"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
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I thought that South Koreans only got excited about political matters but it looks like their excitement also extends to more mundane matters.
I see on the television news that more than two hundred people have been injured in clashes between police and protestors who oppose US beef imports.
The protestors are protesting against the supposed dangers of mad cow disease.
How ironic is that?
They look mad enough to me.
Will mad cow disease make any difference?
Those cats are crazy.
Speaking of cats, these people will eat cats and dogs and all sorts of things but they’re afraid of possibly eccentric cows.
Anyway, how do you tell the mad cows from the not mad cows?
They all look pretty mad to me (especially if you wave a red cloth at them).
Friday, June 27, 2008
Omar knows his priorities in life and school isn’t one of them (like any normal kid).
At school he just does what he needs to do to get by and this applies to most other things.
Once when he was about seven years old he was over and I was preparing a sandwich for him.
I asked him what he wanted in it.
“Phidadelphia’’ he replied.
“Phidalelphia’’ (granted, it’s not an easy name for a child to pronounce).
“Pronounce it properly or you’re not getting any’’ I bluffed knowing that he could pronounce it properly if he made an effort.
Realizing that I was serious and getting what he wanted depended in it, he then made an effort and pronounced it perfectly correctly.
“Philadelphia’’ and probably would have been able to pronounce it in its original Greek accent (“Φιλαδέλφεια’’) if required.
A writer could probably make a good living writing about Omar’s exploits but as there are laws and ethics about profiting from crime and corruption (I’m sure that proceeds of crime laws also apply to family members too) I’m not that writer.
Monday, June 23, 2008
A problem ignored, not recognized or acknowledged is a problem solved.
It’s all about perception.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
- "Peasants Brawling Outside a Tavern'' by Pieter Angiliss (1685-1734)
“A QUARELL AMONGST THE PEASANTRY’’
Is how Eli describes the all too frequent fights amongst the plebeian youths over network games (Counter-Strike) at the internet café we used to frequent and other similar incidents.
It’s such a quaint picturesque phrase that sounds to me like it could be the caption of some English painting from the 1700’s depicting peasants dressed in breeches fighting each other with pitchforks and sticks (maybe the predecessors of the yeomen at the internet café fighting over a game of quoits at the quoits café).
‘’A quarrel amongst the peasantry, Hertfordshire England 1789’’
Or like some knowing country squire dismissing (as natural and inevitable) the antics of his subjects to a houseguest from London (who’s “stopping’’ for a month’’ – it’s always a month in the literature classics) as “a quarrel amongst the peasantry’’ when they come across a disturbance whilst travelling in their carriage.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Just got back from my walk to Jounieh culminating at the supermarket where I replenished my junk food/insomnia food stocks.
The supermarket I went to is a twenty-four-hour a day joint on the highway with seedy looking staff and even seedier looking clientele.
At the register, just as the cashier was about to ring up my purchases, a slutty looking bottle blond, with her hair pulled back in a porn movie style single pony tail (or should that be ‘’pornytail’’?), of indeterminate age (you can never really guess this type of woman’s age) dressed like a prostitute, presumably coming home from ‘’work’’, cut-in in front of me without so much as a word.
My being a gentleman and her being a slut, I would have let her through if she hadn’t have cut-in especially seeing that she only had two items (two bags of nuts) and that I had about twenty.
As she was paying for her nuts (since when do prostitutes pay for ‘’nuts’’, how’s that for a reversal? Not the first ‘’nuts’’ she’s nibbled on no doubt. Talk about a busman’s holiday!) I rhetorically asked her ‘’excuse me but didn’t you see me before you?’’.
She didn’t say a word, just looked at me contemptuously and walked out with her purchases.
‘’How do you like that?’’ I said to the indigenous South American-looking cashier (picture a young Evo Morales) and two other blokes behind the counter.
One of the blokes behind the counter, who wasn’t as seedy looking as the rest, told me, in English, that she was a ‘’Syrian ‘bitch’’’ (‘’bitch’’ is often used here to refer to a prostitute).
I don’t know whether this was typical Maronite blame the Syrians for everything including queue-jumping and sluttiness (or whether she was even an actual prostitute) and seeing that she didn’t even say a single word to me I could hardly verify her origin by an accent.
What surprised me is that she wasn’t even particularly attractive and this wasn’t the arrogance of an attractive woman but seemed to me the arrogance of a slut who often got her way and ‘’respect’’ from a certain type of man simply because she was a slut.
In a society where not all woman put out men (usually single young men myself included sometimes)often have a kind of perverse ‘’respect’’ for a woman who’s willing or looks like she’s willing to put out if it will help them score her (or at least ‘’respect’’ her until she turns them down and then she becomes a slut).
Like the old joke about what the definition of a slut is: ‘’a slut is someone who sleeps with everyone except you’’.
I suppose a girl who puts out will often seem more attractive in any culture.
Noel Me Mate says a ‘’poem’’ in his stand-up comedy routine that goes something to the extent of ‘’I think my girlfriend’s beautiful. My parent’s also think she’s beautiful. Are they f***ing her too?’’
As my uncle says ‘’there are no attractive women or unattractive women – there are women who ‘let us’ and there are women who don’t ‘let us’’’.
The best articulation of a slut’s philosophy I’ve ever heard was from some slut in an internet chat room who said “why make one man miserable (by getting married) when you can make many men happy (by being a single slut)?’’
Friday, June 13, 2008
I was recently remonstrating with a non-Sunni sympathizer of the Future Movement (the mob that Asad AbuKhalil, aka Angry Arab, rightly calls the first sectarian Sunni Arab political party in history).
‘’The Hajji has to support them, she’s a Sunni, but you?’’
I likened it to the old joke about the man who comes home and finds his best friend in bed with his wife and says, ‘'Lenny, I have to, she's my wife, but you?"