Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Bigger the One

In keeping with the recent trend of guest posts, please find this latest offering from Marcus Abacus for your reading pleasure...

to us the morning mist, dew, brazen sun
to us the turning sun, morning new,
by turns, times firm or full of flight,
times gaze full of fright,
yet the eye i fear never knew my whispering whimpering nights,
get it for the getting while the getting's good,
the timid reverse courses displayed to all,
to all they are animal rights.

one day the mind gives song,
the song fills pages some, and is presented
to the sure and unsure alike.
i shall read a book and come back despite.

dec 08

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Could you please pass the Hommous??!!

The Lebanese/Israeli conflict has now spread to chickpeas.
In the tradition of taking things that don’t belong to you, the Israelis have been attaching their name to hommous for a while now and the Lebanese aren't having any more of it and rightly so.
Following in the footsteps of only the French having the right to use the word 'Champagne' (including other regions of France that produce sparkling wine), and the European court ruling that 'Feta' belongs to the Greeks and no one else, the Lebanese have a valid argument and should go to court over the national identity of hommous. Funny as this sounds, if the Lebanese do win, the by-product of this disagreement could be an intelligent and non aggressive way, on a global level, of refuting yet another encroachment on the part of their neighbours.
Go Lebanon!

Another Guest Post

Monday, September 29, 2008

I like it, I’ll take it …even though I don’t really need it and I cant afford it

My senses are being assaulted. Every palm tree and lamppost in Bahrain seems to be plastered with advertising boards. Its like a fungus, spreading uncontrollably and sprouting on anything that’s vertical (and in some cases horizontal). The budaiya road should have an epilepsy warning like they do for strobe lighting and video games. Our visual landscape is being polluted by advertising boards and it has gotten completely out of control. They reflect this incessant need from advertisers to shove their ads down our throats and we can’t escape it anywhere. There should be some breathing space for our minds, but none has been left. I do not want to have to be forced to see these ads, I feel like I live inside an advertising agency’s website that I cant click out of. And at the speeds that people travel at on the roads (myself included sometimes) trying to read them endangers myself and the occupants of my car…and for what? BAD ADVERTISING ?!
Which leads me to my next point: if I see another ad for another gated community development whether its on an island or a hill or a golf course (none of which were actually there), I am going to be sick. This bubble of elitist drivel (I live at…don’t let prosperity pass you by…urban living, island style, etc) is presenting us with concepts and images that feed into this aspiration of the lifestyle of the rich and famous, which is frankly tacky, blown out of proportion and deceiving. these ads are so far removed from the reality that I see around me that I simply anm not convinced by them at all. The spin is spinning and I feel sorry for those caught up in the whirlwind. The reality is that the majority of these projects are too vast and so result in poorly conceived urban planning, bursting with poor architecture and feeble lifestyle concepts. The result will be ‘disney’ like environments, superficial and lacking substance.
Not to be too negative and put a downer on the modernisation of these isles, I hope that some will result in pleasurable experiences, but only time will tell. I would only consider moving to one if they completely and absolutely banned all advertising…but there is an ad for a certain donut that’s not too bad…

Guest Post by BadArt

Monday, July 21, 2008

Funny that

Mention of our little country seems to crop up in the funniest of places, like this article on US government censorship. I actually had the same issue with NASA's SRTM data on the region where Saudi, Qatar and Iran all show up clearly on the tile, but we are nowhere to be seen. It just seems strange to me that they worry about such things when Google Earth shows quite clearly a massive installation in the south of the island that does not appear on any of our official maps.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sweet Jane

My 5 year old daughter has a habit of feeding the neighborhood cats which has resulted in more than a few kittens being dropped off in our garden. Of course, once fed, they are practically adopted since you can't get rid of them anyway. Thankfully, nature (and the fact that we live just off a main road) has settled on an attrition rate that means we usually don't have more than a 2-3 at any one point. Her other habit is to give them all girls names.

Enter Jane. The scrawny little ball of black fuzz that greeted me at the door one day expecting my immediate affection and I shuffled past without as much as a glance. I learned later that he had been christened Jane. We had another discussion with my daughter about gender but Jane it was and that was that.

Soon Jane had become somewhat more substantial ball of fuzz and I came home one day to hear my wife lament about his tail. "Did you see it? It's horrible, the poor thing! I'm going to take him to the vet tomorrow morning!" I went out to find him in the corner of the rabbit cage, listless and nursing a bloody lump. It was as if his tail had been skinned and quite disgusting actually.

"I'm afraid we have to amputate", said the vet the minute she saw him. "There's no way to prevent infections so the only choice is to remove it" I received frantic calls from my wife every so often updating me on antibiotics, painkillers and neutering. "Wait a minute, why are we castrating the poor fellow?" I asked. "Well, the vet said that he was such a nice cat and that he would need to be taken indoors to recover from his surgery and that we should just go ahead and adopt him properly and that the only reasonable thing to do in that case would be to neuter him." I know what I was thinking at the time, but to their credit, they did not completely take advantage of the situation.

Two days later, the patient returns home and takes up residence in our kitchen. My complaints about the smell and general hygiene issues were met with drooping eyes and puppydog faces about poor Jane's predicament. At least his name is more appropriate now, I thought to myself. The next 10 days were filled with guests turning their noses (and sometimes stomachs) at the sight of his/her shaved and sutured derrière, chasing said derrière up and down the stairs when he/she escaped the confines of the kitchen, the discovery of random baby gifts ending up in his/her cot (wasn't that the baby's blanket? yeah, but Jane was cold), my mother repeating the word najis endlessly, and my own funny feelings and dreams that I attributed to having a black cat in the house with us.

The final straw was when he decided that his potty was not cutting it and came down to the kitchen to find a massive stain on the floor. Poor Jane had to go out again and that was final. I figured I had done my good deed, shown plenty of tolerance and he/she was only going back to the garden which was not so bad. How wrong I was.

The sad epilogue to this tale (pun intended) happened a few weeks later, when I came home to find the housekeeper saying that Jane was doing something unnatural. "What do you mean unnatural?" She could not answer but soon pointed me in the direction of the garden. I looked out to find Jane sitting underneath another of the garden cats who was happily plowing away at Jane's tail-less behind. I stood there in shock and could not but feel bad for the role we had played in the scene that was playing out before me. Poor Jane...

Ballad sung to the theme of Lou Reed's 'Sweet Jane'