I have been working on a project about comedy and democracy, which I hope to highlight here soon. But as I’ve watched events unfold in Egypt, I just wanted to note that again we see a comic attitude emerging, despite, or perhaps in response to, the seriousness of the situation, and how much was really at stake for the protesters in the streets. The comic attitude is one of courage, and of acceptance of imperfection. It does not call upon cosmic forces, but rather upon the power of the best of human nature. It accepts some ambiguity, some chaos, some conflict willingly, preferring that freedom to the shackles and certainty of dictatorship.
There have been many inspiring and moving images from Egypt. And to that gallery of faces, I want to add another iconic image, one that exemplifies the harmonious, spontaneous song of technology, democracy and comedy that emerged in this oldest of countries. That was the tweet that was heard round the world. A joke, an homage to the technology, and a viral, electronic roar of people-power.
Also a foreshadowing of things to come?