As most of you know, my Monday morning posts are not a political forum. Their subject is focused on my personal reflections of the vagaries of life and the little events that I hope reveal something deeper. Even when Mitt Romney wouldn’t disclose his taxes (a decision that particularly rankled me since I think it would have revealed something deeper), I kept my mouth shut.

However, this week’s astounding changes in Egypt, combined with the celebration of our own revolution on July 4th, have together heated my consciousness to such a degree that my thoughts have bubbled to the surface and spilled onto this morning’s post like a fireworks display of political enthusiasm. How’s that for a mixed metaphor?

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt

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Yes, a revolution has just taken place in Egypt in case any of you may have missed it. Millions of Egyptians took to the streets of Tharir Square demanding the removal of Mohammed Morsi, who was the Democratically elected president of just over a year ago. The Egyptian military supported the demands of the people and forced Morsi to abdicate in a relatively peaceful manner.

I say “relatively” because there have been violent clashes resulting in a number of deaths and injuries to supporters on both sides of this remarkable power struggle.

I don’t want to get too much into the details surrounding this event, which are easily available on the web (e.g., the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the legitimacy of the Morsi election, the long-reach of Hosni Mubarak and sons, the role of the Egyptian military, etc.). Instead, what fascinates me are the similarities between what the Egyptians have done and what the Colonists did in our Revolutionary War.

Declaration_of_Independence

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They upset a legitimate seat of power by declaring it illegitimate.

In the case of Egypt, the throngs in the street declared Morsi’s election as rigged and his policies as tyrannical. In the Thirteen Colonies, the people did pretty much the same thing and then wrote a Declaration of Independence freeing themselves from British Rule. Of course, the Colonists had to fight a long and brutal war led by George Washington to actually get their declared freedom.

What will happen to Egyptians over the coming weeks, months, and years is anyone’s guess; but unlike the Revolutionary War viewed through the fuzzy lens of history books, we’ll be watching the Egyptian saga in real-time on CNN, Huffington Post, and web feeds everywhere.

George_Washington_at_19And that got me thinking about General Washington, pictured at left at 19.

At the July 4th party I went to for eats and treats and night-sky fireworks, Old George and his revolutionary accomplishments weren’t discussed or even mentioned. For most of us, the events that got this country off the ground are buried deep in our memory, occasionally dug up through the reading of a biography or two that make the NY Times Best Seller List.

In today’s fractured and chaotic world, the Egyptian Revolution that happened this week could well be forgotten by news services before the start of Football Season just a month or so hence.

Or maybe it’s forgotten already.

asiana_crash_AP13070613515_620x465The crash of Asiana Flight 214 at the San Francisco Airport on Saturday afternoon certainly displaced the Egypt story from primary TV feeds and associated websites. How long does a story captivate a mind today? Forty-eight hours is the common answer to that question. New cycles are rarely longer than that in the modern world.

It’s a jolly good thing General Washington fought his battles in a time when satellite images and tweets and text weren’t stealing his spotlight at Valley Forge. I read the excellent Chernow biography of Washington last summer, and poor George had enough trouble with frostbite and terribly painful wooden teeth, not to mention legions of deserters and the persistent threat of his nescient government running out of money for food, blankets, bullets, and toilet paper.

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Just think if he had to compete for attention with Despicable Me 2 at the box office or Andy Murray at Wimbledon or Britney Spears’s new comback album due out next week.

Yes, I did say Britney Spears! Anyone remember her?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to George vs Britney

  1. As always well written and well stated.
    Great points that bring sadness to us for all the gains
    With technology much else treasured has been
    Lost. It has different meanings for different
    People of what has been lost vs gained.

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