Monday, August 29, 2005

Youth Of Iraq, Episode 2


today was subtly pleasant, i was supposed to review for my finals but as usual i delayed it for yet anohter day, spent the noon in front of the TV/PC. Bored out quickly at 5 and went out with a few friends before finally hanging out with Bashaar Al Kaisi's bro back in my room, strumming California (we're picking up where u left us, u know who u r)...
so i am in a musical mood currently and decided to continue on my quest to explain what exactly has been going through my head for the past...six years...

*deep breath* hookay...

i have a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Timequake, i didn't like it much when i first bought it but i found myself quoting from it over & over again.

BOOK: Stephen King - Everything's Eventual : 14 Dark Tales
Stephen King is way overrated, he writes in a great style, but it is so mercilessly repetitive that it eventually wears out its welcome, and the horror plot is usually rubbish - reading this short-story collection reminded me of an old Iraqi saying : 'Searching shit for melon seeds'....of the 14 tales, 2 were instant-classics 'All That You Love Will Be Carried Away' about a travelling insurance salesman whose only reason not to commit suicide is his pastime of collecting
bathroom graffiti, and the last 'Luckey Quarter' which ends things hopefully for a change, both stories are literary ones, not horror. the rest of the 12 vary from farily okay 'Autospy Room 4' about an alive man about to be accidentally
chopped up in the autopsy room told from his viewpoint, and 'The Road Virus Head North' was decent, but most end incomprehensibly and one is plain unreadable 'Eluria'. Never scary, but read it for the style. All That U Love is a must-read though.
All in all, uneven. (3/5)

in part 1, i left u at the door of my musical ambitions door after scouring what is called the Iraqi Metal Scene for lack of a better word. Today i am supposed to introduce u to whatever's been going on inside my own mind for the past years of musical meditation.

Music is kind of sacred to me, it hasn't always been that, i grew up in a mostly religion-adhering family, i learned early on that music does not sit well with religion side to side. However i hummed the occasional tune or two. Most iraqi teens
dig Arabic music, as they are supposed to do, however arabic pop these days is either a watered-down conversion of western aesthetics or all-out sex-driven heaving of overfed meat cows dancing their asses to the traditional one-two-three sound of dumbuk and nai. Many people listen to western music, but most have it figured out as either another Mr. Cool item or a mindless pastime, a devout hardcore minority is present nonetheless and these guys are knee-deep in either hip-hop or rock. I was first interested by music, like every other teen in his insecure, early days by the pop tunes of boybands...i ate, drank and slept Backstreet Boys when i was sixteen, fact : they called me AJ and for a good reason (those who know me will figure it out), we were freaks me & ma buddies, especially me, apparently i had just
discovered dirty words and we had this notebook (i found it a while eariler) in which we re-wrote all their songs to dirty versions, I was particularly fond of Larger Than Tonay's - (for those in-the-know, i was in Baghdad College) three
months later i was bored and turned to...who else? the King of Pop, who epitomized western music for all its best (& worst) in Iraq, i did six months of Michael, and i still listen to him every now & then, after half a year of making funny
shapes out of my shoes (i can moonwalk and do all his stuff pretty good, guys still come up and ask me to do it - i have his exact figure). music felt pretty stale for me, and that was when the Eminem mania was building up (early 2000), a friend introduced me to Marshall Mathers LP, prior to that, i figured Will Smith as all the rap that matters but that album blew my socks is still one of my classic all-timers and Eminem is undeniably witty though repetitive at the moment, his style is so original, i was just getting to know Dre & Snoop & all that Pac/Biggie when my musical values were furiously shattered and after that time (March 2001), the world never looked the same again.

That was when i first heard No Leaf Clover.

No Leaf Clover is, by far, the closest composition that ever got to my all-time favorite song award, the foremost fusion of words and music I have ever heard in my whole short life. Never has a song offered such power, emotion, and atmosphere as this one. While lyrically the composition is vague and daunting, with such everyday indistinguishable words, the mirroring of their ideas into the music is what makes Clover totally mind-blowing, I never knew anything about music other than it's just a way of spending just a fun time. the actual analysis of this classic took me about six months, before that, I just listened, but I never expected the impression to be so awesome, I was too lowbrow to express my feelings anyway - eventually it changed my whole outlook on music as not just a tool for having fun, all the silly, kitschy pop music seemed absurd and meaningless, it frightened me that a band with such depth, detail and intelligence actually exists, and if only a tenth of music was as good! It taught me to carefully examine artistic works:books, photos, pictures, songs. Everything had whole new dimensions upon closer inspection. Consequently I found out that this line of thought has even influenced my usual real life relationships and social judgment of persons.
My entire world was upside down, those very bare-chested drug-addicted longhaired who i absolutely DETESTED became my philosphers and new world preachers. By unearthing Metallica - and heavy metal - i attained a new 'different' stamp from my social standpoint and also found a very powerful outlet to express my frustrations, i connected with the music that i have been looking for in years. Dark, intelligent and subliminal. When u first get into heavy metal, u think that anything that doesn't have distorted guitar in it is pop-crap or sellout songs, i tried the other metal offerings but i couldn't really find more of the music/lyric juxtapoisitionng that i was feasting upon.
it was only by chanc that i happened to watch a weird video by a band called Soundgarden (Black Hole Sun, naturally) and the respective album, Superunknown, brought radical new ideas hammering down to me, prior to this, grunge & alt.rock were classified in my brain as pop. but Superunkown taught me that the very same concepts i digged could be that much more scarier if they were injected INSIDE the classicist pop-song radio-ready 4-min outfit, a deep, bitter and dark irony that was always present in Chris Cornell's voice - the song THE DAY I TRIED TO LIVE is the absolute realiziation of a radiosong that says I LOVE U but really says FUCK U ALL TO ROTTEN HELL. It was the ultimate album for lost souls of Generation X, it was everything that Nirvana was supposed to be but really wasn't.

Which bring me to an important point.

Kurt Vonnegut once said : "People capable of liking some paintings or prints or whatever can rarely do so without knowning something about the artist, the situation is social rather than scientific. Any work of art is half of a conversation between two human beings, and it helps a lot to know who is talking at you. Does he or she have a reputation for seriousness, for religiousity, for suffering, for concupiscence, for rebellion, for sincerity, for jokes?
There are virtually no respected paintings made by persons about whom we know zilch. I dare to suggest that no picture can attract serious attention without a particular sort of human being attached to it in the viewer's mind. Pictures are famous for their humanness, not for their pictureness.'

This is vital. In many cases, the image of a certain performer is so intertwined with his music that it is impossible to separate when u r listening to, case in point, Nirvana.When i didnt' know absolutely NOTHING about the adventures of Kurt Cobain, i just picked up a compilation done by a friend of Nirvana songs, it had 'Teen Spirit', 'About A Girl', 'Come As You Are' , 'All Aplogies', etcetra etcetra...i kept playing it over & over...trying to understand what's the big deal?!? This is life-changing music??? i mean sure it's not bad, but its' not immortal as, say, Metallica [to me]. i came by Metallica though S&M, a high-brow concept concert performed with a symphony backing them up, throughout the concert, James Hetfield didn't strike me as the kind of guy who would go and have ten bottles and shoot up and scream at the top of his voice. No, sir, i thought of him that time as a scary prince of darkness who would finish the set and have a quiet dinner with his wife and kids and read TIME magazine (u can imagine my shock upon seeing Live Shit! Binge & Purge...) anyhow, in a short while i got to know all about Generation X, the trials and tribulations of Cobain and how he was pushed into the throne and his all anti-star stance and suddenly all his music made sense to me...ghosts of wallowing in self-ironic depression and mockery of the mainstream as well all that was in-between suddenly became impinged, but it was not by the MUSIC, it was by the PERSONA. MTV Unplugged became a classic and i kept listening to him. But I know now that people like him because of his personality, because of what he stands for, not for his musical ideas - which is basically punk-rock in its simplest form, it is virtually hard to separate the two - his lyrics are admittedly meaningless, he glued them up from separate poems but people have him labelled as performer capable of 'intense emotional songwriting'...well, u get the point. The same can be said of bands like The White Stripes, System Of A Down and Radiohead.

The sort of music i am looking to be able to create one day is should be ambitious in scope, utilizing sounds and instruments for a greater cause, so far i have only hinted at what music sends shivers down my spine, in order to clarify things up, here's a song, i suggest u listen to it before trying to understand what is said here :

Radiohead - Karma Police
This is a mid-tempo song based on paino and an acoustic chord strum, with a melancholy, ellegiac tone in the verses, during which, singer Thom Yorke sings this :

Karma Police, arrest this man, he talks in maths, he buzzes like a fridge, he's like a detuned radioKarma Police, arrest this girl, her hitler hairdo, is making me feel ill and weak i've crashed her party

I don't know what the singer meant to say here, but i have my own personal interpretation, it may not stand true, but i like it and it is the result of my previous exploratino of musical landscapes. This song is about a person living his life guided by some sort of 'moral code' that he set for himself : Peer pressure, attempts to look cool, whatsoever...thus in the verses, he is assuming his supposedly cool alter-ego, a false state of mind he made in which he procalims his
'Karma Police' to arrest several people he finds inapporporate or uncool, the verses are disenfranchied, but this free-word associated is what adds to the mystery, this coolness is fake, and is exposed by Yorke's tone, very unhappy and out of the break, a cold voice intones :

This is what u get, This is what u get, This is what u get, when u mess with us...

Basically, a man crushed by his own confusion.

I like the unorthodox chorus so much, it has my favorite trick of initial restrain followed by an unexpected cathartic blast brighter chords resonate as Yorke repeats in a voice filled with stupid but true happiness, it is a minute of release from
all this complicated modern-world pressures melded all in one line, the lyrics is negative but is rendered by Yorke like a man on drugs, it is his only refuge, a minute of simply losing all that pretence and complication and return to a more
simple state of mind, be yourself :

For a minute there, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself
For a minute there, I lost myself

by the end of the chorus, u already see the depression creeping up in the end of Yorke's wail, as if the minute is over and we're back to pretending more of not liking people we are not, bottling our true feelings inside : basically living in

OK Computer, a development of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is about difficulites in living in the modern world, and this song is the amplification of that subject.

This is ambitious, complex music, it offers sublime depth into it, it is wrong to appraoch music with this kind of mathematical mentality usually, because sometimes free-form sponatenoity usually leads into great results, but all i am meaning to say is that i don't like rock music because it's full of blood and demons and chugga-chugga riffs, Bob Rock said it best : 'It's good to say kill kill fuck fuck, but it's better to say it for a reason.'

It's the reason that i'm betting my life on.

We see that smile, We see that smile, We see that smile on your face
We hear you cry, We hear you wail, We steal that smile from your face
We see you laugh, We see you dance, We take that away everyday
We see you cry, We turn your head, Then we'll slap your face
Bow down, Bow down, Live your life, Head down, Head down, Hide that smile
Head high, Head high, You've got to smileHead high, Head high, You've got to smile!

We see you try, We see you fail, Some things never change,
We hear you cry, We hear you wail, We steal that smile from your face
Bow down, Bow down, Live your life, Head down, Head down, Hide that smile
Head high, Head high, You've got to smileHead high, Head high, Head high like a song you like!

These lyrics are not much by themeselves lying on a piece of paper, but Cornell has the trick of combinig sound and words into somehting truly its own :
A strange number from the classic 1994 Superunknown written by bassist Ben Shepherd. The song starts unassumingly, with an unfocused acoustic and some shuffled drumming in the background; the acoustic surprisingly jumps headlong into a structured riff with percussion catching up with some busy lumbering. An electric guitar of the Black Sabbath detuned variety soon joins the fray, with an electric in front and an acoustic in back, the texture invoked is subtly queasy and hollow, from that texture comes out a hypnotically sympathetic Chris Cornell. Awash in cymbals, Cornell wears the tone of crooning, heartfelt sympathy, the kind of sympathy seen generously dealt from higher authority towards the lower, tortured spirits of peasants. Unlike real life -fortunately- all his sympathy is criminally and truthfully fake, starkly
disbelieved by the lyrical value of his affection, with such haunting sympathy, the assumed dictatorial governor concernedly addresses his cracked citizens of worship, telling them very dearly that he is the reason behind their suffering, so they should bow down and go home, live their lives, and, in true dictator fashion, the much-maligned hopes of victory is evoked passionately with the contrasting last lines 'Head high, Head high, you've got to smile', at which Cornell rises from his hypnosis into a higher, hopeful survival pitch. Having fulfilled that, the texture is disoriented again by the very first acoustic shuffle of the song, which transits the song into one of the most powerful riffs of the whole album, then again towards the electric/acoustic medley, before going back for some more discipline from his majesty.
You know what made me think of it this way, ever heard the Ba'ath's slogan: 'Head High, You're from Iraq?'

Well this was a bit confusing, but it's 4:49 AM so there ya have it

Out & About

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Strangers Have The Best Candy....


'How did things ever get so far?' - Vito Corleone

SONG : naaah....

This is a man altered writing here.

U can never fully comprehend a catastraophe until it touches u in some way.
It's been a week since i last scribbled around here, the reason for absence was that i didn't feel like it, or like doing anything for all that matters, plus there's this ever-present exam looming around everything i do lately (i do a lot of things, except studying) and today i finally took my final mid-term, which gives me a break for a week until the encore - that being the FINAL eggzamz.

Well, as i said earlier, shit.

Let me tell u about something that shook me up a bit past week, i was bored, goddammit, but i didn't want this!

I recieved the news whilst innocently bystanding a casual family conversation in the living room, two of my relatives were discussing the kidnapping of someone, the usual Iraqi small-talk these days, pretending an interest, i asked about the name of the guy. they told me it was Haji Amir, and the weirdest thing happened.
I felt my heart sink to my underwear...something like the slight ruffle u get inside ur belly when an elevator going down stops.

Haji Amir! of all the people! they chose the nicest, most loving, caring person. Now i am not a religious dude per se...but i have enormous respect for these people and i wish i could get my act together like them if i could, and Haji Amir was one of the most charming, do-gooders i ever met. An old friend of my father's, i remember him when my dad used to take me out swimming with his buddies, Haji Amir was a hugely-built bearded man with an effacing smile and a tolerant nature, he spent his past few years building mosques. He also had the gift of charisma, and this is from a guy who only spoke to him five words in the past two years, these words were spoken after a Friday prayer, i told him how tough the preacher was and he just laughed, it was the most negligible small-talk ever, and yet i distinctly remember coming out with a big shine inside me and huge grin on my face. Have u ever met somebody who can make u feel very good abotu yourself and the world in general? He was like that, a pure man of God, many men of God are not pure, but Haji Amir was different, and some MOTHERFUCKERS abducted him from a mosque-building location and then butchered him after a few days of torture after picking up the money and running.

God damn it. Of all the people! i felt very shaken by the horrid reality of the world that day, everything felt so dark and for the first time i sensed the true extent to which this country is kcufed-up, forget the gasoline/electricity/water shortages, this country is going to pot...
now i am not an emotional person, i have learned through years of conditiong to my enironvement to harbor apathy and convey distance, but that day i discovered something that i already know, i am terribly sensitive inside....and the stark nakedness of the safana made my apathy unbearable...
my pillow had spots on them the next day.

they did this huge funeral for him and they buried him at Abu Haneefa, his black-rags can still be seen around Adhamiya, rest in peace, Amo Amir, u r in our hearts and prayers, this is God's will and we cannot do anything to it, This may be a blessing for u, now that u have passed through it all. Despair and sincere sadness overwhelms me even today as i write this.

I had several other things to tell u, but since we are discussing abductions, let me give u some more abduction stories. some of this may get me in trouble, but i don't care anymore.


This story is fresh, i know the guys in it.

a rich kid's son is usually seen toting around his mobile and laptop like he doesn't care somewhere around Baghdad, some people don't like that, so they give him the candy and ask the father to cough it up, the father coldly responds that he does not want the boy and that they may keep him.
the next day the the boy is released with apologies and even money thrown in for good measure.
nobody knows what happened until one day the mother of the father wrestles it out of her seems that the father had many connections, so after he hung up on them dudes he called up some contacts he had with Al-Mahdi's army (Saadir guys), these guys told him that in every major region of Baghdad there is a certain person known as El 3alaas (literally translated means : The Chewer) who is responsible for ticking off people suitable for abductions and informing interested gangs about them. a traffic control, a pimp, whatever, so the Mahdi people went to 3alaas and they beat the shit out of them until he told them which gang and the next day the kid is freed, courtesy of Moqtada & Co.

Don't u just love the weather these days?

There were cigarette burns on the boy's leg (that's what the money is for, anyone?) and he told his father that they used to give him capsala pills (which is the iraqi equivalent of drugs) and burn him with cigs, gangs have no fun.

Same thing, abduction of a kid. Kid tells gang he wants to pray, gang is amazed at his : YOU PRAY?!? they treat him like a queen and bring him Kebab for dinner before setting him free the next day.

Huh? maybe i'll try saying I WENT TO MECCA on my turn.

Gang abducts daughter. Calls up dad, Dad is one of these traditionalists, girl's-honor-is-like-a-candle kinda guy. He is rude to the gang and show no fear of them, calls em doggies and pimps and fuckers and offers no money for them screwing his daughter, he tells them to bring her here so he could kill her himself. The gang tries all sorts of stuff with him but to no avail, one day a gang member personally comes to the house and proclaims that the gang leader wants to meet with the father, the father says yes, the gang appears with all cars and fancy stuff and they bring the girl with them, the gangleader comes forward and he says to teh father that he swears that they have never ever touched a single hair of her and that he was impressed and he is turning her back with no money at thing leads to another and everybody's a-laughing over tea.

This is a little out there, but the i know the guy who told it pretty good and he don't show off, maybe he highlighted some, plus it coulda happen if u r really lucky.

FAKE BOMBERS? Taxi driver is a brother of some guy at our university, he drives a '95 Daewoo Prince which is kinda fair deal for a car in Iraq, the fare consists of a bearded arab who kept telling him abotu the prophet and all that Gafaar Abassi talk when all of a sudden they wtiness an american tells him to pull over driver looks at him weirdly 'no, i can't'

'pull voer here and today u're having lunch with the prophet in heaven above'
'but i already had lunch!'

poor guy lets go of his car and runs, only to find out blocks later the arab guy driving his poor car back the route he came.....

Fun? Yeah, good ones to enjoy while we're in this dumpster hole...let's see what else? what about the one when they kidnap the guy and want money and slit his throat and throw him in the dumpster after bailing with the money???? a gazillion stories are like this, and this semi-war frame sure isn't helping either, it's pretty much a gangland aroudn here, nobody goes to the cops, all negotiations is settled with the gang. but u see there are a lot of dead Sunnis nowadays and it could get pretty ugly....

i have no hopes for this country anymore, i am feeling currently what both Neurotic Wife and Anarki13 have felt about in some eariler time at their respective blogs as well as countless other iraqis, this is so gets me so pissed off at everything that all i want to

well....why, go around and shoot stuff, naturally i'm an Iraqi cha moo hechi el hachi yaba? - so i guess i'd keep it shut and take it like a chicken

Unlike 13 who went and strummed Bob Dylan i was at a loss to put some westernized death song for my Haji Amir, oh i have plenty...Clapton (Tears In Heaven) and the overwrought Cobain/Leadbelly (Where Did You Sleep Last Night) but i feel the only thing that serves him right is a passage from the Holy Quran :

سلام بما صبرتم فنعم عقبى الدار
الله يبسط الرزق لمن يشاء و يقدر و فرحوا بالحياة الدنيا و ما الحيوة الدنيا في الاخرة الا متاع

We are of God, and to God we return.

Out and About, Stay Safe (Stay Home)


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Just A Quick Follow-Up

Hello children...

Well, i have several posts going parallel in my mind right now, but i haven't got the mood just about now so i'm going to give u a quick follow-up on my date....

two days ago, it was 12 AM and i was about to start my daily night-ritual, which involves falling asleep in front of the DVD watching F-R-I-E-N-D-S or whatever's on the TV (ain't sayin much), anyway, when suddenly i got the urge to do that most treasured late-night activity, a sacred tradition giddily carried on generation to the next, namely, prank calls.

After messing up my buddies real nice i got quickly bored and decided to send an SMS to the chick, i had this Jokes book ever since i can remember and i've memorized a few lines, and the line that i picked was nothing short of outrageously rude.

'The word of the day is LEGS, why don't we come back to my place and spread the word?'

Suicide, i know, but i assessed the situation and got the results as this : She's too risky to be with (she invited me to the fucking G-Zone for crap's sake to meet people), too unlikely and requires some effort on my part, so if i blow it quickly it would be better for both parts. Plus, if my judgement is correct, she will yield after a few apologizes and then we'd have something to talk about.
now if you knew me in person u probably know that i am very accident-prone, and the worst part of it all is that I always know what I'm doing is going to get me in trouble but I do it anyway, i sent my message and waited for hell to freeze over...
the response was really late, but it was just what i wanted, the usual HOW COULD U? shit...
anyway, i tried calling but she would refuse my calls.
The only thing left me to do is to get to speak to her, and once that is accomplished, she would be mine.
Next day, I switch my SIM card with my grandma and call her, i was going for pretending i'm one of the guys she used to work with, it was about time to see if my accent was going to work for real.

I dial-up, the phone rings for a few moments and i can feel my body growing a little intense, i go to the bathroom for privacy...
' i speaking to X please?' Very quickly in a businessman tone, or at least what i hoped it would be.
'Yes....sorry to bother you, my name is David Uterburger, i work for XYZ, i apologize again but i have some leftover reports here which i need your assistance in, so if u don't mind coming to the company tomorrow morning, say 10-ish?'
'Yeah...i think i can but i guess i have some plans to work out u know, visiting Karkuk and maybe a few of my relatives but i guess i can, couldn't u find anybody else?'
'No, sorry but u r the person for this particular job'
'Ok, what time do u want me to come?'
'10-ish, 10 o'clock tomorrow morning if u may'
'Ok, i will be there...what's your name again?'
'hard name'
' the way,Kid says sorry' I didnt' say KID, i used my other nickname which 13 knows and hopefully won't spread around...

'Kid says sorry'
'Kid from ZYX?'
'What ZYX?'
'the company he works for'
'no, not that kid, the kid u went out with two days ago'
'Oh, that kid, that stupid annoying Kid'
'How do u know him?' JEEZ! WHAT A DUMBASS, or my accent was very well, thankuverymuch
'Because I am him'
i switch to arabic
'Ba3i, Ani Asaf walla chan shaka wallah'
From her tone, i already knew i was winning
'U stupid, annoying Kid, how could u? SPREAD THE WORD, u mother...'
'fucker?' she bursts out laughing
'Sorry, sorry i knew it was too harsh but..'
'Okay don't do it again'
'(laughs) u never knew me from Adam, right?'
'yeah, u r the right person for the job'
'I won't do it ever, so we're friends again?'
'Yeah sure u can call me anytime...'
'Okay, bye'

and that, is that.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Weird Iraqi Online Date....


this post was supposed to be a continuation of the previous musically-oriented episode but these require some effort on my part to write and arrange age-old theories in a circumcised version, so i'm gonna bail for the time being.

Anyway, 13 advised me to write sponatenosluy, so here goes...

SONG : Iron Maiden - The Nomad
This song contains one of my favorite solos of all time, this is the only solo that can physicallly bring wet tears to my eyes, it is so pretty and structrued. It has influenced me a great deal on the possibilties of mixing eastern melodies with heavy metal, this song is a little known album track from Brave New World (2000) my only favorite Maiden album, although i enjoy pretty much all the catalogue in general.

yesterday i went out on a date, it was the first date ever for me (i'm a loser, but hey i admit it) and also i don't think first dates come as weird as this...

i never was much of a romantic, too busy thinking about stuff...some people could drown in a vase of red flowers but for me it has always been tits and asses all the way along....i'm a pretty dawi guy lemme tell ya, i remember having my first chickie adventure at the nubile age of five, this chick's legs puzzled the heck out of me and i kept sliding balls under the couch she was sitting on so i could attempt a no use, in the end just as she was leaving house i quickly sniggled like the idiot i am and attempted a last-rites snapshot, all i could see was creepy white shit, i immediately hauled my ass upstaris and hid under the stairs, everybody (grandma, her & husband - DAMN!) had a moment of panicked silence.
Next week she asked me, i told her i was 'playin' hide and seek with my sis'...innocence is a beautiful thing.
Anyway, i am not going to delve into a full-fledged girlfest here and just scribble a bit about latest updates...i found this girl about a month ago through a website while i was in amman, i wrote to her just for kicks, hi became helllooooo and all of a sudden i was knee-deep into conversation, apparently she works for a foreign company, she was born in 1985, i always see eyebrows go up whenever i tell this to friends. Anyway, the girl was different than the usual, all of a sudden i found myself telling her about a sorry episode where i videotaped myself dancing naked with my guitar and, it was just so relaxed and casual and unnatural! i asked for her number and she gave it right away, however she always furiously heaved off all the clusmy pickup lines i managed throughout the phones and the IMs, we were (and still are, i guess) still casual friends, i had previously talked to iraqi girls online (and had got more than my share of troubles) but this was just, something else.
When i got back to iraq, i called her, and we set up a date but she stood me up (expected move), i didn't expect to see much of her afterwards, i still saw her online but talked to her less and less as time went on. She had introduced me to some of her friends (american, one a soldier - webcam proof) and one day they told me that she is had troubles cuz she ran away from home, her parents split up and she used to live with her granny but one day she just flipped! as a 20-yr-old iraqi male i had often thought of packing up all my shit and running away on numerous fights and occasions but there was always a connection to my family that denied all differences in the end, what kind of a girl is this?!? i was thinking that she'd probably fall in the wrong hands eventually, especially in times like these...but it was so out of context, she wasn't the usual brownskin porverty girl who would sell her pride for food, her manners was a string of the laughable upper-class VOY-cliches intertwined with an american teenage puberty stage...
i tried to reach her, her phone was locked.
to cut a long story short yesterday i find a misscall and i re-call to find that she had visited Kirkuk to see her mother and is now back in baghdad, she had quit working to continue college...i was feeling desolate so i rang up the date again and she immediately agreed, in her easygoing manner with anything.
We fixed a place in Mansoor, i went there with a couple of my buddies so in case she'd stand me up again i could have a ball with 'em...they were fidgety as all horny hormones and we went out with me tryin' hard to be neat but in the end teh fuckin' sand took care of that, both of my buddies looked like they were scouting nearby dustbins for leftovers, complete with the extended beards and torn trousers...i guess they did that just to piss me off in case she sees me with 'em...anyways, i went there, nobody in sight, she called shortly though and told me in a raspy voice to turn around the next corner and cross three intersections before turning right, and to buy her two phone cards.
What the?
i told her i had money for only one card, she said okay and byebyed, i figured hell i needed a card anytime, so it wasn't much of a loss anycase, i went nearby and bought a 10$ card after farting out a bit with my hormone-chllaneged colleagues...she called me and i told her i'm just around the corner, she asked about the card and told her i got it she said to put it in my phone and call her...
i felt in a bad spy movie, as if i passed some sort of intricate test...well to quote a wiseman once said : fuck the world. i shrugged and steered my Renault-12 (heh, heh, try to figure out that one, Billy) towards the destination, all of a sudden the place become hush-hushy and quiet, perfect for kidnapping, raping and all other fun games, my friends bailed at this point, i got lost and eventually called her, she directed a bit and finally i got it.
i reached the place, it was blank and had no expressions, extended high wall.
several gadgets outilned the wall, i ringed something and then fidgeted over what looked like a speakerphone. A harsh voice said : 'Who is this?'
'It's me, you told me to just come over here right (she couldn't guide me correctly and she sought the help of who i hoped was this striking chap), u're Dafdoof, moo? (name is fictional, sure as shit)'
'Do u work for El Mujahedeen' curtly and decsivie, his voice sounded like someone breaking pencils over the edge of a table repeatedly....whack
'Do u have a gun' Whack...
'step backward for the camera' i did so.
the door lazily opened, i was greeted by the muzzle of a shotgun, then a smiling black man, to the left of him was a tall brownskin and behind them stood my girl.
i smiled smirkly, somehow i expected this shit.
i greeted everyone and to my surprise she just took me and and we left, just me and her.

How could she trust me? it felt like a draem somehow, she told me everything about the companies and her family and how she works with americans, for all i know i could easily have fixed a date with some bearded fellas who would've been more pleased to slit her throat after raping her and collecting some good ransom money as well (this was in fact suggested to me by a friend, my eyes lit with wonder, no wonder iraq is fucked up! even the people u think u know most!!!)

i figrued either foolishness from her part or there's a catch somewhere. i didn't want to know, this was just out of boredom, and it was just for today.
i walked her around until 9:30, it was a pretty quiet date, she had already formed the idea that i was funny and she laughed at everything i said, which was very little, i was just prodding most of the time cautiously, i didn't hit on her ever (aside from a casual remark about her scent) and mostly listened to how everybody at work hits on her...anyway i retruned her via taxi someplace where a guy from her relative side could pick her up, the guy greeted me and didn't seem at all nervous from me, but he sure looked like any other honor-pride combo of iraqi mustache i've seen!!! it was a weird day, my preconceptions with iraqi soceity were somehow left-center...everything was wrong for me, people were wooing everywhere we went, men are truly animals, we'd walk into a store and all the salesman would fix their fuckin' eyes on her, seeing me staring at them, they'd shy away and sometimes not...fuckin' animals.

i had already seen her before, but it's always something else to watch a person in full-flesh mode for the first time, especially one u've known for a considerable period of time and had already imagained his physique all by yourself.

She was pretty, white, what struck first and foremost was her gray expressionless eyes that looked too old and too wise for the dimensions implied by her figure, age and speech. it was the eyes of a mother, hell, a grandmother, it added mystique.
she walked shoulder high, like a patrol officer.

Today i woke up and went to college and returned my routine, we belong to a social classifciation called probably 3tall Bataal, which is basically a bunch of guys who talk about women all day long and never talk to women at all.
Well, i don't want to get mixed up with her too much, she's dangerous to be with, so i guess i wouldn't repeat what i did too often, there are other factors that i couldn't write about, such as the jealousy of the ameircan soldier for some reason and how he tried to sabotage our relationship. For now she's just a friend, a unique friend, if you may...

well, this was too long and distorted, i am sorry but hey that's sponatoneity...

Out & About...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Youth Of Iraq, Episode 1

Today i am going to discuss the bacterial existence of rock music in the underground iraqi scene, my good friend Anarki13 has already given a brief biography of the only fingerable band, Cascuda, and its relationship to the supernode of the iraqi music scene, Saad Zai, in a recent post at his blog, it's very informative, check it out and come back here.

My main point is thus :
Iraqi metal music sucks.

What i would like to discuss here is a more inside look at this confused, huddled mess of a community, as well as the role of metal music in the arab world in general, and my own selfish little ambitions and fantasies corresponding to music as an art form that reflects emotion, erm, hope that my prespective may complement the one of 13's, giving in overall a general rough sketch of the whole shibang.

SONG : Audioslave - Number 1 Zero
One particular trick i like in a movie/book/song : Initial restrain followed by a great twist of events make the twist itself that much more powerful, one of my favorite song strcutures is a slow lazy song that sounds boring at first but suddenly gets spilled out in the middle by quite possibly one of the finest riffs i ever heard (a la Bleeding Me or Karma Police)Cornell, treasured for his ability to choose the exact words and vocal melodies to transcribe to the music, is on autopilot here, still he manages one of his trademakrs : moaning lines of
submission mostly throughout the verse, 'i will be the dog/be the little bird in your straw and sing you a song', however, by the 2nd bridge, sour signs of strength comes up : 'Just when you think u left me blinded, I will be creeping right up behind, and if I need to, I will keep you in the corner of my eye', what immediately follows is a primal explosion of the preverse triumph of an underdog, a single riff that gives the song a reason for existence. Tom Morello's best riff, hands down...Out Of Exile is way better than the ramshackle meat'n'potatoes debut, but the band still has some way to go.

Guitar Radih...

From the land that gave the world the wheel, the code of laws and the bortokala there is an ugly feedback sound driven by people that look like just me and you...17 year olds locked up in their rooms performing holy headbanging rituals, the community of heavy music in iraq could be approximated in say....200 hundred people max.

The main players are these :

1. Saad Zai :born in 1950s, a frail, small-built man with a disease (kidney?) is also the best guitarist in Iraq, (Anarki claims middle east, but dude, come on! what do u know???), praciting guitar since the early 80s, Zai is a currently a music teacher, i have taken 2 lectures so far there, his place is an exact reflection of the iraqi music scene : a small dark room with lots of electricity wiring for the several sources of electricity (natinonal and not), a perpetual mess of guitar gadgets, a dirty paino upon which heaves of stuff can be located, writings on the walls, an obscure MESS...but amongst it all stands a virtuoso, he had written a number of songs for an album he recorded on Cool Edit software (Death Wishes, i have a copy) as well as being probably the main reason for the existense of the band Accrasscida....single, christain, good-natured, humorous, hospitable, but u cannot feel that he is misplaced, he should be somewhere else.

2. Cascuda (real name : Accrasscida i think, but we just call 'em Kaskoda), did about six or five live gigs, they are :

2. Al Orphali Hall, outside in a garden, this gig is taped, u can get a copy from Saad Zai, 3 CDs, bootleg quality...they sing songs such as 'Mission Impossible' by Bizkit and a few originals
'Psycho', 'The Youth Of Iraq' etc etc...(2001?)
3. Al Ribatt Gig, i attended this one. (Spring 2002) they sang covers of Metallica 'Forwhom' , Slayer 'Seasons/I Hate You combo' and SoaD 'Aerials' as well as the nameless originals
4. Al Hindaya Gig [i think] (September 2004)
5. Al Sayed Hunting Club, (October 2004)which they left midway through due to conflicts with the club's management who allowed no headbanging after witnessing some thirty people headbanging to For Whom The Bell Tolls, i was there too.
6. Al Fanar Gig, free gig, small. (July 2005)

Now, here is my assessment of the situation :
The iraqi music scene, if it continues in this direction, shall suck infintely and without question. the music released are just stupid, generic and done by people who play the music but don't know how to understand it nor present it. (Don't look at me, I just listen)

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Waleed R, ex-vocalist (currently in Canda) and easily the most dominant member of the band :

Waleed: We sing songs about real stuff, like death, stuff we see everyday, not fake stuff like love songs.


This is the exact goddamn problem with iraqi metalheads (oh please, i feel so lame saying iraqi metalheads, as if they are widespread) in general, they all think they know something u don't....a glimpse of the supernatural, or poser-preppy-shit, nose way up in the altitude of flourscent lights, as a matter of fact, the kid's opinion is presicely the immature, stupid, generic, laughable portarayl in which he humiliated himself during his memorable appearance at the MBC2's programme eariler...once i remember me & 13 talking about that, he summed up by saying in response to my allegation that Rabiea had the fire and wildness to lead, 'sure, but we don't need an ass'....i imagined Rabieaa's body equipped with a big butt and when he takled the two buttchecks will unfold in a series of...uhhh...well, it wasn't far from truth, actually.Waleed Rabiea portrays an arabic youth whose identity has been completely washed away by western values, as a matter of fact, 'reality' of what happens in iraq is as far away from his songs as [weak metaphor here] and by jove! , u just don't see the images of a Saddam Hussein's execution into a death metal rant, this state of mind, in my opinion, is exactly what should be avoided, it is the essence of poserism, it is not real, it is PATHETIC.

Give him credit though, the kid has ambition (Scuda's actually dream of Ozzfest! HAR!!!!), and on stage he is the only person with any presence, banging and not caring about whatever anybody thinks about him.


I am at Accrasscida's Al Ribaat gig in early spring, 2002. I study hard for my baclaorea exams and they're talking about an upcoming war, u could smell it on the streets and yet here i am alongside say 100 hundred in a half-full hall, 99 of these are men, mind ya...and all of a sudden, dark arpeggios fill the room, music comes pouring out, before plunging into a series of death metal songs (one of which, The Youth Of Iraq, is a pro-Saddam song, but nobody in the audience knew that, he might as well be singing about the ingredients of a well-cooked Dowlmah), I suddenly get struck with the feeling, which I am sure almost 90% of the crowd shares, what the hell am i doing here? it is so un-cultural?!? so unreal!!!? SO POSING, i gotta go
home and worry about poverty and Saddam and exams and drink tea and go around drviing a car aimlessly pretending to look at el heteet or some such iraqi stuff, Fog El Nakhal Fog....i look around me, and it is easy to see the same thing flowing through the crowd like static, nobody is willing to lose their cultural identity, every now and then every guy around would try headbanging for acouple minutes, but there is a slight microsecond that suggest his incompatablity, everybody knows this, even the band, who just stand and play, except for Rabiea, who is the only guy with the willingness to lose it all for a deathmetal chant and the glorious sound of guitar (which was almost muted throughout the entire concert, Zai personally told me that nobody in Iraq knows how to set up a guitar live)

Why is this?

this is not culture clash, this is culture shock.

To sum up why, it is safe and a bit pretentious to say that the artform displayed was not sufficient enough for the recipients to lose the cultural identification, it wasn't all-encompassing, at their best the crowd cheered mostly due to the bassist's rendition of 'Last Of The Mohicans' because it is the one most identifible with the cultural unit, the cheers were hollow, they weren't real ; still, they were there cuz they were an iraqi band, their peers, the band was adequate, acceptable, don't get me wrong and like said earlier, they reflected the generic boneheaded metal stupidity expected from 19-year-olds obsessed with sex and death well. Their best known song, 'Psycho' is a mediocre attempt at a Judas Priest song sung with a Manowar attitude
'Psycho's on the run, Psycho's on the loose'
real stuff?
The band suffered the same pressure as well, they weren't into their music too much to make the audience let loose in the same infectious manner, they were as reserved and cautious as any jerk so basically music was huh-huh, peer pressure, etc's just by-the-numbers, really.

For music like this to prosper, its creators should possess the mentality to interpret their art to the reciepents by more INTELILGENT methods, both musically and lyrically. This will be explored later.

the above is a two-word sentence, for an iraqi metal to survive, they would have to focus on one word of the couplet, and forget the other infinitely

I.e. they could either focus on being IRAQI, selling out, using the publicity that they get from current media dissection of the land to get ahead, still they won't get so far if they don't have something different once they make the spotlight.
2. Or they could be metal, totally dropping any identification with their own origins, if they want to appeal to a western market, the result will be a complete loss of potential, the possibilties for a band from iraq could have dozens of interesting elements to them, if in the right hands, a band with talent could express the tragic stories and presicely the correct approximation of the color of their country WITHOUT sounding preppy, and by god, we have already a dozen of faceless metal bands, and if so, they have a very hard time going up the ladder.

Ahem, erm....well...

Hereby I am going to lay down some of the thoughts that I have kept confined to my own about errr....a standard by which a band formulated in Iraq, or the arabic world in general, may actually attain some respect....

You are transported by a whimsical bolt of my mind into my Dreamscape....there are two doors, one to the right, pale yellow with dents and the other with a cool black sheen...before u have the opportunity to enter my perverse erotic universe i quickly spank....usher you to the left, my musical ambitions door. here I am going to say stuff that has grown into my own insecure, improbable parallel universe, I am going to sound big and in-the-know, but pardon me, it is my fantasy after all, i have the right, i am THE CREATOR.

I just wanted you to understand that...

Scandivian Metal, New Wave Of British Heavy Metal....Would U Expect so See Jalghi Metal up there sometime?

To Be Continued....I gotta get me the Zs!

Out & About...
The Kid

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Literary Competition

song : Keane - Everybody's Changing
this reminds me in some peculiar way to the doors, man am i getting into this anthemic british's agsint my rules....damn!

Being the weirdoes we are, we just couldn't live like normal Iraqi college people could, no sir.
That's why we arranged for some sort of literary competition
it was open for all, although only 4 were in and only 3 actually did anything

The rules were to write out a short story that had three of the following :

1. The story must be set in our college, all characters must be real, but could hide under pseudonyms.
2. The story must have science-fiction elements
3. The story must be erotic in nature, even before it being sci-fi.

Of course, the rules were laid out by me....I started to write and my friend wrote as well, the other friend of ours was already a published writer (u can check out his story at, hee hee, look for Lusty Caesar)
I found my story collecting dustbits yesterday in some forgotten folder, i'm gonna show you bits of it, just cuz i don't have the time to think about another solid post right now.

Tell me what you think....personally i think it's both overly technical for a sex story and well...okay at best....but still has some good stuff every now & then...

However, the dust grain doesn't have sufficient space to store a functional brain. The Ellyian are creatures of the soul, and has had little dabble in science whatsoever; their greatest achievements were obtained by a rigorous, instinct-driven understanding of the spirit and its incantations. They had no methods by which to compress data or anything so bright, the magnificent mind of an Ellyian had to be frozen into just another magnesium atom ; only the pre-chained DNA instructions required to shapeshift back into a full-bloomed mama's boy Ellyian and the conscious nerves required to initiate them were embedded. He also decided to cut off all sensory input except for sight, the distractions of smell, touch, and taste were as heavy burdens as an annoyingly attentive mind. He only needed to observe, camera-dumb; the analysis will have to wait until reemergence. Also, Shifting from a true Ellyian form into a small negligible particle required the dissipation of obscene amounts of energy ; luckily, he was resourceful enough to survey the land and didn't need a translation for the clear state of panic and turmoil the place was having, already two explosions had occurred on his arrival, one by an exploding car and another was by a self-exploding human (he reminded himself to ask if humans can explode willingly when u get back) He steered the horrendous energy stack in air for a while before laying the most of it alongside the bottom of a nearby river, and distributing the rest evenly between two cars that had exploding-devices that came by handily and just for kicks, he landed a final power surge on an unsuspecting flock of birds flying sheepishly nearby, completely fucking up their spine and frying the bastards about a thousand times simultaneously.

-----This is a different part, it does not immediately follow the above : ------------

It was the first week of observations after the Projector stance, Haamos'al had acquired almost all the profiles of the 22 continuously appearing humans along, the most articulate ones were those of much older humans who appeared less frequently but more frequently were in contact with him, he harnessed the human soul and whistled as silently as a projector can. Untapped potential, it's a shame they don't know how to work any of it yet, only in contact via dreams. The profiles of the older humans he didn't need, they were all sexually more or less satisfied, and he didn't find any references to sexual favoritism inside this social unit, which was what he wanted, he disregarded them completely. The younger profiles held varying degrees of success ; most held doubt, carrying the usual psychological features he was forced to understand so thoroughly in the seminars at (X), they held mild degrees of neurosis, phobias, extrovert/introvert balances, a minority had a tendency toward anti-social behavior ; a certain human had extremely anti-social symptoms that might develop into psychopathic behavior, another hid a reservoir of boiling anger that he carefully nested under a steely gaze and a continuously wearing smile. Qaarm’ale could’ve explored the limits to which they can hold the humans at fists with each other, but such attempt would require an in-depth study of the human motives and desires. Sexual appetite was universal, and an animal instinct that was easy to guide and hard to resist. The sexual impulses were virtually universal in all the humans, but most were indefinite, prematurely sketched, and inadequate. He still struck gold; about 7 individuals had strong sexual theories still untested, and a third of the total social unit had intertwined sexual feelings inside the social unit itself, this was more than enough. He still hasn't decided as to whom to give the gift, but he has a few candidates up to the point. He was growing a trifle tired, sometimes the humans bothered him to bits, and he was getting inappropriately horny as a bonus, he found her sitting on him one fine Tuesday.

She took him completely by surprise, and he was admittedly lonely and out of touch with the females for a long time now, she had only touched him fleetingly about two days ago, but now her beautiful piece of ass was completely touching his side, oh man, he congratulated himself on being so methodical to imprint the projector stability or he would've flickered down right then and there.
Her ass was the wide, peachy kind. He expected it to be pale in color, but fleshy and with substance. Pristine, rolling hills that awaited thirsty conquest. She held contact, poor soul. He tried to divert his attention from her bottom and go to her up, read her brain. She was a shy, unsure type, very hesitant and with indefinite, almost childish sexual education. He felt depressed and his heart broke down. He re-focused on her casually placed around his left side, talking to another human...the one with the monotonous speech pattern and morally-plagued sexual liaisons. He wanted to touch it in between so badly that he almost turned on by mistake.
Luckily she got up and went.
Just before her back rose so sweetly he reached for the brain to find a name, he found it. Salma will do fine, although it felt funny and characterless as all Human names do.


"What's cracking?" asked Jasim, between bites from a 600-dinar hamburger.
"Man, Fuck The World!" Abdilkahar barked, riding one of his enthusiastic surges, he was wearing a defiant heavy metal T-shirt that screamed western values and classic nondescript jeans. His hair, neck-level long straightened by a Glatt session he undertook a few days ago, was slicked back with a healthy dose of hair foam. He was thin in stature; but his gait still held you in an unlikely charm of its own. Dissident, he maintained an attitude of intended bursts of wackiness that was meant to obscure an intellectual sadness that sometimes overwhelmed him into total fucking silence.
"Soak up the sun, my dear friend..." Jasim grounded, whipping out his Nokia whilst adjusting himself in a more comfortable position.
"Ho-hum...don't fiddle around with bluetooth again, hon"
"I fiddle with a lot of things, excuse me" Jasim retorted. He was wide in birth, his hair was short and curly, similar in texture to Abdilkahaar’s without his fancy hair products, his face was childish to a degree, his hazel eyes leaked a kindness of heart that sometimes faltered behind his ego, he hated to be outsmarted.
"Awww....shut up" Zachary announced, to nobody in particular.
Muslim laughed heartily, at everybody in general.

The four were sitting around one of the tables before the smaller cafeteria, if you can call it that. Business was flowing these days for poor man Abid, the owner of the small 'cafeteria' shack; the main cafeteria's doors were closed as it was being auctioned. The place swarmed with hungry creatures; the hot sun opened their appetite and there was already a haphazard queue forming at the new barbecue stand. It was 1:30 PM, the lectures were finished for the day. Boredom overflowed the table.

"Let's discuss profound things..." Abdilkahar began
"Like the number of hairs in my ass" Jasim immediately replied, not lifting his eyes out of whatever he was doing with his Nokia ; people did everything with their mobiles except calling.
"I can beat you at that anytime" Abdilkahar looked at him smirkly. Jasim smiled involuntarily, he had an obsession with bodily humor.
Silence overtook the conversation, Zachary was mumbling incongruities, mostly bits and pieces of Shi'ite latmias, everyone sitting in the table was Sunni, except for Muslim.
“Here’s looking at you, balla3” Jasim heard Abdilkahar say, he looked at him instantly, but found him staring downward at his temple.
“11, and going, counterclockwise”
Jasim half-cocked his head, pretending to do a survey of the land, finding the treasure; he held gaze for a bit before coming back, all smiles.
“she looks borno to me if you know what I mean” Abdilkahar said, he was studying his friend intently
Muslim and Zachary were involved in a mobile pool game, not bothering to notice the usual everyday stage theater.
“Yeah well, it’s about time we rose to the occasion” Jasim replied.
“I have her number” Abdilkahar said, after a period of silence
Zachary stared out, this was new “Kahar, you will only ba3ar it...”
“Shut the fuck up, dog. I only ba3ar because my hands are empty, but now I’ve got a real hunt. Jasmiya, gimme your phone please, and Muslim, close your ears”
Muslim did a face, before rising up to meet Madhloom and Sadeem.
“Wilkum Ha” this was Madhloom, his voice barely audible as usual
“Istaghfurllah” Sadeem immediately said upon seeing Kahar, who grinned friendlily back.
“Shako Shbeekum?” Madhloom was inquiring
“That kamush here says he’s got Sabreen’s digits” Zachary said, matter-of-factly to him but to everyone else it was provided with his strangely rhythmic whine, rendering the sentence like a six-year-old claim of another boy’s mischievousness. Everyone liked to hear him talk and sometimes he would unleash a furry of complicated neo-political theories in that whiny sinusoidal voice that never failed to amuse you.
Both Sadeem and Madhloom looked at Abdilkahar, both amazed for their own reasons. Mahdloom was the sort of small boy in the pack, who always crawled under the legs and he was generally excited about everything that involved girls. Sadeem was half-amsued, expecting a prank to appear every now and then, and eagerly expecting the ba3ar to happen, Kahaar was one of his bestfriends, but he was also an uncontrollable loon at times.
“Look dog, at the real man in action” Abdilkahar boldly proclaimed. With a snatch, he produced Jasim’s mobile out of the hazel-eyed’s hands before he could have a chance to protest, his ego being scratched by that outsmarting action.
The place was suddenly alive with anticipation, the boys huddled in unison at the Nokia N-Gage QD, Abdilkahaar was hurriedly dialing “How?” asked somebody “Hamad Hamid gave it to me the other day” was a sunny day, and the mobile couldn’t refuse.

On Jarrar....

WARNING : Spontaneous blog ahead, no time to arrange my thoughts as I usually do, so quality may suffer, here's the gist :

song : aerosmith - st john
John, he prayed
for all the people ever made...
John, was cool
he never did no after school

Khalid Jarrar...

He wasn't arrested for having a blog.

He was arrested for having a beard.

Think about it.

He wasn't arrested due to whatever he might have said at his blog (and if they did take him for that, he would've suffered i think a lot more - his profile alone is fishy) at all! It was more or less a random pickup probably instigated by word-of-mouth inside the college, you know, anti-US and beard and religion and all....

He wasn't freed cuz of the blog movement....that wouldn't register shit in the ears of the people who run the place, for a better description of these individuals, refer to Khalid's post on his blog. already linked to everywhere....

He was freed because....uhhh...good hair day?

His post is very informative and also may I say brave, although the fact that nil of the people that could cause trouble would ever read it.

Anyways, cheers!

Which is more plausible? An intelligence agency who closely and painstakingly monitor activities of suspects and politely keep them in neat faded-yellow folders in an elegnat storage cabinet....
or the confused hoosa of randomness that is more reflective of the state of how things are on the whole.

I was once held for interrogation at the Jordanian borders for posession of CDs, they thought it was porn.
The CD, was basically a collection of MP3s and a small video we shot at a room, you should know i'm a director-freak....Me & my cousins shot this video for a fun about a fictional election list's ad called 'Baghdad's Christmas Carol', in which I appear in a full white suit in a room, suffices to say that the ending shot wouldn't be out of place on an Alaa Sa3ad video.

The custom official was i think a year older than moi, he was t-shirt and jeans plus a cig for lookin' cool, but still as fuckin' pompous as ever. He went for 20 mins and came back, all work and no play :

He paused for drama, then:
'What's ur nationality? Are u an arab?'
Me ,playing the dumb blonde more or less : 'Yes', a cute, shit-eating schoolboy grin dangled from cheek to cheek.
I waited for a reasonable explanation for his pattern of thinking, it was :
'The CD is full of english song, there's not a sinlgle arabic song there!'
God! My schoolboy retorted even more stupidly :
'There is, Ghallak'
'And what's with the dancing?'
Huh? I've forgotten about all that
'No No....this isn't what u think...the guy with the breasts and wig is my cousin, he's ....'

It went on for five minutes ....half-an hour later we were through, we reached the borders on 12 PM, it was currently 8 PM.

Bottomline : Interrogrations, especially one handled by 20-year-olds-full-of-themselves are stupid and have no voice of reason whatsoever....expect a foray into a Lewis Carroll book.

Out & About
The Kid