A Facebook Post About Love

In two days, I’ll be taking a bus to Redmond to cast my diasporic vote in the Lebanese elections. I won’t be doing this because I believe that there will be a direct correlation between casting my vote and seeing any change in my lifetime; I’ll be taking that bus to cast that vote because I love my friends and family and when you love, you do things like that. You show up, you participate, you chip in. I’m grateful to be able to ride that bus to Redmond; I’m grateful that I can ride a bus to pretty much … Continue reading “A Facebook Post About Love”

What is it?

Brown, blue, violet sky—it’s funny how tiktok trends rehash and recycle artifacts that don’t quite feel very retro, though, they must be, alas. The world doesn’t really accelerate; we just get older a lot faster every day. And so, when that kinda thing is annoying, it’s really annoying, but when it’s not, it can be prophetic, like a planetary return, or a shift in the seasons, or a long-gone friendship reborn. I used to repeat that old lyric by that half-Lebanese crooner, who, at one point, provided folks with a global reference point, like tabbouli or hummus, to place me … Continue reading “What is it?”

Saret Pizza

Lebanese people of a certain age can often be found expressing their frustration at the sheer audacity of the accumulation of circumstance with two half-moon gestures encircling an invisible drain, indicating the metaphorical girth of just how badly or how far the matter’s gone. “Tekhnet.” It has become quite thick. Lebanese people of a slightly younger age will widen the gyre, indicating that matters are so out of hand that the axes have collapsed and the pipe has transmorphed into “pizza.” Two fingers on two hands in the shape of an L around a very large O, wlo, “saret pizza.” … Continue reading “Saret Pizza”

Resurrecting The Matrix

I’ve seen some grumbling headlines about Matrix 4 and I really couldn’t care less what the fundamental subject/hyperobject of the film itself has to say, but here’s what I feel like sharing today: this is a film for a very particular kind of person. Maybe you were planning to meet up with school friends at the cinema, but no one had a cellphone so they ended up heading there early and seeing something silly like You’ve Got Mail, or whatever it was, so you watched The Matrix by yourself and had your tiny brain blown. Maybe, some years later, in … Continue reading “Resurrecting The Matrix”

Faith Made Flesh

I’ve been thinking a lot about cultures of complaint lately, so it’s comforting to read these words in Sunday’s lectionary: ‘Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.’ Though we may be used to picturing God as patient and willing to listen, to be told that directly—to be reminded that the cosmos was pieced together by a God who not only hears our complaining but also asks us to draw near–well, that ‘hits differently’ when the world around us feels mismatched with that ideal. I come from a country where grumbling about the state of things is … Continue reading “Faith Made Flesh”

The Feast of Saint Marinx

“[T]he question of the pharmakon reappears in the digital stage of grammatisation—the first stage of which was the alphabetic writing of Plato’s epoch. Like every technique and every mnemotechnique, cultural and cognitive technologies are pharmaka: at once poisons and remedies.” (Bernard Stiegler) Communication has made itself felt as a matter of concern at numerous times and on multiple planes over the past few weeks. ☿℞ or not, at some point, it seems like the artifice of this act of artfully inscribing interior realities back and forth on these proverbial clay tablets has been lost by our culture. I’ve been thinking about … Continue reading “The Feast of Saint Marinx”

Bad Like I Feel: Empathy as Solidarity

The institution that I’ve been dedicating myself to is embroiled in an online controversy, and this is valid and good, but I don’t want to discuss the specifics, as I would be doing so in ignorance of much. I prefer to avoid joining the cacophony of voices talking past and over each other. I do want to discuss some of these voices, though, because if I have skills in anything, it’s in listening for the words that people trip over in the thick of the awful din. I believe that, for most people, the human capacity to imagine worlds at … Continue reading “Bad Like I Feel: Empathy as Solidarity”

Christmas Day 2012

The big data notification angels have reminded me of this moment on Christmas Day, 2012, outside teta Sou’ad’s place in that liminal neighborhood called Mar Youssef (St. Joseph): Mar Youssef just happens to be the saint that Pope Francis chose as Patron of the Universal Church for this coming year, in a letter entitled “With a Father’s Heart.” In the spirit of that letter, this photo, and all mothers, fathers & loved ones we can’t be with today, Merry Christmas to those who go unnoticed, yet nurture us with their “daily, discreet & hidden presence,” wherever they may be.

#AdventWord 2020, Week 1

#Tender I’m not ready for Advent this year. Maybe it’s this prolonged pandemic, this extended Ash Wednesday bleeding through page after calendar page—in which case, I’d be somewhat relieved—or maybe it’s my growing familiarity with what goes on behind the curtains as the audience lines up for their caramel popcorn—a very real possibility I must contend with—either way, this year feels a little off, a little “gently out of time,” as one of Blur’s lesser-knowns goes. Today’s word is “tender” but unlike 2 or 3 years ago, this year, I know that today’s word is not tender—I understand the logic … Continue reading “#AdventWord 2020, Week 1”