There is more to Lebanon than the metropolitan capital and its clones. There are the villages weeping out of deforestation, drought and corrosion; cedar trees bleeding in surrender to the red-bordered Lebanese flag that will slowly leave white snowy mountain tops bare and degenerate; cannabis fields disappearing from sight in one quick day.
Lebanon seems to have a gift in squandering its landmark crops and resources. Cedar trees are barely preserved by loosely funded NGOs that can only do so much. Water resources are squandered as river water is polluted, neglected or stolen from neighboring countries. Hashish is being destroyed for being a big taboo. Such atrocities happen without the realization of the capabilities of such resources.
“…And now we lay thee down,” says the world to the small area on the Mediterranean, “rest in peace.”
We are startled by only an illusion of progress in the sleep of the beast. One booming summer is enough for us to tighten our hands on each other’s throats as we further neglect everything that is bigger than us. The autumn of our lives is coming and we will taste the bitterness of our neglect.
A cannabis farmer in Hermel screams in his sleep, “give us water,” a week after tractors destroy his only source of income. The alternative for planting Cannabis is either farming potatoes or growing wheat, both of which need water unlike the cannabis plant which needs very little water and attention. The only way to get water is to buy it which leaves farmers impoverished by the expenses of water and the poor sales of their crops in the market due to the country’s import of the potatoes and wheat.
Hashish seems to be beacon of hope for many farmers; the light that will never get them lost. But this seems like a wavering future in a country with no forethought or insight to what it does; a country largely controlled by foreign lobbies and dysfunctional, glad-hand politicians who do not know whether to put country or religion first.
Some time ago, a hopeful-at-best movement churned to rally in support of hashish legalization in Lebanon, but the movement lost any type of motive and pressure-power it had out of fear.
But why do people want to legalize hashish? The answer is not as rhetorical as it may seem. It is actually a Romantic act. For this generation, not just in Lebanon but the whole world, we are all unsung heroes; we are all unnoticed and disappointed. We are largely hopeless. Our great inheritance consists of two world wars, racism, extreme nationalism, borders that separate us from each other and an earth gasping its last whimsical breath.
We have no greater cause and our whole life is one big holocaust. Mother Nature’s last searing breath will wipe the slate clean. We are a generation born to feed on anti-depressants because our freedom lies in our enslavement, our courage lies in fright. In such a hopeless and hapless world, something like hashish is all you have left to look forward to.
“Our great depression is our lives.” Chuck Palahniuk.
What else will you rid us from after you’ve taken our water, our resources and our future? There is nothing left for you to give. Our lord never giveth; our lord taketh away.
This is a voice that stands with the peasants who lean on the borderline of life, and yet give a tinge of short-lived moments of perfection to a generation with no meaning.