Across the Bay

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bad Hair Day

I never comment on anything the moronic As'ad "Weird Al" Abu Khalil (aka. "Angry Hair") says. I once made a comment about his hilarious introduction to his book The Historical Dictionary of Lebanon, which was a complete waste of 30 mins. of my life. There, As'ad handed down a faraman that there is no such thing as a Lebanese culture ("one cannot talk about a specifically Lebanese culture.") But dealing with his blog would be a real crime, as it contains nothing but the incoherent ramblings of a clown with serious issues (the guy is fighting about what to call "pita" bread: Arabic bread or Israeli bread!), who by the way, is never "for" anything. Always "against." Which, as a professor once told me, "politically is very astute, because you're never held responsible for the screw-ups of somebody you are actually for."

"Weird Al" As'ad in a sense embodies what Christopher Hitchens discussed in his recent piece on the stereotypical category, "Arab Street:" It's always "angry" and ready to "boil over," it's always against anything the US does because the US only "humiliates" it or "insults" it (count how many times Abu Khalil uses the word "insulting" in that silly post). I mean the name of the blog says it all actually. He's a walking talking cliché. Orientalism in reverse, if you like that kind of lingo.

Anyway, As'ad, being that "against kinda guy" as my friend put it, is now against all that hoopla in Lebanon. So, apparently while we were sleeping, the studious Angry Hair, went and did a census of the population, and not only determined who was with or against the Syrian occupation or with the opposition, but also informed us that "in sectarian terms, the majority of Lebanese are Sh'ites (at least 55% of the population)." (Emphasis mine.)

You gotta love the "at least!" So, according to the Hair, the Shi'ites are basically 60% of the population, to keep it on the modest side!!! So, that leaves 40% for the Sunnis, Maronites, Druze, Greek Orthodox, Armenians, and a host of other Christian minorities and a couple of heretical Muslim ones (Isma'ilis, etc.)!!! The notion is laughable of course. The Sunnis and the Maronites are each some 20-20+% (the Maronites are slightly more numerous). Needless to say, we've already reached the 100% mark! But this is "Angry Hair" statistics, so it doesn't really matter! Lebanese readers familiar with the satirist Ziad Rahbani will recognize this line form one of his plays about the war, which is set in an insane asylum (very à propos in relation to the Angry Hair): "is there such a thing as 160%!?" (The Arabic is lit. "160 in a hundred," which makes no sense: hal youjad miyye w sittin bil miyye!?) And so on and so forth... Clearly a silly statistic. Maybe he was thinking of Iraq but then due to some hair malfunction, he completely lost it.

Whatever the case may be, the guy is a gem! But he never listens and consequently he always forgets to take his medication. You just witnessed the result of when that happens. And that was a mild episode. Wait till he has a really bad hair day.