Sunday, August 21, 2011

the western spring

a bullet and some human meat met. as if long lost siblings, that were eager to touch and embrace and familiarize themselves with each other's newness. it was an embrace of contrast: indestructible weaponry met fragile skin, and the evil of the human mind bled out the innocence of the human body. there was red and white and black, and it was not on a nazi flag. what an awful and philosophical picture.

i saw a syrian child get shot.

i've never felt such a sense of urgency to be glued to my online newspapers than i have in these past few months. maybe it's that with my wildly flourishing maturity levels (sarcasm) comes a sense of responsibility to understand the outside world, or maybe it's that there's something new and exciting in the atmosphere of the Middle East. as Westerners we've always had quick and pointed fingers at the unrest of "those Arabs"; the ones who are impossible to please, the ones who pray 5 times a day and then get up and kill. but lately they've been the ones putting on the performance that we as a Western world could absolutely never do. lately they've captivated us because they've trumped our acts of courage (ie. "saving Iraq") and are standing up to leaders that we can't even do in the face of a financial crisis. and for some reason or another, we as the enlightened Zionist West are taking credit for this string of Arab protests and unhappiness. we pat ourselves on the back, review the words "democracy" on their list of to-do's, and figure they want the freedom we have. they want the situation we're in, with our mundane lives and our comfortable moments spent on our lazyboys and pharmaceuticals. our confused ideologies and lackluster philosophies just assume they want a democracy shaped after ours, which has no moral spine and attempts to unsuccessfully please everybody. why would we assume this? can't we as a culture and society realize that we can learn from this Arab spring, regardless of their colour or religion? i can almost guarantee that if these protests and these government murders happened in our very streets, you would NOT see the courage that you've seen shine through these syrian/libyan/egyptian men and women. if we were being shot at would our society of video games and obesity epidemics and political correctness be out there, standing on the streets, waiting for us and our children to take the bullet? is what we have really worth dying for? it just terrifies me that we as the West have come all this way and can experience all these freedoms and then settle for the absolute minimum. we are the american dream without balls.

i think that in a sense we've unrightfully named these influx of Middle Eastern anti-government protests a resistance. if anything we need to drop this language and adopt the term persistence. regardless of deaths in the double digits every single day, these people continually persist and organize protests of disapproval. regardless of the amount of tanks and bullets that as the West we have only seen on a televised screen, these families persist and demand democratic freedoms. simply the threat of imprisonment, nevertheless torture or death, is enough to keep me fastened within my safety bubble of my living room.

we as an economically starving and religiously void West need to drop the colonialist attitude we’re so used to clinging to. let go of our individual enlightenment period and give the credit to where it’s due: the Mid-East civilians. there’s simply no way we could do half of the things they’re doing. we couldn’t risk half the things they’re risking.

"Isn't it obvious that it is us who have everything to learn from the current popular uprisings?" - Alain Badiou

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