Friday, December 30, 2011

'Tis the Season to be... Horrified?

For the longest time Christmas, to me, felt like Valentines for singles.  Why?  It's not important.  Lately though, I've moved away from this grumpy sentiment to more jolly-ness and ho-ho-ho's.  Why?  It's not important either.

What's important is that Christmas comes around once a year, every year, as is the tradition, only to remind us, that more churches will be blown apart in some parts of the world, more people will refuse to say Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and more will be killed for that thing called faith.

But of course that is not why I am jolly.

A friend argued the other day that he doesn't believe in religion.  As in, he doesn't believe they need to exist because apparently, their existance is what is making the world a horrid place to live in.  If no religion existed, he believes, people would live in peace and harmony forever AND EVER after.

True? I wouldn't know. Religion has existed since time immemorial in some form or another.  Plus, people manage to find something to squabble over anyway.  If not religion, it's politics.  If not politics, it's economics.  If it's not economics, it's gender roles, if it's not gender roles, it's cuisines! Yes, cuisines.  Some of us argue over the concept of Lebanese cuisine and whether this "cuisine" is actually a cuisine and how dare them Lebanese sloths claim something is Lebanese when it's clearly a descedent of some Greek, Turkish, Arab or Jewish dish.  Plus, why are Lebanese acting all exclusive about it? It's Arabic food isn't it??


Anyway, so we don't actually blow each other to pieces (as much as we'd like to) over cuisines. Fair enough. But what is it about religion truely that makes us lose our minds the way we do?  And then there are those faithful ones who blame the people and not religion itself for being the culprits.  You know, the whole a- knife-is-not-a-knife-it-depends-on-how-you-use-it metaphor.  To peel an orange, or a person's skin?

ouch. where did that image come from.

And then somehow I found myself in the middle of a conversation about passports.  About whether I would do away with my Lebanese passport if I was forced to in order to keep my other "western" passport.  I immediately found myself saying yes! I would! I would give it up in a blink!

And a minute later, of course, the guilt set in.  I never thought I'd say that.  Never thought I'd give away my very own homeland "identity" for another. After all the good things that my homeland has provided me with, as a citizen with "rights" and "long-term goals", the best one was the airline to leave.  But we all know it's not that simple.

And then I woke up this morning and read this (about stoning an iranian woman but then changing the punishment to hanging):

Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, argued in December that stoning should not be classified as a method of execution but rather a method of punishment which is actually more "lenient" because half of the people survive, the U.N. quoted him as saying.

Ok, so I'm not Iranian, but as long as they survive, right? I mean who wants to be hanged if they have the option of survival after being stoned (almost) to death? "Good quality living," that's what I say.  And thank goodness I work in advertising or else I wouldn't have been able to come up with that snappy line, huh?


Sweet America, on the other hand, took in Yemeni Mr. Saleh for medical treatment. Don't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  Such noble moves.

I have no idea what I'm trying to say in this note and perhaps you've already noticed.  So I'll try to wrap up.

We have a long way to go before we get back to living under the laws of the jungle where all things "savage" and "offensive" were nothing but harmonious and natural and sure as heck makes more sense than whatever it is we like to call our civilized living.

The cherry on top:  In Texas, a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit apparently shot six relatives and himself on Christmas.


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