Archive for the ‘People’ Category

When Hollywood Leading Men Cry

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most profound. Photographer Sam Taylor-Wood‘s project “Crying Men” consists of images of celebrities, all men, simply sobbing. In one way or another, the subject of each photo is a masculine figure, making the heartbreak etched in the faces of those who were able to summon a memory painful enough to elicit a convincing reaction all the more poignant.

According to Wood:

“Some of the men cried before I even finished loading the camera, but others found it really difficult. People can decide for themselves which they think are the authentic tears and which they think are fake. It’s about the idea of taking these big, masculine men and showing a different side.”

Here are my absolute favorites:

Click HERE & HERE for more!

The 5 Annoying People You Meet In Kuwait’s Movie Theater

Last time, I condensed my ranting thoughts regarding the annoying people that you meet in Starbucks all across America, but this time, I’m going for the people that are destined to drive you nuts while watching a movie in Kuwait.

Now, before I rumble on, you might ask “Angelo, why you are so bitter”?

I’m not bitter. In fact, I’ve been told that I am the most delightful person ever, and as a training psychologist, I am conditioned not to harshly judge people or make snap judgments, but I cannot hold my rage and frustration for the sake of science. Thus, I decided to abuse my blog as a source of agitation release. Here’s a word of advice before I start: if you are one of those annoying people I listed, be cautions, because I placed a voodoo curse on you that shall torment you until you repent. In no particular order, here’s my list:

  • The Duckman

Ducks are generally not permitted in movie theaters, but it seems it is the case in Kuwait. It’s very wonderful to witness God’s beautiful creatures manifested in a human being; however, listening to loud bursts of “Kaaaaak” laughs while watching a movie isn’t the most charming thing in my honest opinion. If I had the permission, I would have carried on the respectable laws of the jungle inside the movie theater, and became the hunter who seeks his pray with a shotgun, fated to blast the Duckman in the head.

  • The Gossip Girl

Did you know that Nora has just had her dress tailored from France? And have you heard that Aseel just gave birth to a deformed child? And can you believe that Othman just divorced his wife, Abraar, after 2 months of being married? No! Then I believe you weren’t going to movie theaters lately because it seems the cinema is the perfect hub to stock up with meaningless gossips and tattletales that would make any person to develop horns just by listening to them. Seriously, no XOXO for you, gossip girl, because you deserve a series of punches and kicks right in the gut.

  • The Bluetooth Whore

Countless high-tech wizards have hailed Bluetooth technology as one of the most convenient inventions in the wireless industry, but leave it to Arabs to turn a work of art to one of the most abusive tool ever created. The problem is that people still reluctant to turn off their damn cell phones even after a big bold message has flashed in the giant screen, ordering them to do so. Sometimes, I just wish the screen would develop an arm and bitchslap the Bluetooth abuser silly. Now, if that isn’t annoying to you, then how about a coughing ringtone that gets activated upon receiving a Bluetooth message on every damn second. It’s quite delightful, isn’t it?

  • The Incarnated Children of The Devil

Don’t believe in the devil or dying to meet one? No sweat! All you have to do, is to go to a PG-rated movie roughly around 6 or 7PM in one of the most crowded movie theaters in the country, while arming yourself with bottles of the holy water or verses from the Qu’ran, and you are all set. It was extremely enchanting watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian while a kid from the front seat gave up on watching a convoluted story that his tiny brain couldn’t absorb, and decided to stare at you instead. Not to mention the screams, the hyper laughs, and the countless donkey kicks from the hordes of children behind you. Even chanting, “may the power of Christ compels you” while shoving the cross down their throat didn’t work either. Perhaps mass cremation would do the trick.

  • The Clown Clapper

When a great movie comes to its finale, it is considered privilege decorum to give a round of applause as an appreciation for the good time you spent watching the movie. Occasionally however, you are destined to encounter an obnoxious dude who “overclaps” at every scene, even when the hero of the movie meets his surprising, unexpected death at the end of the movie. I tried to search through the DSM-IV to find a disorder that describes the presented symptom, and gladly I did. I think I’m more surprised to discover that Tourette’s disorder is a common syndrome among the Kuwaiti youth. This the perfect case study for my doctoral dissertation.

Death & Beauty In The Eyes Of The Photographer

The following paragraph and photo was submitted by a photographer named Enrique Metinides from Viceland.com. I should warn you that the picture is a little bit explicit, so read and gawk at your own risk:

This picture was taken on Avenida Chapultepec and Calle de Monterrey in Colonia Roma. She was a very famous journalist who wrote some really good books. That day she had a book-release party and was on her way there. She was all made up, going to pick up her sister to go to the event. Crossing the street, two cars crashed and then ran her over. This picture is great because she has all her makeup on and she just doesn’t look dead even though she is.

It is a beautiful and moving photograph, but I’m not sure about that last point: isn’t that a severed lump of mangled, bloody flesh in the right hand corner? Oh wait! It is indeed a freaking human being. You might want to know that the author removed the comment later on upon receiving complaints from the readers.

[Link]

Dusty Morning @ Souk Sharq

Today, I went to Souk Sharq roughly at eleven o’clock in the morning. It a little bit dusty than usual, and that kind of ruined my morning walk at the pier. I didn’t do much shopping like last time but it was nice strolling around and just observes the people there, which was a good thing since I finally got to monitor the stylish Dishdasha wearing “gentlemen” that Sushi told me about. They usually hang out in a fancy coffee shop while reading the New York Times even though most of them aren’t exactly that sophisticated, if you know what I mean. I’ve to say though, some of them really looked good in a Dishdasha, which kinda sucked for me because I don’t look good wearing one at all.

Anyway, here are some shots I took using my Sony Ericsson K810i. Not too shabby for a cellphone camera.

What Would Children’s Illustrations Look Like In Real Life

Korean photographer Yeondoo Jung‘s series that recreates scenes found in children’s drawings is probably one of the most creative works I have ever seen. Some are funny, some fantastical, and some are simply surreal but all of them are beautiful. If these are indeed based on actual drawings by children, one wonders how close the photos came to the original scenes envisioned in each child’s mind.

Here are some photos along with captions I came up with.

Art #1: The Flying Witchman & The Shelf of Teacups

Art #2: My Life Is a Sitcom

Art #3: The Princess That Stands In Pink

Click Here For More

Musing: Shopping In Kuwait

Despite the herds of Muhajababes that seem to stare deep into my soul while buying the most provocative outfits…

Despite the Kuwaiti retailers that look insulted when you ask them for a bigger size of pants…

Despite the Lebanese sellers that seem to know French more than English, and have the slightest clue on who Ewan McGregor is…

Despite the gay bodybuilders who cannot wait to screw each other and have an orgy in the middle of the mall…

Despite the Mulla-looking dudes that are lurking in a place where they consider a “devil’s haven”…

Despite the flocks of youth that didn’t’ hit puberty but have a knack on hitting on girls who are 10 years older…

Despite the Indian car drivers that have no problem on running you over in the parking lot…

Despite the Westerns that got BBQed from the heat…

Despite being a racist while writing this post…

Shopping in Kuwait still has its charm and splendor.

The 5 Annoying People You Meet In Starbucks

We all love Starbucks, and that’s a fact. However, once in every damn second there, you always have to encounter an annoying person that set you ballistic, even though they might not interact with you directly. They are the people they make you cringe with detest, commit suicide in the spot, or simply, give you the urge to beat the crap out of them. I summarize my ranting as follow:

  • The Writer Who Wants You to Know He’s a Writer

Yes, we all know that writing is a fascinating occupation, but unfortunately, unlike hookers and crack dealers, you cannot simply point them out by looking at them. However, when a person has to tell you that he’s a writer (intentionally), then writing suddenly becomes less impressive. Those kind of people usually go to the busiest Starbucks in town and pop open their Macs, making sure that the shining Apple logo is on display for everyone to see. Then they pretend to write, sigh, and brainstorm their thoughts. However, the most annoying behavior they exhibit that makes you want to go GTA on their asses is when they sit in a table that is usually reserved for four people.

  • The Guy Who Hates Starbucks But Goes There Anyway

The world is packed with shitheads and nobody can deny that, but there are those who realize they are complete shitheads, and yet, brag about it. I’m taking about that certain someone who won’t shut up about how crappy Starbucks is, and forget the fact he is ranting while waiting in line inside Starbucks. Then, they become more annoying when they super customized their coffee and inquire combination that doesn’t even exist at the menu, and then ask for Splenda instead of regular sugar. Those people deserve to be vanished from the face of the Earth, clear and simple.

  • Study Groups

Why go to a proper school library that is filled with textbooks, resources, and free computers when you have the most crowded Starbucks in the area. It definitely makes more sense to go to a place where noise is a popular demanding song, has tables that barely support an encyclopedia, and a crowd that’s yelling for a proper frappuccino. It’s like Turkish prison, except less gay sex and slightly better coffee.

  • Manager Who Refuses to Recognize the Words Small, Medium, and Large

Dear Starbucks Manager,

I understand, you’re a corporate guy and thus must abide by company policies by calling the different sizes by their Starbucks Christian names of Venti, Grande, et. But if I ask you for a small, don’t act like I’m speaking to you in that Native American language as if we were in war where coded messages were delivered. You’re familiar with the sizes small, medium and large, and if you’re not, then you might want to change underwear because there’s a good chance that you are wearing a Venti size boxer that isn’t big enough for your shit that you failed to wipe/wash from defecating at your customers.

Sincerely,

A bitter consumer

  • The Person Who Peruses the DVD/Music Section As If He Might Purchase Something

It’s really great when you’re waiting in line behind somebody only to realize that they’re not in line, but instead deciding whether or not they want to purchase “Akeelah and the Bee” DVD, which I am positively sure that no one ever bought. Yes, we know that you want to shed the stereotypes that white people don’t watch Black movies, but if that particular Black movie sucks, then we understand the reason that you didn’t see it in theaters. Now, would you please stop reading the back cover of the DVD case and order freaking coffee before I kick the crap out of you? Thanks.

Observations In Mishref Walkway

In keeping up with mom’s sudden régime in maintaining my weight (and losing more), she has also compiled a daily schedule for me to walk in Mishref Walkway, which is something I genuinely and highly approve of. It isn’t my first time in this particular walkway but it sure has been a long time since I’ve ever stridden there. However, the social psychologist in me couldn’t help but to monitor the crowd that uses the walkway, and thus, I brought together some general observations that I summed up below:

  • Time doesn’t remain a major obstacle to the visitors, as the walkway is generously crowded on each different time of the day. There are a surprising number of people in the morning, which is something I didn’t expect. However, I couldn’t help but to notice that is commonly packed out on weekends. I predict as the weather gets hotter over time, more people will become nocturnal and walk in the evening.
  • The “social gene” that Kuwaitis possess is still robust and active among the inhabitants of the walkway. It is quite uncommon to find to two people walking together but not talking or socializing. The intensity of the exercise is irrelevant; I have found several joggers and runners exchanging small words while committing on their activity.
  • Women clad in abayas and burqas is a common sightseeing as well, and they even remain in increasing numbers than those who do not wear them. However, further investigation regarding the manner revealed that those women aren’t necessarily veiled, and they only cover themselves when walking. The reason behind such behavior is that some of them wished to be anonymous from people who might know them because some women tend to gossip on who is trying to lose weight, and these kind of talks lean to be unfavorable to the woman who is trying to lose weight.
  • Unlike the women, the men using the walkway are generally fit, and their true intention is to sustain their fitness instead of losing weight. However, those who walk in purpose of losing weight are usually accompanied by their friends, and those who walk or run alone are usually fitted. Behavioral Psychology might explain this behavior in that overweight men become less intimated when they are accompanied by friends and family and shelter them from unnecessary attention from others.
  • The walkway is mostly used by the citizens; although, few South Asian expats are found there in the purpose of striking a conversation with the maids who accompany the children in the playground. Westerns expats generally use the walkway from early morning to late afternoon. Further investigation revealed that the expats usually prefer walking in the outside walkway of The Palms and the Scientific Center in Salmiya.
  • Other forms of walking aren’t commonly observed but exist; the females usually perform power walking while the males favor jogging and running instead.
  • Very few people remain hydrated while active but there are several large water fountains that are suitable for drinking along the walkway.
  • The walkway is 5 kilometers long (which is 10 kilometers upon walking back and forth once). However, most people usually walk between 6 or 7 kilometers. That is, walking for 3 or 3.5 kilometers once and repeats it while heading back.
  • Surprisingly, flirting (or harassing) among the walkers is either rare or nonexistent. There is a general amount of respect among the walkers.

And that concludes my observations. I might update the post upon further observations as I continue visiting the walkway. I’m also interesting in visiting other walkways in the country and conduct my observations and investigate the consistencies.

What’s Up With Nour?

These days, I feel like a stranger in my own country, but in a good way, and my discoveries concerning the hip and new seems never-ending. Apparently, Turkish drama shows are the latest and the hottest trend that is sweeping the Arab channels recently, and viewers have been watching them religiously and cannot seem to get enough of them.

The other day, I was in my uncle’s house upon receiving a dinner invitation, which I gladly accepted. After dinner, I’ve been asked about my major and my career, and as I passionately rumbled on regarding my interest in the field of Social Psychology, the antique clock in the hallway stroke ten times. Suddenly, my cousin shushed everybody in the room, and she silenced me from talking by shoving a sock in my throat.

Okay, that was a lie but I swear I saw her doing that to me in her eyes.

It didn’t take me too long to figure out that the dubbed show was originally Turkish, but I was confused on the choice the producers made on making them speak Syrian instead of Arabic, which was the default option in Arabic dubbed shows. However, I was morbidly inquisitive on the decision of exchanging the Turkish names of the characters with Arabic ones. I mean, if the Arab viewers are comfortable with Spanish names in dubbed Mexican soap operas, then why abandoning the consistency with the Turkish names? I kinda find it a little bit insulting, but I guess anything that keeps the viewers away from watching “a maid turned into a rich woman after having an amnesia” is finely approved by me.

The French Way Of Life

I have expressed several times in my blog about my fascination regarding France and the French people. As a matter of fact, when I come across the Travel section in any bookstore I visit, I always scan the bookshelves for France’s travel guides. Sometimes however, I think I’m more fascinated with the French than France in general. Throughout my readings regarding the French, and watching the countless French movies, they are certain charms and habits that you cannot help but to notice. Not to be positively or negativity stereotypical, I condense my thoughts as follow:

  • The People of Paradoxes

Ask mostly anyone which country they consider the most “European,” and they’ll probably answer France. Thomas Jefferson knew France well, dubbing it “every man’s second fatherland.” Why, in view of these tributes, does one hear unflattering things about the French: that they’re rude, unfriendly, impatient, and even promiscuous? Every visitor shares this bewilderment, and I shall reserve my judgment until I go there and meet them myself.

  • L’esprit Critique

You’ll spot the characteristic shrug of the shoulders, which is the Frenchman’s reaction to all startling news. Some might call it cynicism, but a better phrase is the one the French use themselves: l’esprit critique. It’s not something negative; it’s simply the way the French use their common sense. A Frenchman can’t describe something without adding his own judgment of value, that is, he wants to know if it’s good or bad for him.

  • The Cold Treatment

French indifference and coldness to outsiders is really another virtue seen from the wrong end. If a Frenchman seems cold to outsiders, it’s because he reserves his affections for his family and close friends. Family life in France is one of the closest in Europe: it affords the French the small pleasures (like the evening meal), which they value above all else. Apparently, The French consider instant friendliness a sign of insincerity. Thus, a sign of banjour might be a rare expression (among the French and the outsiders) than you might think.

  • In Unity We Trust

For all their individualism and eccentricity, the French still have bonds, which keep them together as a nation. One is pride in their nation and its language. France is, after all, the oldest unified country in Europe of any size. For centuries, the French language dominated European diplomacy and royal courts. Another bond that unifies them is the Frenchman’s respect for intellectual distinction in general. The French probably read more than any other people. The leading intellectual figures of the day receive the same media coverage that movie stars, politicians, or sports heroes do in the U.S. However, this also means that sometimes the French lose sight of a problem in the endless analysis of its details, especially when the experts disagree.

Conclusion?

If you were seeking a conclusive statement after reading all of that, then I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t have one. I cannot deduce something that I didn’t have the chance to essentially investigate and observe. However, I can firmly assert that I have at least scratched the surface of the French way of life. In the end, I invite you to watch this movie and experience a little taste of my all time favorite city, Paris. It might lighten up your weekend.