Sunday, November 29

How to spot "an idiot"!

How do you spot an idiot?

At a friend’s house a curious friend of a friend asked me, “How do you spot an idiot?”
I wish I could strike back, “What kind of a stupid question is that?!” Instead, I paused for a moment, and then replied calmly, “What’s your definition of ‘an idiot’?”

“An idiot is someone who looks for trouble, when there is no need to look for it” said a friend who sat to the left of the curious friend.

The curious friend did not budge out, “well, I must agree with you, because you know what you are talking about. In fact, ‘an idiot’ is what ‘an idiot’ does”.

“You think you can ridicule me, intimidate me, and you turn dirty trick on me, in front of all these people? If you want to fight, then fight like a fighter not a coward,” cried the angry friend.

“Why can’t you be civilized and let go of your absurd hostility?” shouted a frustrated mutual friend.

“For the love of god don’t spoil the evening!” yelled another frustrated mutual friend.

“We haven’t any interest to be involved in your fight. Grow up, both of you. Really” another guest cried loudly.

“And you call yourselves intellectuals?” again the frustrated mutual friend vented out.

It was a shouting match, for at least a good half hour they all wrangled and wrestled, verbally. It was absurd. The host, who had kept it quiet the whole time, was now angry; his face the colour of the wine he was serving mercilessly, his eyebrows frowned, and as he sat beside me he muttered under his lips, “Every time the same shit hit the ceiling. This time, this fucking nonsense, but there will be no next-time. I’m done with it, you’ll see. Next time they will see who the idiot is”. I could see his point.

“Calm down, you boys,” said a female friend, “you have spotted at least a few idiots, tonight! Beside, there are ladies in this room, not gladiators. Suppress your anger for a while, and release it somewhere else, later tonight”.

A few minutes later, the boys were all calm, and the ladies…

Thursday, November 19

A Slumber did my spirit seal

A slumber did my spirit seal:
I had no human fears:
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.

No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.

William Wordsworth

Friday, November 13

Some talk!

Call me selfish, but I want to live a long life, and because hearing or reading “the news” will shorten its span, therefore I have decided to be done with the news! The day I made my decision I thought to myself, I have a right to live life and enjoy it, so why should I have to upset my stomach by reading the news at 6:30 a.m. when I am trying to swallow my breakfast and run out to work?

Recently, I am the only person in our house that dumps the papers—thee daily-papers—into the waste-paper-recycling-basket located in our basement. Done with those damned papers, I read them no more! Well, that’s just a rhetorical damnation. Because I still read the news. It is my luck that someone always digs the papers out of the waste-paper-basket, as soon as I am out of their sights, and as they read along its columns they highlight some lines and words, names, and even advertisings, only to draw my attention to the papers, when later on I see them on my desk! Yes, they leave the papers on my desk, as if my wish and promise does not mean anything! I suppose they do it out of charity and good will! They know that at night, I will scan the papers, even if it is only for a few minutes short of an hour!

The bizarre thing is that, people in general don’t believe me when I tell them that I do not wish to hear the news, and therefore they ignore my wish. Respect? Well, listen to this: I have even tried to explain to them that even if the news is a good one (which never is) please don’t inform me of it, instead try to keep the good news to yourself, because I don’t want to hear about it. But they ignore my wish and go about their business of informing me of This and That.

At work, my colleagues are news-eaters. They cannot spend an hour in a day without receiving their proper dose of the news, national or international it won’t matter they must know the news. If reading the paper is too much, they’ll try to watch it on TV or hear it on the air or read it while on the net. Silly, I know, but try to deprive them from eating their news, they’ll sue your ass, and go on hunger-strike in front of the UN headquarter in New York.

Anyway, listen to this:
A colleague asked me today, “Did you hear the news?”

“The news about what?”

“The hostage-taking in Iran and all that has followed and is about to follow. Really, you are an Iranian and you don’t read the news about Iran?

Aha, thought I, you need to argue.

“That’s news to you, my friend?” asked I.

“Oh, come on. It is the government of Iran…” And on and on for more than ten minutes the colleague foamed at the mouth, and by “providing” substantial evidence (like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his top-hat, in a jiffy he pulled out a file containing newspaper’s clips out of his drawer) tried to convince me that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has a point, and that point is made very clear”!

Oho, is that so?!

“How well-done! How marvelously well-done!” said I calmly, “you’ve unraveled the truth, my friend. And to answer your question about my not-reading-the-news-about-Iran, well, it upsets my delicate digestive system and attacks my nerves”.

“That’s just a nonsensical respond,” said my agitated colleague.

“What’s nonsensical? Digestive trouble in North America? That’s a continental ailment, my friend”.

“That’s a patronizing little-big-talk. Don’t you see, it is your government’s fault”.

“What do you mean my government? Oh, wait a minute! Are you suggesting that Mr. Harper has had any hand in it?!”

That was a blow below the belt. A very long pause and a peace-making colleague smiled, “Oh, you’re jokers, both of you! What’s this nonsense about the news? Both of you should be ashamed of yourselves for being bitchy this morning. Let the Americans solve their own issues, while we enjoy our international fame as peace-makers. Vivre au Canada. Let’s purchase
The Bishop Man and talk about the innocent souls carrying the guilt of their brethrens.

So, at night, I skim through the news: Two murders in the city. No vaccine for the homeless. Some cries over vaccination of the detainees in Afghanistan. Chavez’s recent jokes. Prince Charles and his wife’s cold reception in the province of Quebec. Obama’s performance. Oil’s down. Interest rates are up. We are badly screwed!

Good night!