Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Choosing demons

Listening to: Nothing

So everyone's been going gaga over the events in Egypt over the past few weeks. Everyone except me. Don't get me wrong, I get it. The people want the right to select their leader, yes. And the numbers have been pretty phenomenal, yes. And it's been peaceful for the most part, yes. I get it. But...I dunno...it just seems a bit over-hyped really. Every Tom, Dick and Harry appears to be tripping over himself trying to spout the most profound yet ultimately rehashed rhetoric about the situation, each claiming to understand and empathise with the Egyptian people more than the other. It all just smells of people trying to cash in on the Egyptian people's legitimate issues in order to get their 15 mins of relative fame. Needless to say, I got a bit fed up.

There's also the issue of the democracy fanboys. You know, the ones that go "OMG this is like the most amazing thing to ever happen to the world ever! Peace and love and flowersinthesunshine, yo!" Oh ffs give me a break. This is politics. You replace one demon with another. Whether the new demon is less of a demon than the old one...well you'll only know that in 30yrs' time. For the time being, just try and make sure that the demon in charge is doing what's right for the country right now. We're all human. We're all fallible (unless you're the Pope, of course). And as long as we're governing ourselves, we're all prone to failures of some sort. It's not that I'm cynical or even apathetic about 'people power' (ok maybe a bit cynical)...but I don't believe that any one event can shape the future of a country. Yes it might alter the course in the short term, but no one can foresee the long term implications. Take Japan for instance. Did anyone think at the end of WWII that merely 60 years down the line, one of the major problems facing the country would be the abundance of old people? And to those who disagree with me and think that a single event (albeit unprecedented) can solve all the world's problems, I have two words: Barack Obama.

Nay, I am of the opinion that lasting change takes time. Not weeks or months, or even a couple of years...I mean decades - at least a generation. For a society to develop, mindsets have to change. And that doesn't happen easily. Take, for instance, the documentary I watched earlier today. My favourite DJ in the world, Scott Mills, visited Uganda to see what it was like for gay people living there. I'm still a bit shaken by the number of people who thought it perfectly acceptable to say that homosexuals should be killed. And the man who said that it's a 'proven fact' that life expectancy is reduced by 24 years if you're gay. I mean seriously, wtf is in their water? Even accounting for heavy editing (I'm not naive enough to believe in the 'impartiality' of the BBC), those views are still extreme. I can understand someone taking the Bible literally and saying that homosexuality is a sin...but to advocate the death penalty? What happened to not killing people? I thought that was in the Bible too...?

It saddens (and angers) me that people across the world are persecuted for being themselves. It's not even a matter of expressing an opinion - their 'crime' is their mere existence. The prejudices against women and different ethnicities are thankfully nowhere near as severe any more, but they do still exist. The gender stereotypes that are embraced by all communities merely reinforce the double standards that exist in society, and the same goes for racial stereotypes. It's easy to see that stuff like this won't change overnight.

What saddens me even more, is that while so much work remains to be done to overcome these serious injustices, the majority of people are happily preoccupied with choosing their favourite demon.


  1. couldn`t agree with u more, and " 'impartiality' of the BBC" - well said :-)

  2. IMO, the Egyptian Saga has become such a phenomenon because of one reason: a “people’s revolution” has taken place in the Arab World. The enthusiasm that spilled over and poured across Arab world gave hope to many millions - in Bahrain, Yemen, Iran etc while Algerians and Tunisians were already screaming for more rights for their people.

    For someone living in the free-world, this doesn’t mean a thing. But for someone living in a country where a husband and a wife cannot hold hands in public, where a man and a woman cannot be in the same vehicle if they are not siblings or married, this is a huge deal.

    Because, this “people’s power” gave them hope, hope for change. And for most Arabs, hope is all they have.

    Who takes over from Mubarak isn’t even a concern for them.

  3. One demon at a time, Pseudo, and like Serendib said: What happened in Egypt is not insignificant, and I see why people celebrate it.

  4. Maybe they think it's something between the known demon and the unknown deep blue sea...


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