Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

Most of this blog's contents is subject to copyright. For instance, many of the latest illustrations I've made myself. I'm the cooperative type. If you intend to borrow some material, please contact me by leaving a comment. :-)
La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fatalography : mortal kombat???

Last Friday evening, while shopping in Beirut, I wanted to take a photo of a newsstand on the street. For the weekly talk show of world journalists, "Kiosque", on the french satellite network TV5, which every week shows a newsstand photo from somewhere in the world.
I'm not going to say I got into trouble. But people's reactions made me feel like I was uneasily granted exceptional permission and trust to do something which is usually associated with terrorist assassination plots.
In Lebanon we didn't have 9/11, we had Feb 17th (2005), the Hariri crime. And several others that followed.
But I'm ready to bet none of these car bombings or drive-by shootings involved planning through photos taken openly and in broad dayl... streetlight! (The sun had long set.)
Nothing would've been easier than taking that photo without anybody noticing me. But because I didn't even try to hide or anything, I was viewed as a potential suspect.
A guy buying a paper at that moment said he didn't want to be photographed because he's a military. (Was he buying a seditious newspaper of the opposition???) I assured him I never publish any photos of people's visible faces without receiving their consent.
Even the salesman... well, in the end I was allowed to snap the newsstand with nobody in it. (Thank my baby face.) Let nobody say the Lebanese aren't helpful, three people present left or moved out of the way to oblige me. Turns out the empty kiosk was the best of the three photos I had taken, and the one I'll send to that TV program. No more need to blur the mugs...
That was close, but all's well that ends well. :-p
Below is the photo I took and will be sending to tv5.org in hopes that it gets shown to the whole world. If you wish to use it to plan criminal activities, please be sure to mention to the Interpol who helped you. No need to inform ME, I'd just love to wake up one morning with a bag over my head and in a Guantanamo cell. Surprise me, OK?
Whew, what an adventure!
Next week, I'm going skinny-dipping, maybe even a midnight bath. Yes, in Lebanon! More specifically, in my bathtub. That's right, baby, I really love living dangerously.

Update : "Kiosque" showed my photo, yes, my very own photo, on April 18th! I guess it was a good one. :-)
In fact, the absence of any people in it gave it an added feeling of romantic loneliness... Thank you national paranoia, for contributing to art. :-P

Word Trade Center : Centre de Commerce des MotsVendredi dernier, en faisant du shopping le soir à Beyrouth, j'ai voulu prendre une photo d'un kiosque à journaux dans la rue. Pour l'émission hebdomadaire où des journalistes du monde discutent, "Kiosque", sur la chaîne satellite francophone TV5, qui montre chaque semaine la photo d'un kiosque quelque part dans le monde.
Je ne vais pas dire que je me suis attiré des ennuis. Mais les réactions des gens m'ont donné l'impression de recevoir la permission malaisée et la confiance exceptionnelle pour faire quelque chose qui est habituellement associé à des complots d'assassinats terroristes.
Au Liban on n'a pas eu de 11 Septembre, on a eu le 17 Février (2005), le crime Hariri. Et plusieurs qui ont suivi.
Mais je suis prêt à parier qu'aucune de ces voitures piégées ni de ces fusillades routières n'impliquaient une planification via des photos prises ouvertement et au grand jou... sous un grand lampadaire! (Le soleil était depuis longtemps couché.)
Rien n'aurait été plus facile que de prendre cette photo sans que personne ne me remarque. Mais parce que je n'essayais même pas de me cacher ou quoi que ce soit, je fus perçu comme un suspect potentiel.
Un type qui achetait un journal à ce moment m'a dit qu'il ne voulait pas être photographié parce que c'est un militaire. (Achetait-il un journal séditieux d'opposition???) Je lui ai assuré que je ne publie jamais de photos des visages visibles de personnes sans avoir reçu leur accord.
Même le vendeur... bref, en fin de compte je fus autorisé à prendre le kiosque sans personne dedans. (Grâce à ma gueule angélique.) Personne ne dira que les Libanais ne sont pas serviables, trois personnes présentes sont parties ou se sont écartées rien que pour moi. Il s'avère que le kiosque vide était la meilleure des trois photos que j'ai prises, et celle que j'enverrai à cette émission. Plus besoin de flouter les faciès...
C'était moins une, mais tout est bien qui finit bien. :-p
Ci-dessus la photo que j'ai prise et que je vais envoyer à tv5.org dans l'espoir qu'on la montre au monde entier. Si vous souhaitez l'utiliser pour planifier des activités criminelles, merci de bien vouloir mentionner à Interpol qui vous a aidé. Pas besoin de m'informer à MOI, j'adorerais me réveiller un beau matin avec un sac sur la tête et dans une cellule à Guantanamo. Faites-moi la surprise, OK?
Pfiou, quelle aventure!
La semaine prochaine, j'irai me baigner tout nu, peut-être même un bain de minuit. Oui, au Liban! Plus précisément, dans ma baignoire. Ouais, baby, vraiment j'aime vivre dangereusement.

P.S. : "Kiosque" a passé ma photo, oui, ma photo à moi, le 18 avril! On dirait qu'elle était bien, après tout. :-)
En fait, l'absence totale de gens lui a donné une touche de solitude romantique du plus bel effet... Merci à la paranoïa nationale, d'avoir contribué à l'art. :-P

13 comments:

hangar said...

Well, that's a relief. It's not just in Britain that they're making this idiotic connection between taking photographs and planning terrorism.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

You mean not just in Britain, and the US, and Germany, and...

France seems spared so far.

I should remember that the Lebanese aren't very sophisticated, that they have that typical Third World fondness for conspiracy theories... but still, I really resent it. Another stone in the garden of Phoenicia, which was already a rock garden!

Ah well, at least the paranoia of potential pedophiles still hasn't caught up. :-/
Because the police are far too busy hunting down those horrific threats to society, tradition and the moral safety of our children, namely homosexuals! Nice to see they know their priorities...
):-P

In a few years, maybe they'll bother with something more mundane, like drug dealers and smugglers.

Joe Dick said...

I'd like to respond to that serious anaylsis with yet another flip remark.

Anonymous said...

did they have the latest issue of Jugs?

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Not that specific title, no, but there's a half-decent selection of Western adult magazines, Playboy and the likes.
All sold under opaque wrappings, "strictly to adults". I'll post a picture some day.

No hardcore available, but hey, for that we have the internet. Completely unfiltered, save for the occasional mysterious incident.

hangar said...

I'm a Hustler man.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Soeri, meestar, me no hav zat title.
I have Playboy, Penthouse, Newlook... or is it Newsweek? No matter, I have ze two, no problem!
But no Hasslar. Is it arabik?

hangar said...

ya, actually Hustler's not my bag. I'm a homosexual.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Coming out of the hanga... I mean, of the closet? ;-)
[Hangars are for flying or farming machines, but if you want to consider that as a very big closet...]
I have this recurring nightmare: a leather and fur clad metrosexual Viking pirate "coming out of the Drakkar" and grinning at me. :-)

Best you can hope for over here, is muscle magazines.
But in the Fifties, gays of the West would've been quite happy to have these, right?
And considering our social delay with the rest of the world... actually, that's almost futuristic when you ponder the way Lebanon persecutes homosexuals. ):-P

hangar said...

Speaking of The West, it's a good thing I'm here. In, say, Saudi Arabia a guy like me who likes to take it up the ass dry would get his head cut off (guess which head).

hangar said...

Strange coincidence: two people choosing to use the name "hangar" :-). Not seen that here or on Eolake's blog before.

Oh well, I'll have to think up a different pseudonym, I suppose, as the second, third and fourth "hangar" post here don't reflect my outlook at all.

hangar said...

I'm just messing around. They do. I'm a total fag. I lost my nerve there for a second, but no, I'm out. I'm gonna stay out!

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Just how many of the same person are you out there?... or should I say in there?

And I thought I was the only one with WAY too many voices inside my head.
:-)

Then again... maybe it's ALL voices in my head! Eek!
(8-O

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