What we've seen across the Middle East and North Africa is inspiring. After a decade where the only option to fight against hopelessness seemed to be to put C4 in your underpants, the hashtag revolutions of 2011 have been unprecedented and unforeseen. If anyone had said six months ago 'gee, maybe there will be mass demonstrations which will overthrow governments in half a dozen countries,' they'd have been the laughingstock of the Rand Institute, CNN and the State Department. BREAKING NEWS: MIDEAST ANALYST IS A DREAMY HIPPIE, POSSIBLY HIGH.
I'm a little bit dubious about how much social media drove these uprisings. I mean, I make probably more than a gaggle of Tunisians, and I can't afford an iPhone. I don't check my Facebook that regular. It's probably a lot more complicated than that. But smarter people than me argue about it here, here, here and here.
Simultaneously, across the US mass protests are taking place at state capitols against budget cuts and depowering unions. In Europe, the same. Why are all these cuts taking place and screwing us? The financial crisis, brought about by the bankers and stockbrokers. The issue in the Middle East and North Africa isn't democracy, it's living standards, oppression and corruption. It's the same damn thing, but we're falling for the rope-a-dope.
Don't tell me we live in a democracy in the West. We live in a kleptocracy. It's just our corruption, greed and stealing from the people is legal.
My beloved, let's get down to business--lemme hear you say...
The Hashtag Revolutions Mixtape:
Looking For Freedom - Ibn Thabit (Libya) / Last Days - The Arab Summit / We Protest - The Are / Ana Fhemtkoum - Mohamed Ali Ben Jemaa (Tunisia) / Poverty & Corruption - Ibn Thabit (Libya) / Not Your Prisoner - Arabian Knightz (feat. Shadia Mansour & Fredwreck) (Egypt) / Wa2t El Thawra Gaya - Revolution Records (Egypt) / Ta7ya Tounes - El General (feat. Mr Shooma) (Tunisia) / Back Down Mubarak! - Master Mimz (Egypt) / Land Of Yemen - Dirty Flame / Yalla Back to Yemen - Loki da Trixta / Ded El 7koma (Against The Government) - Ramy Donjewan (Egypt) / #Jan25 - Amir Sulaiman, Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Freeway, Ayah & Sami Matar (Egypt) / Awakening - Badawi / Justice Tomorrow - The Arab Summit / To Be Continued - Raz Mesinai / #fightthepower
Peep these out:
Khalas Mixtape Vol. 1 - Mish B3eed(also at DatPiff): “Khalas” means “enough”, “stop” or “end” in Arabic. It’s also the title of this new mixtape featuring a group of hip hop artists from Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and Libya who are fed up and have gotten together to spread their message that oppression must end, regardless of nationality and borders. Mish B3eed, or ‘Not far,’ refers to the sense of solidarity that these youth feel across borders, the similarities of their causes and the oppressors they face, their physical proximity and the sense that our ultimate goal is within sight.”