Long gone are the days when being a Lebanese activist meant bracing yourself against the tyranny of the Syrian army in order to get them off your land. Long gone are the days when being a Lebanese activist meant physically protesting the Israeli occupation of your country. Long gone are the days when Lebanese activists were truly active.
Today, you are called an activist if you have the following: a blog and a twitter account. Why so? Because the majority of self-proclaimed activists use those two means the most in communicating their ideology. The ideology in question is a neo-leftist manifesto that hides under an umbrella of no politics.
And so the activism begins. Some child is killed in Gaza, let’s tweet about it. Some woman is raped in Lebanon, let’s post a Facebook status about it. Gas prices are going up, let’s blog about it.
Now you might ask me: but you’ve done those exact same things!
Yes, I concede. The slight distinction is I’m not a self-proclaimed activist. I don’t want to be an activist. I don’t have the word activist in my twitter bio, nor on my Facebook account. I don’t want activists to start “free Elie” campaigns if I end up going to jail for something illegal that I did. I don’t want my blog to be that of a Lebanese activist. I am simply a proud Lebanese who shares his interests and the woes of his society that he finds relevant.
Lebanese activists nowadays have redefined activism.
A Lebanese “artist” possibly defames our president and is brought into questioning? This is an obvious breach of freedom of speech. Why? because libel is under the jurisdiction of free speech these days.
Two Lebanese “activists” decide to write anti-Assad slogans on a wall and they get arrested? This is a travesty. How is vandalizing public property not a form of artistic free speech?
An “activist” is called out for a blinded mentality? They all rally behind their own. They can never be wrong. You are never right. You cannot criticize them being arrested for any reason whatsoever. You lack empathy. You lack compassion. How patriotic can you be when these people are giving their all to save you?
You really don’t understand, do you? These are neo-holy creatures. Their sacrifices are incomparable. You cannot fathom how much they take out of their time just to give you a better country and community.
An activist gets arrested? It cannot but be because security had an eye for him/her for a long time. Someone who has done SO much for your country cannot be in the wrong. Ever. This is a fact.
They call for a state of law. Once the law is applied, which happens once in a blue moon, they cry against it. Why? They argue that worse things are still happening elsewhere. Well, try to make sense of that argument.
What’s worse, if you don’t agree with most of what’s previously mentioned then you are simply unworthy, for lack of better words.
Activism in Lebanon is tweeting your fingers away, updating your Facebook status, while checking in at the protest or at the site of where you’ve decided to draw a graffiti on foursquare . It’s choosing passepartout causes and going with the flow. Today’s topic could be AIDS, tomorrow let’s make it gay rights. The day after that, why not dabble our fingers in some cinema? And down the list we go.
Their revolutions are ones that consists of drawing graffiti on a wall or writing a scathing blog post about an issue. Their logic is so impeccable that comparisons are drawn between, well, anything: graffiti and gas prices? Why not. Movie bans and electricity? Of course.
Today, even our activism has become sedentary.
But don’t tell them I told you that.