Egypt: They Choose, I Choose, What Do YOU Choose?

egyptians fight against a cruel leader

Oh, damn, here I go again. I am responding to something I saw a few hours ago, that was published last night, right when Egypt was really erupting into chaos after days of mayhem.

Once again, I’m not sure of my facts. Once again I am reacting. Yet again—I am outraged!

Maybe I’m just too emotional for the world we live in today. Too weak? Or maybe my temper is just out of control.


Yesterday, January 27, 2011, at 7:40 p.m., as Egypt was in the midst of a battle between it’s long-time (corrupt) leader (whom our administration has been lubing with satin-smooth luvvv oil for some time now), and its ridiculous citizens* who for whatever reason feel they deserve better, someone at The Atlantic got hold of a private missive that was being distributed to the irate protesters. It contained all the details and facts about where to meet, and all kinds of other details about the protest.

*silly Egyptians!

Basically, it was a memorandum much like the pre-Revolutionary War Americans might have put out to notify others of like mind. You know, like the patriots, such as Paul Revere, and guys like him.

So what does The Atlantic do?

Why, they publish it online, of course, for all the world to see! Wouldn’t you, if you got your hands on something so hot?

So here’s what they said:

As you’ll read, the creators of the pamphlet explicitly asked that the pamphlet not be distributed on Twitter or Facebook, only through email or other contacts. We’re publishing this piece of ephemera because we think it’s a fascinating part of the historical record of what may end up becoming a very historic day for Egypt.

While the plan itself contains specifics about what protesters might do, these excerpts show how one might equip oneself for clashes with riot police. Egyptian security forces have repeatedly beaten protesters as the level of violent repression of demonstrations has ratcheted upwards.

street violence in Egypt

EPHEMERA? They did not say that.


Well, I’d sure be proud to be The Atlantic. Hell, yeah! Spreading that info like the good people they are? No doubt someone else already did. So let’s join in too.

Shoot, yeah. If I could have, I’d have most definitely tattled on Paul Revere. Wouldn’t you?

caveat **

**I probably have this all wrong, and have made some leap in judgment or error in understanding, and here I am going off about it. Seems to be my style lately.

But still I would say: I don’t care IF somebody else had it earlier. I still would have held on to this piece of —of, of information!—until morning, in case it might save some lives against a government gone nuts, with police attacking its own citizens, and in the process of bringing the army in to mow them down.

As it happens, the army didn’t mow anybody down. From what I hear, they refused. And left quietly. God love ‘em.

Kind of in the way I wish The Atlantic had done with this piece.

But do you want to know what I’m really afraid of?

This feels like Tiananmen Square, in China, when kids were mowed down by tanks because they wanted freedom.

It feels like Greensboro, North Carolina, at the lunch counter and in the streets, when young people just wanted something to eat.

It feels like Kent State, in Ohio, when the National Guard shot  American college students dead because they thought a war was wrong. (It’s since been determined that it most definitely was.)

It feels like all of us kids in Watson Elementary being told to crawl underneath our desks because The Bomb might come and our parents would be wiped out, but we needed to live, for some godforsaken reason that was never explained. And a DESK would keep us safe. Well, hell. My desk was really messy! Not good for much.

And my brother in kinneygarden, and my baby brother at home? They’ll be safe? Because I THINK I SHOULD GO HOME!

Oh, yes, your brothers will be safe too.

Huh. But NOT our parents? No. Be brave. Huh.

Please. I was 9 years old, but I wasn’t an IDIOT!

Kids. Did I always feel this tired? Was I always this hopeless about the future of mankind? Am I just—

I don’t know if it’s me being older, or the world just staying the same.

For the first time I am beginning to get what my dad meant when he said he was ready to go. He’d loved his life, but he was tired.

Should I still be so crazy as to hope for the right things to happen? The good things? The fair, right, good things?

Tell me what you think…It sure couldn’t make me feel worse! (Yeah, I know, I’m a blogger so I’m supposed to uplift you!) HA!

What would you have done if you’d received that missive from Egypt? Seriously! I mean it. Humor the aging gal. Would you have published it?

Or maybe don’t answer. Maybe it’s just me, still cowering under my desk, waiting for The Bomb to kill my parents.

In which case there’s not much anybody can do, is there? It’s just me. Waiting for The Bomb.


About Paula Lee Bright

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6 Responses to “Egypt: They Choose, I Choose, What Do YOU Choose?”

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  1. P.S. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote during the American Civil War:
    “And in despair I bowed my head
    There is no peace on earth, I said
    For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth…”

    from his poem”I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” 1864

    • You’ve nabbed it perfectly. When I wrote this last night, I felt exactly as described in the song. Which happens to be my most beloved Christmas carol ever.

      Today I have my hope back. Somewhat. After all, some of the events I mentioned DID have good outcomes. Not all.

      Today, again, I hope.

  2. So now The Atlantic is behaving like WikiLeaks?

    I guess we must take the bad with the good… The same technology that allows democracy protesters to communicate allows half-witted editors to distribute their plans in advance of the protest. Couldn’t they have sat on it for a few hours more? Once the protest is under way it won’t matter and they’d have a nice sidebar for their coverage.

    • Precisely my thoughts, Karen. I guess WikiLeaks is the thing to be.

      Yet I don’t totally disagree with Assange. Hell, I don’t seem to know WHAT I think any more! I seem to change my mind more than I make it up.

      But absolutely. I wouldn’t have published it.

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