Finally I was able to take some time today and start to give form to some of the thoughts and now, I’m verging on the edge of Charlie Sheen-esque verbal diarrhea (feel free to make comments about prior post today on Black Bean Brownies ).
With the multiple crises cascading on each other’s back across the Middle East, to my Western eyes, it feels like watching a tidal wave — a human tsunami–of radical change. The thing that has caught my attention more than any other world crisis is the way that the changes in our modes of communication have helped to mobilize or galvanize these actions.
The US political machine was caught of guard when Barack Obama effectively used internet communication to deliver his message of change and reach the youth population in a way that had not been done before. Again, in Egypt, internet was shut off in hopes of staving off Egyptian revolt (which only fueled the fires further). In Tunesia, Libya, and the surrounding countries that are all having their foundations shaken, we are seeing first-hand, through cell phone communications, videos of what is happening on the streets of these countries, taken, not by journalists, but by citizens. Cell phones have reshaped communications so that even a Libyan family is shut away in their home can call (when they have signal) to a relative in another country for information, or get on the internet and see what the world, and the US in particular, is saying and doing to help with the instability.
Journalists have unparalleled access, like CNN Ben Wedeman’s report on Libyan planes bombing their own people this morning.
How can the world stay the same when the dark ages are no longer dark? It cannot. Every human is born with certain instinctive truths. Humans need their connections. Humans need freedom. Humans need communication. The tiny little handheld we hold so casually in our Western hands, is literally seeding collective desire for forging freedom and changing bonds in countries, where tribal affiliation rules and where they have been forced to stay in the dark for a long time.