Latest from Anthony Elghossain
Welcome to Lebanon. Here, criminals parade around as leaders and citizens slouch from place to place as criminals—the former glorying in their status as robber barons, the latter again trapped in a perverse polity in which they must engage in self-help or suffer in silence. This week, people used force to recover their bank deposits amid compounding crises. Are they robbers? Are they victims? Or are they both?
“Moon Knight” is an intriguing, promising show about a protagonist who struggles with dissociative identity disorder and has a mysterious, mystical bond to an Egyptian moon god. It introduces fascinating characters, reflects some promises and paradoxes of Egypt, and is a mind-bending, heartfelt addition to what is now a Marvel motion picture multiverse.
For generations, people have been renaming foods for political reasons. Although Americans in our time are infamous for changing French fries to freedom fries, they aren’t the only folks who’ve put politics on the plate that way. Indeed, everyone from the French and Russians to the Iranians and Arabs has done something similar in the past 150 years. And they’ve done so while otherwise naming and handling foods politically, sometimes during strategic struggles and sometimes to score cheap jingoistic points.
The Lebanon we loved was a palace of myths, legends and lies. But it was, and is, the home we chase. In the Beirut blast, we all lost something. Some of us lost everything. Since then, overcome by loss and lostness, people have just fallen into sudden silences from time to time.
I think of the Lebanese lords, whose own generals now call “cruel, dishonorable, and shameless”; whose own advisers describe as “too stupid to understand or too selfish to care, or both”; and whose own intelligence hands believe are crooks who will only liberate Lebanon, and even then not certainly, when they die.
Finding freedom, Maronites promptly feuded with each other — victims of neither empire nor Islam, but of themselves. For centuries, chieftains fought chieftains and factions fought factions.