Friday, May 23, 2003

TEST: The sad decline of Kuwaiti theatre

Last week I had the misfortune of attending "Qannas Khaitan", a so-called satirical play which got rave reviews from almost everyone who went to see it. Maybe it's just me but I found myself fighting the urge to scream at the actors to just SHUT THE FUCK UP! It was so beyond awful, and such a collosal letdown. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had gone with low expectations, but as everybody kept saying it was a return to the glory days of Kuwaiti theatre in the 70s, I went expecting a solid piece with an actual narrative. Instead, the once mighty Hussein Abdul-Reda and Hayat Al-Fahad were reduced to crass, vulgar jokes that were slapped onto the script for no apparent reason. It was just gratuitous vulgarity that added nothing to the story... well, what little story there was in the first place.

I squirmed in my seat during the first act, but still kept my hopes up for a better second act. Alas, it was even worse. I sat there, paralyzed, staring at the stage and unable to get up and leave, in total shock at the level to which two of Kuwait's leading actors had sunk. Most people seemed to like the tough "jokes" criticizing one current political scenario after the other, but they were done in such a crude and primitive way, where the actors would just lecture about the issues. How pathetic that the so-called playwright couldn't even create any scenes to embody and address any particular issue.

Is it just me? Are my standards too high? Am I being a snob? I don't think so... one viewing of any of the great plays of the 70s and 80s will confirm my opinions. Of course, I went as a guest of a friend who was kind enough to invite me. Had I known ahead of time that the play had been written and produced by the God-awful Fajer Al-Sa3eed I would have declined the invitation and stayed home. That woman has produced some of the worst trash to make its way onto Kuwait's TV and stage.

The Al-Watan columnist Fouad Al-Hashem was also in attendance that night, and I had hoped that someone like him with a sharp eye for satire and quality arts would rip the play to shreds in his column. Boy was I was wrong!! The man raved about it - I was tempted to send him a letter asking him if we were indeed at the same play or if he was on some controlled substance (and where I could get some!). This just confirms the long standing rumours that Al-Watan's editorial staff are under strict instructions not to write anything negative about Ms. Al-Saeed, no matter how blatantly awful her output..... Kind of like Rolling Stone magazine's relationship with Yoko Ono :-P

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

And so it begins...... the war that was ostensibly fought to make the world a safer place has, instead, aggravated the already deranged lunatics of Al-Qaeda.

A Saudi dissident, exiled in the UK, says that even US troop withdrawal from Saudi Arabia is too little too late, and will not save the Saudi regime.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

I see Salam Pax is back on the air, or on the "blogsphere" as it were... Glad to see he is safe!
This is hysterical. On David Letterman's nightly Top Ten List, here are the Top Ten President Bush Excuses For Not Finding Weapons of Mass Destruction

10. "We've only looked through 99% of the country"

9. "We spent entire budget making those playing cards"

8. "Containers are labeled in some crazy language"

7. "They must have been stolen by some of them evil X-Men mutants"

6. "Did I say Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? I meant they have goats"

5. "How are we supposed to find weapons of mass destruction when we can't even find Cheney?"

4. "Still screwed up because of Daylight Savings Time"

3. "When you're trying to find something, it's always in the last place you look, am I right, people?"

2. "Let's face it -- I ain't exactly a genius"

1. "Geraldo took them"

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

I can't decide if I should smile at this story or roll my eyes at the thought of a French pastry chef being flown from Kuwait to Baghdad to prepare meals for 350 Iraqi and American delegates convening in Baghdad to map out Iraq's future. I'm not familiar with the Crowne Plaza hotel's cuisine, save for the excellent sushi, so I can't really comment much.

As for "suffering through fine dinners with nothing more than bootleg homemade wine"... Zut alors! Il faut aller a l'ambassade Francaise, ou il y a plein de bon vin!!

Monday, May 05, 2003

It's been a while, but I had to comment on the mass graves found outside Najaf and near Babylon with scores of human remains - all victims of Saddam's regime.

I saw the most gruesome images on TV last night, worse than these pictures. I had to flip the channel when a young woman whose brother was killed by Saddam's thugs began wailing out of control. It was too painful to watch.