Friday, February 25, 2011

The Arab Revolution

If I'd been around for the French and Russian Revolutions I'd have been watching TV all day. But they might not have been so inspiring, close up, as the Arab Revolution. I am so proud of the Arab people. (What, all of them?) All the people I've seen on TV. The brave, the articulate - Who knew there were so many articulate English-speaking students, young doctors, beautiful young mothers, in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, in Yemen. Why weren't we told? And all crying out for freedom, passionately alive.
But these are backward societies. We in the West are way past that. We mumble and sigh, especially us Democrats: "The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity...."
The Arab world is fresh as Wordsworth's: "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,/But to be young was very heaven!"
And it's not just the young who are in heaven: it's the solid women all in black, like gleeful nuns, the Tunisian engineers and Egyptian managers and gap-toothed, worn out laborers.

Well, we all know how the French and Russian revolutions went... but what about the British or American ones? Well, that pair were Anglo-Saxon. The Arab Revolution is full of Arabs. And we know they lack discipline and civic pride...except for the Egyptians and the citizens of Bengazi... and they don't value human life like we do...except for the Libyan pilots who crashed their planes rather than bomb and all the soldiers who refused to fire... and they are not really ready for the modern world except for twitter, face book, etc. And by the way, who was it in Egypt who ordered a pizza for the Union protesters in Wisconsin?

And just a note to all the Anglo-Saxon students who need to get fueled up to march and shout: Most of the Moslem crowds are totally, deliriously sober in their joy.

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