Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Goodnights (And Goodbyes) Of The Round Table

I could be wrong but I always thought that the people who ended up sitting at a round table discussing national unity would be leaders. Leaders, as in people who can and do make decisions. Working forward from that assumption, why would the participants in the "Lebanese National Dialogue" need to, in Speaker Nabih Berri's words, "take time out for consultations"? Who do they have to consult? Although I'm tempted to say Syria & Iran, I won't because that is just unhelpful and divisive. Whatever. It's Syria and Iran. Add whomever else you like to that list because who is included on it doesn't matter; what matters is simply that other powers have to be consulted, yet again.
The basic issues are pretty uncomplicated - getting rid of Hezbollah's weapons, getting rid of a treacherous president and getting to the bottom of the Hariri assassination - but still no consensus on anything. Then Jumblatt sods off to the US and slags everyone off.

Rumour has it that when it came time to discuss the weapons, Hizbullah leader Nasrallah and Nabih Berri 'questioned the point of such dialogue' and then the bearded one 'allegedly stormed out of the room'.
I ave many other choice expressions for it but none that are really acceptable in polite company (yes, I'm talking about you). For someone who whines and whinges about consensus and the need for dialogue, he doesn't do either very well at all. National unity, my ass.

And to add insult to injury, they shut down downtown. You could still go there, but you couldn't park anywhere in a 300-mile radius and you would get frisked every 10 yards by a military type. Despite this, restaurants (paying extortionate Solidere rents) stayed open hoping that people would still come down. By some accounts, the total sum of diners in downtown restaurants over the weekend was 11 - apparently, it would have been 12 but some guy got stood up. Did these restaurants receive any compensation? Did they hell.

The whole thing is just a farce, another attempt to batter the Lebanese populace into submission by raising false hopes. Frankly, I'm sick of all the crap, yet I get sucked in every single time. Every time there's a chance of dialogue, I start seeing beautiful sunsets everywhere I look and hear choruses of angels with every step I take.
It's not their fault, it's mine. Damn this optimism. I'm old enough to know better.

If I sound a little negative, it's probably because my lovely Chelsea were knocked out of the Champion's League last night by Barcelona. I can't say it was unexpected but it still rankles. Yesterday's game was the way I want my lovely Chelsea to play all the time. Inventive, classy and rolling with the punches (of which there were relatively few). Barcelona were frankly a little bland - except, of course, for the sheer genius that is Ronaldinho. I'm always mesmerised by his play - the way the ball seems, by the way he moves it, to be another limb for him. Little heel flicks, scooped passes unerringly on target, sidestepping defenders without a second glance.....all pure magic.
I can't stand the fucker.

More bad news on the entertainment front. I heard from a couple of friends that the brilliant TV comedy Arrested Development has been cancelled. What? Probably the best comedy to come out of the US in absolutely ages snuffed out because it didn't pander to the great unwashed? I understand the concept of business, but when you're a TV corporation you should also produce some class to go along with your lowbrow, a small loss to go along with your mega-earnings. Take a hit for the team, guys.

I think that's enough for today. I still have to read Mourinho's post-game comments.



Theresa said...

I LOVED Arrested Development. The show was brilliant. One of the best things on TV and POOF - it's gone. Closest thing now (and it's not that close) is The Office.


ghassan said...

The real tragedy is not what these clowns agree or disagree to do. The real tragedy is that they feel empowered to put on that charade in our name.Whaere is the real stakeholder in all of this. The Lebanese citizen has abdicated his/her responsibility to hold the elected representatives responsible. We should be demonstrating aginst all those who are interested in business as usual. I won't hold my breath though.

Anonymous said...


Just and FYI, Arrested Development is slated to make a return next season on SHOWTIME. It was just not made for mainstream network tv but will return on the cable lineup and should be edgier as the FCC is not as stringent on cable channels.



desmond said...

Hi T.,
I heard the US version of The Office is really funny, despite any initial misgivings about it being crap! Good to see you...

I think many Lebanese are, like myself, way too optimistic and always allow 'them' to set us up for a fall. Of course, this is always done under the guise of hope. Breathe, man!

Excellent news! Thanks for the heads up.

Charles Malik said...

Ronaldinho was absolutely fantastic in that game. I hate the guy, but there's no question that Barcelona has a better team, better teamwork, and better owner than Chelski.

Anyway, Chelski didn't deserve their penalty at the end. It was entirely unwarranted.

Eto'o came so close to scoring again that you must have nearly broken out in tears.

When the politicians make it impossible for us to disagree on how stupid they are, we're left to sport trash talk.

Anonymous said...

need info


I'd appreciate if you can give me some feedback on our site:

I realize that you are home decor-modern design connoisseur :) I'd like to hear your opinion/feedback on our products. Also, it'd be swell if you can place our suede wassily chair in a bag set in a bag on your blog.

Thank you,