This memory was spiked by an intense conversation in the back rooms of The Princess Project (K).
Did anyone watch The Specialist Saturday night?
The first time, I watched it, was with Khaled my really old Arab Psychologist. The Premise of the story is a bomber who goes rogue and sells his services for revenge purposes after his partner sets up a situation in a combat zone that results in the death of a family and a young child.
It felt like a sin, because my mother forbade watching violence in her home. But in a discussion which has surely added to my weird thought processes we hashed out the ethics of the government sanctioned bombing versus the rogue and somewhat deserved bombing of the mafia families.
During this very long argument, I gave up, and my thirteen-year-old self sighed, ‘Stallone is so damned sexy, I don’t want him to be in the wrong!’
There was a loooooong silence, then Khaled burst out laughing. I stared at his emerald green eyes, and for the first time it felt ok to refer to sex, sexuality and sex symbols without deep shame. So I laughed, too.
I was damaged. I was precocious. And the church people had issues with my getting psychiatric help from a Muslim psychologist with ultra modern leanings. But simple things like a storyline can teach the most powerful lessons!
What I learnt that day, is that the world uses sex to sell ideas. What I learnt is that everything around us instills something in us, either honest opinion, or hypocritical intolerance. What I learnt is that the stories I tell can have very powerful effects on the people who read them. And like Khaled, I want to teach honesty and truth without pushing intolerance down people’s throats, people who seem to me, all too willing to accept hate, prejudice and intolerance over, acceptance, tolerance and justice.