Monday, December 31, 2007

In Tribute of Loose Cannons

I hate it when I come across an idea that someone else beat me to it and put it in words so superbly. I tip my hat for you Mr. Soderstrom

Aw yes,
To be an honest human being,
Honest with one’s self,
Honest with God,
Honest with others.

Enough of,
Being an organizational man,
A team player,
A status-quo oriented,
Whatever you say boss,
Yes I’ll kiss your ass,
Anytime you want,
Kind of guy.

What the world does not need,
Is another bunch of,
Scum-sucking sycophants,
Back-slapping toads,
Submissive slaves,
Grinning fools,
Yes men,
Truckling turds,
Ingratiating goons,
Partisan flunkies,
Good old boy,
Government lackeys.

Enough of that shit!
To hell with that kind of life,
No more being just another,
Damn wage slave!

What the world does need is more,
Doubting Thomases,
Devil’s advocates,
Recalcitrant radicals,
Mutinous mugwumps,
Seditious subversives,

People who,
Quite frankly,
Don’t give a good damn,
About anything,
Except what is right.

What the world needs,
Is a few more,
Leo Tolstoys,
Henry David Thoreaus,
Martin Luther Kings,
Mohandas Gandhis,
Bob Dylans,
Jesus Christs,
A few more,
Loose cannons.

That’s what the world needs!
Doug Soderstrom, Ph.D. May 14, 2005

Saturday, December 22, 2007


- “How come you are so Anti-Establishment?” she asked. “You don’t look it either!”
- “I will take the first part of your question as a compliment and the second part as an insult” I replied.
- “But that doesn’t answer my question” she quipped.
- “What do you wanna know?”
- “I wanna know how come a guy in chic clothes is so adamant on bringing the establishment down?”
- “You know for someone who is so not “interested” you have complimented me in two questions more than you have in 7 or 8 dates … I can’t figure you out!!!”
- “When did you decide I was not interested?”
- “After the third date” I said.
- “How come you kept asking me out then?”
- “I wanted to make sure that I was really intimidated by you.”
- “You are insane.”
- “It helps me live in this country … it helps me bare the nightly news …”
- “You know you have no chance with any woman by admitting to her that she intimidates you.”
- “I’m known for bad luck… But intimidation makes me feel like a man again … so I will take the trade-off.”
- “So you are not worried about your chances with me”
- “Oh … that game was over after the third date”
- “Don’t you wanna know why?”
- “Not really. It wouldn’t be fair for the one I will date after you”
- “You are really insane”
- “Well, it keeps my blood chemistry whole”
- “How?”
- “Insanity saves me from Prozac and Tranxene”
- “Don’t you take insanity pills?”
- “To cure it?”
- “Yes”
- “Nope. I am very well adjusted with it. It grows well on me. And I made my peace with it”
- “What is so intimidating about me?”
- “I can’t tell you”
- “Why?”
- “It wouldn’t be fair to the guy you’ll date after me”
- “Man!!! You really are crazy!!!”
- “Don’t be so sure about it…I need all my mental capacities to fight the establishment”
- “So you do admit that you are anti-establishment”
- “Admit!!!! Not at all my dear … I profess my anti-establishment feelings…I proclaim them”.
- “You didn’t say much about that when we were going out!!!”
- “I was too busy being intimidated by you”
- “But WHY???”
- “Can’t say” I replied. “Courtesy to the next guy”
- “Fine. Then answer me about the establishment”
- “What is it you wanna know?”
- “if anything, you look like you embody the establishment”
- “Don’t be fooled by looks. Besides, you gotta know the rules to break them…You gotta know the weak points to know where to attack”
- “You are serious aren’t you?”
- “Dead serious”
- “You seriously think you stand a chance against the establishment”
- “The establishment is not doing that well believe me … the main problem is that people are so fooled by outside appearances”
- “So if I get your drift you will fight it from within”
- “Not from within…that would be treason…let’s say that I understand how it works and what makes it tick to fight it better”
- “How?”
- “You have to beat them at their own game … You have to be a better player and beat them at their own game”
- “How can you play and beat them at their own game and not become like them?”
- “That’s why I use my insanity as a shield”
- “Oh I forgot about the insanity thing …how does it shield you from becoming like them?”
- “Well if you were dating an establishment fellow he would never admit to intimidation…he will make you believe that he is everything that he really isn’t and you will fall for it because like everybody you are fascinated by the establishment”
- “Go on…”
- “You will be so fooled by the façade and the false sense of financial security that you will end-up marrying this guy…when you finally see through the smoke screen you will have two or three kids on your knees”
- “What’s wrong with financial security?”
- “Nothing if it is not the prerequisite for the relationship to go ahead”
- “What if I make sure that there is no façade? That he is the real thing”
- “Truly loaded you mean”
- “You are such a cynic”
- “Don’t confuse cynicism with candid frankness”
- “Ok…so yeah he is loaded…and I will get involved with him”
- “Oh by all means do…Papa’s boys are so interesting to share your life with…I gotta warn you though…they have no balls…and I mean that both literally and metaphorically”
- “Oh God…we need to change subject”
- “Wait, wait…my anti-establishment feelings have nothing to do with relationships…it was you who mixed the two together… My anti-establishment feelings are purely social”
- “Oh no you are a communist?”
- “No no … I am not…God… that train passed a long time ago…communism is against human nature…”
- “So are you a capitalist then?”
- “Nope. Capitalism caters to the worst of human nature: GREED. Mark my words, capitalism will devour itself or it will end life on this planet as we know it”
- “Oh please spare me that environmental meandering philosophical bullshit”
- “I will … but remember these words next time you take your next breath of air loaded with monoxide carbon gases or you drink your water loaded with heavy metals or eat your fruits and vegetables coated with carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides”
- “Please stop”
- “No I am on a roll now … why every time you put your computer on Microsoft makes a profit? Why is my news feed controlled by Rupert Murdoch or Time-Warner? Why are my cellular calls profiting politicians? Why are we as a global community of the 21st century converging again into 19th century monopolies?”
- “Am I supposed to answer those questions?”
- “No. You just wanted to know why I am anti-establishment and I gave you the tip of the iceberg”
- “You are weird.”
- “Wow, another compliment…if you keep this up we might make this work after all”
- “Don’t get your hopes so high”
- “I know I know, we were done by the third date the rest was just research”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another Thought

You Know, I haven't noticed it before but come to think of it, Oedipus was a motherfucker !!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Darth vs. Dick

Apparently Hillary Clinton reads my blog !!! last week she called Dick Cheney Darth Vader.

Late night comics had a ball with that:

"Yesterday at a campaign fundraiser, Hillary Clinton criticized Vice President Cheney and called him 'Darth Vader.' Cheney denied it and said, 'Darth Vader is evil, half-machine and always wears a cape. And I don't own a cape.'" --Conan O'Brien

"It's getting pretty nasty out there on the campaign trail. This week, Hillary Clinton referred to Vice President Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. ... And today, he demanded an apology. Not Dick Cheney, Darth Vader." --Jay Leno

"But, come on, it's not all bad. Hillary did call Dick Cheney Darth Vader. ... Which is very unfair, because Darth Vader would have caught bin Laden by now." --Bill Maher

Friday, September 07, 2007

Beware of Democracy ….

Especially if you live in the Middle East. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating totalitarianism or any kind of other repressive ways of government. God knows we have enough of that.

I like democracy…I love democracy…on the surface it looks great. Nothing beats the fact that decisions are made based on the individual decision of a majority of people. And what the majority says…goes. Simple and yet very powerful.

But, the form of democracy the world now lives is essentially flawed. Otherwise, how can you explain that “Dumbo” is president of the largest, most powerful democracy of all times and to add insult to injury “Darth Vader” is his vice-president. I am liking democracy less and less.

Now for the last six or seven years, "D&D" have been actively exporting Democracy to our neck of the woods. Hey don’t get me wrong, again on the surface it looks great, the Middle East desperately needs democracy but if we are to get the same flawed version currently “installed on the mother ship” …Thanks…we pass.

I know there has been a long time running argument that people in the Middle East cannot handle democracy or are not prepared for democracy, well if rednecks from Montana can handle democracy then anyone else on the planet can. So spare me that argument please.

There are no democracies in the Middle East. None. Israel included. There are no Moderates either. Saudi Arabia and Egypt included. Saying that the Saudi regime is moderate is like saying that Paris Hilton is a bastion of purity.
Can someone please convey a message to Condi to stop insulting our collective intelligence.

Someone not so long ago summed up the US foreign policy priorities as three major points in the following decreasing order of importance:
1- Oil
2- Oil
3- Israel

So please make your plans accordingly. Try to stay safe, relax, kick back and enjoy the show. The next three to four months are going to be really interesting.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A hilarious take on the subject by the man himself: George Carlin. 

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Modern Man

I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free.

A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstructionist that is politically, anatomically and ecologically incorrect.

I’ve been uplinked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading.

I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!

I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable.

I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs.

I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar.

A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps.

I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial!

I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward.

Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last!

I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail.

But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up.

I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn.

I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle.

I’ve been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity.

I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock.

Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide.
I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin.

I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time.

I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!"

In tribute to my hero: George Carlin. If it weren’t for you I would have not fallen in love with words !!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Weird Workings of the Human Mind.

I have always been fascinated by the human brain. My fascination keeps growing as medicine keeps unveiling the secret workings of this mysterious organ.

To me, the single most mystical aspect of the brain is that, we, as a human specie have gotten around to using only 10% of our brain capacity. Imagine !!! only 10% and look at all the amazing doings the human race has achieved: computer technology, worldwide communication systems, space exploration, amazing music, art, poetry, architecture … and yet sometimes I think that we as a specie haven’t come around to using a single 1% of our brain potential: look at global warming, our inability to solve conflicts unless we kill each other, voting George W. Bush to Office …twice!!!

Why am I telling you all this? Well because yesterday I had a very weird dream and I’ve woken up this morning and was fascinated (yet again) at how human brains process and store information over chronological periods of one’s life.

This whole saga started during the Holidays festivities. One night, I was having dinner with a couple of friends in a restaurant in Gemmayzeh (1). I saw a group of people wearing white T-shirts doing the rounds of restaurants in the area. A group of 3 or 4 walked into the place where we were dining and one of them came straight to our table. She was wearing a T-shirt over her regular clothes that says: “Free Hugs”.
She politely asked me: “Would you care for a Hug? We are spreading the love”. I stood up and told her: “spread away, my friend” and we gave each other a hug.

Now as I sat back to my table I found this to be very weird. I mean come on, we live in a Mediterranean/middle-eastern society so closely knit that sometimes you feel choking on all the “cousins and relatives” you have. Believe me, I CAN feel the love, no need for you to remind me. Besides, we are in the midst of Christmas/New Years Holidays and in a religiously mixed society Adha(2) feast coincided on New Years’ Eve. So believe me I had to bear with a lot of kisses and hugs from relatives I haven’t seen since the 1860 civil war. And to top it all off, I think that some of our relatives wait impatiently for the holidays season to “unleash” all their sexual frustrations on my poor cheeks in the form of hugs and kisses. One of my aunts still “bites my cheeks” every time she sees me and good luck telling her that I am 36 now aunty and not 9 but to no avail. I got so angry at that one time that I told my mom to tame her otherwise if she is biting me again I am going to squash her a tit!!!

Now back to my dream. The above was one aspect of how the dream came about and the second aspect took me back to my years at the engineering school. My freshman year of college, university regulations had it that all freshman students have to stay on-campus. The university I attended was trying a new concept of housing called Quads.

It was a four stories house and each floor had 4 or 5 rooms shared by 2 roommates. The quad had a common recreation area where all quad residents met at night. One of the residents was an African American football player named Billy. He was a six foot six, 300 something pounds fellow from “Bama Bama Alabama” who didn’t say much, kept to himself, and you knew it was Thursday when you would see Billy coming into the house carrying 7 cases of 24 oz. cans of Budweiser beer to carry him through the weekend.
Thank God Billy recycled because I am sure, judging by his beer consumption he would deplete the planet’s aluminum supply all by himself.

Frankly I was afraid of Billy. My Lebanese civil war experience and my inner gut feeling always told me to stay away from the “big fella”. Although I am sure he was a harmless dude.

Now to put one and one together, I watched the superbowl with a couple of friends last Sunday. I enjoy American football very much.
A few days go by and then my brain decides to “unravel” the following scenario on me last night:

I am only wearing boxer shorts, carrying an American football and dashing through the main Gemmayzeh street at 3 in the morning. Behind me, is Billy sprinting to catch me wearing nothing but a white T-shirt which says: “Free Fucks”.

(1) A Hustling and Bustling street in Beirut of Posh restaurants and pubs.
(2) A major Muslim holiday.