And listen, right, I got so many emails from people who tell me I have to spread around how secular the revolution is, and yes I believe it is, but it's never the young people who hold the power after the revolutions. It's the young people with the good intentions and the fire and the verve who start them. But it's the political parties who make the changes later. Its the old men, who have been planning for a while. I have nothing against the old men, inherently. Just, it disappoints me that even now, at this age, I can find myself sucked into the cry for revolution without clear analysis, that the part of me who wanted to scream in high school for communists and feminists and sweat shop workers is still on speed dial. I support all those things, I support these protesters, but when do I get old enough where I do my research before getting indignant? Rather than having to quickly backtrack and make sure. I want to keep the fire in my belly, but I want more control over it. I want to look through the emotional things, keep them somewhere safe and useful, but see also the whole picture, the reality of things. I just want to know.
Image from Sherif9282
Still, the hardest part, the part I want to capture here, is what it feels like to be a liberal white woman, in a prosperous and stable country, who's never had to deal with revolutions or emergency martial law or even seen a working tank in person, to try and understand and feel and keep up on these events which are so important. To want to be educated on them, and to feel like the media is a vast awful puzzle I have to navigate and double check and be sure of. To want to see every angle, and to only get the feeds.
But there's where Twitter becomes a vital part of revolutions. First of all, it has become a thing that the people in power can no longer hide an uprising. First rule now: turn off the social media feeds. First consequence: everyone in the world will automatically know you have done that. You can't get by silently squashing stories in the media anymore, doing quick and quiet raids on newspapers, arresting tiny cells of dissenters. The minute you turn off Twitter, that thing that is better than anything else at getting people to one place all together, then anyone following them on twitter knows. And within minutes the story of your uprising is out there. Me, sitting at my work computer, in Ohio buried under snow, I know within minutes. I look forward to reading the inevitable book someone is working on right now about the role of social media in political revolutions.
It is dissonance in my head, trying to exist in one and understand the other at the same time. I wonder if it is an impossible task, if like learning a language, you never really get it until you've been in that land. Like, I can talk your ear off now, about the political players involved, and what's happened this last hour, the possible outcomes, and the resonance for Israel and the Region, but I'm just really echoing the words of other people I've read. I want a personal experience for this, and it turns out my personal experience is of being "that American girl". So unsatisfactory.
This is a picture someone took on their phone, from their cab. It may turn out to be the next Tiananmen Square Tank Man.
This is a picture of the gummy bear ravioli that was made last night.