Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Vae Solium...

Hands off the chair!!! … Or so it goes among many politicians, at least those concerned that this little ad from OGERO, the state Telecom monopoly, is apparently demeaning to the president and the presidency.

The print ad shows a chair that looks like the presidential chair, with a line; “sit twisted and talk straight”. The dig is directed at Lahouss; since he has been imposed by the Syrians, he is “sitting twisted”, in Lebanese slang…The TV ad is funnier; they have an actor who mimics the current president, and manages to sound just as smart as the current occupier of the “seat”… the only thing missing is the characteristic speech impediment.

Down Go the Chairs…

That the ad is seen as disgraceful by some is no surprise. And principled outbursts of potential candidates for the same “chair”, like Boutros Harb’s, only serves to highlight how deep Baabda sank. And as Baabda goes, so go Ain-El-Tineh, the Serail, and all other “chairs”… Lahouss is just an easier target...

Yes. It is disgraceful, but for less obvious reasons. I will cite two;

First, it is worth noting that the minister in charge of the Telecom, and therefore OGERO, is Marwan Hamade, an opponent to the current chair occupier and survivor of a past assassination attempt. It is a different thing when any one of use lowly peones to make digs at our “leaders” (we do a far better job). It is also a different thing when politicians slug mud at one another. But it is an entirely different things when they use state funds from a state-owned company to do so.

Reformers, eh?

Second, the campaign is really about nothing much. All the information provided, and then some, can be delivered to us when we line up to pay for our phone bill. At least, that will make for some reading during those long queues. Better yet! save some paperwork, and create a jingle that we can hear when we first pick up the phone; that’s how they used to inform us of the time to pay phone bills, didn’t they?

Reformers, indeed…

Up Goes Aoun…

Some elements of the popularity of people like HassAoun may be found in this; maybe Der General is able to retain so much support in spite of his cowardice because the competition does not always look much better.

Further trouble may lay ahead, and we’ll end up paying the price of this little sandbox fightBad cases make bad law and create bad precedents; future “presidents” may feel the need to claw back much lost dignity.

... The crackdowns will come soon enough, as the (new?) incompetent-in-charge comes back to reassert his authority. So please, just vote for him/her/it, and get it over with…

…we’ve got to get to get the Buddha Bar back!

2 comments:

Super Dude said...

Ich! You sound depressed?

ghassan karam said...

Marwan Hamade ought to be ashamed of himself for approving of such a "campaign" that reflects on his immaturity and daftness. This "stunt" is at best sophomoric, inane and foolish. It is nothing short of a serious misuse of public funds and an abuse of public office for personal gain. Mr. Hamade , grow up.