Friday, February 16, 2007

And By The Way...

Lovely, lovely. Another happy week. A day before yet another useless gathering a couple of bombs go off in buses carrying ordinary folk to work. And as usual, accusations are flying thick and fast from, and to, all.

In a country already suffering from economic stagnation, and in keeping with their strategy of economic revitalization, the hugely effective powers that be declared February 14th a public holiday. With the Paris beg-offs trying to out-digit Rocky films in terms of Roman numerals, the Lebanese government still has no clear agenda for getting us back on track. All the terms bandied around by the ruling clique, "cutting spending", "increasing revenues", "implementing reforms" et al are exactly the kind of murky, non-informative crap that doesn't help anyone's faith in the future and certainly don't make me want to invest here. And I live here.
Of course, the other side haven't exactly presented a groundbreaking formula.

It's such a shame that the horrific murder of Rafic Hariri has forever tainted the day of love, an honest, heartfelt day for lovers everywhere, an occasion when romantic florists feel justified in quadrupling the price of scentless blooms and when restaurants don't see anything wrong in prolonging the pain by still advertising Valentine's Day menus for today and tomorrow. Manufacturers of ugly satin cushions with coy messages embroidered on them and printers of enormous red cards must believe its Christmas, not to mention the wits behind X-rated shape chocolates and "sexy" board games. Yes, I'm disappointed we've lost this wonderful day.

March 14 supporters should go downtown and build their own tent city. Except this one could do away with the need for demonstrations and counter-demonstrations by having bigger and better tents. More modern conveniences. Tents with really cool plasma screens and surround sound setups, nice furniture and state of the art camping kitchens. Maybe mini-tents for the maids. There could be little bar tents and restaurant tents, maybe an Aishtitent for all the latest in designer camping gear.

This would encourage the opposition to realize that life really is better on the other side. Opposition tenters could then come over to March 14 bank tents and take out little tent loans and start improving their own tents. Other opposition tenters would come and visit these shiny new tents and want one for themselves and, skipping a couple of steps, this would inexorably lead to political union. It's brilliant.
Hey, Robert MacNamara once supposedly said that he could have won the Vietnam War if only he'd been allowed to give a TV to every Vietnamese household.

Another thing that really irks me is ridiculous little stories published in "news"papers under the guise of, well, news. This whole Berri mediation garbage, for example, in the Daily Rag:
"Reports of a possible meeting between Berri and Saad Hariri were neither confirmed nor denied by Amal MP Ali Hassan Khalil."

What? Read that again. How do you neither confirm nor deny? If you consider yourself some kind of political Machiavelli by answering 'maybe' to yes or no questions through narrowed eyes on national TV, then you might want to review your career path.

Khalil was then asked if Damascus was pleased with the idea of a Berri-Hariri meeting. His brilliant answer, again, I imagine, through narrowed eyes and a stare that passes the comfortable by a few seconds?
"What we hear from the Syrians is that they encourage inter-Lebanese dialogue."

Pfft. No. They. Don't.