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Friday, February 4, 2011


To put some perspective on what's going on in Egypt, consider this:

You're driving home late at night. You have not been drinking. Your car registration is current. You have a spotless driving record. You come to an intersection, just as the light turns red. You have an unobstructed, 360 degree view. There is no traffic coming from any direction. There are no pedestrians. You know that this is a particularly long light. And you really have to go to the bathroom.

What do you do?

All facetiousness aside, most people, the Solipsist included, would wait for the light to turn green. Why? Put aside, for the moment, the "logical" reasons: that you can't be sure, for example, that someone won't come running out of a building and into the street just as you drive into the intersection; that there might be a cop-car hidden somewhere. Because these reasons are beside the point. The fact is that most people wouldn't even seriously ponder going through the light. Red lights mean "Stop." That's all there is to it.

And yet in Egypt, following the example of Tunisia before it, hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, of all ages, both genders, and--although surely mostly Muslim--various levels of religious enthusiasm, have suddenly decided that they will no longer abide by the basic laws under which they have lived--in many cases for their entire lives. We can only imagine the psychic repression under which these folks have suffered for so many of them to explode in rebellion--and we cannot help but admire the generally non-violent way they have so far conducted themselves.

We have no idea what the future will bring. And we worry that what comes next could be far worse than what has come before. But for now, we simply sit back and marvel at the spectacle of history happening while we watch.

"Crackdown in Egypt Widens but Officials Offer Concessions"

1 comment:

  1. I think everyone should have a good revolution every now and then. It keeps the guys at the top on their toes.