Posté le : Mer Mai 26, 2004. Forum Taht Essour

Early last year I began to suffer from a severe stomach-ache ,few months later I was diagnosed for cancer.

Confronted with my own mortality ,I began to lament myself for all the things I had not accomplished yet with my life.
Yes, it’s true, I had traveled very much, met a lot of fantastic peoples, slept with many gorgeous females(one at the time ,of course !) etc…but I had never seen the world trade cen…oh ! That’s no more. well.. the statue of liberty in new York nor sahit el-fnaa in Marrakech, never spent a journey wandering aimlessly along the great wall of china ,never scaled ,much less being even near ,mount Everest, never had a face to face encounter with a wild beast during my “promenades” in the forest ,never dived in the red see, never been to the south or north poles. thirty-something years old and “dangerously” approaching[at the speed of light] forty, I had let my life slip away from me and was now forced to admit to myself how poorly I had prepared myself for death. As soon as I heard the verdict I started to go to gyms, just because I was going to meet my maker didn’t mean it was too late to get myself back into fighting trim. besides, I wanted to look sharp at my funeral. At the same time I started reading Ibn Khaldoun, Montaigne and Al-Farabi,I didn’t want to leave this world without having finished that internal reading list !
Months later, immensely relieved after a successful surgical operation, I dropped fitness training from my agenda and put back the heavy boys back on the bookshelf. yet despite the positive end of my trauma, my brush with death left me deeply troubled, it brought me face to face with my most guarded values and had “discovered” a number of troublesome inadequacies. I was no longer regretting all the things I had yet to accomplish during my brief sojourn on mother earth :learning Chinese, to wander around for a few hours in the Karnak temple, to oust Slim Chiboub from the leadership of L`ESPERANCE and take his place, to take part in the Rio carnival at least once in a lifetime(my hajj !),to visit every borde…no. Instead ,I was realizing how revoltingly self-centered my reaction to the specter of death has been, I’ve discovered how selfish person I was. I was rapidly coming to terms with the fact that ,despite the friendly façade of charm that masqueraded as a personality I felt worthless.

Yet in my defense I realized that I was not the only member of my age group who would have reacted in this way ,I was simply being true to the ethos of my generation. now I had to face that ugly truth not only about me but about us.


As a prototypical product of generation X I take upon myself this burdensome task to tell the truth about us.
We had a good start with the food riots of 84 and the subsequent departure of the much hated Mzali, change was in the air as they say fill bled. but then we hit the wall. we became self-absorbed .we stopped caring about but money and food. we fell in love with our mobile phones. Some obsessed about Italian footwear other about the right to wear culturally correct Egyptian peasant dresses and acted like they were on to something !

We abandoned the poor, the have-nots ,the nobodies, the oppressed because we were doing a post-doctoral work or busy making money, always acting like we were better then the rest..we made stars of lamine nehdi ,lotfi bouchnak,sofia sadek, and heroes of saddam,ben-laden.we made millionaires out of nobodies (trabelsi & co) just by looking away pretending not to be involved. and all along we were acting as if we were really cool.

So deceptive.

As the years went by, it became obvious to me that our sellout was not accidental. yet despite that I choose to remain silent .I watched Hela Erroukbi, ?Adel Adella(al mindhar) and Imed ktata(kathaya fil moujtamaa) as they ridiculed themselves and us, live on TV time and again, yet through it all I remained silent. I watched friends of mine, those who succumbed to the inevitable(marriage !), cheering the political left from their eagle nests high on the hills of Gammarth and then sending their children to private schools, yet I was silent. I watched intransigent communists once ready to go to extremes in the cause of freedom now go to extremes in the pursuit of more earthly things, yet I was silent. I watched friends who had been brutalized the day the food riots broke out now wearing the uniform and tear gassing/brutalizing others, yet I was silent. I watched my entire generation make its separate peace with society and console itself with football, al-jazeera, the web ,big brother ,lamine ennehdi,fame factory,pusy,Catherine zeta jones(mmmm..),adel imam,nawal zogby,the where abouts of Ben Laden, the wealth of the Trabelsi …..,yet I was silent.

Now it’s time to tell the truth about us.

To appease my soul and to make up for my sins and the sins of my generation I’ve decided to take my pen and write it down. For too long I have aimed at hapless pensioners and die hard losers, never at my own generation, now ….more in sorrow than anger…I will do just that.

My contemporaries might feel betrayed by this cross-examination, some may call me the traitor… Judas in some, but nothing will stop me from leaving an eyewitness account, as much detailed as possible, to future generations of the rise and fall of generation X.


since the dawn of history, generations deeply tinged with a visionary complex have inspired strong emotions, respect and sometimes even “devotion”. the youths who followed Alexander the great on his marauding conquests inspired reverential wonder .the thirty-something SS officers who executed their “orders” with minute precision inspired horror, the hordes of young men who accompanied Tarek Ibn Ziad in his conquest of Spain inspired awe ,fascination and respect.
Unfortunately, my own generation falls into somewhat a different category.

as convinced of their uniqueness as Temime l`ahzami`s generation of 78, though in perception not in deeds. as given to luxury as the tenth-century’s Andalusians, though not as cultured nor sophisticated. As boring and simple-minded as no other generation in the history of Tunisian civilization, my generation, feared and adored in their youth now inspire irritation if not contempt ,to put it mildly.
Now to the big question !

What is the most devastating criticism that can be leveled at my generation ?

Well, first on the list is that they promised that they wont sell out, and they did. they promised that they will outperform their parents, but they failed. they promised not become materialistic, but then they became the most indebted (BATAM keeps the records !)generation in the history of my country, next only to the bey`s. they swore an oath that they will bring democracy to our country, but failed so miserably. they further complicated the matter by wasting much time and effort to convince themselves and others that they actually didn’t sold out, that they simply grew wiser, that the situation is “unique”, that Ben-Ali is too powerful, that the opposition is….that …

Deceit, avarice, and cowardice were added to our ethos and that strange mutation produced our specimen. Mutant X.
Thus, the most devastating criticism which can be leveled at my generation is that they promised not to sell out ,and they did. this is the poisonous well from which all of our misfortunes flows.

Values, prejudices, neuroses, tastes….the essential habits.

The worst thing about my generation is that we don’t realize how self-centered ,fake, lame, obnoxious beyond belief, , out-and-out hypocrites we really are. truly a case study in false advertising. unfortunately for my beloved country and until the rise of my generation this kind of sociopathic behavior rarely existed, and if ever it did ,it was often geographically ghettoized in certain areas of the big cities where the last beldia held out against the exodus of millions of nouzouh*,but in the end they were overwhelmed by the cheer numbers of the invaders and gave up. but they didn’t sold out.

what do we have in common with those baldia one might ask ?
They were self-centered, they thought they were better than the rest, they were cowards …but not traitors like us. yes, it’s true, in the end they lost their pathetic struggle for supremacy(”baldia uber alles”) though not without a fight.
We the traitors, never entered the battlefield, we’ve deserted it in large groups before the war ever begun, some went to the “enemy”, others into exile and the greatest majority retreated into the deepest recesses of their tiny miserable lives. Though unlike the baldia who were a tiny minority contained in ghettos ,we are everywhere !
Here follows a series of indictment I’ve prepared for …self-examination and judge for your selves(as Kirkegaard would say !).

Forever young

It has always been possible for a few people to remain youthful well into their forties(Heni Chaker,fayrouz,Kacem Kefi 20 years ago or M.Jackson today).but it has never been possible for the greatest majority to do so. just take a temp at TUNeZINE and you will get a grip of what I am talking about. take Ivan le terrible for example, showing off his bare chest on which he write from time to time(when he gets inspired !) a few third-rate school-boy poems about how much in love he’s with god knows who, if not his wife of course, or the notorious big TIZ who think he’s too young to be involved in politics(sic)waiting for a daddy to show him how. or that Loup, a vengeful jackass with an IQ of 51,he`s like a great white shark on speed or coke polluting the air with his gonzo-style inquiries into nothingness. or the so-called Lecteur who seems to believe hard as a rock that he’s doing great favor to Tunisia and humanity by bombarding the opposition forums with whatever he seems to be reading and expect to be awarded the croi de guerre for his heroic deeds .they all refuses to accept the passage of time.

Bad habits

The ”Me” generation.

We are a failed generation largely because of our overwhelming obsession with ourselves, we pretend to be “social” when in fact we seek recognition for what we do, and that’s what annoys decent people. they are annoyed by our self-referential statements…i.e. I was there when it happened…I was tear-gassed during the bread riots…I was against Bourguiba and now ben-ali….I am a democrat..etc. Decent people are also annoyed by our hypocritical moralizing and of course our lack of self-awareness ,we resolutely refuses to think and act as responsible adults. As I write these words there is a live conversation taking place on TUNeZINE which can marvelously illustrate what I am trying to say :

Mitghareb started very good but then something happened :

“Depuis quelques temps maître Néjib Hosni est en résidence surveillée, dites moi est ce qu'on fait quelque chose pour lui, rien de rien.

Est ce qu'on a dénoncé cette injustice rien de rien, est ce qu'on a proposé quelque chose pour lui rien de rien.

Est ce qu'il ne merite pas notre soutien surtout que lui il a soutenu tous les oprimés.

Les gars à vos plumes, à vos clavier pour dénoncer ce que subit cet homme, aidons ce brave monsieur, défondons le comme il a défendu tant d'autres.

J'attend vos propositions pour lever cette injustice et il ne faut attendre les autres et surtout pas le CNTL de maintenant pour faire quoi que ce soit …”

I was expecting something like”a vos armes les gars” but as you can see it was just a “poutoute”* and nothing else.
Later ,mitghareb(as if he`s the only one), got the company of a few other “poutouteurs”,one of them is the so-called Morpheous(I am a matrix-fan too !) and here`s what he had to add to his friend`s “poutouterie”. :

Dès que j'ai un peu j'apporte mon grai de sel et on lance l'attaque
Tunezine, RT et Nawaat nous aiderons pour relayer l'évênement

Quell scandale !

….and what was that “evenement” ???

Mighareb :

Je vous propose d'écrire une lettre type et l'envoyer aux différentes ONG internationales, aux différents bareaux, aux différents syndicat de majistrature, Au juge Canadien (j'ai oublié son nom excuser moi je vais le chercher) à toutes les associations de juristes, voila c'est facile.

Qui s'en charge d'écrire cette lettre et la soumettre à la correction sur le forum ?

Les autres chercher toutes les adresses de ces organismes et société

and here comes the cri de guerre !

Au boulot les gars, Maître Hosni a besoin de nous et plus que ça la Tunisie a besoin de nous, ne la décevons pas

This what I meant by self-referential ,once we recognizes what kind of people my generation represent then we can agree on the fact these people are making great efforts to report on something that is indeed very important………….. but then we hear that wordless voice at the back of our heads that keeps saying : BE CAREFUL

Fear has become the malady of my generation, it’s a monster inside of us and it has many arms ; fear of telling the truth, of doing the right thing, of being responsible of……
we`ve build a whole culture around it as if to hide from it, pretending it doesn’t exist, and distracting ourselves with “efforts”(like the letter to someone-thing suggested above by Mitghareb) best suited for physically handicapped persons (perhaps we’re, since we’re glued to our pc`s all the time) and that’s not fair(to the handics of course) !
And it’s not over yet, luckily for me, another poutouteur just passed by with a resume of his daily reading and a “commentary” (a kind of bonus to us forumier !),but never mind, what the so-called Lecteur just posted ½h ago only strengthen my belief that we’re doomedJ
This is the self-referential guy par excellence, a true specimen of the mutant X GEN and a pure product of ” le studio tunezine des poutouteurs”(tunezine studio el-bassasineJ),this is what he wrote a while ago :
L'année dernière, Et Teatro fut obligé d'installer un grand écran en dehors de la salle tellement l'affluence (surtout lse jeunes) était importante.

Donc, ceux qui disent que la nouvelle génération tunisienne est une génération perdue n'ont qu'à aller se rahabiller !

PS : l'année dernière, j'avais dit que je donnerai la moitié de ma vie pour y ête présent. Cette annéée, je mets aussi en jeu une autre moitié !

As every mutant X, obsessed with living in the moment, Lecteur tries to transmute a banal activity(in this case a memorial to some dead poet) into an event requiring reflection, comments and huge masses of data. thus turning mundane occurrences into extraordinary events : every concert superb, every speech meta-celestial(especially those of Atwan, lecteurJ),every friendship epochal …etc.
And then there is that pathetic penchant for “suffering by association”, that is : a dysfunctional penchant to always try to vicariate for other people’s tragedies, not personally experienced, of course, but imagined through the web and the mass media. pour a few drinks into an X gen and he will tell you that when cheik imam,om kalthoum,Nasser,nizar kabbani or even hedi comba(vendeur de cigarettes fi bab-bhar !) died, a part of him died with them.fa yzidou fi e-ttin billa by claiming as their unforgettable experiences things that happened to someone else somewhere else. this bad habit of annexing another person’s or people’s suffering and then integrating it into ones own auto-biographical data(not to speak of the signatures which are ,more often than not, longer than the message itself) later to be used when “communicating” with others, is a trademark of genX.

……my last jack in solo !

To be continued