Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Small God...

We all have our own space, a dimension where we exist as we're meant to exist, a dimension where the smallest perturbation of free will can and will lead to an explosion of hierachyc growing predefined random consequences.
A pebble out of it's well defined space and time will cause deflation to a wheel that passed over, a stupid accident of a wheel that decided to deflate will cause a bus to deviate, will cause a driver to step on the brakes, will cause a emergency stop, will cause a delay. A delay will cause another delay and another delay will mess up a perfectly scheduled day, unless you "amputate" the source of delaying infection in order to save the day's life. Because life is more important than a messed organ or limb, accuracy is more important even at the cost of cutting short an appointment delayed because of delay, because of a bus, because of a pebble, because of an existential revolt.
Today I have met him. The accident. The person who wasn't supposed to wait for me. The replacement. I have met him and knew I must have had to. I know nothing happens out of chance, because we are who makes chance think it happens. I know that by seeing him today, I ignited the beginning of this end. I know all will start with his sight and his sight will end all. A perfect circle. I know it was not chance, yet...
It was my own Small God, it was his Divine touch that ignited the flicker of revolt in the pebble's existence, making it rise against the predestination of it's dimension, crave for a spectacular escape from the perfect order of the Circle, cause perturbation in the wheel's space, cause damage to the bus, cause delay to us humans. Lead me into his eyes. My Small God...

Small Gods

It is the symbolic name of the best Discowrld novel, in my opinion. Or maybe the name is symbolic because we, humans, crave to find symbolism in every shred of written word. Because this symbolism is the very Small God we praise.
Terry Pratchett is, above everything else, a keen observer. He's not a talented writer, or cynic journalist, or moralist. Observer. Of human nature, of human thoughts, of human behavior, of all that is human. And he details the results of his prolonged observation in the simples logic way for those who want to observe. That, of course, if you're not too busy laughing your soul out at his solid baseless metaphors.
Small Gods is different, not because of it's sensitive subject. It's different because Pratchett projected himself in this book. I don't want to idealize the man, but then again, his projection is far from being idealistic. He projected himself and spoke his mind, instead as merely suggesting, as he did in all the other novel. He spoke his feeling, pointed the finger, cried of despair, demolished so he can rebuild, destroyed so he can recreate, and... resumed his silent observation. The ever same result he gets, we get, I get, when trying to change a speck of dust.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Photographer Without Camera

I won't talk about Hariri, nor Blair, nor Bush and his Condomleeza, nor UN investigators. Because I'm happy. In a strange sadistic self-satisfied way. Because Syria has landed on it's feet, like a true Unadulterated Cat that would make Terry Pratchett proud.
As a celebration, I chose to repost an older post revised. I am a photographer, as written in my profile. I specialized on urban and motion photography because I feel it closest to my true self, a 100% urban human being that spent more than half of his life in motion, on the streets. True, that I don't need a camera to memorize all the details I felt trough my street-days, and true that it is the mind that captures and keeps all the moments, and that a camera, which is a device, after all, will create an array of lights and reflections that put together create the image. But what happens when an image tells you more than it's meant to tell, projects you in it's hidden universe and confides you it's forgotten tales?The images I post are built on contrasts, as our life and world. They are symbolic, they hold an existential philosophy, because people saw existential philosophy within, and because people crave for existential philosophy.
As for me, I just pressed the shutter release.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Agnostic By Nature

Agnostic is a term used to define a person who intellectually challenges the existence of any reasonable truth in religion. Agnostic is a term to define a person who defies the principles of belief with reason. An agnostic is a person who tends to see the world clearly. Or was that the pessimist?
I used to be a militant atheist (hard to imagine that one), ready to start a fight on every kind of religion and belief, renegating as many Gods as possible, thus earning my self apostasy in two religions so far. But then I found the best way to annoy people is by leaving them be. Letting them believe in whatever they feel like believing, taking that neutral objective attitude towards everything and everyone. Later I found out that's called agnosticism. So atheism is by being violent, agnosticism is being objectively bored. Check!
Now, based on the logic above, could one equidistant neutral politically well informed person be considered agnostic as well? One that doesn't take parts, listen to all parts, then simply closes back in his shell, not giving a damn about what people are fighting for in the first place. The he would say I've listened because you talked to me, that's all that you asked in the first place, to listen to you. A large amount of this kind of political agnostics would only make our world better, I feel, if not through direct action, but through induction of boredom. Imagine yourself telling your life story to some eager listening ear who'll turn it's back in the moment you draw the final point. Imagine this happening twice, thrice, tenfold. Wouldn't you get desperately bored to try again? And imagine your enemy (or whatever) passing through the same process. I tell you what, at the end of the day you'll grab your enemy and go to the closest bar to have a beer.
I find it better than a whole nation of political analysts. Really.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Puppeteer in Ficus-Land

I've written on the subject before, and I'm planning to do so again and as much as it takes, until the end of times, Amen. It's about my "Ficus Foundation", or however it translates from Arabic. And I do have a point, of course.
This love story began, as all love stories begin, in Rawshe, Beirut, 4 years in the past. Until that day, I always saw ficus trees as Damascean-balcony-filling-decorative-thingy. That day I saw them, 2 twin giant ficus trees near the old lighthouse, filling everything with their rubber green, sublime, really. From that day I made a point in noticing them. From the shadows.
I have piled up some useful information about my beloved ones, information which I didn't hesitate telling whenever asked, of course. Which brought me the "Ficus Militant" attribute. But let me talk about them a bit, and leave the images do the rest.
Ficus Trees, ficus elastica, also known as rubber fig, rubber plant or Sumatran rubber tree, is originar from Indian Assam region and Indonesian Sumatra and Java islands. Part of the fig family, or genus, banyan subgenus, extremely resistant to even the strangest of weather conditions, an interesting piece of research subject. A wild unattended ficus can literally fill all space surrounding it, leaving it, well, full of ficus. The botanical equivalent of legendary Lernaean Hydra, ie cut one leaf and expect 10 to grow in it's place.
An interesting fact about ficus trees is that when adequate conditions for development of seeds are found (which in case of rubber tree represent 95% of conditions), plant starts growing like crazy, most of the times as epiphytic, meaning that you have ficus growing over ficus. Thus the larger specimens are actually entire colonies of ficus trees fused together over time. A whole forest in one. Can't lose opportunity, once in a lifetime offer.
The giants below are Sumatrans and Indian figs. None of them reached 100 yet. Think about it.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Crusader, No Regret

Well, that does it! One would imagine a Pope of the 21st century in a world one step away from nuclear war to try and calm things out with the tolerance and understanding of the religion he represents. Instead he raves about the intolerance of Islam as a religions not from reading nor Coran nor any other damned source, but from the allegations of the allegations of some sultan I never heard of despite all my historic knowledge, supposedly saying to some obscure long forgoten Byzantine king that Islam will win by sword. Very scholarly, I must add.
Ever since 9/11 there was a campaign against Islam and Muslims, which I consider that they encouraged by their reactions, peaking with the caricatures, George W.C. Bush's "Islamo-fascism" aberration and with the freakin' pope vomiting his tolerance two days ago.
I was baptised when a child and unfortunately raised to hate Muslims by my mother, a devout Christian. I lived most part of my life among my Christian brethren, which poured on me their tolerance and love, persecuting the hell out of me because my father is Muslim. Yes, didn't matter what I think and feel, that I embraced Christianity unconditioned and with devotion, they were more concerned about the religion of my parents and my origins. And tolerance and love like this one made me renounce Christianity and curse the moment I decided to convert in the first place. That was my second apostate.
And hearing Pope Dementia speak his raving vomits, made me PROUD for renegading Christianity!
I am literate with the teachings of this religion, and I heard oh! So many times how "Christianity calls for love and tolerance", such noble feelings! Let's speak of Christian tolerance throughout history:
- Emperor Constantine converted for political reasons, as his increasing Christian population refused to go to wars for "unholy" reasons.
- The Crusades, 1099-1271, the Christian holy wars, resulting in butchering of thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Middle East.
- The Witch Hunts, ending in 1750!, during this time "witches" were executed in the most horrible and sadistic way, or more litteral: pagans and those who refused to convert to Christianity were tortured and executed in the most inhumane ways. Some tolerance I say! Victims: uncounted.
- The Inquisition 1184-1834, targeting Jews, Muslims and converts and Christians themselves, just to be sure they stayed Christian after converting. Another fine example of Christian "tolerance". Victims: uncounted.
- The butchering of South American Natives from the conquest until these days. The reason is the same: you refuse to convert, off to hell! Victims: MILLIONS.
- The persecution of Protestants ans Lutherans in Europe, for the same "tolerant" reason that they saw things differently.
- The Holocaust. Yes, above anything else, the victims were killed for being JEWS. No Christian suffered from it. Victims : 6 millions and counting!!!
- The "love" and "tolerance" between Christians in Northern Ireland, Germany, Yugoslavia, US...
An overall view: it seems that Christianity is stained with blood and hatred, hatred it perpetuated since it's very founding, throughout all modern History, and it keeps to perpetuate, it seems. And if Muslims these days are intolerant, they learned intolerance from Christians and learned their lesson well!
But then again, what else can one expect from the Pope, other than perpetuating hatred and violence and fanatism? That's what the Popes always did.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We Have Terrorism!

Listening to Mr. Bushmert opening that arsehole of a mouth of his each time can give anyone the impression that we have more terrorist attacks in Syria than the Twin Towers had in the very moment of the planes collision. "Terrorists, terrorists, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Axis of Evil"! As if we're living in a cheap Bruce Willis movie, with predefined, prefabricated (just add water) Good Guys vs. Bad Guys! I came back here (Damascus, Syria, Axis of Evil, first to the right, as usual, can't miss it!) 8 years ago horrified at the prospects of being blown up/decapitated/held hostage/scalped every time I turned the corner. The only problem is that I found out it's the exact opposite way. I mean sometimes I felt safer in the streets than inside my home. What other country can claim that now? But since stubbornness is one of the traits you usually get with utter stupidity, the Bushmert didn't give up. He yelled so many times terrorists, until they finally answered his plea, I think out of exasperation more than anything. So, here you are, some terrorists wannabes mix a hare-brained terrorist plan a la Qaida ,with tapings (soon available on Jazeera), "Allahu Akbar!" and everything, and pay the US embassy a purposeful visit.
Now, let me describe a bit the area of the US embassy: in front of it there's a small park and Rawda Square, where you have the fortified Turkish embassy. Behind the US embassy, there's the ALC, another fortification with metal detectors and satellite radars. Opposite the US embassy you have the Iraqi (a paradox, isn't it?) and Chinese ones, and in a side street further up, the Italian one and Sister Venezuela's embassy. Further up you have the Rumanian embassy. Since the last vandalizing of the US embassy preceding the Iraqi war, it's walled were fortified and their height doubled, barb and electric wires were added both to the wall and the buildings inside. Plus a human wall was added on the outside, making it impossible to pass on the sidewalk. In other words, it might be easier to break inside Guantanamo fort (you just have to say "Allah" twice) than to get into the embassy.
So back to our amateur terrorists: they headed in the direction of the embassy in two mini-trucks loaded of gas bottles, without car plates, in a security and army infested area prohibited to trucks and motorcycles, and THEY WERE EXPECTING TO GET AWAY WITH IT???? Where did they get the stupidity from? Bush? Where did the old-fashioned Brotherhood home made terrorism go? Now those were the days: Rector killed in his own escort party, amongst with the escort party, bodyguards, and a whole delegation of professors and academics; secular and intellectual population of Damascus decimated; heck, you could have even arranged your schedule after the daily explosions. Now all you get is this second-hand imported Saudi Qaida crap. Shame on them. I think these were the very thoughts of nostalgia that passed through Bayanouni's criminal mind when moments after the attack, he appeared on TV declaring Syria as the most terrorist of all terrorists. Yes, my dear retard, it was so under you reign of terror during the 70' and 80', and this is what it will be if you ever lay your murderous hands on it again, with the support of your terrorist-friendly Americans. By this action you dropped another 50% of popularity, the other 50% you lost by allying with thieving Khaddam. By this declaration you did more good to the country than you ever feared in your worst nightmares. By the this declaration, the people saw what you are: a criminal, fundamentalist, murderous, regressist pile of excrement. And for the Gringos: yes, we know how to deal with terrorist, as we suffered from it, and the wounds it left us heal hard. You should know, you've suffered terrorist attacks as well.
As for Mr. Bush, when you were repeatedly speaking of terrorists in Syria, I always though you were referring to our cabbys. Now, those are real TERROR ON WHEELS!!!

9/11 : Recollection

I remember one Tuesday, 5 years ago. It was a lovely day in Damascus, Syria, that day. Nice breeze, not too hot, the smell of autumn in the air. Unusual, that day, we decided to go out for lunch, to Saydnaya, a little way north of Damascus. I remember we went to a nice place, with gardens and flowers, a paradise on Earth. I remember after lunch, while leaving, an acquaintance of Father told him about the strangest news. He told him the Pentagon and the White House were under attack. That was the first bit of news that reached us. It past was 4 in the afternoon. I remember them talking that it suited the US right for interfering with other countries' business. I remember turning on the radio and listening to the news. At least the first shreds that reached us behind the Iron Wall. I remember my first thought was "Crazy Koreans, so they did it after all..." I remember the way these shred reached us : "Rogue fighter planes attacking US government buildings. One was shot down, the other went kamikaze". I remember turning on the TV as soon as getting home. I remember the image of the Twin Towers being hit by the planes. I remember seeing them collapse...
Then there was silence...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Shalom", the American Way

I didn't post anything serious these last days, as I was on the trail of a certain rumor. I say rumor as I didn't see any serious conclusions yet towards either option.
Soon after this new massacre of Lebanon stopped, loud and vehement government voice in Israel cried for peace with Syria (Axis of Evil, second to the right, can't miss it). News and rumors were spread about committees and strategic studies groups created to draw the blue prints for this new "peace" treaty. The word "peace", itself, was the word of the day on both sides of Golan. How come the Israeli "peace-loving" Government undertook this radical paradigm shift (we're all doing so on this blog) did strike me as extremely odd, I must add . We've grown used with the Terrorist War of the States and we know the Bushmert won't admit failure easily and is going to pursue his Middle Beast dreams until the last drop of Iraqi oil. Not to mention the US is not going to reconsider it's position towards it's worldwide proven and condemned mistakes (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, on the way) like any true democracy should and would, and will blame others for it's incompetence, as usual, and find it's scapegoats amongst those countries that chose falafel over hamburgers, thus seriously threatening the American Way of Life (yes, we prefer having some healthy, fungi covered, car-oil fried falafel in Damascus, rather than the trademark rubber chicken of KFC). That's why I saw this new call for peace fishy, and was proven right when I stumbled on these two declarations of war, courtesy of World's only Two Democracies. The problem here is that no matter how hard I though about it, and I did, I wasn't able to reach not even a glimpse of reasonable logical motive for attacking Syria. I only found these three far-fetched explanations for the planned Americanski invasion:
1. The Golan Heights of brother Israel, that tiny bit of land usurped by the "Democracy" in 1967, which we failed to re-conquer in 1973 (btw, thanks Nixon!) , populated by stubborn Syrians who refuse Israeli citizenship, choosing relentless abuses and imprisonment each time this issue is brought up (get a hint, will ya? They're Syrian, ya squareheads, and want back to Mother Syria!).
2. Bullying, picking on a retard, economy-less, infrastructure-less, almost army-less, second-hand Banana Republic who's only fault is it's mere existence, just because, what the heck, THEY CAN!
3. Mount Harmon Resort. That's right, the new family-fun resort newly opened close to Syrian-Israeli (Syrian-Syrian, actually) borders, which made our cousins mad with envy, sleepless at nights, restless at day, until they swore to lay hands on this marvelous, exciting, fantastic site and monopolize all the fun!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Nobel Prize...

This is another joke I found on a blog I usually read:
Why will Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah win the Nobel Prize for Education? Because he is the only man who sent one million people to school in just two days.
The rest of the jokes are to be found here
Thanks, EIA !