Featured Blog, I: Archival Vibrations
Yes! I Am the Biggest (Staight)
in the Upper Midwest!
Bitch, Ph. D. /September 11, 2004
[Note: As Echidne so aptly wrote a few days ago, the downside of blogs is their evanescence: the more prolific the writer, the quicker the writings’ relegations to blogs’ equivalent of a morgue: the archives. It has nothing to do with quality and everything to do with form: Unlike books, blogs can’t be leafed through, re-read in a given order, marked up for later reading. The bookmarking, such as it is, is an extension of the ephemeral, a quick, brief hiccup on the road to the morgue. So it’s especially pleasurable to find archived material that’s worth a second read; even more pleasurable when the author brings it up for a deserved re-run. Like this from our eminent Dr. Bitch, a recurrent favorite at the Notebooks.pt]
It's official. I would like to thank Flea over at One Good Thing, who is not only a blogging goddess but also owns a sex shop, so she knows what she's talking about, for publicly declaring me "a Libertarian's worst nightmare." I couldn't be any prouder.
(Standing, in my award ceremony attire of trashy lingerie, clutching my TongueJoy Vibrator to my scantily clad, heaving bosom): "Gosh, I never expected to win. Thank you so much for everyone who believed in me, all of you who thought that I was, indeed, the biggest social problem since the welfare queens of the 1980s. Wow, what an honor. I'm sorry I was a bit late to the ceremony, but as it happens I was off in big city yet again this weekend, fucking yet another person I met online, and having a really grand old time. When I heard I'd won, I went running downstairs yelling "YES!! GUESS WHAT!! I WON A PRIZE FOR BEING SUCH A SLUT!!" so now all the neighbors know as well, probably. I can hardly wait for my career to take off, now that I've finally been recognized by the academy, and I promise never to wear a latex catsuit like Halle Berry, or at least I won't wear one of those weird cat masks, anyway. Cross my heart and hope to die."
I would also like to thank, in writing, the gentlemen whose roles helped highlight my performance. There are a few supporting actors, as well, but these are the main leading men:
1. Dateboy. You've all met him before. He's an up-and coming arty type who's going to take obscene pictures of me in a couple of weeks, but I shan't be posting them here. However, when he undoubtedly becomes famous (actually, I'm not totally joking--he really does do something arty, and from what I can tell, he actually is doing it successfully), doubtless you will see them in a gallery near you, funded by the NEA, and being picketed by humorless wingnuts. Hopefully, however, I'll have tenure by then.
2. Oscar. Who I was with last night. A nice guy who finds me witty and laughs at my bitter mockery of his home state--and who can argue with that? He, too, has an interesting job, one that requires travel, so that in fact he just arrived this week from Hong Kong, making him the man who has probably travelled furthest just for the pleasure of sleeping with me.
3. The Connoisseur. Who is smart and witty and an autodidact (which impresses the crap outta me), who seduced me online by talking to me about the latest David Foster Wallace short story collection--in a goddamn sex chat room, ignoring the overhead of "hey baby, suck my big fat cock"; how classy is that?--and who is flying into Big City next month specifically in order to shack up with me in a nice hotel, wine me and dine me, and cart me around town buying expensive lingerie. Seriously.
4. The French law student. The suave guy whose admittedly bullshit flattery (he has no idea whether I'm beautiful or not) I posted here a few days ago, and who is charmingly willing to tutor me in French as long as I correct his very rare mistakes in written English. Read the rest at Bitch Ph. D....
Featured Blog, II: April 13, 1975
War and Remembrance
Abu Kais, From Beirut to the Beltway/
April 13, 2006
What’s not to remember about our wretched “civil” war. One of my earliest memories consists of a flying formation of anti-aircraft bullets in the sky above me in the shape of a man. “What is that, baba?”, I asked. “Khattat, baba. Don’t worry.” Less than a decade later, my baba got kidnapped by Bashir’ Gemayel's thugs after a false “dazzeh” (tip) by one of his "enemies" led to a “friend” of his escorting him out of the East Beirut hotel we were hiding in during the Israeli invasion. My baba survived the kidnapping thanks to the Patriarch’s intervention at the time, but many others didn’t. As for me, events like the above would soon pale in comparison to others I lived to tell about.
As a West Beiruti, I grew up to fear Christians. What happened to me during the invasion, seeing Beirut burn from the comfort of a “Christian mountain“ gave birth to an unacknowledged grudge that fortunately died out as I and my views matured, but that nevertheless accompanied me until we were told that the war had ended. “Haydol el Christians ma baddon Kheir lal Balad”, “those Christians want no good for the country” is a sentence I heard too many times. It didn’t help that the first Christian boy I met in Damascus of all places shrieked when he heard me swear by the Qur’an. Roy was his name. I never saw or talked to him again.
Growing up I saw many horrors. But it was one that I didn’t see that stuck in my mind. When one day in 1982 we decided nowhere in Lebanon was safe anymore, we took a taxi to Damascus with the intention to fly to Paris. This was early August and "Christians" and "Druze" were massacring each other in the mountains. Our smoky taxi took us up and down the narrow and frightening Karameh road and passed through a ravaged Christian village. My father ordered me not to look, so I hid my head in my mother’s lap but I could hear the awfulness of what they saw: Mutilated corpses dug up from graveyards were put on display on rooftops, declaring to the world their guilt of being Christian in Lebanon. The village had a sweet smell that I would recognize later, even when my nostrils were miles away. The mental torture by the Syrians at the border had little effect on us after that episode. And then there was Sabra and Shatila, the events of which would one day take over my life.
|An execution sometime during the Lebanese Civil War (thanks to Winds of Change)
My first encounter with Israeli soldiers was in Jounieh. I still remember my fear when we saw them shop in a Dora supermarket. This came right after I was told that my dad’s new public name was George, which was diametrically opposite to the name I knew. I would later meet the Israelis in Bhamdoon, but I didn’t directly experience their horror until 1989, when they shelled Nabatiyeh’s Monday market after a hit and run Hizbullah operation. My family had decided the south was safer than West Beirut, which was being “liberated” by Michel Aoun at the time, with a little help from Samir Geagea, and a few controversial contributions by the Syrians. They were wrong. That was one of the worst years of my life that left deep scars and taught me to resent Aoun, Syria, Israel and Hizbullah. I had too many close calls that year, and I still cannot believe that I made it in one piece. Read the rest at From Beirut to the Beltway...