Analyzing Political Undertones in Pop Culture Through Art


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There is generally speaking a list of artistic works that, despite their aesthetic greatness, are either historically misrepresentative & inaccurate or merely biased in context and coverage.

Some do justice, some don’t. Perception all depends on which angle you look at the subject. I wish for justice for all, but we must recognize, expose & bring to justice those distinct forces which cause & instigate violent political crime.

Munich, Waltz with Bashir, & Exodus, viewed as biased & racist. Black & Arab culture, disenfranchised, used, exploited, hung & dried.

A more accurate depiction of reality in the Middle East in Palestinian film Paradise Now.

Another, more realistic representation of the ME in a scene from Syriana, which features George Clooney & Matt Damon.

How Hollywood & all of western media distorts reality through film & other mediums of mass mainstream expression.

This rather, light film depicts the similarities, and differences, between the Arab & Israeli people. But recognition of Israel implies two things: treachery to the Arab cause; abandoning the human rights of the Palestinian nation.

Is it unfair for the international community to suggest that the Jews are fine without a state called Israel? The difference between the need for an Armenian state, for example, versus a Jewish one, is that the former is completely ethnic-based while the latter is a hybrid of religion, culture and language. This makes it difficult to place importance on the need for a Jewish state while ignoring Palestinian self-determination.

Individuals like Helen Thomas get blacklisted for making comments such as those in the video below:

If there is a moral arc of the universe, it bends in favor of the Westerner & the lighter-skinned.

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The List Goes On


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Political and religious labels are misleading. Depending on the context, these labels change in meaning. In one context, such as Maoist China or Spain during the Civil War, republican might be defined as communist, whereas in the United States, the modern Republican is essentially a neo-conservative. In France, Republicans are centrists and the other major alternative is the far left Socialist Party. Furthermore, labels are often used as a method of control, riddled with arbitrary conjecture & irrationalism. For example, take libertarianism. Ayn Rand is the fountainhead of the label. Despite being a so-called individualist doctrine, anti-statist, anti-communist, pro-anarchy essentially, Ayn Rand remained dependent on government welfare & died in debt. In this case, the ideology is not merely vague — it has no sense.

There are too many organizations that profit off preaching extreme & baseless political views instead of quality innovation. America is the world’s hub for entrepreneurs, open-markets & free-trade. There are however, many barriers to this system. ‘Republicans’ might suggest the problem is an over-reaching government. But usually when the US government is doing any over-reaching, the party in control is Republican. The hypocrisy is evident. Republicans are more correctly described as neo-conservatives. They are statists who use ideology to expand their political agendas domestically & abroad. Personally, I think the Republican party should be renamed the ‘Conservative Party’. Reason is because the Democratic Party is the actual successor of the Democratic-Republican Party which reflects the ideal of limited government more reasonably than the GOP. The classical-liberalism which is intended to serve as the foundation of the Republican Party is completely absent. What actually exists in the void is a religious zealotry, which combines state-expansionism w/ religious evangelism. I would classify the Bushes & Ronald Reagan in this category. If any of the two parties even remotely exhibit any aspects of classical liberalism it would be the Democrats. Generally speaking the Democrats are anti-war & pro-civil-liberties. Most civil rights movements find support from the Democratic Party, more so than the Republican Party.

Meanwhile Libertarians like Rand Paul & his father tout an ideal that doesn’t exist. Perhaps without realizing it, they too are pawns of the neo-conservative movement. The Pauls can’t decide whether they support Israel or not, but seeing as how libertarianism is without affirmation, so too is their loyalty. The inconsistencies in this ideological dogma are rampant. They merely work to further distract individuals from the motive of the ‘Republican’ Party, which is to expand the role of the state beyond democratic & egalitarian means at home and abroad. At home their agenda works to suppress minorities, African-Americans, Muslim & Arab-Americans, Hispanics, Women, Gays, Immigrants, Jews, & Atheists — to disenfranchise them from the social, economic and political scene of America.

The nepotism within capitalism is so rampant that it makes Republicans look completely ridiculous when they make claims about rags-to-riches, especially when few of them experienced this route but rather inherited their wealth or benefit off the nepotism of white privilege in America.

Furthermore the double-standard is apparent in that only conventional views are the big profiteers while conscious non-conformers are disenfranchised from the social, economic & political fabric of American society. White people, especially those who espouse neo-conservative attitude. Let me add that there is a generally accepted belief that atheists and the republican party are incompatible due to religious differences but in reality these two forces work hand in hand. You do not have to be a religious fanatic to be a neo-con. Christopher Hitchens & Bill Maher, two renowned atheists, RIP to the former, were avid neo-cons who supported the Bush Jr. campaign in Iraq. All of these labels are used to pin us against each other instead of addressing the actual issues. Most of these dudes hold profitable positions because they’ve conformed to the neo-con attitude–HIGHLY profitable in America.

Instead of relying on fanatical ideologies & religious social systems for sustenance, why not rely on yourselves and your individuality?

Furthermore, just like Bill Maher & Christopher Hitchens can use their ideology to profit, why can’t we non-conformers & anti-neo-cons? Watch TYT reluctance to call the recent murders of 3 Muslim-Americans a hate-crime, probably because it was committed by a White, American atheist (video below). The Young Turks network remains till this day non-vocal on the issue of the Armenian-Genocide, to the benefit of neo-cons & NATO & some Turkish agents.

While TYT & Uygur have made it clear that they are not associated with The Young Turks ideology which was likely responsible for the Armenian Genocide in 1915, which claimed not only the lives of Armenians but also Assyrians & Greeks, it has yet to recognize the crime as a genocide altogether. I believe only through continued assimilation of Turks & Armenians can this crime once and for all be recognized, justice served & dignity restored.

It isn’t surprising that the Armenian Genocide has yet to be treated as a Holocaust. In an article I once read, the recognition of past political crimes on a massive scale requires amnesty and thus raises the status of a given group to one of privilege; a benefit only some wish to enjoy. How many groups have been historically systematically oppressed, whose sufferings remain today, wholly unaddressed? African-Americans? Armenians? Arab-Christians? Chinese Democrats? Muslims? Palestinians? Africans? Immigrants?

The list goes on.

Remembering Anthony Shadid (1968-2012)


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On September 1st, 2011, late journalist & NYT foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid came to speak to UCF students about his recent escapades in the Middle East, namely his most recent experiences in Libya, where Shadid recalled being taken hostage with two other associates for three days.

I am grateful to say I had the opportunity to sit in on his speech. I was even able to meet with Shadid shortly after his speech during which I introduced myself. He was quick to smile with news that I am Syrian. I purchased his most recent book, Night Draws Near, in which he left me a little note, perhaps a little naive in hindsight, or just rashly hopeful as all Arabs tend to be. “See you in Damascus,” he uttered.

Anthony Shadid reminded me what it means to be an Arab, aside from the ordinary customs, our cuisine, language music and traditions. Anthony Shadid reminded me that at the heart of being Arab is the nature of resilience; our ability to laugh and chuckle even amidst the darkest of chaos. I vaguely remember a story told to me by close friend of mine, a Palestinian political activist from Ramallah, Tami Rafidi. Rafidi, whose husband was taken captive by Israeli forces never to be returned, embodied this resilience. Despite her frustrations; anger & suffering, Rafidi recalled memories of running wildly along the rugged Palestinian terrain dodging Israel fire while laughing, telling jokes & drinking the famous Arab liquor – ‘arak’.

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In 2006, when Israel began bombing Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, the Lebanese people were seeking refuge by day; clubbing relentlessly by night. Despite all the misery and control, the Arabs found a way; an outlet.

It is Tami’s resilience, the resilience of the Lebanese people, which echoed the sentiments of Anthony Shadid, who did not stop short of asserting during his speech: “At the heart of the Arab struggle is Palestine, a very dear subject for the Arab & Muslim world. This cannot be understated.”

I admire this man for his courage and resolve.

In 2012, during a trip to Syria where he was capturing stories about the ensuing conflict in the region, Shadid suffered what appeared to be a asthma attack. Shortly after Shadid passed. I was shocked by the news. Without any history of medical complications except for minor sensitivities to allergens, Shadid was not on course for any type of health issues.

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I remember having met his daughter at the time of his speech. She was quite young, very polite & beautiful. My prayers and thanks are with her, wherever she may be, for having had such an amazing man as a father. My dream is to honor his legacy and the struggle of the Arab people all over the world, which he represented so well.

I did not want to go into any details or elaborate on the possibility of foul-play regarding Shadid’s death, out of respect for him & his family. I will add, however that with regards to the Middle East, there is without a doubt an unrelenting fear among journalists, dissidents or activists of any sort, of persecution for propagating legitimate news, especially if it poses a threat to the interests of particular political actors. His bodies of work, including the aforementioned book, shows no restraint in exposing the consequences of the US government’s disastrous policies which would usher in violent instability & chaos that has yet to conclude, even a decade after the US initiated the invasion.

I pray that in the case of Shadid, his passing was a matter of fate and nature. Nonetheless, his legacy remains & the struggle for Arab dignity continues.

RIP Anthony Shadid. Thank you. May the children of Iraq see justice one day. Long live the Arab struggle for freedom & may Palestine one day be free!