Are you familiar with SMIS ?
SMIS : Seven Minutes Indignation Syndrome. This new syndrome can be easily diagnosed as most Lebanese suffer from it.
SMIS can only be detected when something shocking, unfair or unjust makes the evening news or creates a buzz on the Internet.
Suddenly, within seconds, everyone ignites. Angry statuses are pounded on Facebook. Outraged tweets fly all over the country. The web is on fire. The world better watch out !
Everyone takes up the cause, raises its flag, and swears he or she will do everything in their power to ensure that this horrendous thing, whatever it is, will never be allowed to happen again. The whole nation becomes an army of glorious Jedi knights, invincible, unbreakable and unstoppable, marching under the same banner, chanting the same chants, drumming the same drums.
When Lebanese are under the influence of SMIS, it is strongly recommended that you follow the stream if you don’t want to be crushed by the enraged lynch mob. The use of brain is utterly pointless, but the nod is of paramount importance.
On Facebook for example, you should never try to reason or debate during an SMIS crisis. You should keep “liking” until it passes. You can even join the outcry by throwing in some offended comments or be a sycophant and post your own fierce status.
But you should be careful not to overdo it as the blaze of indignation burns out as fast as it lights up. You don’t want be the one who keeps ranting, do you ?
Seven minutes after the call for revolution, everyone calms down, then simply forgets, until the next crisis comes along, the next shocking, unfair or unjust thing makes the news or creates a buzz.
Of course, between one SMIS crisis and the next, no one does a thing to right the wrongs, and the shocking, unfair or unjust remains as shocking, as unfair or as unjust.
But I must warn you : if you notice or feel some of the symptoms of SMIS and want to check them with your doctor, make sure he’s not French, as he may be suffering from “I-Have-No-Idea-What-You’re-Talking-About-But-I-Have-A-Strong-Opinion-About-It” syndrome, as most French do.
This syndrome, combined with SMIS, can be more explosive than a meeting between a Lebanese pop star’s bodyguard and a Parisian waiter on a Monday morning.
One can never to be too careful with these things.
© Claude El Khal, 2012