This tiny chunk of land that came to be called Lebanon is entering in full force its circus legislative elections. It is highly re-assuring to see that indeed the Lebanese advertising culture is now using its long-worked on branding concepts for the benefit of the various political factions. But from the Lebanese Forces who play it dirty or the Kataeb and Tayyar doing word games, I have to say that the ones that impressed me the most, that puzzled me to the extent of fascination is the Mustaqbal’s party campaign.
Mustaqbal decided to propose certain philosophical reflections, on the concept of.. well, the future. For example one billboard says “the present is a time that only exist in the future”. I have to say this one made me think for a while. It may be that someone in the marketing team read Bergson’s theory of time, and it may well be that he just came up with that intuitively. To that I would retort quoting Edmond Jabes (and I may come up with that on my own) that “the future is the past that comes”.
There are many different linguistic twists that these billboards carry. Very interesting yet disputed statements such as: “the future is where you spend the rest of your life”. But by far my favorite one is: “They asked the time, “where to?”, he answered: “I’m going to meet my future”. Priceless.
Understandably one should focus on his future so as to work and make a better life. Thus: “For every person who has ambitions, the door of the future is open”. Or this one: “It is nice to have history behind you, but it is even better to have a future”.
But I have this urge to tell Mustaqbal dudes that their fixation with the international tribunal, with the death of Hariri, with their martyrology culture they have been promoting in competition with Hizbullah is a regressive obsession with the past blowing up all their ‘philosophical’ reflections on the future as the driving force of political, social and economic change.
And with that I would end with another beautiful statement by Edmond Jabes: “Death is the past that persists” (La mort c’est le passé qui persiste).