“SHERIF ALI, so long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel as you are.”
So said the late T.E. Lawrence, a British archeologist from whom the famed Lawrence of Arabia movie (1962) was based. Not to worry though, there will be no more cinematic references forthcoming folkies, because our situation as it is, in terms of dramatic arc alone, would definitely sell much better than the ones Hollywood churns out these days had it been produced and made into a movie,
Not even sure if this prevailing hang-up could subconsciously be one severe case of life imitating art, because from the look of it, it seems apparent that we (especially our politicos) perceive ourselves as lead actors ala-Don Quixote slash Luke fighting against windmills and dark forces but just as well, lets see where it takes us as a nation. Popcorn alert.
As always, social media, that ever- convenient platform from which all creative voices (and crap) springs from, has been our ideal playpen, until now. Facebook and Twitter, its two main agents, have steadily become weaponized in a sense. When the main goal during this pandemic times should have been to encourage that social media wholly act as a neutral space intended for arriving at a common initiative (or direction even) against the covid threat, they have instead allowed it be a gross battleground, where misinformation and politics could wantonly muddle what many deem as their only source, if not guide at this time.
Of course, to blame social media for our own disunity is foolhardy, because let’s admit it, it’s a business; nothing honorable about its supposed noble intentions. It does not owe us anything. The bitter truth is, it has succeeded in reining us all in like cattle. Despite all, while we might be tiny in comparison to their giant machinery that’s bent on thieving us of our own information, then surrendered enough into accepting this is not the battle to be fought yet, can’t we at least have a common stand in facing this one which threatens us all? That might be like Westeros and Winterfell uniting against the undead, but it is!
As to Sir Lawrence’s quote, in the end we may perhaps indeed qualify as a silly, disunited people; intricate in our costume beaded with an illusory sense of nationhood, that is more regionalistic and tribal at best. While we love to stereotype others like China for example and its millions of vaccines, we are our own worst stereotypes. Just observe how we tend to our politics, our fellows from the next hill, or those of other faith. More surprising, we’d even fight to the death just to deny that we are.
Just this one final battle folks. Enough with prepping for next year’s elections. For all we know, we might not be there to vote for you. Or you might not be there, as we vote for someone else.
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