This map premiered on the pages of the Weekend edition of the Guardian newspaper on February 28th.
It’s the sequel to my Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Arab Spring. It’s a rather cynical glitch in my otherwise cheerful Mapping Stereotype project. If you’re over 30, try to recall the sound when you used to abruptly stop your parents LP player, tapping with your little hand over it.
Depending on the pressure you are able to exert, the LP will either screech and stop immediately (the Libyan ending) or distort the sound and slowly moan until you finally manage to rip it off the player (the Egyptian one).
Seeing Gaddafi’s lifeless, bloody corpse on TV spoiled all the sympathy I had for the rebel movement. Suddenly I remembered that oppressive dictators are never alone in their job, their commitment to oppression and taste for violence are cultivated by the environment that created them. In most cases, they are children of their own people. Whether or not the Libyan people will overcome those traits is a question I am not competent to answer but more importantly – I don’t care. I was lead to believe by the media that this revolution meant something that it didn’t. I was convinced that there were guys out there who were tired of the backward tribalism and wanted just to push it out of the country and make way for something more civilized.
The Egyptian ending was even worse because it seems everything was just a storm that passed leaving all the old trees unaffected. Nobody even talks about Facebook revolutions anymore. People on the social network moved on and returned to their favorite activity: playing Farmville.