Wednesday, February 2, 2011

John Scott Railton and the Fire in Cairo

Cynicism is the philosophy of a loser. I woke this morning expecting today to be insufferable. It is groundhog day and national signing day. That means the two major American events I find pointless and ridiculous would dominate the news and social media. Meteorological rodents in Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia are "predicting" an early spring, while middle aged creeps are telling sports fans who love college football about the lives of 17 and 18 year old boys and where they will sign letters of intent to play. I'd rather quit my job, stay home and watch The View. Not really. Seriously, not really.

As written before, I'm fascinated by the occurrences in Egypt. Yesterday, their dictator, Hosni Mubarak pulled a Lyndon Baines Johnson and announced he wouldn't seek reappointment, I mean reelection. Yet, the country still protests and things have turned ugly. For those who don't care or don't know, Egypt is the lynchpin in the political grenade that is the Middle East. If they stay democratic and thus stable, Israel has less to worry about and so does her more volatile neighbors. The point is, if Egypt can figure their crap out, war is less likely to happen.

I am an avowed fan of twitter. In 140 characters you can say a lot. It's mini-blogging, right. Whatever, the thing is, there are good "voices" on twitter and the best of them all right now is a 27 year old Michigan native who is a grad student at UCLA. Normally, 27 year old grad students are not dudes I would call anything other than lame and worthy of ridicule. Get a job, right. Sarcasm aside, this student is named John Scott Railton and he is a hero. His twitter account is @Jan25voices. he has traveled in Egypt, made some friends and other contacts. He is using the numbers in his phone to get information, decipher it, and tweet it ffor us dumb Americans to get in the know. Here's some more about John: Mubarak, in typical dictator move, turned off Egypt's internet last week. John Scott Railton is Egypt's internet conduit to the world.

Forgive me if I am not as glib as I usual am today. I just don't get into marketed groundhogs and football recruiting weirdos. I do like social media and what it can do when it's used well. I promise, by tomorrow, I'll be back to puns, bad jokes, and sarcastic creamy goodness.

Today's song is obvious. The performance video isn't available. Hosni Mubarak probably banned it. But the since Cairo is burning literally and figuratively. The Cure's 1980 breakthrough song off their first album, Fire in Cairo says a lot.


  1. He should be extremely careful. He may find himself in the presence of a home made Islamist extremist bomb. I have traveled through Egypt. Love the history and the culture. Cairo is the epitome of haves and have notes. I remember seeing condo buildings on the banks of the nile where one unit goes for $1.0M US.....who makes that kind of money in Egypt?

  2. thanks for the perspective Chopper. I would like to see the pyramids and absorb the culture, you know, when things aren;t crazy,

  3. So where do you think Georgia's class should rank?

    But seriously... inanity against the backdrop of major things going on always makes the inanity much more... inane.

  4. What an profoundly iane comment Brett. I mean, thanks dude.

  5. It is not true that the Israeli government prefers a democratic Egypt. They have very publicly announced that they prefer a dictatorship in Egypt (and the rest of the Arab world).

    See for example

    The Israeli government prefers to be surrounded by dictators which (against the wishes of their people) participate in Israeli government's grotesque policies towards the Palestinians. It is highly unlikely that a democratic Egypt would continue to cooperate with Israel on the policy against Gaza.

    That's one reason. There are many other reasons which would take far too long to explain. The most important reason why the Israeli government vehemently opposes democracy in any Arab country is that it may lead to the end of the US taxpayer subsidy of Israel's economy and military. (again reasons run a little long but are very clearly evident from declassified documents from the Nixon and Eisenhower era).

    Many Israeli PEOPLE though (especially within Israel's peace movement) do support Arab democracy.