Tuesday, February 1, 2011


From the 29th, when kids were throwing Fanta bottles, then eventually molotovs, at the cops guarding the Interior ministry right outside my window:

The kids throwing molotovs at the interior ministry guards were chanting slogans about freedom, and the unity of the Egyptian people. I think there's a script people follow, partially from movies, partially from the news, when they stand up to a government. They strike poses like you see in the movies, chant defiant slogans, speak in a certain prescribed tone. This isn't just aping or mimicry – the whole point of these archetypes is that it lets you call up images of past action and invoke something greater than yourself. It makes you brave and it gives you an idea of what role you're stepping into.

But there's stuff the scripts leave out. The kids weren't just shouting 'down with the regime'. They were also shouting obscenities, mean ones. Like, “your mom's pussy”. I'll love them forever for that, because it was so honest, and because otherwise I might have thought I wasn't at a real event at all, but rather in some surrealist production of Les Miserables.

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