As I attempted to make sense of romance and finance, build a new theme for Asylum, and consider the future of the site, the world exploded. The liturgical dances of fingers across keypads and touchscreens hashtagged their interpretations of the events of January 25th. Soon the social media networks would be pullulated with hashtags of political primers pushing for change in Egypt with their hashtag armies. As the people of Egypt gathered through Cairo, and found a beachhead at Tahrir Square to demand the abdication of the president, former Vice President of the assassinated Anwar El Sadat , Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak’s speeches of patience were met with cries from the people not much different than the cries of the US citizens outside the White House during the Obama Inauguration barbeque(whoops) as screams of “Na Na Na, na Na na…hey hey hey…Goodbye…” and boos were bellowed as former president George W. Bush walked out. It would be after bloodshed, prayer circles, and Anderson Cooper getting punked third world style before history would repeat it Self again: Mubarak relinquished control of power to his Vice-President Omar Suleiman and the military of Egypt.
Alright, now that our summation is over, let’s talk.
I don’t want this to be a long distance critique of what many have shed blood over. I do question the future of the people of Egypt, and moreover, I question the nature of political terminology of today’s environment. Given the anaphrodisiac disposition of technicalities of the possible semantic ilk, I’m a bit hesitant to display the definition of revolution here. In fact, I will not. I will, however, write that a revolution typically involves a complete overthrow of power by the people who waged the revolt, and a placement into power one of those chosen by those people who won the waged revolt. Seem a bit trivial in light of the events? Possibly, but here is my thinking: we live in an age where traditions are becoming digitized and conservative notions of behavior stampede our thinking. What would be called a tea party in one century has now become the complete revolution, and that can confuse people. As many of you being loyal Asylum readers and contributors know, I don’t foil much over labels and the like, yet, when you begin to brand events with emotionally dipped stamps such as “revolution,” then the persnickety Jay comes out.
With new documents pointing out the Obama administration’s lack of funding for “civil” society groups in Egypt, I felt a bit saddened by Team Obama’s loss. An agenda to “democratize” the world(read: charge extra for the toy in the Happy Meal in third world sectors) doesn’t seem to be able to finance its coups without bumping into military controlled governments. But I as I hinted above, a revolution should remove all elites from the roster, not just one. Which works as a great segue into my overarching theme here.
As we race to be the first to put our support for Egypt avatar on our Twitter accounts, and run to join all the fan pages set up for those in Egypt that didn’t have internet access on Facebook, I can’t but reflect on the faces of those in the rebellion. They didn’t have any really cool logos on their clothing. I didn’t see any flashy cars. I bet that the people that showed Asylum so much angst would complain about the dirt on the faces of many of those out there in Tahrir Square. And that disturbs me. As we promote the “freedoms” gained by the Egyptians we continually forge our Selves further into the complacency of elitist culture here in the US. Sure, it is nice to root for a team, because that is about the most many of us are doing. A team that many of us would not support had we not been separated by all this glass and bright lights. And the media’s love affair with “revolutions” and coups thrown in Arab countries. But ultimately, how many of us even understand that the very class notions that we hold so dearly are what revolutions in this era are attempts to dissolve? You don’t go from one ruler to his protégé and think you have change anything anymore than you go from one figurehead to another proxy and believe that you have made the country any different. Race problems didn’t dissipate with the election of Obama because race problems are in the very fabric of the society in the same way that throwing faux blood on celebrities for animal rights but avoiding the gaze of a homeless person in the streets is the US citizen’s idea of virtue. Democracy, as it stands, is not the ability to select your representatives, it is the ability of certain representatives to buy elections and assist corporate US of America(is there any other US other than corporate?) in sinking its ideological penis deeper into the pussy that has become the thinking patterns of the average citizen of this country.
Sending the rallying cry across the digital miasma of naked photos of attention starved bedroom models and twitter scholars debating the latest intellectual craze has noble merit. However, what exactly is the point of celebrating a revolt that you lose in your mind every day when passing those that are less fortunate than your Self? What is the point of celebrating the victory of cutting off one of Hydra’s heads when two more will grow in your mind? Rid the world of elitist thinking starting with the thoughts you are having right now. Oppression doesn’t end with leaders throwing up deuces as they turn around and pass their baton to those they’ve groomed. Oppression ends when we stop seeing each other as mere animals in a sport to die with the most toys. If we in the states are to take an example from this, let it be the mubaraking of the thought that you are better than someone else. Oust the pimping of middle class images created and financed by jewish elites for black audiences. Challenge your Self to being more than happy with funneling urine on your aspirations because your car has a custom spoiler kit and you feel accomplished at a job you hate because you get to drive by people riding public transportation.