Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Revolution Was Televised After All...

Gail Collins
Dana Milbank

From Tahrir Square to our brothers in fellow countries ... is there anyone who has a president bothering them?” - protester's cellphone message
"Mubarak died and met the late presidents Anwar Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser in the afterlife. They asked him: Poisoned or assassinated? He replied: Neither, Facebook!"

Top Ten Hosni Mubarak Future Plans
10. Chill
9. Gonna look for a place in the Poconos
8. Check classifieds for job openings under "Ruthless Dictator"
7. Wander around the Sahara desert with his metal detector
6. Heard "The Office" needs a new boss to replace Steve Carell
5. Golf with Osama
4. Do some freestyle pickin'
3. Watch Snooki on Dave. It's gonna be sick!
2 .Hoping his intolerance and thuggish behavior will land him a job at Fox News
1. Launching pop career under the name "Hustin Mubieber"

Gill Scott-Heron was wrong, the Revolution WAS televised, complete with timed commercials for the Golden Globe Awards and what Lady Gaga would be wearing. It was planned on the Internet, and documented by cellphones through pictures and texts. It created history, that a non-violent mass of people could create change through their sheer will, with the result of a despotic strong man forced to step down as President, and hand his powers over to the military, who promise a smooth transition to a civilian democracy. Right now similar groups are gathered all over the Arabic world, either celebrating with the Egyptians or hoping to create similar changes in Yemen and Algeria. And it's good to remember what these people were protesting about: the suffering and indignity of living under a repressive regime, where poor people are beaten daily by the police, government employees ignore your requests unless you bribe them, people are not allowed to gather and talk freely, create political parties, criticize the government, cannot have a hundred other types of freedom that we take for granted every day..

It was an uprising that began with common folk, frustrated youth, and grew into something beyond anyone's imagination. In a time when it seemed like repressive forces were winning the war to damage people's souls, a small country ignited a spark that spread a large fire, irrevocably changing an entire region of our world, and winning a battle for the forces of truth and light where it was most needed. Perhaps it will begin a trend that will counteract the overwhelming negativity that was created during the Second World War by Nazi Germany, at least overcoming the mindset of having a strong, despotic overlord that was created by the British when they chose who would rule what colony for them...

For Egypt, the real danger will be during the next few months, trying to cultivate  honest leaders where none had been before, not letting any one group become dominant during the so-called transition process. The Palestinian people might be the neighbors affected the most, and hopefully they, too will be encouraged to develop leaders among themselves and replace al Fatah and Hamas... The Saudi princes are the ones scared the most, because their whole regime is based on corruption and stealing profits away from the Saudi people...

Americans responsible for our foreign policy are having a hard time accepting the Egyptian revolution. We start out any relationship feeling superior because we consider ourselves a democratic nation, and whatever country we are dealing with is not. So, we tend to dictate what we want them to do, in our interests of democracy, of course. Too often the diplomats we hire are arrogant and immoral, I doubt we have anyone currently capable to meet another country on an equal basis, one who could teach us a thing or two about democracy, since we seem to be losing ours with every Patriot bill passed and Supreme Court decision.

 People who make their living being negative and spreading fear can only see this through that prism, and you get weird interpretations like these:
"This is a rent-a-mob. I don't doubt that there are genuine grievances felt by some of the people in Egypt, but this is not a spontaneous, gee-nobody-knew-this-was-coming moment. This is the result of organizing." - Rush Limbaugh
"The protests in Egypt are being orchestrated by an alliance of Communists and Islamic fundamentalists who seek to overthrow capitalism and make a "new world order..." we are witnessing the birth of the new world order, and you want to call me crazy? Go to hell. Call me crazy all you want." - Glenn Beck
Rush wants to tie everything into hate speech about Obama, and spends hours belittling him and his policies. I still haven't figured out why socialism is such a scary word. After all, I doubt that Canada or Sweden will invade us anytime soon, eh... Glenn is combining Christian evangelical theories about the coming of the Antichrist and ensuing armageddon, and jumbling it together with paranoid conspiracy theories like those promoted by Texe Marrs and Alex Jones. The phrase "new world order" was coined by Annie Besant, who was a follower of that old lizard, Madame Blavatsky, and every few years is appropriated by some new group of schemers like George HW Bush... Which makes me wonder how Sean David Morton is going to claim that he had seen and predicted this...

 I went to a lot of right wing web sites, and most of them ignored Egypt, that it didn't have any impact on their worldview, then I realized that the extreme right wing Christians have been at war against the extreme right wing Islamic jihadists for over 1500 years, trying to seduce us into their world of hate and violence, turning our planet into a living Hell. This revolution that captures the heart, spirit and will of the people is the perfect answer to them because it makes them obsolete...

My apologies to Gill Scott-Heron:

The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

The revolution will not be facebooked, will not be twittered,
will not be facebooked, will not be twittered.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Here's hoping that the power rests with the people, and that there will be hope for a better future. If nothing else, the people of Egypt and Tunisia showed the rest of us how it can be done. Unfortunately, refugees are already arriving in boats from Tunisia, asking give us shelter, give us asylum and aid...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...