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Posts Tagged ‘free expression

Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists: More on the Charlie Hebdo 

Erkki Tuomioja, Finland foreign minister, said lately:

“You caricature and criticize women, you are a chauvinist

You caricature and criticize Jews, you are an anti-semite

You caricature and criticize  Blacks, you are a racist

You caricature and criticize Islam, you are smack into free expression zone

As a Muslim, I’m Fed Up With the Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists

Posted: 13/01/2015 
Dear liberal pundit,You and I didn’t like George W Bush.

Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya’s slogan: either you are with free speech… or you are against it.

Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo… or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.

I’m writing to you to make a simple request: please stop.

You think you’re defying the terrorists when, in reality, you’re playing into their bloodstained hands by dividing and demonising. Us and them.

The enlightened and liberal west v the backward, barbaric Muslims. The massacre in Paris on 7 January was, you keep telling us, an attack on free speech. The conservative former French president Nicolas Sarkozy agrees, calling it “a war declared on civilisation“.

So, too, does the liberal-left pin-up Jon Snow, who crassly tweeted about a “clash of civilisations” and referred to “Europe’s belief in freedom of expression”.

In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really is a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)?

It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.

Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech.

We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.

Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No? How about caricatures of the 9/11 victims falling from the twin towers? I didn’t think so (and I am glad it hasn’t).

Consider also the “thought experiment” offered by the Oxford philosopher Brian Klug. Imagine, he writes, if a man had joined the “unity rally” in Paris on 11 January “wearing a badge that said ‘Je suis Chérif'” – the first name of one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Suppose, Klug adds, he carried a placard with a cartoon mocking the murdered journalists. “How would the crowd have reacted?… Would they have seen this lone individual as a hero, standing up for liberty and freedom of speech? Or would they have been profoundly offended?” Do you disagree with Klug’s conclusion that the man “would have been lucky to get away with his life”?

Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists. I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.

When you say “Je suis Charlie“, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo‘s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?

Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic. Also, as the former Charlie Hebdo journalist Olivier Cyran argued in 2013, an “Islamophobic neurosis gradually took over” the magazine after 9/11, which then effectively endorsed attacks on “members of a minority religion with no influence in the corridors of power”.

It’s for these reasons that I can’t “be”, don’t want to “be”, Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene… speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”

And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark?

Were you not aware that Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of the Prophet in 2005, reportedly rejected cartoons mocking Christ because they would “provoke an outcry” and proudly declared it would “in no circumstances… publish Holocaust cartoons”?

Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life – especially in France.

You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

Does it not bother you to see Barack Obama – who demanded that Yemen keep the anti-drone journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye behind bars, after he was convicted on “terrorism-related charges” in a kangaroo court – jump on the free speech ban wagon? Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris?

Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.

Then there are your readers. Will you have a word with them, please? According to a 2011 YouGov poll, 82% of voters backed the prosecution of protesters who set fire to poppies.

Apparently, it isn’t just Muslims who get offended.

Erkki Tuomioja, Finland foreign minister

Mehdi Hasan is the political director of the Huffington Post UK and a contributing writer for the New Statesman

‎إنهم يعرفون ... ويحرفون ..!!!!‎

 

Kill a Palestinian “every hour,” says new Israeli Facebook page

Is that within free expression?

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The Facebook page’s main profile picture and background image show Palestinians as targets through the crosshairs of a gun.

More than 16,000 Israelis have joinedFacebook page that calls for the murder of a Palestinian every hour until three missing Israeli settler teens are located.

The page is titled “Until the boys are back, every hour we shoot a terrorist.”

(If it is a matter of killing terrorists, why the Zionists don’t head to Da3esh Land in north Iraq?)

The page was launched as the Israeli army continued violent raids, curfews and closures across the occupied West Bank and shot dead Ahmad Sabarin, a Palestinian youth.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency:

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on its website that within hours of its creation, a Facebook page calling for the hourly assassination of Palestinian “terrorists” had reached 10,000 likes.

The Facebook page called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take responsibility instead of holding [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas responsible” for the alleged kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Maariv reported.

The three missing settlers are Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrah (both 16) and Gilad Shaer (19), who reportedly went missing while hitchhiking between Jewish-only settlements in the Hebron area of the southern occupied West Bank late Thursday evening.

Since that time, Israeli political figures, including Netanyahu, have rushed to blame both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who recently signed a reconciliation agreement to end a seven-year division.

Israeli officials claim that Palestinian political organization Hamas kidnapped the missing boys, but a Hamas spokesperson denied involvement and dismissed the accusation as “stupid.”

Israel has yet to produce evidence supporting its claims, though it has arrested dozens of Hamas officials and activists including the speaker and several elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in ongoing raids across the West Bank.

Dozens of photos and comments by both the page administrator and commenters offer a glimpse into the radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel. The dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, is common among Israelis on social media, especially Facebook users in Israel.

Resonating with reality

One of the photographs posted by the adminsitrator reads, “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” At the bottom, the photo adds: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

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Top: “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” Bottom: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

At the time of writing, the post had received more than six thousand Facebook likes and had more than one hundred comments, most of them supportive.

One commenter, Hariel Ben Michael, called for Israel to destroy entire Palestinian communities “every hour” until the missing boys “are released.”

His comments resonate with reality. Since its destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and towns during the 1948 Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israel has continued to demolish Palestinian homes and raze entire communities, particularly in places like the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank.

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In Hebrew: “A friend suggested this idea: each hour that passes and the boys (may god protect them) are not released, we destroy a neighborhood in Hebron, and after we’re done with Hebron, we move to Ramallah then to Gaza, etc.”

“Get cancer”

An English-language commenter, Jordan Lerer, says he hopes Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip “get cancer” and “die with agony.” The picture he comments on shows many Palestinians between crosshairs of a gun and says, “kidnapped? kidnap!” — ostensibly calling for the kidnapping of Palestinians.

 

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An English-language commenter hopes Palestinians in Gaza “get cancer” at a time when the Israeli military bombards the besieged coastal strip.

Lerner also comments that he has “no mercy” regarding the Israeli military’s treatment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel’s military has already bombed several areas in the Gaza Strip since the three boys went missing.

Crackdown

On Saturday evening, 7-year-old Ali al-Awour died as a result of injuries sustained by an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. According to statistics from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine), 1,405 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel since 2000.

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Relatives carry the body of Ali al-Awour during his funeral in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, 14 June 2014. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

After the Israeli settlers went missing on Thursday night, Israel’s occupation forces intensified their crackdown across the West Bank and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.

In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli military last night reportedly injured two children and their father when soldiers “bombed open the door of [their] house,”according to Ma’an News Agency. That raid came only a day after Israel “detained eighty Palestinians across the West Bank,” as noted by another Ma’an article.

Israel’s crackdown has focused on the southern part of the West Bank, mostly in and around Hebron. As of Sunday, Hebron residents were banned from leaving the West Bank,Maan reported.

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A Palestinian kisses the face of Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who medics said was killed by the Israeli army in a raid on al-Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, 16 June 2014. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Overnight on Sunday, the military also raided the Jalazone refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah and shot and killed 20-year-old Ahmad Sabarin.

Michael Ben Ari, a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, also called for the assassination of Palestinians while speaking to Hebrew-language media. Israel ought to “kill terrorists in public hangings,” Ben Ari said.

“Sit in the dark”

Another alarming Facebook page, created yesterday, is named “If our boys are sitting in the dark, Palestinians will also sit in the dark.”

With more than three thousand members, the page calls for Israel to cut off all electricity to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to Israel’s suffocating restrictions, both regions are dependent on Israel for electricity.

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This photograph calls for Israel to cut off electricity and water to Palestinians and to further limit their ability to move freely.

One photograph posted on the page (above) called for Israel to inflict “collective punishment” on Palestinians by ending their electricty and water supplies and increasing restrictions on movement.

petition was also launched on Sunday demanding that Israel cut off Palestinians’ access to electricity. As of Monday morning, it had already received more than one thousand signatures.

Due to Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza, approximately 1.7 million residents of the coastal enclave have suffered deteriorating conditions over the last few years as a result of the lack of gas and electricity. 

Dehumanization

This is not the first time Israelis have used social media to call for violence against Palestinians, including children. As Israel’s political establishment grows even more rightwing, much of the general population has embraced the increasingly anti-Palestinian climate.

As Rania Khalek recently reported for The Electronic Intifada, a Facebook page supporting an Israeli soldier who was filmed pointing his gun at a Palestinian child’s face received more than 129,000 likes.

In February 2013, Ali Abunimah exposed an Israeli soldier’s violent pictures on the photo-sharing website Instragram. One of his pictures showed a Palestinian child as a target between the crosshairs of a rifle.

Since then, The Electronic Intifada has time and again brought to light the dehumanization of Palestinians and pervasive racism displayed by Israelis on social media outlets.

To read more about this, see The Electronic Intifada’s past coverage:

With thanks to Hanan Darawsha for her help with translation and research. 

Freedom or Liberty? Time to dissect an operational framework for the notion of Freedom

Do you understand what is meant by Freedom? How do you apply your “freedom”. What are the restrictions attached to your acts of freedom?

If Liberty has a statewide political connotation of independence and autonomy (already a terrible headache in the UN), the notion of Freedom is far more confusing and subject to political maneuvering in the dialogues and discussions.

The problem in the English language is the restriction on the usage of the term Liberty, such as Liberation or being liberated (any other ways?)

For example “We are not freed from the shackles. Someone else liberated us from the shackles of slavery and bondage, by a political decision and not on our free will”

For example, you read oxymoron terms like “Free Trade, Free Market, Free Expression, Free Sex…”  What is free in these expressions? And how they are that free?

If we replaced these expressions with “Libre trade, libre market, libre sex, libre opinions...” the citizens will acquire useful political terminologies and political education. These terms connote political decisions among communities and the treaties are spelled out in details.

For example, “libre from addiction” would relate to a specific addiction since mankind behaves intrinsically within a network (a web) of habits and customs.

Also, “libre sex” means a politically tolerant society and is different from free sex that has a monetary connotation attached to it. Sure, there are first time free sex, but the second time is never that free, but highly expensive in many ways.

Until the English language is liberated and the politicians liberate the term Freedom from their political maneuvering and taking Freedom hostage in their discourse and speeches, we have to contend in navigating the meander of Freedom.

Setting up an operational framework for this general and confusing “value” of Freedom is an endeavor to giving flesh and new blood to the mishandled expression of “Freedom for the people

A clear taxonomy for the definition of Freedom is tightly linked on how we define the other “set of value systems” that are connected to the term of freedom and are interrelated in the various fields of applications such as in economy, finance, politics, individual rights, human rights, and range of opportunities…

There is two main divergences for comprehending freedom: Individual freedom and “Community Freedom

If we take the “western” position that freedom is an individual right, we must raise the question: “How would you define freedom for each one of the 7 billion people and increasing? All these people with various customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies?

7 billion struggling within fast changing social environments, fast communication means, interacting quickly and observing the reality of what’s happening outside their close communities and the limitations offered within their social systems?

This is a daunting task that must be confronted piece meal, one problem at a time.

In order to avoid the bad connotation attached to individual freedom such as “Give me my space: I want to do what I like to do…” the concept of responsibility was closely linked to Freedom.

First, you have to practice tolerance with respect to the other people living in your community before you expand your space for freedom

Tolerance was included as the linkage between freedom and responsibility. It is the community job to educate its members on what is expected to tolerate and how to work out the pragmatic differences in value systems.

“A field separates the ideas of right and wrongdoings. I meet there” Rumi

It is also the community responsibility to open channel of communications with neighboring communities and compare their corresponding educational system for absorbing daily confrontations.

For example, if a western State or the wider EU block enact laws that have to be applied to all its members, this is tantamount to forming “cultural blocks” within the larger community. A procedure that hinders the step by step process of  “nurturing tolerance assimilation“.

The multiple problems within a “Republic” State take roots by imposing a unique State “law framework” on communities that are not coherent due to historical and cultural discrepancies.

Any imposition of “forced tolerance” without the adequate financial means, economic opportunities and political determination to bridge the gap among communities will be faced with violent reactions of the “have’ and “have not” full rights within a society.

Another alternative is to work within “community Freedom” systems, with far lesser interrelations and a better framework of a consensus idiosyncratic life-style and world view to apply the concept of freedom.

The lazy way is to split the world systems into a preconceived mentality and confront one system against another. For example, the western culture, the Eastern culture, the Far-Eastern, the Middle-Eastern, the African or the Latino cultures.

That is the current approach of civilization clashes, of opposing value systems, pretty convenient to the colonial powers.

The still strong colonial domination blocks serious hurtful political concessions in order to come to term with a fast evolving world, each community vying for a corner under the sun.

Before stretching the concept of freedom to include all people, it is advisable that every State works out its value system, iron it out, implement it within the world framework.

This means to keep an opened and a flexible revolving door to understand other value systems for later connectivity), and observe, eyes wide open, the repercussions and consequences on the other societies.

Note: Margin for freedom https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/son-of-man-margin-for-freedom/

No connection with interpreting “Holy Books”: Arab Renaissance demands other mass meetings in Tahrir Squares…

I keep reading the same broken records where consequences are switched for the causes of Renaissance in many periods of history.  The recurring proposal is: “Renaissance were consequent to religious Books being permitted to be interpreted…”

For example, authors keep repeating that Europe Renaissance in the 15th century was consequent to the Protestant schisms against the dominant Catholic Church exclusive interpretation of the Bible…

Facts are that Protestantism in Europe generated dozen of rigid sects with much stricter religious dogma that refused any interpretations of their Bibles and harvested many victims and acted worse than the Catholic Church of the period…

Wrong deduction, of how the renaissance of people spirit emerges.

Renaissance is a period of affluence, of generated wealth, of openness to outside wealth and cultures, dynamic trading with the others in economic and cultural terms, secured by a climate of free expression and free gathering…In a Renaissance period, the spirit of the people is up and ready to get engaged and acquire more knowledge and wealth.  In this environment, the clerics are pressured to retreat and converse among themselves and re-interpret the religious books to match this rebellious mood of the people for more happiness, pleasure and zest for life.

The Arabic Empires in the East and West (Spain) experienced several renaissance periods of affluence and explosion in scientific research and economic development: One of the consequences was a frantic re-interpretation of the Coran (Koran) to suit the spirit of the period…

It is during periods of dire miseries, famine, military operations…when people are down and feeling crushed that the religious clerics, supported by the monarchs and califat, revert to rigid comprehension of the religious Books “word for word, descending from God and even written by God…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and demanding: “We are hungry and want to eat, we are sick and want to heal, we are oppressed and we want to participate in life, we are educated and we want jobs, we are poor and we want free education to all…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and chanting: “We are isolated and want to communicate with other people and cultures, we are crushed and we want to connect with other civilizations, we are confronted with obsolete mentalities and we want to be freed and open to the wide world…”

Renaissance in the Arab World is getting together en mass in various Tahrir Squares and proclaiming: “We didn’t revolt so that clerics rule us, we didn’t resist dictators and the brutal forces of oppression so that we are submitted to the rules of antiquated and obsolete Books, we didn’t lose an eye, been beaten, physically handicapped, and many of us killed…so that we are hoarded into more obscure prisons of the mind and dealt with archaic judicial system of the bedouin period…”

We don’t want the girls to be re-educated to the family customs and traditions of the Wahhabi sect

Arab Renaissance has nothing to do with the re-interpretation of outdated and obsolete Books that teaches nothing of any value to learn and live in our present and be part of mankind progress…

Arab Renaissance is getting liberated from centuries of constraints and re-learning to read the current world with fresh eyes and young heart and larger mind..

Arab Renaissance will come when one city, anywhere in the Arab World, experiences a period of affluence, sustained economic wealth, direct interactions with foreign cultures and civilizations, and the people feeling secured in their freedom of expression, freedom to gather, freedom to interact with the other (regardless of genders, race,religion, class status….

Renaissance has nothing to do with interpretation of any Holy Book.

The Arab revolutionary spirit is being fooled to wait for the re-interpretation of the Coran…as if the Coran was not reinterpreted several times…

As if the living is waiting for the clerics to give the green light for the modern Arab Renaissance

Go back to Tahrir Squares and discuss Arab Renaissance, and avoid discussing religious abstract notions that no one will ever know, and no one will ever experience.

Circumventing censors in the Arab States and everywhere? Is free expression the baseline of all rights?

Lebanon is a place where everyone has the freedom to shout and gather… But what

is the use if no one in the public institutions is listening?

Protests are frequent, and roads and highways blocked by burning tires…Bu twhy change and reforms are so rare, mangled, shortsighed, unfulfilling?

In its political and social system that divides the population into 18 different publicly recognized sects, every party has means to express itself, but security and religious authorities can stop anyone who challenges the system or those who are powerful in it…

Three weeks ago, news updates proclaimed that a bomb dropped by a fighter jet killed the 11 Lebanese civilians who were hijacked by Syrian insurgents over 3 months ago.

One Lebanese TV channel dispatched reporters to visit with the bereaved families and get Hot coverage.  . The immediate reaction of Lebanese tribes was to kidnap 40 Syrians and a Turkish citizen.

The news concerning the death of the Lebanese turned out to be false. Even if the news were accurate, is this sudden confronting the bereaved families publicly part of free expressions?

Censorship played a crucial role in Lebanon following the civil war… Civil rights groups are challenging censorship and claim that free expression is the baseline of all rights…

Andrew Bossone published an article in the Egyptian Weekly Al Ahram:

“Lebanese artists and organisations discussing matters of free expression say State security has considerable power, but this institution does not use a clear legal framework to support its decisions.

The Censorship Bureau of the Directorate for General Security reviews scripts for films or plays before, during and after production, and the law is vague enough to allow censorship on whim rather than on legal reason. Free speech advocates say censorship is holding back society from being unified and healing divisions from the civil war.

Ayman Mhanna, executive director of the Samir Kassir Foundation, says: “Censorship regulation in Lebanon is out-dated. It deprives artists of the ability to express their ideas as they want. Censorship prevents people from looking at other opinions and other perspectives. Ultimately, it leads to extremism, because you would only have one set of ideas that can be voiced.

After the civil war, we chose the path of amnesia and amnesty, looking back at our years of conflict. If we didn’t have that censorship, artists would have had more ideas to dig deeper into the wounds of Lebanese society.

Free opinions wouldn’t have healed them directly, but it would have contributed to a positive process that we’ve been denied so far in Lebanon.”

Beirut is generally considered a place of creative expression: Lebanon proceeded after the civil war without addressing the sectarian tensions that actually created the war. These divisions are clearly in the forefront of disputes in the country that at times bring arms to the street.

Lea Baroudi, general coordinator for the March Lebanon organisation that addresses censorship, says: “Since the war, we have lived in a taboo environment where we cannot talk about the war, we cannot talk about our differences, because the leaders thought that this was a solution to our problems…

“Freedom of expression is the right that accompanies all other rights. If you don’t have freedom of expression and you don’t have the freedom to say or advocate for what you believe in, what are we left with?”

Advocates of free expression admit that allowing any form of speech is not necessarily going to resolve all the country’s problems, but it is a starting point.

Art is often a vehicle for tackling sensitive issues.

Picasso’s “Guernica” explores the tragedies of the Spanish Civil War, and Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat confronts the authority of religious clergy, for example.

Expression may also be a means of unity by allowing open debate that allows a diversity of opinions.

Many issues have been deemed too sensitive, and expression that approaches specific red lines is often prevented from being produced, or in legal terms, the government exercises prior restraint.

According to Mhanna, these lines include talking about the president (both as an individual and an institution), the armed forces, Syria and Hizbullah, friendly nations (in particular Arab countries), enemy countries (specifically Israel), homosexuality, and incest.

Religion is also deemed a sensitive topic, and the Censorship Bureau typically sends content related to it to institutions such as Dar Al-Iftaa and the Catholic Media Centre.

Both Baroudi and Mhanna are advocating for the Censorship Bureau to be replaced with a board that would give ratings according to a system, as for films. This would head off the prior restraint moves of the government.

Regardless of censors, many artists in Lebanon are confronting sensitive issues. This is no more widespread than in music, such as hip-hop. Many Lebanese rappers talk about political matters, even if they do so using metaphors and language that avoids directly naming names.

Jackson Allers, a music promoter in Lebanon and editor of the World Hip Hop Market online magazine, says rappers have thus far avoided censors because their music has yet to reach mass appeal.

Allers says: “They feel empowered to say what they want to say and without having to worry, but I don’t think they realise they’re in a honeymoon period where they haven’t been tested and I feel like that’s coming and it’s approaching more quickly then they thought because of the proximity of Syria, because of the revolutions that are playing out elsewhere…”

Is there such thing as an optimist?

Usually, people care less for dialogue regardless of how important dialogue is stressed in every community meeting.  People get far more excited disputing and arguing. This tendency is not bad occasionally, just to breaking this vicious uniform cycle of “politically correct expressions” that are tying people in knots of boredom and uneasiness for free expression of opinions.

For every word, language created an opposite meaning:  Not to satisfying any quest for accuracy in expression or to increasing knowledge, but to catering for the need of people to playing devil’s advocates when they feel totally bored with uniform culture.

There is no such thing as black; there are shades of white and light.  There are no such a thing as an optimist; there are variations of pessimists. Why?

A reasonable pessimist meets a friend and says: “Conditions cannot be worse as today.”  His friend replies: “Sure, conditions can be far worse.”  Who do you think is the less pessimist?  Are we playing rational games or one of them has additional information and has been exposed to worse conditions?

For example, the physician is comforting a sick person: “You know, health is such a precarious state; you can never foresee that well-being is going to last into tomorrow.  What of all the diseases in waiting?  Anyway, there is no escaping old age and its health indignities”.

The less pessimist might be relying on progress in medicine, the increase in “life expectancy” statistics, and better life conditions for the next generation… Is the less pessimist expecting forseeable progress to catch up with him, while still alive and kicking or is he delusional?

Buddha said: “Life is suffering” and a few Books say: “The more the level of conscience, the higher the pain.”  Certainly, no matter what we do to increasing our security and avoiding dangerous situations and events, we are always short on prevention and due care.

Maybe the more knowledgeable and informed we are, the higher is our level of pessimism.  Is level of pessimism mainly due to temperament, (among normal people), that varies with time and situations?  Can roles be reversed at short notice?  The high level pessimist knows that more work is needed and awaits him.

Both kinds of pessimists (high and low levels for the moment) are intelligent and willing to dealing with current difficulties; they learn at their own pace to leaving future events to “hazard”.  They were just arguing.

It is wrong to think that a pessimist is less active and less alive than the one living from hand to mouth.  Once you give a meaning to your life, then targeted actions will break barriers of sophistry.  It is better to face reality and deal with it rather than lining up the worst possibilities in the future from an ivory tower.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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