Sunday, May 31, 2009
In line with the selling line (Pardon the pun) of Massoud Ashkar, the last visit of the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement to Achrafieh saw the sympathizers decorate Sassine Square with Point of Sale material (Again, pardon the pun) that said: Achrafieh not for sale....
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Just as the Taghyir Movement's ads hit the streets - with one of them automatically withdrawn - comes the swift answer to "there are those whose past is ashamed of their present" to become "there are those whose present is ashamed of their future" - with future written in blue to highlight the Future Movement. Either someone is working overtime, or someone is so engaged that they have made it a cause to deface every ad that comes their way.
Here is a bit of one-off melting pots.... Walid el Khoury running for the Free Patriotic Movement has the cutest headline: "Hakkem sawtak ta syoh el watan" (Which means "Make your ballot wise in order for the country to heal" but also "Have your voice checked by the doctor in order for the country to become better")... The trick? He's a doctor of course!
Fares Souaid assrts that "Jbeil is for the state not for the micro-state" (Hizbullah inferred), and then current Vice-speaker Farid Makari attacks with "Alam, elem, a'amal" (Which in Arabic stem from the same three letters and which translate into "Flag, education, work." - this is not without a nod to the slogan that was hetched for Rafic Hariri ("Ammara, allama, harrar" - he built, he taught, and he freed) on whose son's list Makari is running.
Then comes wunderkid extraordinaire Rami Olleik. Rami was a student at the same faculty I was at the American University of Beirut, he was the ultra-Hizbullah boy complete with light yellow shirt and eternal beard. Fast forward to find him in ulta-hip jeans, tight t-shirt and rimless spectacles - that was his pro-US phase - and then he wrote a book "Tariq el nahl" (The bees road - subtitled "the republic of Rami Olleik)... Anyhow, he is currently running for a seat in the Jbeil district and apparently he had a talk with the city because his unipole headlines: Jbeil, to Rami Olleik - from my land come A.H.E.A.D. with AHEAD being some sort of an association of civic groups or something like it.
If Bechara Abi Younes is the candidate to save the environment as he positions himself, maybe someone should tell him that billboards are made to be read in 3 seconds flat as one is speeding on the highway, not as some sort of a substitute for Anna Karenina... So the incredible amount of information he plasters all over the place sort of backfires on him, and his program.
And then, last but not least, for anyone who is tired with these elections and wants to make a fashion statement how about a spreadmind T-shirt with those anti-elections statements on it?
The campaign for the Tripolo list might very easily be the silliest excuse for a teaser-revealer.... Within one week, there was a teaser, a pre-revealer, and a revealer all of them going almost at the same time. First there "one hand does not build alone" and then "one hand does not carry alone" a pre-revealer goes "together, for Tripoli" and then the full unveiling of the list with ex-MP Najib Mikati towering in the middle. Again, if the revealer was so quick, why bother with a all the foreplay?
And so the reply of March 14th just came out.... too little, too late one might add. The controversy around "Sois belle et vote" has now been relegated to the darkest corners of the internet, but it is only now that the March 14 machine has woken up with the house on fire. So they produced "Sois egale et vote" (Be equal and vote). Then they realized they also had to reply to "I vote 4 change" - an ad by the Free Patriotic Movement targeting the youth - so it was "I think there14 I am" - which means that anyone who votes for change does not think at all. Yawn....
So what's common with all these ads? Change, change and then some - or rather resistance to change to be more specific. The first one is for the Lebanese Forces with Bachir Gemayel - now long dead - warning them "stay on the course, beware of the change." Change naturally is anything that has to do with the Free Patriotic Movement. Going on with the third phase of the Phalangists' campaign, this one - in several visuals - goes "Do not change your references" (Keep the president Maronite), "Do not change your principles, change your parliament members", and then "Do not change your army" (And settle for Hizbullah's militia). Whereas the original idea might have been worth it, it is the ultra-gimmicky layout that sends this campaign to the trash.
Then, totally from left field, comes the "Taghyir" movement (Change), obviously they are anti-Aoun to the bone. Their first visual is "there are those whose past is ashamed of their present" and then "change without changing yourself" but the big coup - which was withdrawn immediately is "Ya chaab Loubnan al azim - intabih" (Oh great people of Lebanon, beware)... The first part of the sentence is the way Aoun used to open all his speeches and people gathered in drove on May 7th on Martyrs' square just to hear him utter those words - which he did twice.