocuted – she was given some sort of sedative and when that didn’t work and she wasn’t cooperative with the policemen trying to deport her she was zapped three times with a what was apparently a tazer stun gun (she yelped in pain).
Is this the way to treat a pregnant dog?
It certainly doesnt require a commando operation - this is a pregnant dog in Harisa not a Black September highjacker in Entebbe!
I certainly would not of agreed to Sandy's deportation had I of known what they were going to do and what they were – although I definitely had my suspicions as to what they were and these suspicions have been confirmed a hundred fold.
Now that the "grandee's" of the Paradise Buildings have chased all the dogs away and don’t have any dogs to chase any more I just hope that they don’t start chasing cars.
Anything is possible in a compassionless neighborhood where people chase dogs and not vice versa.
Admitedly this is not the nicest friendliest piece I have ever written but neither is taking away a child's pet (and mine) at Christmas.
Writing this goes against my grain and gives me no pleasure but this has to be done and it has to be said and is merely an understandable reaction to unacceptable actions.
PICTURE : This site is too low-tech to have pictures but imagine if you will the above wanted "picture" of Sandy superimposed onto the ace of spades playing card (a la Saddam)
I have since learnt (Sunday 4th January) that Herod's dog has ATTACKED AND BITTEN FOUR CHILDREN!
And this is just what one single source knew about.
This feral bitch is obviously the threat to the community not Sandy!
This further belies their alledged civic concerns - most of them concerning the safety of the children!
You do the calculations!
I have included the following patented table and converter to aid you in your calculations.
Feral Bitch - 4
Sandy - 0
Extrapolating from those figures, Feral Bitch has bitten four children - four more than Sandy who has bitten zero children.
Furthermore Feral Bitch has bitten FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT MORE CHILDREN THAN SANDY (WHO HASNT BITTEN ANY CHILDREN)!
CAN WE REALLY AFFORD A DOG IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHO HAS BITTEN FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE CHILDREN?
**Actually maybe catching criminals is a bit too ambitious for them.
It took three policemen some three hours to catch Sandy.
Even then they only caught her after they had enlisted a Sri Lankan maid (also a Sandynista) and an eight year old girl (who's pet Sandy was and who had to be led away crying by the maid after the deed was done).
This laughable Keystone Cops-esque scenario sounds like something out of a cartoon - Sandy avoiding Acme traps for three hours (a la the Road Runner).