I watched Anderson Cooper stumble over his words last night because I wanted to see what CNN was saying about the collapse of Egypt. Fouad Adjami was the only literate person on the sceen. All of the journalists right about now sound like bad Oracle salesreps. They have some general idea what the software is supposed to do, but really only understand the art of the deal. These journalists sound so much more like journalists on these days that the news doesn't fit. They talk about the quality of the images. It's all down to the business of talking and filling the screen with faces, but are we learning anything? Not so much.
There has basically only been one idea circulating in my head over this matter of Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia, which is the speed at which collapse occurs. I've reflected back on the days, a couple years ago, when I was at Microsoft and watched the heads at CNBC say that what has become the drubbing of our financial sector would only take about 600 billion dollars out of our accumulated wealth. They were off by a factor of five, I would guess. So how many years will it take for anything to collapse? It never takes years, it only takes years of neglect bu the collapsing comes swiftly, like a thief in the night. Either you are or you are not prepared.
The only people who seem to be prepared for the future are those people who have none. The rest of us imagine that the one we have will continue. The folks at Intuit tell me that my employer took out too much of my Social Security last year. I'm pretty much resigned to expect that I won't get any of it back, and that may find me out on the street like the lunatics in Egypt. Yeah, they're lunatics. They are the same lunatics that were in Iran a couple months ago. Only the people with no future are out there trying to make one just by showing up, yelling at police, throwing rocks, taking pictures, turning a car over, burning a building, dragging a dead body from the middle of the road. That seems to be all that ever happens. What would you do? I think I'd buy my guns and ammo ahead of time, get my shortwave transciever hooked up, find some ex-military guys, get my women out of town. There's gotta be a playbook somewhere. I can read. None of the lunatics can read. I wonder if I ever wrote it down and gave it a number for Cobb's Rules. If the poor and oppressed could work the system, they wouldn't be poor and oppressed. They can't work the system when it works well enough to oppress them, they can't build a system when it doesn't. Whomever gets them to shut up, leave the streets and go home where the power doesn't work and the water doesn't run, will become the new system.
It always comes down to the Slice doesn't it? What level of outrage the military officers, engineers, doctors and literates can tolerate. Everybody else goes, more or less, with the flow - where the bullets are flying away from you, the electricity and painkillers to you. That's all the masses need to grant political consent. The first rule of maintaining democracy? Keep the streets clear of garbage. For that, you need people to work the infrastructure. Egypt uses pigs. Mubarak's government has been walking on stilts for years. Easy to tip over.
I'm making friends at 2600 and may go to Defcon this year. These are the people who could rebuild the internet from scratch, who might be found if they could be found, looting Fry's and building a packet radio network, resurrecting Fido and policing their IRCs with smarter bots than anybody in the FCC could possibly understand. I'm getting face-time with them because today it only costs 12 bucks to buy a pair of 4GB flash chips from Amazon.com. Tomorrow who knows? America is full of the same lunatics, but with a larger Slice, and with many more in close proximity to the Slice, armed and sensible, unafraid and hostile to the Mubaraks of the world.
I watched the film Buried last night. Lesson: It takes less than two hours to get somebody to tell you the truth which is that you're a pawn and only a very small number of people really care if you live or die. I wish the lunatics who voted for Obama could learn that lesson with the swiftness. Does anybody still believe his geopolitical vision is any better than Anderson Cooper's? Are there still people who remain confident in his 'Middle East Peace Process' who don't get paid to say so?
Right now what matters is what the Egyptian Army decides to do. What the Egyption ISPs decide to do. If they were partners with the American Systems Administration Force, they guys in the Pentagon would know the frequencies and codes on their communications systems and recognize their voices on the air. They could be in confident contact right now, and the Commander in Chief would be in the loop. But arrangements would require the presumptions of empire, a presumption that Barack Obama would never hold. He believes in natural law, but not that rights are the gift of the strong. And so he has faith that the lunatics in the streets everywhere will arrange themselves into the proper queues and that peace will establish itself. He's a dreamer that Obama and he and his brain dead hack Secretary of State are sleepwalking through yet another crisis, like spectators of the NFC playoffs who care more about the commercials at the Super Bowl than who wins.
Violence never solved anything, goes the mantra. Speeches do?
Speeches only work in the hegemony over the Slice, and then only when the Slice is being paid with regularity. Obama doesn't have money for Egypt. He doesn't have money for anybody, and people are waking up to that reality. The only question is whether or not he has the audacity to use troops, which he doesn't. So he is essentially out of equation. America sleeps once again. Wake us when you have a new leader, Egypt. He can come to Disney World. Shake hands. Take pictures. Maybe even get a bow out of our lame duck Commander in Chief. You can play whatever song you like on the piano at the White House. We don't care. Really, we don't.