Sunday, October 25, 2009

Food for thought. All this Hummus talk got me Hungry.

We first invented the Alphabet. We saw it was good. And behold it was very good.
So, We invented Hummus.
And then, We invented Tabbouleh.
Nevertheless, We still can't form a government.
But hands off our Hummus and Tabbouleh or as God is our witness we shall make the biggest dish and get into Guinness for such amazing feats!
--Zeit Baladeh 2assil.

Thank You Delirious.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

True Story.

Breaking News: A 5'11" foreigner was just run over in Gemmayzeh.
So how random is random? Here I was driving back home, trying to look in all directions, ok maybe not, but driving back home nevertheless, and suddenly out of nowhere, or maybe out of the sidewalk an American lady decides to cross the street. It's Gemmayzeh, it's dark, not that I'm trying to find excuses (well maybe I am), I hit her with my car, very gently I must add since being the SAFE driver that I am, I was doing about 20mph. She starts shouting, I apologize profusely, she picks up her scattered belongings and yells yet once more: How could you not see a 5'11!!!!
I'm sorry. I am. I'm sorry for that woman I almost injured. I'm sorry for my car that she kept slamming and beating. I'm sorry for Lebanon because I'm pretty sure one less tourist will visit our country next year. I made a difference today. I changed the natural course of things. (Not that there's anything to be proud of! :)

Monday, October 05, 2009

The New Man. Four exercises in Utopian Movements.

Here it is, my new life. Well into the medical internship and comfortably installed, maybe a bit too comfortably, seeing how I have become accustomed to do nothing BUT Medicine, I decided to change. Yet again. The circle closes once more and it's about time for rebirth, or just recycle.

It's amazing how much I enjoy the simple things in life, how much I can stand at awe just observing them, describing and analyzing them, try it, NOW, just the fact that you're reading this, you're reading something somebody else was writing, can you picture them typing on the keyboard? Can you see them tilting their head to one side and then a tad backwards, as if pleased to what is coming out at their fingertips, can you see them following the typed letters one after the other and being amazed at how quick they can go, faster, faster! Anyways, Here I am, in front of the screen, this is not a laptop, not this time, this is a PC, in my room. In my field of vision lay a picture, a necklace and a book. The book in question is Pathology 3rd edition of the Board Review Series, an indication that I started studying for my steps (the Board Exam in Med School), TODAY! I read three paragraphs and decided to move on. But an indication nevertheless, something more of an incentive and so the book shall remain in my field of vision.

Just about now, a friend interrupts my line of thought, I interrupt back, there's a roll and I'm on it!

So what is this about? Other than Carpe Diem over and over again? Other than the fact that I believe that just because the wind is high it blows my mind. Other than I LOVE the Moment, this MOMENT! Taking time to observe the most futile things in life make my thoughts rush in, one after the other, and then in complete and utter chaos, I start questioning the meaning of every action, its impact on subsequent ones, its display in front of an audience if there ever was one larger than life itself, than yourself. Think of it, at the hairdresser's, during the morning rounds, when stuck in traffic, what if someone is watching the scene unfold, what if this someone is you detaching yourself and enjoying the show.

Noting people's trivial moves as if in a play, as if aiming to recount them later makes you focus more on details. She was on the phone complaining about how her maid is being demanding. How dare she ask to talk to her family back in Africa? How dare she take advantage of her extreme kindness? And so she's advised to giver her away, to return her as if exchangeable merchandise, but no she wouldn't, she has worked hard to train her like the slave she wanted her to become for 9 months, 9 months! She will not falter or break in front of mere whims and capricious behavior, goddammit she will MAKE her stay! But how dare she take advantage of her extreme kindness? How dare she put a damper on her day and her time for self indulging at the hairdresser's. Anyways...

So I amuse myself, I observe, I think, I exist :)
Why this rant? I've pulled myself together, that's why. Yes, this is me actually pulled together. I decided there are just about enough hours in the day to life live full throttle. From Medicine, to Ballet, to Friends, to everything in between, Hello World, I'm not ready to hibernate just yet!

Speaking of new things, new people, new personalities, multiple personalities, here's an event that took place tonight at the Beirut Art Center. It follows the Ligna Art Works (Focusing on the reception side of radio, LIGNA looks for ways to turn the situation of reception into a performative intervention in a place. Listening to the radio thus becomes a collective production, which bears uncontrollable results.)

So, basically each individual had a walk-man with pre-recorded instructions and short existentialist truths and questions about society, utopia and oneself. Much like an improv' everywhere scenario but a bit more philosophical as to what Utopia is, to suit the artsy antsy.

You listen to the voice in your head telling you to move across the room, to punch someone in the face, to run with fear, to lay on your back and look at the ceiling, just admiring IT. Yes, the ceiling, why the hell not? It's an exercise in conforming and non conforming, an exercise in trusting those around you and sharing new experiences with complete strangers, an exercise in letting go and finding yourself, an exercise in listening and watching.

It's a delight to go through the motions, a delight to watch the others, the ensemble, the individual. Your adrenaline is pumping by the end of the interactive play, especially that most of the participants came in without any preconception as to what awaits them. And then you end the exercise with a dance, with the lights off, under a disco ball and you party like it's 1973! So what if it's an art gallery? What if it's Monday Afternoon? What if you don't know who you're dancing with? Have you ever wondered as to why it is socially acceptable to dance in a Club? Have you ever wondered as to what the owner of said Club must be thinking? For him he created a space, he knows the space when empty, with the lights on, and then he turns them off, he puts on some music and he watches these hordes of people just dancing, moving, laughing, and then all of a sudden, flash forward and the lights are on again, no one is left but the janitor cleaning up the mess, the show is over for the night. What was that? Really, what was that?...

Synopsis of The New Man. Four Exercises in Utopian Movements:

The poet Bertolt Brecht develops the Lehrstueck for a state without classes, where gestures, social positions and by that society as a whole come into play.
The dancer Rudolf von Laban proposes Bewegungschoere, choirs of movement, in which collective vibrations disperse power itself.
The director Wsewolod Meyerhold experiments in the young Soviet Union with biomechanical exercises for his actors to renew their bodies and by that shape a new kind of subjectivity.
And the comedian Charlie Chaplin stumbles across all of these utopian visions and their promises.