Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Bertolt Brecht

“Farewell Beirut” by late Mai Ghoussoub(book review, part 3)

Posted on December 4, 2008 (and written in Nov,16, 2008)

Note: Paragraphs in parentheses are my own interjections.

The third part of my review was hard and I delayed it too long because the demons that Mai is battling with are spread throughout the book.

I decided not to try to have a coherent or logical links among the different emotions that were troubling Mai, and I will leave it to the readers to do their own homework and reflections.

There are cases of transient insanity such as degraded human values, mocked tradition, and disobedience of State laws and rules.

For example, why we tend to be more lenient toward the rotten moral values of officials simply because they didn’t show rigidity in the mind? 

If we admit that “traitors” are the product of dictatorship and wars, and that this breed of people are present in locations fraught with danger (then most of us might have played the role of traitors under the right conditions).

People have the tendency to be more lenient with deficiency in morality than with extremist positions in ideologies and religious beliefs.

For example, burning witches is related to extreme social and religious dogmatism as a reaction for seeking consensus in an established social order. 

Heroes are not necessarily that honorable; take the case of this child who denounced his father, who helped a few Gulag prisoners to escape, to the soviet authorities and in return was awarded a medal of honor and much propaganda.

Take for example the French women who had sexual relationship with German officers during WWII and many of them begot offspring; they had their head shaven since hair is the most representative of female pride.

These head shaven ladies were the scapegoats to releasing the emotions of frustration and rage among the vanquished Parisians. The worst part is that the mothers brought their kids with them to watch this dishonoring ritual. The women watchers are badly dressed, which reflect a bad conscience in being part of the ceremony.

While the German used modern techniques to hide their genocide, the French “victors” adopted medieval means to humiliate and get revenge on the traitors and informers.

John Steinbeck said “We cannot take pictures of war, because war is fundamentally emotions“.

In our back head, we always have fears for the reaction of those we have persecuted.

The French star singer Arlettie reacted furiously and said “What! Are they also meddling in how we use our sex parts?”   Many women had to survive under siege and everyone according to his potentials and skills.

The Argentinean navy officer Adolfo Silingo said:

“I was responsible for killing 30 people with my own hands and I do not feel remorse or repentance because I was following orders, and I got used after the initial shock surprise. We knew that we were killing humans but we kept killing them!  The civilians were in a semi comatose state from torture and we threw them out of the airplane like puppy dolls.

Most of the navy contingents participated in these mass killings” Adolfo admitted. He is spending his life drunk on the streets trying to forget the “dirty war” during the dictatorship against his own people.

General Paul Tibits who dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima is not penitent.  These kinds of people were once considered heroes: how do you view them now?

Hannah Arendt would like to comprehend “Why these people did choose to stop thinking?

Brecht screamed in one of his plays “Woo to the nations that count too many heroes!

Simone Veil didn’t take it personal that she was incarcerated because she was Jew; she was interested to know “how people are propelled into a climate of condemning and defaming others

This question is pertinent “Is it legitimate to hide truth in order to secure social peace? How can we manage to forget, and yet not take chances, for the recurrence of the same sorts of atrocities?”

It is most difficult to find common denominators among the concepts of justice, moral values, and politics when judging cases of genocides.

Bertolt Brecht said: “Tragedies is about human suffering, expressed in less seriousness than comedies. The perpetrators of genocides are not great criminal politicians, but simple people who allowed horrifying political crimes to pass”

Note: The main theme in “Farewell Beirut” is “revenge” and the associated concepts of honor, genocides, nationalism, heroes, traitors, denouncers, martyrdom, punishment, hate, love and the fundamental human emotions that might be interpreted differently through the ages, and civilizations but where the moral values of wrong and right should not be left to personal matters of point of views.




This eternal seesaw story of Doubt and Faith

We spend most of our existence in a succession of acts of faith.

Not that we have no doubts: We have legitimate excuses for lack of time, of energy, of knowledge and of talent to act on our doubts.

The greatness of human spirit are represented in moments when people act on one of their doubts that they consider harmful to mankind by proving, demonstrating and disseminating their findings that dispel our accumulated superstitions.

It does not make any sense to link faith with religious beliefs or any religious teaching.

It is the elite classes, the bourgeois classes, the political classes, whose interests are tightly linked to the clerics jobs of disseminating to the lower class of the masses the glory of submitting to their destinies and fate, that propagate this linkage of faith with religion.

Bertolt Brecht in his play “The Life of Galileo” let this famous physicist and astronomic scientist say, while in house confinement by the Catholic Pope,

“The battle for rendering the sky measurable is won because of doubt.

Because of faith, the struggle of little people in Rome for their due rights will still be and forever lost.

I support the notion that the only goal of science consists in reducing the pains of existence for mankind.

The schism between science and you (the scientist) may one day become so deep that as you scream in joy for one new discovery you’ll hear in response a louder scream of universal horror.”

The concept of “science for science sake” and “Art for art sake” have never been uttered by genuine scientists and talented artists.

These saying have been disseminated by pseudo scientists and artists with the purpose of avoiding their responsibilities in the outcome of their exploitation process.

Can we join forces so that we give new technologies and new scientific discoveries a sabbatical?

Let mankind enjoy a period of bliss from new technologies that are exploited by the military and multinational corporations in order to keep the little people in a state of misery and hopelessness?

Mankind has already accumulated enough knowledge and know-how to eradicate miseries in health, safety, and life conditions, if we apply science for the well-being of all the human kind and animal kingdom.

Until the activists in political organization and communities reclaim the proper budget, away from the military and subsidies of the big corporations, more scientific discoveries and new technologies are going to make matter worse for the little people.

We cannot stop new discoveries, but we can put enough pressure to rob the deep pocket entities of their might to exclusively exploit the discoveries at the detriment of the real needy people.




March 2023

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