Sunday, January 5, 2014

Editorial: The Lebanese Blues

I apologize in advance for the misleading title; I'm not going to talk about the blues scene in Lebanon (although I intend to make a field report about that in the coming months).

Rather, the recent events in the last few weeks in Lebanon have not been giving any positive signs for the future. And hence, I want to take some to talk about politics, even though there are more established political bloggers out there. But that doesn't mean I can't have my two cents now does it?

As a Lebanese expat, living most of my life outside of Lebanon, I fell in love with the country again during my years in AUB (prior to the assassination of Rafiq Hariri). Perhaps it was my independence, the university life, the music adventures, or anything to be out of Kuwait really. I really thought it was the ideal place to be; but as all good stories come to an end, and I left Lebanon in 2005, a week prior to Hariri's assassination.

Since then it's "always been hard luck and trouble" (- Albert King), with things spiraling out of control. For almost 10 long years, no longer was Lebanon our "pride and joy" (- BB King).

Since we have "other mules kicking in our stall" (- Howlin' Wolf), none of the outside powers will "leave our little girl alone" (- Stevie Ray Vaughan). In the meantime, we have been so busy worrying about our day to day life that we almost have "no food on the table, and no shoes on our feet" (- John Lee Hooker).

We love to hear the sounds of our family and friends, that sound of a "long distance call" (- Muddy Waters). We hear of their success stories and the hopeful youth's aspiration to be in a better place that will bring them dignity, instead of living with the "worried life blues" (- Sleepy John Estes).

We stumble on "the same old thing" (- Willie Dixon); we bring back the same people into power that never seem to have the best intentions for us. These same people who never address our needs, just to fill their pockets and to control our lives.

As if humans are already considered a cheap commodity, ignorance, and hate, have brought us to a point where even our libraries are being burned. We "stand at a crossroads" (- Robert Johnson), it's either we get our shit together, or our dreams of prosperity will evaporate, and while "I'm not superstitious" (- Willie Dixon), I can't see things getting any better, if we don't think of the future, like "the things we used to do" (- Guitar Slim).

While everyone will maybe ignore this and go "shake their moneymaker" (- Elmore James), I'll still be here "preaching the blues" (- Son House).

Hope everyone in Lebanon is safe, and here's to a good 2014.

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