Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lebanon today: Party like it's... 2013

Still from my video art "One hundred thousand (at least)"

Today, after reading Habib's post as to "fireworks after bombs" I found myself arguing against it somehow. Naturally, one is never too sure when to resume "life" after being exposed to death (I am referring to the three explosions which have taken the life of so many Lebanese as of late). But remember, we are a nation which has explored war continuously for a long time (and then intermittently afterwards, so much that we were at non-war as opposed to peace).
And what did we learn from it?
Not much, apart from this: there's always a nightclub open somewhere (for "Eastern Beirut" the to-go places were the likes of "The Rose" in Broumana or "Macumba" in Ajaltoun, for Western Beirut "The Beachcomber" or "Meccano"), there's always a hairdresser using a generator when there's a power cut for the ladies to do their hair (an incident reported in Jean Said Makdissi's incredible "Beirut, fragments"), there's always friends to call and people to fall in love with, marriages to be held, soap operas to be seen (legend has it that an American journalist was pulled at gun point at a barricade and the militia man asked her harshly "so, who shot JR?"), and Football World Cups to be followed (but by God, let's hope Italy doesn't win, every time it did in recent memory we ended up with an Israeli war on our hands - 1982 and 2006 come to mind). And so on, and so forth....
As the country seems to be sliding down the path to violence once more, as the prospect of unrest becomes clearer sadly, I am reminded by an article entitled (something to the effect of) "Lebanese youth learn to party as if there is a tomorrow", the article was highlighting how the youngsters were partying their heart out but still believing in better days (obviously, the article was a long, long way back!). But today, let us party as if there is no tomorrow - that's a sad reflex which is a holdover from the war days, because, who knows if tomorrow would come anyway.
We may not have learned much from the past, but damn us if we're going gentle into that goodnight.
So let's party like it's 1999... Like it's 2013!
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