January 18, 2007
Hassan at the Lebanese Bloggers Forum had this to say:
“Yet another play on the I Love Life Campaign is the I Heart Capitalism Campaign.
Not very funny for those who did not think that one aspect of the Cedar Revolution was a ‘Gucci Revolution’, or maybe just not very funny. Worth a look anyway”.
Well. That would be the whole point now, wouldn’t it?
There was a ‘Gucci Revolution’ aspect to the whole Cedar shebang, but I think it’s an oversimplification to claim that March 14ers are all middle to upper class and the opposition are all working class. To reduce these complex popular movements into a class issue obscures the ways in which class and sectarianism interact in Lebanon. Let’s not forget that the so-called cedar revolution had a large Sunni base, and that not all Sunnis are middle class (Akkar, anyone?), and the Lebanese Forces aren’t exactly Gucci people. Let’s also not forget that the opposition includes Aounists, a large number of which are of the Chrisitian middle class. The whole problem is that sectarianism makes class identification and class struggle impossible.
The “I Love Life” campaign is racist in that it implicitly claims that March 14 are “civilized” and adhere to a “culture of life” (I can still see the blood dripping from Ja’Ja’ and Jumblatt’s fangs – civilized my ass) in contradisctinction to the shi’a rabble, who apparently love death and have even created a whole culture of it. So.. good Arab, bad Arab, just like the Americans taught us. It serves the interest of the elite only by exacerbating sectarian tensions in the basest of ways and by indulging in the myth that “living” means being able to buy crap in downtown Beirut. How reminicent of post-9/11 America, when following the attacks on the two towers George Bush urged a terror-stricken but docile populace to prove their patriotism by going shopping. Because if they don’t, the terrorists will have won.
January 16, 2007
The infamous Aishti heart:
The staple of a balanced Lebanese diet:
January 16, 2007
On January 11, 2007, the IHC team recieved a frantic phonecall from M: “AUB ARE HAVING A CONCERT SPONSORED BY I LOVE LIFE TONIGHT!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!”
Faster than you can say Saatchi & Saatchi, the dedicated members of IHC went to work printing out around 200 ‘I heart Capitalism’ (and variants) flyers, and whizzed down to AUB. Sure enough, there they were, in front of West Hall, decked out in their red pins surrounded by I Love Life posters. The team proceeded to hand out the flyers to people attending the concert, careful to avoid anyone wearing a red badge lest they snitch us out to security (which they did).
Reactions varied from “are you agents of the Syrian-Iranian axis?”, to “what’s the WTO?” (a quality education, AUB), to “yee, I DO love shopping! Tank you la ilik!”. But, to be fair, not all of the people were one brain cell short of amoeba. Some did give us thumbs up and thank us.
One man asked if we were part of the new opposition campaign to co-opt the “I Love Life” slogan. We cannot stress enough that we are NOT. The problem with the opposition’s campaign in our eyes is that they are not interested in questioning the meaning behind the slogan and insist on taking it as is. In short, they love life (and Paris III) too. IHC does not love “life”, if “life” means deprivation, inequality, sectarianism, betrayal, and economic reforms that will only lead to more suffering.
This action was pulled together last minute, so unfortunately we don’t have any pictures. Next time we’ll be sure to be armed with a digicam so we can share photos like one of the devastated look on the face of the girl who thought her “I heart Aishti” flyer was a discount coupon.
January 15, 2007
If you’re going to print out two-sided flyers, this is the text that goes on the back: