Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘donkey

Mon cher Ado. Part 78

Au-début du siècle dernier , il n’y avait pas de voitures dans le monde , et encore moins à Beit-Chabab . Les gens aisés se déplaçaient à dos d’ânes . (Ceux qui ont pu acheter des anes et des “ja7esh” fesaient les trajets a Zahle et Damascus pour amener des produits necessaire aux villageois)

C’était le moyen de transport le plus commode à la montagne . Mais pour cela , il fallait avoir un âne , n’est-pas ?
Oui mais, les paysans dans leur immense majorité étaient pauvres et se contentaient de peu.

(I posted a novel where common people were forbidden to own horses: these animal transport with carriages were reserved to the nobility in order to tame any armed upheavals)

C’est pourquoi ils se déplaçaient à pied , car l’âne coûtait cher . C’était la Cadillac de ce temps-là .

Mais dans notre village , comme dans tous les villages du Liban , certains paysans qui à force de trimer dans leurs champs , et de traire leurs vaches et leurs chèvres , ils ont fini par accéder à la fortune , et ainsi , ils se sont acheté un âne .

Dès cette époque , les habitants aisés de notre village ont commencé à s’instruire et à voyager dans le monde , mais ceux d’entre eux qui n’ont pas su évoluer avec le siècle , et bien , ils sont restés analphabètes , er ont gardé leur statut , pensant que le monde était statique , que rien ne changerait dans leur mode de vie .

Ce fut le cas de Nasri notre voisin , le vacher . Alors que la plupart des habitants de Beit-Chabab , vers le milieu du vingtième siècle s’instruisaient et allaient faire fortune dans le monde , et construire de belles demeures , et se déplacer en voiture , lui, notre voisin le vacher, il continuait à traire sa vache et à se déplacer à dos d’âne , privant ses enfants de tout , y compris de l’instruction la plus élémentaire .

C’est ainsi que son dernier né , qui était de mon âge , a vécu comme au début du siècle , analphabète comme ses parents , mais fier de pouvoir se déplacer à dos d’âne .

Oui , mais un jour , avec le peu d’argent qu’il économisait en vendant des tomates et des concombres de son jardin , il s’est acheté une mobylette qu’il utilisait jour et nuit même pour monter et descendre les escaliers du village , et cela en chantant à tue-tête , surtout la nuit quand il passait devant notre maison pour exorciser le sort et chasser les loups qui rodaient dans le quartier , car notre maison se trouvait en bordure des la forêt .

Aujourd’hui , je pense à lui et à ce qu’il a pu enduré avec beaucoup de sympathie , car il a dû souffrir toute sa vie à nager à contre courant à cause d’un père qui n’a pas su évoluer avec le siècle . Pauvre de lui …

We don’t care for Carrots, no more (May 9, 2009

A husband kept whinning that he badly misses his roots, in a remote mountain village. The wife was in a bad temper when the husband started his Jeremiades and she shouted at him: “For God’s sake stop it. Don’t tell me that I married a carrot!”

In political discourse, particularly when the political pundits of one of the colonial powers are arguing of the best tactics to deal with a recalcitrant under developed State, the cliché of “The best policy is the timing of when to offer the carrot or wave the stick”. Invariably, in the mind of the colonial powers the “quasi-citizens” of the colonized populations have been treated as donkey and it always worked; thus, they are donkey or behave like donkeys. In the mind of the colonial powers since nothing has changed then there are no urgency for policies to change. I sometimes wonder who is of a higher status emotionally and morally the donkey or the one who persists on riding donkeys or controlling and taming donkeys.

Save us all the carrots in the world if you just can forget us. The colonial powers’ foreign policies are of no use to us if the “covert apartheid” mentality is administered on the immigrants. Global resolutions and maintenance of global solutions cannot be sustained as long as “covert apartheid” is applied within the colonial powers administrations towards the immigrants. The issue of identity in the developed nations is a forced one by the political elite to exercise hegemony over the immigrants. The citizens in the developed nations are secure in their identity because they have none and don’t care to have any and refuse to be issued identity cards. It is the immigrants who are supplying this additional burden of sorting out roots for the benefit of homogenizing intelligence gathering to the National Data Base. The immigrants are fleeing their shameful identities and want to re-create a new life only to be reminded by the host nations that identity is unavoidable and that immigrants have to be re-grouped in ghettos.

The citizens of the developed nations can hop on any plane to any country with a simple passport and be welcomed as honored citizens of the world. The immigrants have to stay in long lines at the Embassies’ doors, then wait many months to be interviewed, then bring documents that prove that they have lots of money in banks before they are issued a lousy visa for barely two months to visit a boring country. The immigrant end up spending tons of money, and wait in long lines to see the collections of the painters such as Vermeer or Cesane just to prove that they are “a la mode”, that they belong to special clubs of the superclasses.

I repeat, global solutions to a world going adrift for the dieing human kind rely on winning the challenges of integrating immigrants in societies with sustainable institutions. This challenge is the burden of the USA and the European Union since China, India, and Japan are not the lands for the weary and the oppressed of confessional constraints and immutable traditions.

So many States are indemically deprived of substance for survival that they willing to fake that they didn’t get it. So many States are down on their needs and know that whatever aids they will receive will draw blood ten folds in return. So many States are at the bottom of the human scale because they know that those providing aids have devised techniques to milk fleece and not just human being. No Sirs, we have no use of your carrots; keep them for your pleasure. onfessional constraints and immutable traditions. So many States are indemically deprived of substance for survival that they willing to fake that they didn’t get it. So many States are down on their needs and know that whatever aids they will receive will draw blood ten folds in return. So many States are at the bottom of the human scale because they know that those providing aids have devised techniques to milk fleece and not just human being. No Sirs, we have no use of your carrots; keep them for your pleasure.

 “What are the rights of the beast of burden; like a donkey?”

November 13, 2004 

Note:  I am re-publishing professional articles instead of updating them for readers who missed then 5 months ago.

People used to own donkeys for special works and they still do in many places.

Donkeys are relatively cheap, if you can find them, and are quite obedient and resilient.

Donkeys can endure hardships if you provide them with food and minimal lodging.

Low level employees in data input jobs are far less loved and appreciated than the former hot blooded mammals.

They helplessly endure repetitive musculoskeletal pains and many of the clerks do proudly claim these pains as a badge of honor.

They are remunerated cheaper than donkeys because all that their job entails is to just sit and do monotonous work.

They suffer all the sedentary diseases: neck, head, shoulders, and back pains.

They suffer irremediable hands, fingers and wrists handicaps for the rest of their wretched lives.

Graphic designers are certainly a tad better: 

They are paid slightly better not for their artistic imagination but, may be, because they can also use a few more computer application programs.

Historically, the design of the characters on the first typewriters was meant to slow down typing:

Fast typing used to jam the arms of the mechanical typewriters.

A large order by a big company at the time hampered any redesign of the characters for the newer technological advances in the manufacture of typewriters.

Still, secretaries had to awkwardly learn typing fast to meet production and greed.

The benefits of redesigning the shapes and forms of computer keyboards, which could temporarily alleviate the many cumulative musculoskeletal disorders from harsh continuous and daily typing, did not reach the common typists and data entry clerks.

These low level employees were not worth any investment in upgraded keyboards.

Higher level employees, who barely use computers for any productive task, were honored with the latest gismos.

In fact, I believe that even the best ergonomically designed keyboards cannot solve these disorders:

Heavy computer users, for eight hours daily, are still performing repetitive movements, sitting still, eyes riveted to a display.

They are still asked to perform maximally, under the watchful and tireless computer supervisor:

An efficient program embedded in the computer itself; a program that collects data and analyzes performances of the donkey clerk.

Employees should not demand any redesign of the characters on keyboards.

Any faster typing design will be at their detriment and they will pay the price bitterly.

Their task will come to higher risks to their health and safety with no increase in wages. 

They should know that faster standards will then be required of them;

Instead of 60 words per minutes Mr. Greed might ask of them to be able to type 300 wpm.

It is not enough to improve technology; we need to restrain its consequences.

Bless Rabelais who said: “Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul”.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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