KarmaMole The View From Here..

Egypt: Bottoms, Narrative Choices, & Frogs


There are certain things people need to realize first to sense the necessity of change and, in some cases, the urgency.

Let’s start with a basic social truth – there is no ‘bottom.’

Your society, community, or state is not some rubber ball bouncing towards the ground that must inevitably hit bottom and bounce back up. Things that fall will – unless something changes – continue to fall. The inability to comprehend this, sit back and wait, as though ‘now’ things will get better because they can’t worsen, is suicide. There is no bottom. You’ve already seen the shape of things to come, but not their magnitude, and certainly not the qualitative changes in shape that accompany shifts from one order of magnitudes to another. Things can, in fact, get much worse.

Where they get, worse is usually a choice of narrative.

The regime will warn you of external forces, whereas others are far more concerned with the internal decay within the institutional infrastructure of the entire state and which threatens the state not with an attack, but with implosion, and whose presence makes us so vulnerable to external forces in the first place.

The regime narrative is simple; we are united, we are under attack, we kill the enemy, and the frog becomes a prince. This is a reassuring narrative because “security” does the job and all you have to do is watch them do it on TV and provide moral support and the illusion of accord. It means you have very little to understand and very little responsibility for the outcome of events.

The other narrative, is, unfortunately, more troubling; Egypt is divided, it is divided because the law has been hijacked by politics and financial interests, the military cannot be seen (if it ever had been) as an ‘honest broker’ because their man is the president, there are many rival factions, and at least two warring ones, most of these factions cannot remember that the other factions are equally ‘Egyptian’, there are no princes, but many, many frogs, none of which will turn into a frog no matter how much love you give it, incompetence is rampant throughout the government, and whoever’s driving sure as hell isn’t doing a very good job, drastic, effective changes need to happen, and they need to happen across the board, and the top-down dictatorship is not even ‘efficient’ enough to get away with the oppression it needs to practice in order to retain its form, something has to give, things can get worse, things WILL get worse unless more people start actively refusing the state of things; in their minds, in their words, in their actions.

In a large sense, you are what you permit.

About the author


KarmaMole is a nickname for Omar Kamel. He is a writer, musician, photographer, director, and producer. He makes things out of words and sounds and images. He spent three years of his life in a futile fight for a better future in Tahrir Square and has more opinions than any mortal man should be allowed. Some of them are on this blog.

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