Friday, July 28, 2006

Used and Abused

It is a rare thing indeed for Omar to call me to vent his spleen. I gotta admit I am in completeness agreeness though over his call on thursday.
Omar likes basketball, tupak shakur, fried chicken, unpc humour and reading so we get along real well. He barracks for essendon so he will always be a loser in my eyes as I must be in his. He also is technically Palestinian. He is of palestinian decent. He's even been there.
To me everything I like about Omar and all the reasons we are friends are wholeheartedly not related to him being an Arab.
Yet Omar is hot property to lefty groups, he's a palestinian which is as arab as you can get in most peoples eyes and he's not a crazy terrorist motherfucker.
So every leftwing group wants him as their pin up boy to combat the stereotype that all arabs are terrorists. Now that's certainly a picture that needs unpainting, I got another moron friend that was afraid to catch trams because an arab might blow it up on him. What the fuck? I thought he was intelligent, and more to the point doesn't have that much to live for anyway.
But here's the thing, you commodifying a positive rolemodel is a form of racism as seditious as villifying a race. Because your simply combating one stereotype by trying to argue another.
Specifically Omar was complaining about those cocksuckers the Socialist Alternative. The one's that put up a bazillion posters to announce a night on any indiscriminate issue that pops up in the daily news and then hold a meeting atended by 10 people and don't even dignify relating the said topic of discussion to the armed international revolution that's going to happen in the next 5 years.
It's a shallow insubstantial group that probably has more to do with people trying to pick up other socially inept people.
So one of these fuckers according to what I can recollect of Omar telling me did the 'I've got a palestinian friend that would be great for this I'll pass on his details to this group on his behalf' and in the environmentally unfriendly inefficient way they stick up posters began bothering Omar regularly.
Omar is a nice guy, if he was a christian and carried on like he does with the platitudes and niceties I'd probably hate him. So Omar goes to a meeting so he can say he gave it a try.
And had much the same experience any other socially competent person has with the socialists.
I gotta admit I'm jealous of Omar a lot of the time because his liberal pin up boy status means he gets given a lot of credibility and attention I feel I don't, but at the same time I feel sorry for him on both fronts. Certain people in the world with whom the only common link is their favorite book have meant he leads a life trying to convince sound minded people that arab culture has something to offer. On the other hand he cant learn and experience and be taken seriously by organisations that are sympathetic because they want him as a display item, a commodity to make them feel valid. Omar's invited to listen more often than he is given the chance to speak to these groups, like their doing him a fucken favour.
Whereas I can go along and say 'Impress me' and at least offer a critique that will either score me an invite back or send me off packing. Which is cool by me.
Because as an Australian, in Australia I am not reduced to a commodity or stereotype, (sure when I was in japan and a white boy a reaped the benifits of being hailed like some kind of movie star but at the end of the day being liked for being me was an uphill battle) One Australian can look at me and I can look at them and we know we have nothing in common.
What is Australian? Is it being into Rock or Country, Is it voting Liberal or Labour, Is it Holden or Ford, Is it liking AFL or hating it, is an Australian a fan of Ken Done or Brett Whitely? Are they Yellow, White, Black or Brown?
Australia is not that culturally diverse, it has no where near the regional flavours of the US or Europe yet we know stereotypes are just about useless.
But one thing the lefties have in common is the love to leesh up a sane arab, to argue against a subconscious arguement that never gets voiced and people don't like to admit they believe 'All Arabs are Terrorists'
I do it, I like Japanese people, not malaysians, am scared of Zionists, find Spanish sexier than French and Italian sexier than French and if I heard enough welsh I'd probably prefer that to French too.
Generalisations help us pick holiday destinations but if you really want to make a change in this world keep this little excerpt from Shantaram in mind:
'I have more in common with a reasonable Jew, than I do a fanatic of my own religion. I have more in common with a reasonable Christian than I do a fanatic of my own religion. I have more in common with a reasonable Hindu, than I do a fanatic of my own religion. I have more in common with an athiest, than I do a fanatic of my own religion.'
No matter the nature of the character (a Moslem) I think this stance should be adopted by all. Consciousness is the best way you can serve yourself and your religion, political beliefs etc. Mindful giving and doing, no matter who you are think about why you're doing it.
I mean seriously you Socialist Alternative, fuck.

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