You can see it now, the headlines of tomorrow: riot spreads across the land… because of a caricaturization.
LBC has guts. They’ve been expanding their forte over the past several months with excellent reporting and productions. They have now set the bar higher for everyone else once again by doing something that they did a while back to some grave consequences: they got Hassan Nasrallah to be caricatured on their satire show “Basmeit Watan.” They also mentioned a prophet.
The following is the video of the episode:
Hassan Nasrallah’s supporters have already cut off roads around Beirut in protest.
I guess everyone tunes in when the subject matter is this juicy. I mean, come on, you can smell the drama coming off from hundreds of kilometers away. It’s not like Lebanese mentalities have evolved in the years since Hassan Nasrallah was “hosted” last in order to fathom such caricatures. If anything, the country has gone way backwards in its extremism.
The YouTube comments on the video in question are hilarious. The following is a screenshot:
I wondered for a while if I just don’t get it. Then I decided that I do. I understand that Hassan Nasrallah is important to his people from a religious perspective, being theoretically a descendent of the prophet Mohammad and whatnot. I understand that a country like Lebanon where religious figures are taken in high regard is not the place to turn those people into satire.
I also know the following. Mr. Nasrallah is as active on the political scene as any other major Lebanese politician, if not more. Mr. Nasrallah is much more active politically and militarily in the Lebanese setting than any other politician and religious person in the country. Mr. Nasrallah is also the head of a party that is not, as its name claims, holy. Why should he get the prerogative that others do not get? Where do you draw a line that should not be drawn when it comes to criticism?
No Lebanese public figure should be above being portrayed in a show such as Basmeit Watan. No Lebanese public figure is holy enough not to be criticized. No Lebanese figure that toys with our lives in any way whatsoever gets to be put on a pedestal, as far as I’m concerned, and kept there until God knows when.
I couldn’t care less if Basmeit Watan or any other show portray the Pope, the Patriarch, my non-existent favorite politician or anyone else. What I do care about is that there are people in my country who think a silly TV show is enough reason for them to take it to the streets, do riots, cut roads and cause mayhem. What I do care about is the fact that the country has not changed one bit between Nasrallah 1.0 and Nasrallah 2.0. What I do care about is the fact that, in 2013, people still think holding religious office makes you immune to any form of criticism.
What’s sad is that our Lebanese priorities are reflected in the riots taking place today over a silly TV show instead of what actually counts. It’s sad that there are people who think Basmeit Watan portraying Nasrallah makes LBC an “Israeli Jewish parasite.” It’s sad that there are people who think such a portrayal is somehow a victory for Israel. Such logical fallacies exist in Lebanon, it seems.
Hezbollah, how about you take your men off the streets? Isn’t there some war we shouldn’t be fighting in to take part of? Isn’t there some government that should be formed but isn’t? Isn’t there a country that should not be run to the ground and have its streets cut off and liberties killed off in vain?
I haven’t heard of any riots since the release of this episode, are you sure you’re not exaggerating? If there was any action it would be from easily-offended supporters of Hezbollah, not “Hezbollah men” as you put it. It’s not like Mr. Nasrallah asked his men to go to the streets in fight of his honour. Should he comment on this matter, I’m sure he would laugh (unless any damage has been made) and tell us not to make a big deal out of it.
Roads were cut in Sin el Fil yesterday and various parts of Beirut. Convoys with guns and Hezbollah flag started patrolling the streets.
I’m sure Hassan Nasrallah couldn’t care less. It’s the people who think that he does that I’m addressing here.
Then you’re right, these people are taking it too seriously. I haven’t even watched the video (it isn’t worth my MBs), I know what to expect from a silly show. But sadly we’re used to TV channels throwing offenses back and forth in an attempt to cause conflict, and this view-harnessing stunt by Basmet Watan, intentionally or not, appeared to some people as the usual conflict-stirrer and caused the default reaction of Lebanese people getting offended.
I didn’t watch the full thing either. I’m not a fan of the show. But I watched enough to know that the people protesting are exaggerating, that such protests are not worth it and that the entirety of what’s happening is utterly absurd.
Lebanese TV shows should be able to do whatever they want. If people get offended, people stop tuning in. That’s how these things should work – not cut off streets and whatnot.
Once we get rid of this “need” to show to what extent we’re ready to prove our political dedication, such shows would automatically abstain from making these sketches (they wouldn’t find an audience). That is how we show respect to our idols (Nasrallah and others), not by causing them more embarrassment…
Pretty much, yup.
The episode is blocked already on YouTube? I can’t open it! It says video unavailable and I did not watch it laat night! Not again LBC! We do not live in a democratic country! Please Lebanese Media you have to understand this by now! We’re not in Europe or North America!
Fixed the video link.
I remember a year or so after the show came out asking my mother why was Hassan Nasrallah the only party leader not being shown.
You know, the guy in the video looks more realistic than the original sermons…