Saturday, February 13, 2016

Are the Lebanese truly braindead, or quite the opposite?

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Fellow blogger Elie Fares wrote that Lebanon was a braindead country. But isn’t it an easy excuse to wash our hands from our responsibilities?

In a long post published on A Separate State of Mind, blogger Elie Fares lists everything that’s wrong in and about Lebanon. His conclusion is that this small land stuck between Syria and Palestine is a braindead country.

But isn’t it yet another excuse to justify the unjustifiable? In Lebanon, we’re big on finding excuses and I’m afraid Fares does exactly that.

How can someone be responsible of anything he or she does or doesn’t do, if his or her brain doesn’t function? How can a braindead individual act like a responsible citizen and be held accountable for his or her actions and his or her failings?

According to this logic, Lebanese are innocent of the disastrous sate the country is in. They’re just a colorful version of the Walking Dead, brainless creatures wondering around, a shisha in one hand and a flag in the other, with one sole purpose to their empty existence: feed.

Braindead don’t make choices, they barely act on impulse, like a voracious vegetable of sorts.

The reality is actually the very opposite of what Fares claims. Lebanese are everything but braindead. Their brain functions very well. It strives even. But sadly, it does for the wrong things.

One needs a very active brain to keep up with all the lies, to always calculate who to take advantage of, profit from or treat like a lesser human being. An alert mind to choose friends according to personal interest and carefully select whose ass to lick.

Even the smartest of animals are not such hypocrites. Not even cats.

On the other hand, Elie Fares’ article is rather condescending. Lebanese are braindead but not him. How could he be? He’s a doctor. And a good one from what I hear. He’s also a writer. So, obviously, his brain is very much alive.

So what? We’re all braindead, except him and the likes of him? Unless he means indigenous Lebanese, you know, the ones living within Lebanon’s borders. Because when abroad, Lebanese tend to excel and shine.

Why is that? Is there some kind of chemical in the air that suddenly brings our brain to life as soon as we’re far enough? And shuts it off when the plane lands? Is that why people applaud when the pilot manages to safely touch our cursed ground?

I’m no sucker either for absurd positivism. Ignore the bad and promote the good like some lousy ad agency. My job, my responsibility and my duty as a citizen is not to advertise Lebanon but to help fix its problems and ultimately turn it into the free civilized country it should have never ceased to be.

No, Lebanese are not braindead. They’re actually quite the opposite – I use “they” and not “we” because not all of us behave that way, many do their very best to change that sad unacceptable reality.

They perfectly know what they’re doing when they let our democracy fall apart and our right to vote taken away. They perfectly know what they’re doing when they follow such or such leader and cheer to his every fart.

They perfectly know what they’re doing when they remain ridiculously silent while garbage piles up everywhere, for months and months, poisoning the land, the water and the air.

They perfectly know what they’re doing when they’re being racist, sexist or homophobic. When they act as if they were the only people on earth, oblivious of everyone else around them. When they scheme and lie, when they take money to say this or write that, and when they despise integrity and admire the corrupt.

They perfectly know what they’re doing when they bend over to anyone with cash.

So dear Dr Fares, you’re right, the symptoms are accurate, but braindead is definitely the wrong diagnosis. Lebanese are very much brain-alive and they’re guilty as charged.


© Claude El Khal, 2016

ALSO READ: Lebanese, we can be heroes

1 comment:

Gass Farah said...

Worst! If not brain dead they are smartass pure evil. In both conclusions let's agree they truly deserve what happened in the past, currently going, and what will happen in the future for them. Hopefully they will dissolve this forced marriage one day and disepear somewhere on earth where they can be domesticated into real human being