Tag Archives: egypt

Egypt, speeches, and the future of a nation

We sat, transfixed, taking in every chunk of light beamed into our brains from the gogglebox. The entire nation of Egypt was undergoing a huge transformation*, its people had taken to the street in their millions to demand a shift in power – people weren’t just sitting around and taking it anymore. It was in part horrifying, it was in part beautiful, it was in part a bit boring on rolling news channels.

Then came the defining moment of recent weeks – a speech by Hosni Mubarak. With the power of words alone, everything changed. Let’s see what he said:

“To the people of Egypt – to my friends, my brothers, sisters, daughters and sons – we have seen a period of chaos in our nation for many days now. I am here to assure you: we are listening. We hear you. We have heard your cries and we have spoken to each other, deliberating long and hard on what should become of our great nation that we all love so dearly.

It has been hard, but we will get through this. I can announce that part my power will be delegated to my vice president, and that I will remain in charge of Egypt until September, where I will stand aside for fair, democratic and free elections to take place. I must implore you, those who have been causing such a menace on our streets, to go home. Go and sleep. Rest. Wake up in the morning, and go to your jobs. You are needed – your country needs you, and you have been heard. You are part of the history of this nation, of the next step in Egypt’s evolution. This is what will come to pass, and this is what will become of our country – we have listened, I have listened.

The future is bright… the future, is Orange.”

Suddenly, we all realised it was one giant marketing campaign for the mobile phone company known so well for its pretty good cinema deals on Wednesday. We feel cheated.

*Unless it doesn’t.

[Idea shamelessly stolen from these two, and ‘the future is bright’ was actually said by the vice pres. Soz.]

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I was just there! Ten years ago!

No picture. Can’t be bothered. A bit rushed. SOZ.

I’ve seen a couple of people on Twitter – front page twats, other people I’ve stumbled across and mainly not people I know, like or follow thankfully – commenting on the situation in Egypt. Fair enough. Then they say things like “I was only there last year!” and it makes me want to pin them down and vomit in their face until one of us dies. Because that is a stupid, egocentric and utterly worthless thing to say.

Being somewhere a few hours before a major incident occurs: fair enough. You just missed it. If, for example, your flight landed at Moscow airport the other week and an hour after you’d jumped in a taxi outside the arrivals building it had been suicide bombed, then yes – that’s fair to comment on. Worry about, even. Call it a lucky escape, if you will.

Being somewhere a day or two – or even a week before a major incident occurs: okay then. I also think that’s fair enough – your experience of a place a week after you’ve left is still fresh in the memory. It’s not quite ‘oh my god I’m so lucky to have just missed it’ territory, but it is fair to point out you were just there the other day.

Being somewhere 19 years before a major incident occurs: fuck off. Okay, so people aren’t going wild with this kind of thing, I’m just applying my timing to that. I was in Egypt 19 years ago. A lucky escape! I WAS ONLY JUST THERE! Oh my god! Etc. If you were there  a year ago, please shut up. Express your opinions on the revolution, tell us of your emotional attachment to the country and its people, make jokes about the president escaping in a flying pyramid BECAUSE IT’S STARGATE – but don’t belittle the situation by thinking you having been there once matters one iota. It matters not one iota. You were once in a place where some stuff has happened. That’s it. Your ego, your sense of self-preservation and whatever else may be telling you to cry “FIVE YEARS AGO I WAS ON THAT STREET!”, but please don’t. Just for me. I find it annoying.

I have nothing against the statements like ‘I went, it was nice, I am sad that it has been blown up’. That’s understandable and fair – you have a greater appreciation for a place on having been there. But to think it’s in some way important that you were there a month ago and now it’s been flooded/destroyed/filled with geese? No. that’s less your concern about the place, more your own fear of death/injury/being mildly inconvenienced by geese.*

Unless, of course, the place you were blew up, you were there a month ago and you left a “certain something” hidden away in the same place where the blow-up happened, and you may or may not have put some kind of month long timer on the CERTAIN SOMETHING. Possibly filled with geese. Then you probably have more of a vested interest in the situation.

N.B. I am aware that calling what people say ‘worthless’ is somewhat daft, given the name of this here blog. Also it’s needlessly aggressive. But so what? I AM RAGE-O 9000.

*I am aware this par just repeats my earlier points. I wrote it yesterday, but wanted to leave it in so I could keep something about geese in it.

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