Thursday, July 31, 2014

"It's bigger than all of us"

You sit there and look at the man who pretends to be neutral. He sips his tea and sits confidently, his aura taking over the whole living room. He's confident with his arguments, and why shouldn't he be? He believes in them utterly and he knows you can never beat them because they don't make any sense. So we talk politics. We talk Syria, and we talk about a three year nightmare that we didn't ask for but for which everybody blames us.

"Stop asking me what my opinion is on all of this" he says, sounding irritated. He takes a drag of his cigarette confidently like the Arabian incarnation of the long-dead Marlborough man. "This is bigger than you and me. It's bigger than all of us. This is a game of nations, you hear me? What are we in front of the fate of nations"

He shakes his head and sips more of the tea.

"I just thank God I don't have to make these kinds of decisions, because politics is a dirty game and you need to be a particular kind of person. You're coming to me with your arguments about right and wrong, with emotion. Politics is a 'zero emotion zone'". He says that last bit slowly and deliberately, almost spelling it out. He seems quite proud of that statement, as if it's a profound philosophy that only the enlightened would understand.

"You know, you were warned this would all happen" he goes on. "Don't say nobody warned you. At the beginning you all thought it would be over in a few weeks. What did you think was going to happen? This is the real deal".

"Besides, where are all these friends who said they would help you? That's right, the ones who told you to go out on the streets" he says.

He thinks somebody paid those people to go out on the streets and obliterate their lives. What else could that sentence mean? He dusts off more ash from the cigarette, takes another drag, and rests it in the ashtray.

"Anyway, the country is going to take fifty years, if ever, before we are able to rebuild. Forget it, Syria is finished. We are finished" he says. He's shifted now, from a kind of realist politics to one of grim depression. He's gone from a man with no opinion to a very definitive understanding of what's happened, and he knows exactly who to blame. But as he said earlier, "this is bigger than all of us" - just not too big for him to insult our intelligence and make grandiose pronouncements on politics, philosophy and the destiny of nations.


Safiya Outlines said...

How do you not kick such a person in the ankles?

Sorry, I know I should think of a more thoughtful response, but it's not coming.

"Politics is a zero emotion zone", what nonsense! Politics, like every human endevour, is littered with emotions. Hubris, envy, schadenfreude, malice; all of these are emotions threaded through and around politics.

If people want to be base enough to say, "I told you so", for whatever pleasure they derive from doing so, they should at least get to the point and not dress it up as some higher level of reasoning.

Maysaloon said...

It's difficult. And these are things I've heard from several people. I've just joined them all up into one odious personality in a fictional conversation...