Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ego confession

I can be objective but never neutral,
I am balanced in the realm of my mood swings ,
I can end a sentence that started with 'I love you' with 'I hate you',
I have convictions as static as a river,
I can change my mind every minute (now every 20 minutes),
Decisions, I take them based on the weather and the chemistry between my pillow and my neck.

I believe I would make a very good dictator.


Wine of wisdom wrote on his blog:

"I'm afraid that at some point I'll hang on to words and mistake them for life itself. The less i live the more I write - a formulae of exhaustion. I mustn't live in words; words must dwell within me."

I can't say why but these words go straight to the heart. The full post might give an answer.


I might not be modest but I am humble. I am not arrogant but vanity spills all over me.

P.S. After writing the above confession, I discovered that Jean Paul Sartre has a saying: I will not be modest. Humble, as much as you like, but not modest. Modesty is the virtue of the lukewarm. This reminds me: if you discover something that was already discovered but which you had no idea existed or how it came to be, or if you say something already said which you have never heard of, and although you will not be credited for it and although you will still be bound by copyright laws, that does not mean that you cannot credit yourself with such a discovery. You reinvented the wheel, maybe, you were not the first, certainly, but it is still your invention.

The 20 Minute Plan

A friend gave me an advice that I think is worth sharing here. I would like to call it the "20 minute plan". He advises to plan your schedule in 20 minute partitions and every 20 minutes plan what you will be doing in the next 20 minutes in order to manage your multi tasks. I tried that although at first it took me twenty four 20 minutes doing one thing and then only half a 20 minutes eating (I spent the rest of it thinking where words go after we say them) but it did work after that. I watched 20 minutes of a usually 2 hour political talk show and I worked out 20 minutes on my treadmill instead of 40 (I have to thank him for that) and then I skimmed through the newspaper for another 20 minutes and only managed to read up to 3 articles but I assume I maybe need not read more. Now blogging should not take more than that either and if I do stop in the middle of a sentence, I trust that you won't wonder.

Monday, September 27, 2010

One of the times when Hollywood makes fun of Arabs and I laugh

I wasn't watching this movie but I overheard this part:
- The most beautiful dog in the world. Isn't it?
- He's cute. what's his name?
- Anwar Sadat. After Anwar Sadat former president of Egypt.
- Right. Because you you're a fan of his policies or...
- No because they look exactly alike.

Here the camera gets a close up of the Dog's face and you have no idea... you have to watch.

P.S. From "I love you man", movie not recommended otherwise, but you can Fwd to 39'14'' or watch the scene here.

Meet Funny Ralph

Ralph made a funny comment the other day about one of my posts: The smartest among the religious people, he said, are those who convert. "Islam is bullshit, they would say, they want us to believe that God talked to Mohamad in those revelations, that can't be true!." But it is very believable that a woman got pregnant from the holy spirit and gave birth to the son of God who also happens to be God himself and who rose from the dead to bring salvation to humanity. That, I can buy. End of quote.

Some wine of wisdom

I thought that you might find the conversation triggered by my previous post in the comments box interesting, so I am posting again here:

wineofwisdom said...
But the quote doesn't define the scope to the dream, why did you constrict it to Plastic surgery?

eography said...

The context of the quote, which is from "All about my mother", is a pre-operation transsexual having a speech about her looks. She does talk about her plastic surgeries (fake breasts, lip job, etc.). It is true the quote refers mainly to dreams of transsexuals to look in a certain way but it does touch on plastic surgeries which I think is a similar phenomenon. I do believe that if a person cannot come to terms with her/his looks, and if this she/he has an idea or a "dream" of how best to look like, they will be more authentic when or if they do, not only because they will resemble more their dreamed image about themselves but more because they are no longer obsessed with how their looks does not reflect who they really are. This is a long discussion anyway. And discussing plastic surgeries, beyond the "Haifa wanna be" phenomenon, or even with such phenomenon included, is not a shallow topic, it can get you to some deeper arguments touching on feminism, LGBT issues, and human nature.

wineofwisdom said...

No, it is not a shallow topic. My own journey has been one of redeeming an integrity which I have felt to be violated after my realization of how much of what I call "me" isn't really "me." Incorporated in the image of who I am were the opinions and desires of others, what I was "supposed" to be. We tend to treat ourselves as commodities and hence attempt to better those traits which we think, in turn, would better our price and value on the market. Be it the market of love or work doesn't really matter for the instrumentlization is one and the same; and treating our selves as means is an inherent part of an economy which has so distorted our view of who we are — our humanity — that we easily waste our lives in quenching the resulting anxieties — but never to succeed. For a life thwarted in growth and built on illusion can never offer genuine satisfaction.

If a person needs a certain faith or requires a certain image in order to feel good about him/herself, then that is ok as long as that person remembers and keeps the doors open for change and possibility. As long as he/she knows that the human is something different from what is being proposed(though he/she may not know exactly what the human “is”), and that it is towards that human that he/she must strive.

eography said...
"We tend to treat ourselves as commodities and hence attempt to better those traits which we think, in turn, would better our price and value on the market. Be it the market of love or work doesn't really matter for the instrumentlization is one and the same":

Well said!

It is a non ending struggle, striving to be or to look like the dream image or what people call self realization (which as you rightly said is an illusion) but it doesn't negate the fact that it does give you self satisfaction, albeit short lived. But isn't this illusory struggle that keeps us all going somewhere? We are bound (no cursed) with something called "time" that can only function in a linear way. Once you undo that, let's say when or if science finds its way to a time machine (by finding a way to making m=0 in the e=mc² formula, as someone explained to me, but that's another story), so unless we do this, we are all doomed and we will keep looking forward to things, waiting, longing, looking, wishing, and dreaming. I am not going to say that the truth lies back in the start under Santiago's pillow (as Paulo Coehlo believes), no I trust that our fate, yes fate (in a non-religious sense) is to be beaten by time. Remembering is maybe the only gift we were honoured with. But I also have faith in science.
You know, I think I will post this discussion if you don't mind.

Of Plastic and other surgeries

"The more you become like what you have dreamed for yourself, the more authentic you are." Pedro Almodovar

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Freaky days

So here are my news (or some nonsense history if you are reading this in the year 2089): I am all immersed in Russian literature, Pushkin and Turgenev at the moment. I am also trying to catch up a little with Almodovar films. I met an impostor who claims he is an AUB and LAU professor, and who invited me to dinner, no to dance he said. I googled his name, and all the hits I got refer to people who died in the 19th century. Oh, that's how I met this guy. We were celebrating a friend's birthday, and as my friend was about to make a wish, I told him to wish that I get a new job. Then as he was blowing off the 47 candles, this guy approaches and starts a chat, and a moment later he is offering me a job as his assistant. Freaky but the freakier is that he gave me his "business" card, which has an msn email and a non existing address and company name. In short, I am reading books by dead people about people who die at the end and I meeting people with profiles of dead people and hanging out with freaky people who can make your wishes come true with a small twist.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Byzantine debate

How boring it is to discuss existential questions with someone who believes has all the answers. An old friend paid us a visit yesterday, and I ended up telling him that those questions do not disturb me in the least, on the contrary they are a source of joy for me. I told him that those are questions to be asked not answered and that I am not in the least interested in finding answers because all answers he might have started from asking the wrong questions in the first place. Of course, he could not believe why I would argue with him if he could put me at peace only if I had an open heart and accepted the ultimate truth he "discovered". Yes, discovered, because this guy witnessed an immense metamorphosis that in itself is much more worth looking into than finding how the universe came to be. He was a normal guy, let's say, of course in his own understanding he was bad, immoral, and evil because he used to tease people (imagine how wicked!) drink (alcohol), have extramarital sex, and cheat on girls. The metamorphosis started with him quitting smoking and alcohol, then fasting, then going to the mosque, praying five times a day, and then as I discovered yesterday when I opened the door, not shaking women's hands. He put his hand on his chest and looked at me with a huge smile of shame mixed with all the complexity in the world. Later on, he asked me if that was insulting, I said no, and of course I lied. I also learned that he also tried to grow a Salafi beard but his beard failed him. He could not believe how I could go on with my life, a meaningful one, without having answers to all those big questions, that when I told him that questions matter much more to me than (ready-made) answers, he said that my life is absurd and hence why should I be living? He even seriously said that humans are created to worship God. That brought back an old memory of a nun whom I asked once at school "why did God create us" (the Why question) "was he bored?", and she said "so that we worship him". "Why, I said, does he suffer from any kind of inferiority complex?". I wished then if she had said" yes, he was bored"; that would have at least enriched my creative thinking. Now that guy, said that life is created unfair on purpose so that fairness is restored on the last day!! I did recommend few books but honestly I shouldn't have because I truly believe that some people need to be left at peace. The conversation was triggered by him not shaking my hand (I had planned to kiss him on the cheek). He was interested when I recounted the anecdote of the cat and the man in the room and the ball coming inside from the window (the cat would follow the ball and the man, unlike the cat, would go look where it comes from): the cause effect and the mind limitation theory. But all he could conclude was that he was no cat. It was very peculiar to remark that in such useless debates, it is the non-believer who sounds to be on the defence only because you wouldn't want to have such a debate if it includes right and wrong answers. If your answers are smart enough to be in the form of questions, you are beaten from the start. That's why if Imam Ali was right at any point, it was when he said that famous phrase "never had I debated with an ignorant but been beaten but him". I love those debates to be honest, but I truly wished yesterday if the guy sitting in front of me was ِ Al Ghazali or St. Augustine, or even Mohamad Hussein Fadlallah.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wake up early

Morning feelings are always the truest; they carry traces from your sub-conscience. Night feelings are illusory; they carry the traces of your alter ego.

R.I.P Me

If, no when, the war breaks, I want to have lots of reserves of wine and cigarettes; one to help me survive so that the other can kill me. I don't want my name to figure among innocent casualties. They can write on my tomb: Nicotine killed her. May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My mental blog: Subscribe now

From the moment I wake up in the morning, and while I am brushing my teeth, sipping my coffee, and driving to work, I am mentally blogging. Posts rush to mind every time I look around. If I saw a baby, I mentally blog about how we are born with the inherent thought of inevitability of life; if it rains, I mentally blog about how you cannot enjoy the smell of the first drops because you cannot open the car window lest dust blows in your face and eyes; if I am sleep driving to work, I mentally blog about my bodily productivity clock. Then, the moment I arrive to the office, and open my blog to scribble down all these stupid thoughts, my emails start popping up and by the time I finish the urgent stuff I have to deal with, I can't even look at the screen let alone post "today was another day crossed off the calendar for nothing". Now, here I am ending this post without even getting to the point because I have to rush to a stupid meeting.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Short story for Grown ups

...and so there was this man who had everything he wished for in life, he was rich and successful, he had a beautiful, smart, and loving wife, a nicely furnished house with a backyard, and all his friends adored him. One day, out of a sudden, something happened to him and changed his life. As he was crossing the street, a speedy car almost hit him, he caught sight of it at the last moment and evaded what could have caused him his life, but as he was moving away he tripped into a muddy hole. "Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!!!," he said as he looked at his dirty suit. All could have worked well for anyone in his place but for our man the unexpected happened. As he walked back home to change his suit, he ran into his neighbor. "What happened to you?" the latter asked. "I, Fuck, stumbled, fuck, in, fuck, a hole, fuck, a car, fuck, almost, fuck,....", and so on. He could not stop saying the word "Fuck" after each word he used. At first, he didn't realize, but the more words rushed into his mouth, the more "Fuck"'s he heard himself saying. His neighbor was already long gone when he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and started all over again, but to his surprise, more of the "Fuck" involuntarily spilled in between his teeth. He thought that he maybe needed to sleep and everything will be normal again when he wakes up. He didn't greet his wife at home nor did he answer all her whats and whys but rushed straight to bed. When he woke up few hours later, he could think clearly without any Fuck but would fail every time he whispered a word to himself. Days passed by and our hero had tried every possible cure and treatment to no avail. Doctors failed to understand or explain what was going on let alone to cure him. At first no doctor could reach the point to allow him in until he wrote down his problem on a piece of paper and erased afterwards all the unwanted "fuck" words; he had to leave a few though for obvious reasons. But all in vain. Speech therapy was useless as well. All readings and googling were futile. Priests kicked him out of churches. He could no longer pray anyway, not even in his own bed. His wife left him, he lost his job, he had to sell the house, his friends no longer wanted to hang out with him. He started recalling how it all started, trying to understand for himself what had happened on that day. He grew desperate by the day, and he even went to that same spot where that car had almost crushed him, he tried to get himself ran over by a car, maybe he would regain his life, but all cars stopped and shouted a "Fuck" at him and left him like a wreck in the middle of the road. He then could no longer take it and decided to die. He bought a gun, loaded it, put it is his mouth and pulled the trigger but the bullet did not go off. "Fuck", he said then the bullet went through his head and brains and the echo of the word "Fuck" could be heard miles away for years afterwards.

P.S. Alternate ending: The gun jammed three consecutive times. "what the fuck! Fuck this fucking gun" he said and he renounced the idea of killing himself. Years later, he found a job in Hollywood where he still works to our days. His name was Joe Pesci.

The magical flower: A short story

Once upon a garden, there was a flower but it was different than all the other flowers; They were all yellow but this one was special; it could change colour every morning. It also had a secret: every time it changed colour, one flower in that same garden had to die. All the flowers in the garden would rush to shake off their sleep in the morning and check what colour their idol wore that day. None of them ever witnessed the colour change process. All they saw was glazing red, white, or purple petals glowing under the sun, but they also found every day that one of them had perished overnight. None of them thought the magical flower had anything to do with the deaths and they blamed humans. They all thought that their flower was beautiful, some were jealous and others believed it was cursed. One day, the flower decided to be yellow, just like them. The next morning all the flowers woke up and looked for the magical flower only to find it dead. Rumours on the cause of death spread as fast as sperm, but then suddenly, silence. Normal life picked up quickly and they all had one thought in mind "it's been a long time since it last rained."

P.S. In case the story did interest you in any way, and you are thinking that this is a bad ending, here is an alternative one:

They were all shocked by the death of the magical flower and they decided to hold a funeral next morning. The time was set and they agreed to have it in the same garden where they are all gathered anyway and since it wouldn't be logistically possible to hold it elsewhere, so that was not a problem. Next morning, everyone wakes up only to find they have all turned black.

You still don't like it? How about:

Next morning they all wake up ready for the funeral. Suddenly, two little boys arrive and were startled by the scene of hundreds of well aligned yellow flowers and they decided to surprise their mother with a big bouquet.

Okay enough: where is the rain? this is affecting my mental abilities.

Thursday, September 2, 2010