Tag Archives: elections

An Automated Response to the Rainfall

visual evidence of what may have been the end

Alert. Alert.

This is an automated message addressing the near-apocalypse that occurred last night in Cairo, Egypt from approximately 17:30 to 20:30 pm.

What could have been the end of the world took the form of a heavy rain descending upon Egypt’s capital. The moisture falling from the sky proceeded to form large lakes and puddles on every uncovered surface in the greater metropolitan area due to a complete lack of street drains. Thankfully, the inconveniently tall sidewalks were still of no use since they are pocked with various pits and sudden changes in height and existence.

As the night progressed, the (temporary) bodies of water became foamy, a result of both the physical movement of cars and the multiple chemical reactions going on between the various air and ground pollutants that include but are not limited to: soap, animal feces, garbage, and car exhaust. This foam can and will be used by the Egyptian government as a new form of riot control.

Though the streets have suffered considerable damage from the acidic mixture eating away at the concrete and asphalt, their physical appearance is almost indistinguishable from what it was before the quasi-Armageddon and the new potholes will likely go unnoticed.

Mild panic reigned over much of the populace during the moisture-time, resulting from an inability to identify the bizarre tapping sound that pervaded Cairo’s various boroughs. Once the sound and the substance causing it were identified, the panic was replaced with a sense of bewilderment, wonder, and hunger as entire families gathered round to watch the sky water drip down the sides of buildings and make the streets unusable.

Though Cairo’s streets were predicted to bloom today as the result of this rare rain, it appears the only thing blooming this year is Egypt’s democracy, and even that has a chance of getting stuck in the chemical muck left behind on both major and minor thoroughfares.

In response to the widespread fear that such a scathing indictment of the quality of the roads and sidewalks will cause the government to respond, an official has reassured the populace that, as in the past, nothing will be done to change the infrastructure’s current condition and that there is no cause to worry.

Happy Election Day. Please do not respond to this message.

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Not This Again

This McDonald’s is currently (Nov. 20) a war zone

I could blather on about my vacation in the Sinai Peninsula where I gazed for hours across the cobalt waters to the rocky mountains of Saudia Arabia, land of the free, but some stuff has been going down in Egypt that it might not hurt to mention. As such, I’ll save the blather for later.

First of all, let me state that I get most of my news from one person in our program who posts things on her facebook to the tune of one article/video/link every minute. Since she’s a self-described revolutionary socialist, much of this media leans slightly towards the left, but it’s more informative than the only website I read daily, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Other sources of news include hearsay, rumors, eavesdropping, and the occasional article I read online in order to confirm or debunk the current event foam I pick up throughout the day.

That being said, I do know that there were violent protests today in Tahrir square, far away from where I live but right next to where I go to school. Whereas the most interesting thing I did today was drink coffee with only milk instead of milk and sugar, one of my friends described to me a scene of protestors building barricades and being shot at by security forces that he saw from his roof. I said, “Oh that’s really interesting.” and went on to describe a cheese sandwich I had eaten earlier.

But seriously. Tahrir has once again been scented with blood and tear gas only 9 days away from parliamentary elections. Police forces entered the square last night to try to clear out the remnants of protestors from the million man march that was held earlier, but instead of everyone going home and straight to bed, violent clashes broke out and have continued today.

What does this mean? Well I’m not sure, but based on my limited knowledge of politics, elections, and democracy I would say that violence is not a great sign, especially not in addition to the general atmosphere of confusion and depression that has characterized the public sphere as of late.

Personally, I expect more tension and violence as we approach the election date. I don’t expect the situation to improve, and I foresee increasing disillusionment and growing apathy. I don’t mean to sound overly optimistic, but this is just my general feeling.

On the other hand, I probably won’t be going to Tahrir to protest anytime soon so I think I’ll stay pretty safe. My real wish is for a delicious Thanksgiving feast in addition to the flowering of Egyptian democracy and a peaceful brunch tomorrow.

P.S. Same source said that as of 12:51 Cairo time, things are still pretty crazy in Tahrir.

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