Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 25th, 2008

“Why am I how I am?” (CONTINUE, March 8, 2006)

I know from key events in my life that I could have been a successful man.

When I was 12, I was transferred to a totally different schooling system,

Emphasizing French as the primary language which I had forgotten.

By the end of the year, I was among the five best students in French,

Not only among my classmates but also the three other sections.

The following two years I was still better than even the French born students.

When I was 14, the school organized this single ceremony at the end of the year:

We were trained for intricate exercises to be performed in the dark as a class,

Carrying two lighted colored torches; 

I liked these exercises, used the confectioned sang bags as weights to hold doors 

Against the wind, and kept at these exercises every day.

I thus managed to build up the muscles of my arms and forearms 

Which looked disproportionate with my shriveled body.

When I was 21, I enrolled in a session of Tak Wan Doo, a Korean martial art.

Throughout the training I was clumsy and appeared unfit 

Compared to the remaining members of my group 

Who were much more sportive, taller, and better built in stature and shape.

At exam time, it turned out that I was the sole graduate to earn the green belt.

 

 

I am interested in the effects of the dichotomy nature versus nurture and their interactions

In causing individuals to acceding at recognition in social spheres,

In behaving as normal and beneficial members of society,

Or acquiring hobbies and skills that keep them happy and alert throughout their life.

It is my opinion that studies in these topics are fundamental for progress,

And the well being of later generations.

This field should be a science by itself but, objectivity set aside, 

I may state my position based on my individual experience.

 

What I am is anchored on being born healthy 

And being nurtured in an environment 

Which conveyed a sense of security and warmth in the first critical four years.

May be that is why I could attempt adventures that were not planned, 

Running away decisions, keeping faith that I will manage one way or another.

In the summer of 1975, I fled to the USA, my first trip outside my country, 

And was not even accepted at any university.

At the end of 1984, I departed for the USA without any planning whatsoever.

Both times to escape the rot 

Because I was out of a job or not perceiving any opportunity for a job.

In 1991, I ran away to San Francisco, after graduation, 

Without money, or much planning, or known connections. 

In 1979, I decided on a foolish scheme which got me in terrible troubles.

The consequences of this decision must have affected me deeply;

But for years I failed to acknowledge 

Or analyze the influence of this decision on my behavior. 

 

What I am not is solely the culprit of successive, and

Consistent disadvantageous nurturing processes 

In family, schooling programs, society, and environment.

I tried to learn many skills when it was too late to acquire.

I enrolled in music classes when I was over thirty,

And bought a classical guitar and an accordion, at no avail.

I usually joke that my music classmates 

Waited impatiently for my turn on a “solfege” piece to roar in laughter.

 

I could have been successful at many skills and hobbies; 

Have I learned them very young, when it was proper and effective.

What I acquired young I kept at it.

I can admit clearly that my failure is the consequence

Of my incapacity for log-term planning;

Due principally to my lack of hunger for anything considered essential by society.

I feel helpless starting a business and abhor lawyering matters.

I could be a flourishing director or manager of an established institution.

I could have been as successful as many individuals 

Who inherited the business of their parents.

I could have learned to acquire a taste for luxury

As I could spend money in profusion when I have it.

I enjoy reading abundantly and have been writing lately.

I like to share my reading books and my writings.

Who cares reading anymore?

“Why am I how I am?” (March 8, 2006)

 

I will attempt a candid self or auto psychoanalysis.

The evaluation of the results of my social status, so far, is pretty straightforward.

I am fifty-seven years old, have no steady job, and no longer marketable for a decent job.

My only monetary asset is an old car 

That I will be hard pressed to repair if it breaks down.

I have never been married, no illegitimate kids, and got no girlfriend;

I wouldn’t be able to entertain a girl even if a miracle love swoops across my way.

I live with my old folks.

 

Now, I earned my PhD in Human Factors in engineering the hard way,

Through sheer stupid stubbornness for my inability to hold any jobs.

My cognitive capabilities are not commensurate to the requirements of higher education.

My emotional development is still in its infancy.

My physical conditioning is below average and decreasing horribly.

My musical abilities, in hearing, singing, or playing instrument are nil.

My artistic skills for acting, painting, sculpting, or drawing never were tested.

My verbal conversational, story telling, and oratorical skills are mediocre.

My interpersonal relationships, rhetorical, and communication training are poor.

 

That said, what may be the reasons for such a drastic failure in my social life?

A better question would be how I managed to live and survive so far?

 

Reason #1: At five years of age I was transferred from Africa to Lebanon.

I am the first born child of parents striving, from next to nothing, to survive.

As most Lebanese immigrants in Africa they went into the mercantile business.

They suffered immensely from the hardship of an under developed country, 

Lacking all kinds of amenities, and were robed completely several times

Before their commerce took off.

I was born in Bamako, the Capital of the now Republic of the Mali.

My primary language was French 

Since the so-called French Sudan was a French colony then.

After I suffered from Typhoid, barely survived the infection, 

And was confined in a cold chamber under close supervision for three months; 

I had to relearn walking and speaking. 

Once in Lebanon, a new climate, new people, new language, 

And incarcerated in a boarding school with no relatives to visit on weekends or holydays:

My folks had to return to Africa for business for a two-year stretch before visiting us.

Every two years we had, my brother and sister, to learn to recognize 

And forced acknowledge these strange folks through gifts 

And staying at home under duress 

Even after many attempts at running away back to the boarding school.

I will try to be objective as best I can; 

But I feel that my wings have been clipped at an early stage of life.

 

Reason #2: At twelve, my parents decided to come back to Lebanon for good;

Under the rationale that they missed us and wanted to raise us as a family.

They in fact ran away after the independence of the Republic of Mali

And the squeeze of the new laws on money transfer by Lebanese merchants.

Another cycle of relocation: new school, new location to Beirut instead of the mountain,

New emphasis on the French language that I had totally forgotten,

An incarceration in an apartment under closer supervision,

 And forced feeding in order to recover our health.

I remember the first week that I vomited my breakfast.

I remember that it took my aunt four hours of repetitions 

To make me memorize two sentences in French.

I remember waking up at three o’clock and walking to school

In order to revise my studies, going back and forth in the playground.

 

Reason #3:  Until I was over 25 I was short on liquid money.

My parents had an implicit philosophy 

That money in the pockets of kids is the ruin of the soul.

They were very well off but the only money I received 

Were gifts on special occasions, Christmas, and Easter holydays.

I could never bring myself to ask for extra money under any conditions.

I used to save these few pounds for the duration of the year.

I never built any taste for fashion, luxury, or any modern gizmos.

I could not indulge on paying visits to schoolmates, or going to movies with them,

Or eating out, or sharing with them the latest records.

My parents were relatively rich at the time; our apartment was paid off, 

Well furnished, and my cousins envied us but personally I was very poor.

I never was initiated to value money, generate money, 

Or participate in any financial transactions or decision.

I used to send letters to my nieces and nephews urging them

To insist and persist for weekly allowances.

I received a lot of crap from my meddling.

I am striving for objectivity but I do feel strongly

That to aim at riches or succeed in accomplishing a high standard of living is

Necessarily a learning process. 

 

Reason #4: Not only that I didn’t look fit for sport activities, or handsome,

Or capable of any physical threat, but I wore ugly eyeglasses too.

To avoid breaking my expensive eyeglasses I shun any group sport activities.

I spent my spare time in middle school reading books, mostly French.

I didn’t try learning swimming until I was 26 years of age.

I didn’t venture snow skiing until I was over thirty 

And bought all the necessary equipments.

My eyeglasses never balanced well on my nose and they kept increasing in thickness.

Once, I was over 40, I damaged my glasses and kept maintaining them for four years

Because I could not afford to replace them.

If these facts are not objective enough for my asocial behavior,

Please enlighten me!

 

Reason #5: I failed the general and public examination in my last high school year.

I had to submit to it again at the end of autumn.

I barely made it the second time around.

But this summer was a period of humiliation and much more.

Many of my acquaintances, for my aloofness, thought that I was smart and bookish.

That perception crumbled to smithereens.

In that critical summer, when my successful friends were enjoying their best summer,

I was plugging in, reluctantly, through books that I already vomited their contents.

That critical summer prevented me from joining the universities of my choices,

And whatever engineering discipline that I might have selected.

That critical summer obstructed any dreams or potential plans that I might have devised.

May be a happy summer might have allowed me to befriend other people, 

Or offered opportunities for guidance to different fields of studies

That suited me better in cognitive abilities, temperament and acquired skills.

My near future was closed and I opted instead for physics at the Lebanese University.

 

Reason #6: The next year I joined a political party.  

With next to nothing in political awareness 

I was approached by close friends who already joined the party.

I attended secret lectures on the principles and doctrine of the party.

I read many of its literature and the writings of its leader.

I agreed on many terms of its principles and moral standings

And would not have joined if not for urgent nudging.

Even after joining I was not satisfied until I read the literature

Of the alternative political parties to compare and strengthen my belief.

I did not care for the positions of the right wing political parties

And concentrated my education on those claiming to be leftists.

I read all the volumes of Karl Marx, Lenin, and Mao Tse Tong.

I even read Kim Il Sung, go figure!

I slaved for that party:  I spent my scares financial resources which I did not earn,

Invested much time and efforts in organizing, marching in demonstrations,

Participating in ceremonies, attending the required meetings, and basically

Wasted the better of my university years in chimera, 

Instead of focusing on my academic studies, striving for excellent grades,

And looking forward for a brighter personal future.

Joining wholeheartedly a political party or any civic association is

An excellent decision that could open varied opportunities for youth;

To develop their personal potentials and connecting with proper referrals.

Not this particular party and not for me.

My political party was a pariah to the Lebanese system of governance.

Theoretically, your application for joining the party is kept a secret;

Absolutely not true, but what youth knows?

Many political parties offer ways for advancement and jobs.

All public services and administrative position in the State were closed to me;

Even teaching in the public schools and most private schools were prohibited for me.

Political parties need leaders, directors, and managers, 

Usually selected from the outspoken and the well connected.

My fate was to slave in the dark, spend my money and be an extra number.

Time is of the essence; and most critical at this juncture of my life, 

Which I wasted amply and infruictuously in the wrong direction and purpose. 

These university years were the best in cultural development;

I spent countless hours seeing movies, watching theater plays and attending conferences.

Alone, always alone. 

 

Reason #7: I started smoking at 26 just to fit in a bar exhibiting girls dancing nude.

I could not stand the taste or smell of cigarettes but managed to finish a box.

Slowly but surely I got hooked to smoking even though I still cannot enjoy it fully. 

I never even tried a single puff before then

Or was tempted by anyone to try.

This addiction to smoking precipitated my downfall:

I have been noticing substantial declines in my cognitive abilities, 

Lack of concentration on any subject or event for more than fifteen minutes,

Memory deterioration,

Shortness in breathing, continuous coughing, and vocal degradation.

Smoking is nefarious for social relationships, especially among women.

Smoking is categorically not appreciated in a working environment.

I quit smoking for ten days 

Because a beautiful girl made me promise just for that duration.

I fasted for 40 days because I wanted to share the fast of a Muslim friend of mine

But excluded smoking from the constraints.

 

Reason #8: I am basically very naïve in social machinations.

This may not be a reason but a by-product of the previous reasons.

I keep my word even when I realize that the given promises were deceptive.

I once promised a manager to stay for a year as his assistant at a certain monthly pay.

The pay turned out to include the cost of many perks but I resigned after a year.

I keep my part of any contract even when I discover that I have been abused.

I worked for four years at a job that was not within my domain

Because I was promised a higher position after the work is finished.

I suffered stomach aches for six months: the physical diagnoses didn’t show any cause.

It was a purely nervous work stress or a psychological factor

But I fulfilled my contract for no return.

I worked for five years in Real Estates, listing and selling private properties.

After two years of literal hunger I managed to earn a decent return on my persistence.

I spent lavishly on advertisement from my own pocket.

I had to convince the Internal Revenue Services 

That my profit was not as much as my earnings showed by a long shot.

I consistently lowered my share on percentages which I thought were outrageous.

My position raised the angst of my associates:

They activated a campaign to curtail my business and even kick me out of the syndicate.

 

Reason #9:  Lack of financial support and proper connections.

This reason might also be categorized as a byproduct,

Or a supporting factor as opposed to the previous more basic and fundamental reasons.

My parents could not initiate another successful business after they returned to Lebanon.

While in the USA for higher education the civil war in Lebanon was raging.

My folks had no money coming in and even lost the remaining of their financial Resources by the devaluation of the Lebanese pound and were reduced to nothing. 

I had to fend for myself though the original plan was to visit every summer.

Now, many overseas Lebanese students were purchasing the latest car models

While I was pedaling a two-speed bicycle; the only transportation available to me,

A backpack slung over my shoulders for provisions and whatever errands.

As a matter of facts all the cars that I bought were old and cheap;

They ruined me and ended up giving them away to charity organizations 

Because I could not afford to repair them,

I had no family or relative connections whatsoever to providing any recourse or news.

Many students could get married for the purpose of obtaining the American citizenship.

I lived for over 20 years in the USA and did not secure even a Green Card;

An essential mean and requirement to be hired by any established company,

Lest you are strongly connected or backed by powerful referrals.

Many worthwhile jobs were denied me on the basis of not having this Green Card;

Which also disqualified me from a few important university projects

Directly or indirectly financed by the all pervasive Defense Ministry.

Prophesies of End of Time?  (November 15, 2004)  

 

I just finished reading Paco Rabanne’s “La fin des temps d’une ere a l’autre…”

It happened that last week I read a French book on Alexander the Great mad.

It was one of the three books that I’m used to read simultaneously each week.

Oddly enough, I am starting to write on three topics simultaneously too.

The coincidence is that the two books have similarities to prophesy. 

They warn of the consequences of the coming changing of Earth axe of rotation.

The angle of rotation of the axis occurs every twelve thousands of years.

Alexander was practically brainwashed from childhood into believing

That he was the divine king that the ancient world was expecting his coming.

He certainly believed the prophesies on and off throughout his short life,

Depending on his moods and successes,

To be reminded, occasionally, by his drunken officers, 

While being himself wrathfully drunk, that he is human alright and indeed a bastard.

These prophesies emboldened his divine angers to permanent conquests, 

Devastation of civilizations, slaughters, eradication of whole cities, stones and people, Building dozens of new cities bearing names,

Starting invariably with Alexander or a slight variation to his glorious name.

By the way, Paco is actually the world famous cloth designer.

He has supernatural gifts.

At seven, he dreamed that he reached the seventh vibratory plane, 

While the current civilization is aching, under the various present turmoil, 

Trying to experience The Fourth Vibratory Plane.

Few will observe the end of this ugly Fish period. 

Or the start of the new period of the Versau.

The Bushes Administrations are also under this spell:

They can send any people to any plane of vibration they desire.

Their previous administrations did mindlessly deliver

What is required to recapture the lower planes of vibration we wished to forget.

As for the prophesies that ask them to care, to be compassionate, to cooperate

In order to let Nature rejuvenate its air, water, soil and forests for the next generations

It seems that no vibratory plane can induce in them comprehension and consciousness.

Paco recapitulates a wide and extensive gamut of prophesies, some with minor effects

And most of them with major upheaval and desolation.

Prophesies from ancient Egypt, ancient Babylon, ancient Assyria,  Nordic prophesies, Ancient Hebrew books, ancient Buddhist books, 

Hindu books of the Vishnu Purana, the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, 

The Apocalypse of St. John, the Koran, Hermes Trismegist, Nostradamus, and

The visions of a dozen of bishops and minor saints. 

The Virgin Mary has too been frenetic in the last hundred of years:

She has been appearing frequently in many odd places 

Urging moderation, compassion and serious praying habits.

 

Prophesies of End of Time?  (Continue 2, November 15, 2004)  

 

One of the humbling prophesies is scaring the hell out of the Occident:

Apparently, millions of Moslems and Slovaks will invade the West,

Take over all of Europe before the USA intervenes to redress the balance of forces.

Hell!  The impacts of four commercial airplanes reverberated 

In the immediate destruction of two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, 

Not to mention sanctions by the UN of many other countries.

The killing of nine French soldiers has resulted in emptying the Cote d’Ivoire

Of any resident with a skin the shade of white.

Paco’s prophesies could as well occur after the change of earth axis of rotation. 

This current Earth will undergo perturbations 

Resulting in the extermination of the third of its inhabitants.

Paco did not fail to remind us, more than once, that St. John prophesied 

That only 144 thousands will survive the Apocalypse.    

The Jehovah Witness adherents strictly believe in the Apocalypse of St. John and more.

They are zealously worshiping a God who will remember them during the cataclysm. 

They fail to recognize the horrors awaiting these miserable chosen.

They will be roaming the tips of mountains, their only refuge,

Embracing from their eagle vantage points a desolate and morn Earth, 

They will be Killing one another to eat for lack of any edible produce.

Certainly that they missed that survival part, otherwise they would quit in haste.

 

Paco expands on the lost civilization of Atlantis as mentioned in Plato.

He argues that Atlantis was located about the Bermuda Triangle.

He is adamant that copies of its advanced sciences were stored in Egypt,

Most convincingly inside the Sphinx,

Since a vision appeared to him and showed him the exact location of the scrolls, 

While he was standing on the left foot of this majestic Sphinx on a glorious night in 1967.

Last week, a discoverer located Atlantis about Cyprus and Syria.

I like to claim that there was two or more Atlantis because there could be no advanced Civilization without some kind of competition and commerce among people.

Otherwise, the society in Atlantis was not that advanced by a long shot.

Paco did a good job in convincing me that we are nearing a mighty convulsion.

The delivery of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the invention

Of the hydrogen bombs, both of them under the control of the cruel and greedy humans, Clenched for me the horror deal.  

The catastrophe was that certain long before the heating of the atmosphere,

The hole in the Ozone layer, the deterioration of the quality of the environment,

The pollution of water supplies, the deforestation of the tropical forests, the dramatic Increase in number and intensity of tidal waves, heat waves, ray waves, hurricanes, Cyclones, the overpopulation of the poor, the wretched, and not last the meddling in the genes of food supply. Yes Mr. Rabanne, you see me cowered in my hole of a room, 

Long before I read your book.

A dream about cultural differences?   (May 6, 2005)

 

Tonight is Martyrs’ Day in Lebanon. 

The Ottoman General Jamal Pasha hanged a dozen Lebanese and Syrian nationalists in 1916 and so we gained a free day from work and schooling.

Tomorrow, the exiled General Michel Aoun and former Prime Minister in the years 1988-90 is coming back after the Syrian forces have definitely withdrew from Lebanon soil along with all their intelligence and security forces.

General Aoun is coming back to be welcomed by a million citizen in the Martyrs’ Square in Beirut.

I am dreaming that I rented a room in a University dormitory room number 217.

My roommate is probably from Pakistan.

The next day I discovered that the door is blocked by thick natural snow to the ceiling of the corridor. Don’t ask me how snow could have entered and accumulated.

I frantically shovel the snow with my bare hands and relocate that mass in the middle of the corridor.

I enter the room and lo and behold I stumble on three other Pakistani students. 

I initially assumed that the students were visiting then I noticed three additional thin mattresses on the floor.

I asks my roommate about the meaning of the extra mattresses and he replies that rent would be reduced for him if additional roommates join him.

I am sleeping and feel a body lying close to mine.

I wake up feeling hot and the students have changed of nationality; they are probably from Thailand or East Asians

Now the beds are arranged in four decks on top of one another. Each deck is high enough to slide in lying down and huge green tree leaves are used for covers.

Then the décor changes and the room experienced a substantial expansion. 

In the back of the room a whole Japanese family is sleeping in four wholesome beds.

My Asian roommate whispers to me not to shout:  I guessed that it would not be in the Asian regulation of hospitality to start a commotion.  

The family was invited to stay for a month and free of charge.  

The tall elder son is effeminate and trying to explain to me his philosophy and how depressed and frustrated he is feeling at this junction of his life.

Then the family wakes up their elder grand father and they gather around a bed holding a small shoe like in prayer.

I thought may be the family has lost recently a new born baby and it is praying for its soul.

The rooms of the Japanese family are furnished with authentic Japanese gadgets. 

The girls are wearing silk robes and sleeping on comfortable silk beds and their pillows are in the shape of huge and large flower vases where they lay their heads to sleep.

Usually the last phase of my horrific dreams suggests that I should wake up to visit the john:  I am searching for the bathroom and find none or the bathroom is too filthy to use.

Instead of a bathroom I pee on a plastic chair and people are knocking on the door.

I want to shut the door close but two students enter and do not exhibit any reaction to my peeing behavior.

I woke up for real and hurried to a real bathroom.

Liberty! Where are you?  (November 10, 2004) 

 

I left the USA for good in December 2000.

Since then, people would ask me whether I‘ll go back.

No, not in the foreseeable future.

Don’t you have any nostalgia to return after living on and off for 20 years there?

Yes, I have nostalgia for a specific attitude that I don’t feel will be captured again

For an indeterminate period of time. 

My first visit to the USA was in 1975.

All you had to do was to be there in person to circumvent many requirements.

People in position of authority were not squeamish in making a decision here and there.

Their decisions were heavily weighted toward compassion.

They gave a chance to your dreams.

You have taken the pain to be there and they would help you the most they can.

I went back in 1985 for no specific dreams and with no preparation, as usual.

The old timers in position of authority still wielded 

The courage and confidence to make decisions.

But the landscape of authority had shifted to newly naturalized citizen.

In their wisdom, the old timers relegated positions of day to day decision to others.

These others, with obviously high credentials, 

Understood authority as the strict application of rules and regulations.

It was their way to earn more credibility by exercising intransigence in form.

The chairman of the department, from India by origin, denied me an assistantship.

All my savings evaporated within two semesters.

My PhD study dragged on trying to meet expenses.  

For years, I worked, legally, several minimum pay jobs within campus, by regulations.

Before I leave in 2000, even the old timers were weary to exercise their authority.

The system was programmed in the minute details.

Loopholes for compassioned decision were banished.

Decisions were preferably transferred to others to make.

Liberality in authority was scrutinized and sanctioned.

The robotic system was well entrenched for administering people’s life.

Just before the September upheaval in 2001. 

The Liberty to make compassioned decisions was dead.

Well before September 11th 2001.

The American style of confident authority was dead

When September 11th 2001 provided plenty of justifications to burry liberty

For the American people first and the Third World people later.

A Priest Amidst “Les Loubards” (Continue 3, July 22, 2004)

 

A couple of guys volunteered to run the bakery for two weeks when the baker fell sick.

 

They organized a procession for Saint Christopher with the participation of villagers.

They cleaned up the statues of saints.

“Hand me that sweet girl to brush” or “That old man is not worth cleaning” or

“That guy with the brown long beard needs a good bath” 

Were some of the comments of the guys.

These vacations make them feel “all new inside”.

They can think inside an old tree trunk, away from the other dangerous type of people,

Away from the drinking pubs, from the police hassles, 

From the fearful look of people who view them as ferocious animals,

And mostly from their small apartments were half a dozen sleeps in a tiny room.

 

Paris does not celebrate many holidays but it should.

During one of the 4th of July France Independence Day, 

The priest and the gang shared in the celebration.

The gang spent up its energy and anger shouting, foul talking,

And moving from one party gathering to another.

The police of their locality were bemused:

Not a single emergency calls were received that night!

 

Finding jobs for these delinquents was a different matter.

They preferred jobs in the fresh air, with no tight schedule or routine procedures.

The courier jobs were best: 

Riding bicycles or motorcycles in crowded streets was exhilarating.

They don’t try to learn their work legal rights: they quit without asking for their pay.

However, they tend to take matter in their hands if they sense that they were abused. 

Once, a business man ran an ad: 

“Hiring guys with no less than one year term served in prison”.

Fifty guys showed up the next morning for curiosity sake

And have a good look at that man.

He indeed hired the first two persons who applied for the jobs.

 

The police force tried several time to discredit priest Gilbert by forging his signature

And dealing with a few members of the gangs to leave drugs under his bed.

He would not answer questions by the police that might indict the guys

Because he has immunity as a specialized educator and answers only to judges.

The police and the owners of pubs were in cohort 

To providing alcoholic drinks to minors:  

Delinquent indicators are needed and new recruits are in the pipeline.

In this case, peripheral casualties outnumber by far the targeted miscreants.

This is an important criterion for a job well done.

A job which require continuous funding: money thrown in a deep pit of sorrow.

 

A Priest Amidst “Les Loubards”(Continue 4, July 22, 2004)

 

Money is the solution that many people,

With good will to help, 

Can conceive to relax their conscious.

It is also money that attracts the delinquents into the life of thievery.

For the lack of love and interest in them 

Money can equalize their common similarity with the rest of society.

 

People ask priest Gilbert whether he is trying to integrate these delinquent.

Quote: “Integrate them in what, in this society of metro-con jobs-sleep pattern? 

Anyway, they wouldn’t want this kind of integration.

They prefer a marginal life but relatively free.

They have incomparable attitude of spontaneity and truth”.

 

Soliciting money for charitable endeavors should be attached 

To the willingness of the donors to contribute their time in the enterprise 

And get to understand and appreciate the magnitude of the problem.

Otherwise, they better avoid the misplaced sense of gratitude 

That they think they will receive in exchange; 

That gratitude is demeaning and rightly perceived as such.

Do not donate money right away to charity; try donating your time first.

A Priest Amidst “Les Loubards” (July 22, 2004)

 

It is a testimony of a French priest who lived in the 19th district of Paris.

It is a district renowned for its high density of young delinquents, starting at age ten.

Almost forty percent of that wretched youth is of North African descents:

Algerians and Moroccans kids abandoned by their parents to the streets.

In certain quarters of Paris adolescents walk in bands.

The band is actually the real family for its members:

Even after marriage, the visits of a member have priorities over family’s prerequisites.

They help each others and take care of the worst case members.

They wear tattoos of the children of the downcasts.

Each gang has its breathing domain that other gangs do not trespass.

They refuse to talk about their folks to strangers.

It takes time to open up enough, even for a friend of theirs, to talk about their folks.

They are generally traditional: 

They ask for formal, sophisticated and religious ceremonies, 

When they marry and for baptizing their children.

It is a way to seek values and roots in formal ceremonies.

 

A few replies of these delinquents may shed a better idea of their family’s problems.

One gang member found between two trash cans characterized the situation as:

“At least these trash cans don’t shout and know how to shut up”.

Six half brothers from six different fathers relentlessly compared their genes 

To discover a common denominators in their characteristics.

Living quarters with no widows, or windows facing walls, 

Are good incentives for taking to the streets.

Alcoholic parents with, usually, a pattern of uninteresting jobs, long work hours,

Several hours spent for transport to work do not leave much time to care for kids. 

Kids stay late at night around clubs, pubs and drinking places 

Until their parents are soundly asleep: 

They try to skip the regular physical violence and verbal abuses and hurts.

Kids would vanish for months, come in, and open the refrigerator,

Take a coka cola can and leave; no questions asked.

 

Guy Gilbert, the priest, lives in a room in the same locality of one gang.

Guy rides a motorcycle, a Honda 500, and wears the black leather dresses of the gangs.

He is assisted by three salaried persons who manage a permanent center.

Only full time and salaried educators can succeed in this time consuming task:

Once a gang member receives a genuine listening ear 

He invariably becomes a monster hoarder of time for any assistant. 

 

Guy was ordained in Algeria during the Algerian revolution in 1965.

He took care of a 12 years old who was forced by his parents

To eat the leftovers of their dog and from the same dish.

It took a whole year for the kid to start talking and communicating.

 

A Priest Amidst “Les Loubards” (Continue 2, July 22, 2004)

 

In this book, the author describes succinctly and directly about the streets,

The violence, the police, the court trials, the prisons, 

The families that welcome some of these guys, 

How some of these families changed for the better after adopting a member,

How they had to relocate so that they could welcome the visits of the gang’s members,

The vacations of these groups of delinquents, around 130 boys and 20 girls,

The kind of work they prefer and how he goes about to helping them find jobs,

The professional educators, the deaths of some of these guys

And the approaches he had to take in order to be accepted by the gangs as one of them.

 

Guy spent at first a lot of time in metros, the place of choice for the gathering of the guys.

He patiently studied their slang, their behaviors, their attitudes and movements. 

These gangs have the instincts of the savages:  they appreciate brute force,

They have sharp feelings about how they are perceived and they can’t read or write.

Their vocabulary is restricted to about 400 words at most.

Guy had to physically fight a leader of a gang to be inducted as one of theirs.

He received many blows from newcomers and outside gang leaders.

Guy refused to take contributions after Sunday Masses from the parishioners

Because the guys sensed that the money was not meant for their cause.

I would have asked the parishioners to drop by the permanent center 

For any monetary contributions.

Once people start befriending the gang members and listening to them,

Hardly any misdemeanors occur in the cooperating neighborhood.

 

Getting together to sending letters and post cards to the imprisoned guys is a major task.  

Letters relieve the loneliness of the prisoners 

And strengthen the links of solidarity and loyalty among the gang members.

Prisoners would refer other lonelier prisoners to receiving post cards.

Selecting committees for welcoming the discharged prisoners was taken seriously.

Fancy dinners with plenty of booze were meant for the released prisoner 

To regain a taste for life.

Vacations in winters and summers are joyously welcomed.

Trips to Morocco, the snow or at the provinces are expected; as long it is outside Paris.

The gang members hop in the old van and truck and off they go.

Most of them never saw the snow:

“When you see this glorious nature, your outlook to life changes somehow” said a guy.

In the Provence, they remodeled and rebuilt an old house on a farm.

A leader of the gang made it a habit to kick doors open; 

He was disappointed to find no doors in the house.

By the end of the three month-vacation, he installed doors.

He then warned the priest never to allow any member to kick his man-made doors.

Wells were cleaned from three generations of waste.

Windows were refurbished and a new roof installed.

Lucubration (2006)

 

Why do you want to force Globalization on people? 

Why do you want to force Nations to out leap the process of natural development?

If it takes what it takes to go through industrialization, couldn’t you let it be?

Couldn’t you set up the gauntlets for Nations to pass through without undue pressure?

 

If some Nations cannot endure the pain, humiliation and dehumanization

Of your type of development,

Then, let them take another perspective to life;

Let them prospect for a different future.

 

If there is a purpose to life

Make expressing your true feelings your purpose.

 

If I talk but of life and death,

What else do you want me to talk about?

Let me fall in love once

And I’ll gift you my silence

 

Is Freedom the right to have choices?

Is Liberty the right to have opportunities?

Are freedom and liberty the right to act?

Or should they be relegated to merely wishing publicly?

 

Are freedom and liberty just for the young and healthy?

And the rest of us, what should we fight for?

Maybe is it our right to be skeptical about your futile fights?

 

An idea becomes a consumer good

Once its charm and novelty are tolerated by adults.

 

What do you want to know from this world?

Science is already telling you that it shall die.

 

Why God created spiders?

My students said that spiders were created in order to:

Scare us, eat flies and mosquitoes, 

Weave webs to protect a certain prophet from being detected in a cave 

And cultivate them for their fiber to fabricate anti bullet vests.

Then, why did God create mosquitoes; so that they could be fed to spiders?

Are there any useful uses of them for human beings?

It dawned on me that may be God wanted to send us a message:

God did not create the Universe for just Man! 

 

It is hard to be inducted a normal person.

A normal person has to evolve into a superman to acknowledge that greed is beautiful.

The greedy Lords of society have set high standards of conformity. 

Standards that most modern slaves strive to achieve.

The subnormal people lack the strength to meet the quota in the production, 

Of money, of kids, properties and standard of living. 

The subnormal has to suffer silently, absorb his weaknesses and accept to be discarded.

 

Why men do wars?

Did any man win in any war?

Did any man benefited from war?

It appears that most of the profits are accumulated during the preparation of wars.

So, why man has to act on his preparations and plans?

Instead of him continuing his preparations to perfection?

For example, striving to have zero civilian victims and casualties?

On One Universe and One God (2006)

 

Is the Universe finite?  Has Time a beginning? 

 

If you can accept the theory that a Big BANG created the Universe,

If you can attribute a time to the beginning of the Big Bang,

Then, why not consider that the Universe is limited?

 

If you can accept one Big Bang,

Then, why not more of these Bangs at various intervals before the original last one?

 

If one Big Bang created one Universe,

Why cannot you consider several already dead Universes?

 

If one Big Bang could happen,

Then, why not expect another One down the line?

 

If you can believe in One God,

Why your coreligionists splintered into a dozen of sects?

Why are they fighting more vigorously and barbarously among themselves

Than with the believers of religions who serve several Gods?

 

If you can accept a God with flesh and blood,

As happens in every generation in different countries

Then, why not negotiate with believers who can conceive of God another way?

Couldn’t you consider negotiating for more than one God? 

 

If God was created to spread fear in people,

Or to fool people into a cheap submission to the ruling destiny,

If even with one God control is getting out of hands,

Then, why not try Freedom from a God and Liberty to all?

 

If Democracy is the name of the game now,

Why not vote for religious beliefs,

To be explicitly represented officially,

In Congresses of believers,

Including the atheists?

Numb at the Magnitude of the Unknown (continue 3)

That summer, I noticed many American students walking bare feet,

Carrying their sandals in hand and attending class bare feet.

One day, I felt the urge to imitate them:

I walked to class bare feet, carrying my sandals.

Miss Linda, the English teacher, was dumb struck; her cheeks flushed anger. 

I could hear the wrath within her soul:

“American might be permitted to behave so, against my will.

But foreigners?! Certainly and absolutely not: rules are rules”.

She kicked me out of the classroom.

I did not enjoy walking bare feet: Summer in Oklahoma scalds any bare skin,

And carrying the stupid sandals was not that cool after all.

The university had an outdoor and an indoor swimming pool.

Many lovely girls lounged around the Olympic size outdoor pool.

I paid for a two-week formal swimming lessons:

I had to swim professionally for the beautiful girls.

It was my first formal swimming lessons:

I almost got drowned twice before, in open sea, closest to the shore,

Carried away by tide…

My dense hairy chest and back were a curiosity to everyone.

A Japanese classmate went so far as to compare me to a monkey.

I love swimming and have been practicing it ever since.

In every city I relocated to, my first target was finding an affordable indoor pool.

After a month of English, which I didn’t need from my pretest scores,

But I still had to attend because the tuition was prepaid,

I discovered that the university, which conditionally accepted me, was indeed in Stillwater,

Not in the town of Norman.

Stillwater was initially a farming university, in a hole of a town,

A hundred and fifty miles North-East of the State Capital Oklahoma City.

I visited that university in August, but I still don’t know how I got there.

The administration told me that I was late, or my application was declined;

I don’t remember the reasons for denying my application, but I felt good.

I was back to the University of Oklahoma at Norman

Dr. Hillel Kumin, chairman of the Industrial Engineering department,

Accepted my application for graduate studies without much fussing.

I had to take just two pre-requisite undergraduate courses.

This is how simple life should be:

It matched my naïve perception on systems, organizations and people’s characters.

There were a few instances where my model of a simple life matched the real model.

More often, I had to learn to struggle for survival.

Many years later, I was still learning to just scrap a living;

Not much else. 

 

To fill the time before the Fall semester begins,

I volunteered with a linguistic society on campus for the summer.

I was to speak, translate and write Arabic for Americans enrolled in linguistics.

They were potential missionaries!

 

It was 1975, and the Americans were still free to be compassionate.

It was 1975, and an American in a position of power

Could wield a wide latitude for making compassionate decisions.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2008
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