Why I Shouldn’t Watch World News

Very late at night, when my weary eyes are too feeble to plow forward in the pages of a prized book resting on the nightstand and when I run out of football games to watch, out of boredom, out of inner loneliness and the need to be in touch with the hordes of humanity, I regrettably venture and switch the box to World News. The depressing reel overwhelms my decency and fuses with a stagnant but lurking melancholy in taking command of my somnolent mind. I react defensively, projecting an attitude of insouciance. It's as if nothing really matters anymore. I lose sight of my race, but more damaging is the prospect of losing sight of me.

Feeling trapped, the purpose of life, if any, becomes a blurred concept. Looking around reinforces the dismay. People are hungry, poor, miserable, and sick. Fellow human beings are, at this very same moment, in the process of suffering and agonizing.

A sedated voice echoes in the confines of the skull, preaching but betraying a vague sense of a lost conviction. "We were meant to suffer", it whispers. "We need to live the void of darkness to value the light at the end of the tunnel", it pathetically hisses.

I rebel, and silently yell back, "we didn't ask for no god-damn tunnel, no fuckin' void, no shitty light".

Here we are though, whether we like it or not. Minds stuck in the fragile vehicles of our bodies. Letting days go by. Glimpsing fleeting moments of joy. Perpetually entombed in sadness and sorrow. We march ahead, knowing only too well that we've been dying since the day we were born.


Anonymous said…
Amazing how your last sentence was (almost)exactly the one I used a few days ago!(although in neighbouring context).
I was discussing life and what a big "play" it is!
All of us humans knowing deep inside that we're born dead,live in denial of that fact. We live in contrast to death.
What an amazing creator God is to put such a strange mixture of beauty and euphoria to elude us from the reality of how we're surrounded with death.
what strength do we have in being able to laugh continue to live when ,for example,we loose very close and loved ones?
How could a mother, for instance, continue living after loosing a child? R we that hung up on life? Yes, because we fear death! The Unknown!
Is death the reason after all??
We laugh, dance, smile, achieve, believe in future when we actually do know that we're almost dead. All of that in reaction to death!
We live an "as if it mattered"!
I live because???I achieve because???I defy because??? After all what matters??? Do I give a damn about what "humanity" will achieve with the generations to come if I'll be nothing but remains of a corpse eaten by worms?
So is death the reason??? Would life be the same if we were eternal?
P.S:Was that an "hors suject"? Could be...but you triggered me!
The Syrian Brit said…
Abu Fares,
It is nearly 4am..
I read your post several hours ago, and I was haunted by its depth, and troubled by the sadness that it emits..
I sincerely hope that the inspiration to write such a powerful, albeit dark and pessimistic piece, was not any private sadness or personal worry..
The Syrian Brit said…
On a lighter note, Dana has asked me to pass on the following message to all those fantastic cyberfriends, who have been so kind in offering their views about Fairuz.. and guess what?.. You get a special mention!.. So here it is...

'Dear All,
Thank you all so so much for spending time answering my questions! Every single response has provoked more thoughts to add to my dissertation, so once again,
thank you!
In particular, Abu Fares from Tartous and Omar Faleh in Montreal: thank you for creating a new dimension to my argument! Your answers, although many wouldn't
agree with them, have proved invaluable. And also, thank you Jon Massouh in Philadelphia for recommending the book, I will definatley be looking there for
more information. And Rime, thank you for your lovely comments, and for reccomending the Real World label...I can't believe I never thought of that, it would certainly be interesting to include non-Arab opinions on Fairuz!
And thank you Baba for passing my questions on to your friends, Allah ykheleelna yak, ya rab!
Anyway, thanks again everyone for all your help!
Dana xx..'
Abufares said…
Lost Somewhere
Some human feelings and thoughts are so universal. I sometimes read something by a writer half-way across the world (in terms of culture and distance) and feel as if he took the words right out of my mouth.
My own death is not a matter I contemplate (yet) or worry about. As I was growing up the fear of someone close to me dying was ever-present. When I lost my mother my whole outlook on life changed. But in the end, we humans prevail, if not for ourselves then it's for the sake of our offspring. And, life goes on...
Abufares said…
My dear Syrian Brit
In the last few months you've come to know me more than life-long acquaintances. I believe that whenever we commit ourselves to the written word we would be exposing inner riddles. Not everybody reads between the lines but in your case you've proven yourself very apt at it.
I have chosen a totally innocuous title for my post to dilute a bit some of the sting it actually implies. Being the father of 3 wonderful kids myself I don't consider that I have the "luxury" to be sad and dark. I am a strong willed man who would rather exude an aura of happiness and light-heartedness. Deep within, we all have our dark side. Due to the reality I live, it's not only my responsibility but obvious common sense to keep it in check. As I progressed in years I have learned the skill to keep everything in balance. I am happy to report that presently, Alhamdu Lillah, I'm not going through a personal crisis. At the same time, I furtively reveal to those who read between the lines that there's a less traveled, yet not totally abandoned passageway.
Thank you for being thorough and for understanding.
Abufares said…
Dear Dana
You're more than welcome "daughter of my friend".
I'm glad I had the chance to have my say on Fairuz. Always keep in mind that opinionated people are louder than average. You would certainly hear a lot from people who love Fairuz than from those who don't care at all about her. Hence the importance of somebody like me. I don't like her, yet I'm loud:)
I'd love to be able to read your final work when it's published.
Take good care of yourself and look forward a bright future, Fairuz and otherwise.
Dubai Jazz said…
Dear Abu Fares, every other post you write corroborate my impression about you; a wonerful human being:)
I also feel troubled after reading this post…..
Please don’t get me wrong; I am not suggesting that it’s you who has instigated the trouble, the question is there at the back of the mind of each one of us, we excel at disguising it and stifling with our passiveness and negligence… you only managed to put the whole thing so gravely clear, as it should be put every once in a while…..
Anonymous said…
Lighten up Abu Fares! Life is beautiful, the sun is shining and you have an amazing blog :D
I think I might have to be seconding Naji in thinking that you may be (at least) edging towards mid-life crisis. Ma t3milsh kidda ya 3am!

On another note though...your mid life crisis was beautifully expressed :)
Abufares said…
Dear Dubai Jazz
May be I should've titled my post "Fashet Khele2" instead.
I think that letting off some steam every once in a while is good for us.

You made up my day. My mood swings have become extremely rare and less tragic over the years. Tonight, I'm out in the great outdoors. If all goes well, I'll drink your toast and that of the wonderful people whom I've come to be fond of through the written word.
Anonymous said…
What did I tell you about our Princess...!!! Celebrate life... join the rest of the universe and celebrate the Princess...!
Abufares said…
Hi Naji

I have earlier promised you to write about my mid-life crisis but then I remembered that I've already done so in a previous post.
No matter how much you enjoy my blog (if in fact you do) I'm sure you haven't read one of my earliest posts written in May 2006 titled "In the Mood"


Please check it out, this time it's dedicated to you, to Arima and to all the readers who can stand my rubbish after all.
Anonymous said…
You are alright buddy...!
Anonymous said…
I just read that earlier post,...possibly your best... your most inspired...!! I have every faith that you will be writing like that again come next Spring...!!

I want to say more, but, for fear of offending many of your readers, I will first pause to search for the most delicate, and perhaps more eloquent, phrasing for my corollaries and ammendments to your essential (not the final, rather cynical and wrongful)conclusion...!!
Anonymous said…
Now I am distracted reading all your early posts ...awsome stuff, but it is going to take me a while... a rewarding while, I am sure...!!

One thing I do not understand: Why didn't you like my little Christmas present (the D H Lawrence essay I posted as comment on your blog)...?! I think I guessed you correctly right from the start [ love at first sight:) ]...!! You can consider it one of those silly "tags" you enjoy responding to so much... a tag across the centuries... Ben Franklin to DHL ...to Abu Fares...! I think DHL was at about our stage in life when he wrote it...!!
Abufares said…
I wonder why you assumed that I didn't like your Chrismas comment. I didn't read all of it on the day I answered but got a chance to do so later.
I always enjoy your presence on my blog and our bickering at times. I still think you should start your own blog.
Anonymous said…
you need a late night snack..beleive me the difference between a depressed night and a happy tv adventure is a decision: open your fridge..
Shannon said…
I haven't got the time right now to read all the comments :(. I think I can identify a bit with your situation- I've stopped watching and listening to the news recently. I just can't- it makes me feel so depressed and helpless. I get angry at the stupidity I perceive and the inhumanity that people exhibit. I simply can't believe we were meant to suffer.
Anonymous said…
Yes Naji! Start your own blog!
GraY FoX said…
and that's exactly why i stopped watching news myself
nothing but fake propaganda
scary movies done with real blood
and human greed feeding on human flesh
Dubai Jazz said…
Dear Abu Fares and Naji, I've also read the older post, and it's really amazing, indeed one of your best Abu Fares, I am not a coeval of you guys so I can't get a feeling of your predicaments!
BTW Abu Fares, have you noiced that Arima has called you "3am" ? ;)
Please don't get mad, I am pulling your leg here....!!!
Abufares said…
Hi Anonymous
The midnight snack is a wonderful idea btw. I'm afraid I'm avoiding these after midnight delights because my stomach can't take them as it used to.

What can I say except perhaps that all sensible people should find it very hard indeed to watch what's going on in the world and discuss it objectively over tea and cake.

My reply to you is coming toward the end of this comment (Dubai Jazz).

GraY FoX
This is the real world I have to admit sadly. We get away from it each in his/her own way to remain sane.

Dubai Jazz
It was my fault to put the idea in the head of Arima (to call me uncle). In any case, if she really do me the favor and read that old post of mine she will think twice before calling me 3ammo again. I really wouldn't mind being called so by a young lady if I can get away with a couple of things some of the 3ammos do.
Anonymous said…
For Abu Fares and The Princess,

...with my compliments!

"Like U Crazy"

(P.S. I could not make out all the words, but ...do feel free to make up your own...!!)
Abufares said…
Great Clip Naji
I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks for coming into your mind.
Anonymous said…
Abufares said…
Dear Arima
Whether I like it or not, I am really a 3ammo to most of you. Naji not included because he is really much older than me, somehow, manages to get me in trouble. The only solution is that he should start his own blog and very soon. Then may be I can get back to him in the comment section.
It's always a pleasure having you here.
Anonymous said…
Watch out 3ammo...!!
Anonymous said…
hmmmm well ya 3ammos happy valentines and perhaps naji could consider gifting the entire blogsphere this valentines' with his elusive ramblings! Come on Naji...you know you want to :)
Anonymous said…
..."elusive ramblings"...?! Love it...!!! Proud of you Princess!

...Coming Soon: Elusive Ramblings
...one of those days...!??
Angel said…
Abufares I only read your post this morning and your words been bouncing around in my head for hours...... I honestly have stopped watching, reading the internet summaries and listening to the news since April 2003!! I feel that 95% of the news reported are bad and very dramatic. Countries are at war, people are getting murdered, children are hurt, hurricanes all over the world.......I dont want to be a person who just watches the news, sees people suffer and yet can not do anything about it!!
Great "Fashet Khele2" Abufares, beautifully written, perfectly expressed....
Abufares said…
Hello Angel
I'm so glad to read your comment. Of course I knew all along that I'm not the only one who feels this way but it's reassuring to be in such a nice company as yours.

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