Friday, February 22, 2013

Orthodoxy: the name of the illness but not the symptom

“No, do not say the O word, its hurting my ears” I tell my friend while she was cynically congratulating me on the new orthodoxy law. She laughs and say “well I don’t understand why are you people making a big fuss out of it, I thought it has been always like that”!

Yes, the ugly truth right in my face.

It's true, why are we so shocked to the extent of loosing our minds? It has been always like that, now it just floated to the surface. The orthodoxy is just the name of the illness, it's not the symptom, it's like a cancer that got diagnosed after 10 years of being sick without knowing what's going on with your body, what's fucking up your system. All the symptoms indicated the illness, but now it has a name - the illness, the cancer has a name "Le orthodoxy"

We live in gated communities, and our gated communities have metaphorical gates. There are no physical gates, there are just walls of boundaries and grudges, and we do make sure not to break those walls. For example, you know how many times I have been asked from where I am originally by landlords I am trying to rent an apartment from, just to make sure the religion I was born into is suitable with the area I will live in? We don't want the other in our areas, they are a threat, they are dangerous (why? I have no clue). Most of us grew up in the areas that are compatible with our religion and sect. Take for example "jounieh" for christians - saida for sunna - dahye for shiia - shouweyfet for drouz not to mention the rest of areas for political minorities and so on. I do realize that due to the new generation moving to Beirut the areas got slightly mixed on the surface but if you scratch a bit deeper and get rid of the few "progressive" sugarcoated layers the base is still the same. Ras El Nabe3 for example is divided into the shiaa part (the upper side towards bshara al khoury) and the sunna part (the lower part towards sodeco) and there's one shiaa family in the sunni neighborhood that keeps getting attacked and fights with the rest of the neighborhood recurrently every 3 weeks, amusing pattern, and I am not joking. Baabda on the other hand had ads by the MUNICIPALITY spread around in every inch of baabda asking people not to sell their lands (to the Muslims of course) akh, i really wish i still have a photo of that ad; it's infuriating! Impudence, pure impudence. It makes it sound like the shiaa from dahiye are only out to get the christians. Also, you have to see the panic on a jounieh resident face when they see a veiled woman in sarba! Anyway, those are just minor details we encounter daily and laugh about with our friends, without noticing how rooted they are in our society. 

 I really try hard not get into circles of generalization, but dude we are so cliche.  
Now you can go on trips of denial, while you are sitting in the biggest american coffee chain in hamra preaching communism – in english, and you can argue that hamra is the face of the new tolerant generation! Hmmm hamra you say, the place where as real estate is only accessible for the upper class who can afford it and the rich white europeans/americans who find the orient so exotic; what a beautiful new generation this is!

What’s more frustrating about everything happening is the reaction of the left, the segregated left that could never in its graceful Lebanese history unite for one fucking decision. And the facebook debate goes as such, of course via facebook statuses:

Lefty 1: Let's be very careful how to vote! 
Lefty 2: Let's be cautious who to vote for!
Lefty 3: Let's take back the parliament
Lefty 4: Let's vote white paper
Lefty 5: Let's protest
Lefty 6: Karl Marx said blablabla
Lefty 7: Let's all cross out our religion from "ekhraj el qayd" 
Lefty 8: Fuck it I am out of this country

NB: all those lefties are either community leaders or very influential figures in the left political realm.

Remind me again for how many years this has been happening? This regime of political dinosaurs has been ruling the country while building their empires of corporations from our pockets for 30 years, and everytime we object, there’s a propaganda about how the other are fter us and we need those dinosaurs to protect us in order to survive. Not to mention the other others, the Syrian refugees, the  Palestinians, the Ethiopians, the Philippines, the migrants, the panic, the migrants want to take Lebanon away from us! The panic. Our infection has a double face, one of sectarianism and another of ugly nationalism. 
And we wonder why do they keep getting re-elected? And who are their audience? And if we are fighting among each other, will we be able to at least reach out to the rest of the population?

So what’s next! I don’t know what’s next? I do not even identify as a lefty, or a righty or the inbetween, i can barely remember my name sometimes.....i don't even know why am i writing this blog,   this situation is stopping energy and ideas from flowing normally in my brain, i need to concentrate, i need to reboot, i need a cigarette. 

So where were we, yes, what's next? How about we realize and admit that we’ve done something wrong for a start? And as the “progressive left” (this phrase make me laugh so hard) sit together and communicate and figure out where did it all go wrong and why never once we could overcome this system? But no, we - in our opinionated views that are never up for a discussion, and our leadership dreams and starhood activism where we don't go to a protest we didn't organize, and we don't agree to a statement we didn't come up with, and we don't agree to an agenda we didn't put together  - are exactly what went wrong with the left, oh well, beside anarchism.

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