A Rebel’s Guide to the World

What’s the point of writing yet another political article seeking to change the world, I would say to friends who ask me, when the world has proven to be such an unchangeable place.

But I guess I’ve had it with the status quo. I’m fed up with the things that don’t make sense in this world. Things like using Latin expressions left right and centre, such as ‘status quo’. Why do people borrow words from a language only a few people understand and no nation in the world speaks? Is Latin to language and academia what French is to etiquette and food; thrown about to sound fancy and ‘sophistiquée’ – where ‘sophisticated’ would have sufficed nicely and delivered the same meaning? I say, ipso facto, that this bona fide habit when abused ad infinitum is prima facie a non sequitur act per se. How does that sound if not pretentious and downright silly?

But this is the least of my bones to pick with the contradictions of the Western world. Want a real one? Why the hell is it still called the West? We now know that the Earth is not flat and that whoever placed Greenwich, England at its centre was a narcissistic creep. If I’m a Japanese chap living in Tokyo believing my little island to be the centre of the universe, California will be the East, and London will be the Far East. Not only that, but if I want to have oriental food, I would walk into a pizzeria, and if I want my kids to have a western education, I would send them to Mecca. So why on Earth – no pun intended – do we still use a primitive and redundant method to describe ourselves and denote other civilisations; one based on sunrise, sunset, our relative positioning thereto, and a childish assumption that Alaska is always to the upper left corner of our flat, rectangular Earth?

Is it all a conspiracy so that Arabs are reduced to a collective non-description of being Middle Easterners (neither here nor there, but lost somewhere in the middle) and forget their true Arab identity? Of course not. The sad fact is that the Arabs are taken far less into account by evil conspirators seeking to change the world than we Arabs would like to think. Now that’s very sad.

On this note, I must express my personal admiration for evil conspirators, whoever they may turn out to be and whatever they may be conspiring to do. For they are the only group of villains who have successfully convinced the world that they don’t exist, and even managed to come up with a negative label for anyone who believes that they do. To call someone today a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is akin to saying they are deranged lunatics and immediately warrants a defensive attitude to dispel the charge. Basically, evil conspirators have become the witches and tooth fairies of the modern age; they don’t really exist. Imagine if paedophiles, rapists, or let us say, just simple car thieves had achieved the same mythical status. You would be screaming one day “I swear that my car was stolen this morning”, only to be instantly ridiculed as a ‘car thief theorist’. Hats off to the greatest vanishing feat realised by a distinguished group of very bad guys.

What does this make of Rupert Murdoch, that foxy Shimon Peres look-alike? Is he controlling the largest global media empire that unashamedly pushes a right wing Zionist agenda in cohorts with the neo-conservatives by spreading lies and institutionalising ignorance? It doesn’t take witch-hunting or wizardry skills to see that. Does he secretly meet in a dark room with Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz to plot the next move? Probably not. But wait, I have to take my paranoia medicine before I go on.

Oh, and I forgot to warn you, if the evil conspirators happen to be Jewish, then no matter what Teflon material you’re made of, you will never be able to wash off the stain of anti-Semitism that will haunt you to the grave. Don’t even start counting your Jewish friends, denouncing the promoters of the hoax of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, or calling Hitler foul names. None of this will get you off the hook. You have trespassed into blasphemous forbidden waters and in it you shall drown.

What do you know, suppression of freedom of thought comes in many shapes and forms these days. You can say that Jesus Christ never existed as a person, or if he did, that he was a bastard and, literally, a son of a b—h. No one will crucify you for such distasteful vulgarity. But if you say that Hitler only murdered 5,999,999 Jews, you can go to prison in some European countries. Didn’t I tell you that the West is not truly the west nor is it really what it’s cracked up to be.

Enough with the Jews, God bless them. Let’s give Arabs too their fair share of mockery while we’re at it. On second thoughts, let’s not. Their unspeakable misery has performed a miracle and finally managed to speak for itself. And it’s deafening.

So what else bugs me with the world today, apart from the world itself? I guess the formalities we use to lie to each other register highly on my irritation scale. You can get a notice of eviction from your landlord, and he would end the letter by telling you that he is sincerely yours. Your credit card company will write to you to inform you that they will drag your behind in courts if you didn’t pay them their horrendously oppressive interest on time, and they will conclude by sending you their warmest regards. I guess with the advent of the unparalleled skills of Tony Blair, who has elevated the human capability of passionately lying with a straight face to new astronomical heights, everything else becomes understandable, and even digestible.

Speaking of unprincipled politicians (as if principled politicians ever existed), I must admit that ever since George W. Bush stole the American elections, I’ve been having this feeling of living inside the longest and most elaborate practical joke in history. Everyday, I imagine that someone is going to call off this gruelling bluff and tell us it’s all been one extended candid camera prank. But it doesn’t happen. He’s for real. Isn’t this enough reason to wish to emigrate to another galaxy?

When Nizar Qabbani passed away, I felt the world became a lonelier place. Then Edward Said orphaned us last month. A friend of mine called me from New York yesterday and told me he was standing next to Fairuz, the last standing icon in my Arab love triangle. Like a little child, I told him to pass to her my warmest regards. Of course he laughed, as I would have if I was in his shoes. But I was dead serious. I really meant my otherwise useless warmest regards this time.

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