Shit on Pedestal

29 Sep

Hi there! Umm Kulthum can’t sing for shit. I would rather listen to technical support trying to explain to my grandma what an access point is than listen to that diva sing one more hour-long song about cryptic shit. Youssef Chahine, that talentless fruit, why does all his agitated characters have a 160-words-per-minute word count. I lose my breath trying to keep up with the dialogue. And for the knockout, Requiem for a dream is just as artistically stimulating as watching two cats trying to blow one another.

If your knees are shaking after reading these statements then you suffer from “shit on pedestal” syndrome. The symptoms include (but are not limited to) having godlike reverence for the things you admire; acting defensive when said things are put under question; brain-freeze episodes when faced with someone who does not share your affinity. To sum up, you’re just another sheep in the common denominator herd.

It’s stupefying how unwieldy normal conversation can get as a result of this. Why I’m suppose to feel like imbecilic just because I don’t think Teer Enta is the most significant cinematic event of this decade, It was a funny movie, but when a movie shines compared to other Hassan Hosni joints it does it really mean that much?

I don’t mind giving qualities to things don’t merit them, what I do mind is refusing to think for yourself and putting down the ones who do. This better be a byproduct of our –already 50 years overstaying its welcome– inferiority complex. It served us good not to question prevailing stances back when we forming a nation and fighting a war, but right now it only solidified odd cultural icons reputation as being historically significant. Who wants to see another autobiographical drama about some schmuck who’s only claim to fame is that he physically existed during the midd-20th-century.

I know it radiates mad sex appeal to be opinionated, but if you don’t know your foot from your butthole then I would advice a different game plan; not knowing shit and caring less about it. It’s sexy and gets the girls motor going, but If you’re going to stick to your ignorant guns on that one then why don’t you go back to your room and watch that Bravehaert again. There are some details that you don’t get until the 6542nd viewing.


3 Responses to “Shit on Pedestal”

  1. Sakakini Pacha October 1, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Yusuf Shahin : Yessss ! At last someone comments on the logorrhea problem of his movies. And yes, totally cryptic most of the time.

    Requiem : well, read Selby’s novel. Typical 1970s literature, but hot…

    Umm Kulthum : She became a myth in the late 30s, and remained at the level of her own mythical status until the late 50s. Then her voice began to fail her, but she remained a myth, an empty shell. You probably know her through her 1960s shitty songs, and yes, they’re overrated, and she is herself hugely overrated in them. In case you’re sincerely interested in discovering why on earth would the previous generations put her on a pedestal, listen to el awwela fel gharam, to gholobt asale7, to salu ku’us al tila. And you’ll be amazed to discover they were right. But Enta Omri or Es’al Rohak for 90 fucking minutes ? Yeah, that’s shit on a pedestal.

    • Ismail November 29, 2009 at 3:26 am #

      I so agree with your observation.
      I think Umm Kalthum’s stellar career ended in the 1960s.
      From then on it was mediocre kitsch all the way.
      But late 1930s up to 1950s, OMG what couldn’t this woman do with her voice!
      I don’t think any other musician understood Classical Arabic music as well as she did, or understood Classical Arabic phonetics as she did.
      But like you said, you can not sustain this prodigious, almost inhuman capacity for long, it got to her in the end, and she had to start sing mainstream.
      But she definitely earned her place on the pedestal, for those 25 years of pure genius.

      As for Yusuf Shahin, I only think he has 3 exceptional films (Bab al-Hadih, Al Naser Salah Ad-Din being two of them) in his entire career, the rest is a series of cinematic hallucinations, intermitten with ok cinematography and sometimes exceptional acting.

  2. Nahla November 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    @ sakakini pacha: look up the word “myth”, i think u have erroneously used it.

    @ haisam: i second ur sentiments, with the exception of the animosity towards um kalthum, that i think is a harsh judgement based on lack of thorough knowledge of the subject. just like the new anti-coehlo trend of “he’s so pretentious”… yes he is, but i could have told u that back when u were having a pseudo-life altering experience after reading the alchemist. if u don’t like um kalthum, or think she’s over-rated is it because u don’t relate? ur not moved? or u don’t understand?? tell me…

    i would also like to add to ur list of shit-on-a-pedestal the following: the movie ‘crash’, coehlo books, mainstream egyptian cinema in its entirety, the singer shereen, tamer hosni, sa7el, ne3ma bay (sharm), brad pitt’s looks…. that’s it… for now.

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