Archive for June, 2012

Al-Catraz

June 22, 2012

Holy Smokes(creen)! Did you see Mubarak escape from prison in plain sight?! Faked his death and snuck right out the front door to a swank suburban hospital. Puts Dillinger & David Blaine to shame. For those who dreamt that the SCAF generals were on the way out I present “The Boys Are Back In Town” off the Thin Lizzy album… Jailbreak.

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BTW: Was just making a dumb joke about Al-catraz but now the internet tells me that—like al-cohol & al-gebra—Alcatraz is a word of Arabic extraction, meaning “the pelicans”. (The Arabs conquer Spain and its language, the Spanish romp through California and give name to a rocky island, the island becomes an infamous prison and a set location for the movie Face/Off, Face/Off becomes a huge hit in Arabian lands… is this what T.Westberg was talking about when he was singing about “History’s Hiss”?)

Vauxhall & Islam

June 15, 2012

If you’ll recall, during the parliamentary elections all the thousands of wooden ballot boxes of a voting district were trucked to a huge, centralized counting center. If you’ll also recall, these centers—housed under makeshift tents inside stadiums & schoolyards & social clubs—were scenes of absolute mayhem. Thousands of military personnel, military trucks, judges, polling staff, and political operatives converged on a single gated entrance. It took hours to fight the wild throngs at the gate to gain entrance to observe the wild throngs counting votes.

So this time around the procedures have changed: votes are now counted inside each polling station; these local results are recorded on a few small forms, which are then aggregated on the district and governorate level. So… [why always these long preliminary paragraphs?!] So…

Late into the night we sat in the polling station while the judge emptied the ballot boxes and tallied the votes. In front of the fixed gaze of campaign agents, the judge dealt out a long parade of ballots into separate piles, one for each candidate. Hamdeen… Hamdeen… Moussa… Foutouh… Morsi… Morsi… Morsi… Every time the judge said “Morsi” I grinned, imagining he was saying Morrissey Morrissey… Morrissey. And I pictured the Egyptian voter entering the booth, running his pen up & down the ballot, and ticking the box for Morrissey (over Shafiq and Abel Fotouh (and Depeche Mode and Flock of Seagulls)).

Caption Caption [Courtesy of Black Cherry]

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Caption Caption [Courtesy of Hell N. Carey]

We shared these crucial lulz images with a few friends. Farrah [pic’d at bottom] nodded but shook her head: “I always favored Johnny Marr’s guitar chops… over Moz’s crooning and dramatics. Conclusion: my ears hear Marrsi.” The Inimitable Tad (aka Field Marshal Tadtawi) took my Flock of Seagulls Elections Joke and raised me a Flock of Seagulls Elections Joke, sending me this ballot paper from the 2010 Malaysian elections.

The second party listed on the 2010 Mandaluyong ballot: Flock of Seagulls. (Party 69: Hotdogs; Party 77: Itchy Worms.) How u like dat civil disobedience?! Next level pomo stylie: pop culture / literal election ballot mash-up! Who’s Paper Rad now?? Mandaluyong is Paper Rad now.)

So, yes, to improve yr amusement: for the hectic rest of campaigning, re-imagine every newspaper article about the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate to be a trippy article about our favorite grim dandy crooner, Morrissey.

DIY window tint in Damanhour. Nasser… ?… Sadat… Who will be next? Maybe Moz’s mug!

Morsi claims to be the candidate of the revolution, so, appealing to the frustration of activists, perhaps he should change his campaign slogan to “How Soon Is Now?” If elected maybe Morsi will change the popular slogan “The Army & The People One Hand” to “The Army & The People One Hand (In Glove)”.

&If SCAF steals the election: “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby”

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OUROBOROS OMNIBUS! Holy shint, there’re a lots of wordz to say about the ongoing hidden-in-plain-sight military-judicial coup—as Neil says “Counter-Revolution in tha buildingzz!”—but jah gotta do some work right now for the insane elections tomorrow. Pls consider the above/below an ruff draft! Much to set the quill to, including:

*Mubarak’s whack verdict! What up with that! Plus: The Mubarak verdict foreshadowed by the romance novel found in my hotel lobby.

I found this steamy tome about the sexy & the undead in my hotel foyer. We were sitting around waiting for the Mubarak verdict to be issued so I cracked the spine. Chapter One: “The Last Council”. Go on… The first line—I swear on baby jesus’ teal bonnet: “‘How much longer will the verdict take, do you think?’ Clary asked.”

Plus, the more/most serious issue: How the Mubarak verdict gave the green light to all the smaller, provincial police violence cases—the message: it’s cool to let the killers go now. [Winning quote from Morrissey: “We want the love between the people and the army and the police to return, because unity between the people would protect the people from the beasts that want to eat the flesh of the people [referring to thefts and killing of the ousted regime],” Morsy added.] [My emphasis??!?] Spoiler alert: for friends who remember that never-ending research project I did for that Harper’s article… well… the villain is now as free as cotton candy aloft in a fragrant zephyr. [So have we all agreed to forget how monstrous the Egyptian police were before & during the revolution?]

*Shafiq proceeding in the election + parliament being dissolved! KaBoom!

*Freudian Typos on Al Jazeera!

*Visiting Shafiq’s summer villa compound! AKA All Wealth Is Stolen AKA Scream Until You… Actually Just Keep Screaming!

* The military announcing the reinstatement of the Emergency Law. Almost forgot about that one!

*New nonsense t-shirts, including:

Not just fine art, “fine ass art”. In smaller print “Unway Lagoon Resort”

…and this afternoon’s acquisition:

“Why I got kucked out of The Beatles”. Great topic. And the four lads (crossing Abbey Road??–slant allusion??) are having the most _____ conversation. Gazing off toward the mushroom cloud two ask “Nice one boy?” one asks “one boy?” and the fourth remarks “Lao Scene in the northern mountains of Laos, near here we saw men walk”. At the bottom it mentions The Beatles again: “The Beatles Again”.

* An amazing new arts space in Alex leading to more reflections on the nature of political art! Y’know, fine ass art!

[Wait, an friend just sent an picture from last night—sorta sorry I’m not on Facepage to see these things!]

The fierce & charming Dina Wadidi last night at Teatro. (And also a shoegazing foreign dude on the floor with his friend Sabrine. What up, Sabrine!)

p.s. Dina sang a romping rousing rendition of Kifeya Aish [“Stop Cheating”] dedicated to Shafiq & all the judicial nonsense of yesterday.

* Some comments related to Maria Bustillos recent essay on Oscar Wilde +++ Ricks on A.E. Houseman’s “Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?”. [Bustillos is the best—why are her books so terribly titled?]

*All I’m saying is that we’ve got some stuff to catch up on here! Egypt is getting weird! And I’m not just talking about the recently ubiquitous SpongeBob SquarePants paraphernalia or the tiny plastic lawn chairs.

Perhaps this is the wrong question, but what are we supposed to *do* with tiny plastic lawn chairs?

Integrity

June 8, 2012

“Checks & Balances” A Riveting One-Man Conceptual Theater Piece Now Playing in Downtown Cairo!

June 5, 2012

The Kind of Nonsense We’ve Got in Egypt, Episode 999:

The presidential election is to take place in less than two weeks and the Supreme Constitutional Court hasn’t decided whether the leading candidate is eligible. AND the Court hasn’t even decided if/when it will decide. Yeah, we’ll get back to you on that essential question… or maybe not!

The conspiracy theory had been that SCAF pressured the Presidential Electoral Committee (PEC) to overturn the post-revolution parliamentary law that prevented old Mubarak cronies from running for office—because their man (Ahmed Shafiq) would be excluded from the race. The NEW conspiracy theory is that Shafiq might lose (following widespread anger at the Mubarak verdict) so now the SCAF will pressure the Supreme Constitutional Court to reverse the PEC decision, and thus invalidate Shafiq’s candidacy, and thus cancel the elections. (Because the SCAF can’t tolerate the idea of a Muslim Brotherhood presidency.)

Of course, the High Constitutional Court and the Presidential Election Commission are both chaired by the same bogus dude! Shit, I feel like I’m living in the basement of the Denver International Airport!

Transfor Blaget

June 2, 2012

Mubarak got 25 years. His swindling sons got pardoned. Protesters have taken to the streets here in Alexandria. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom & Justice Party has closed its offices to join the protests because… all-of-a-sudden they are the party of the revolution! Not during the Mohamed Mahmoud street battles, not after the Port Said Stadium Tragedy, not during Abassiya… but now that they are desperately trying to scrape together votes for the election in two weeks… How convenient! So, there is Much Topix to discuss, but instead let’s talk about this brinsane shirt bought today.

Bevrly Hills 501.

 

SPEAKING AT A TOWN-HALL STYLE [         ] NEAR PHILADELP

HIA ON ENERGY POLICY, MR. OBAM [        ] SAME DANG

ERS TO THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY [         ] WHY PEOP

                                                           TRANSFOR BLAGET

 

Sentiment Exactly.

**********meanwhile*****

After the verdict was delivered in Cairo, Alexandrians streamed into the streets and marched up the corniche, tearing down Shafiq campaign posters as they went.

Not all along the corniche demonstrated.

And some flew kites.

Colleague, Islam, at sunset on the balcony at Doomspirals HQ.