Hilarious article by Karl even though it reflects a sad reality.
It emerged today that the American satirical magazine The Onion is to sue Lebanon for unfair competition practices and for making its headlines look totally reasonable. The Onion is demanding million of dollars in compensation, claiming that the small Mediterranean country has ‘ruined the business of writing satirical headlines’. The magazine’s claim refers to a ‘sustained campaign of nonsensical but nevertheless real headlines’ over a number of years, during which Lebanon, ‘went out of its way to make The Onion’s headlines look ordinary by comparison.’
The straw that broke the camel’s back was Lebanon’s adoption of a new electoral law that requires members of each sect to vote for candidates from their sect only. A senior staff member at The Onion, Andy Mitchell, revealed the pressure that the magazine’s writers have been under in an interview earlier today. “How can we possibly satirize that? Anything we will come up with will look extremely normal. This is fucking insane.”
He added: “The law says Maronites, and I am not quite sure what Maronites are, must vote for Maronites candidates, Shiites for Shiite candidates, Sunnis for Sunni candidates and so on. Except for Jews. Jews can vote for candidates of any sect they choose! Now if we had put that in a satirical article, we would have been accused of unreasonable exaggeration.”
“And why do they call it the Orthodox Electoral Law? There’s NOTHING Orthodox about it. They must be pulling our leg. No political system in the world is that twisted, not even North Korea’s. This is obviously part of a determined effort to undermine what we and other satirical publications do. Lebanon is trying to create a monopoly in ludicrous headlines and I’m afraid to say it’s succeeding.” It is understood that The Onion’s lawyers will target Lebanon under anti-trust laws and ‘freakin’ common sense’.
I just remembered this video that LBC’s Cheyef 7alak team produced back in June 2012 to fight sectarianism in Lebanon and raise awareness among the young Lebanese generations. Sadly enough, we’ve adopted an electoral law (taking aside all political considerations) that promotes sectarianism and makes kids sound like the ones in the ad.
I don’t care who you follow or vote for, each one of us has a social and an ethical responsibility to refuse this backwards thinking and this destructive way of dividing Lebanese into sects and obliging each to vote for his own sect only. By doing that, Lebanon, as described so well by Elias, “could find itself in breach of UN protocols and other conventions on human rights that require certain basic democratic principles like equality of suffrage, guarantees of the free expression of the will of the voter, etc. In other words, Lebanon’s confessional system would become a liability for its international obligations, which has often created opportunities for activists to get progressive legislation passed (as in the case of the anti-smoking ban).”
The US-based Lebanese Information Center recently conducted an in-depth study of Lebanon’s current demographic reality, the history of emigration from the country, as well as past and recent fertility rates among Christians and Muslims. The data was reviewed by Statistics Lebanon, a local polling and research company. [NowLebanon]
There are tons of videos I’d like to upload and share on the blog, many YouTube documentaries, courses and tutorials I’d like to watch but that’s not possible not just because of the internet’s speed but because I could waste my 500MB 3G quota or 2.5GB DSL quota in a day or two.
Just like Mustapha said, we need a fast, abundant and cheap internet and so far we’re doing it wrong and falling behind.
The sad truth though is that even if the internet in Lebanon is very fast, the fastest in the world even, that’s not what is important. What really matters, what makes a big difference is that we have a fast, abundant and cheap internet. The internet should be so fast, so cheap and so abundant that people won’t think twice before hitting play on an online video that could teach them new things. There should be so much internet around that people will casually download 10 iPad educational apps for their kids (1GB each), decide which one they liked most and then delete the others (because they can always download them later). Backing your entire hard drive online should be as casual as eating breakfast. There should be no feelings of guilt for “wasting” the internet. Unlike water, bits can be infinite. And yet because of a short-sighted government policy, the Lebanese still treat the internet like a scarce resource. [BeirutSpring]
PS: I can upgrade to a better DSL plan to 10 or 20GB download caps but due to the lack of a proper infrastructure in Keserwan, I cannot have more than 1 MB speed so it’s like I am paying money for more Gbs with the same speed which is absurd.
Retaliation to Rai’s caricature in a Saudi newspaper – via FN
I am all for freedom of expression but this is an irresponsible and silly act. We are in no position now to piss off Gulf countries like the KSA where many Lebanese live and work. The economic situation is disastrous in Lebanon, security is no better and unemployment is as high as ever. I am not saying we should compromise our liberties but instead should be more responsible specially when hundreds of Lebanese families (if not more) are at sake.
Let us solve our own problems first and leave Lebanese expats away from them.
This is a the first video that was revealed of the world’s longest continuous drift, set by Lebanese driver Abdo Feghali using a Chevrolet Camaro SS. Abdo drifted for a duration of 14.18 minutes covering a distance 11,180 meters. [RedBull]