“Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” notes Joan Baez.

12/02/11 9:39 PM

I stopped everything yesterday and tuned-in live, on the Internet, to witness the latest developments in Cairo, Egypt. Rock hurling turned to jubilation in Tahrir Square.

Instantaneous visual images of current world events were not available to my parent’s generation. You’d have to wait the next day to read important news from newspapers or wait until you mustered 10 cents to view a double feature at the movies—and watch Newsreels with current evnts projected before the featured  films were shown.

Even though it is the day after the departure of a dictator, people are STILL dancing in the streets of Egypt. In some major Unites States cities  there were spontaneous gatherings, like one at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event began as an information secession—then morphed into a communal show of solidarity for all those who respect freedom, democracy, change, and say NO to living in a state of fear and intimidation.

Three days ago, as I watched the protest in Egypt on the Internet, thoughts turned to Tienanmen Square, Beijing, China.  Would history repeat itself? Would a bloodbath ensue? History does trends repeat itself like an old 45 RPM record—skipping and crackling.

Many in our fast-paced society have short memories. Many school districts have stopped offering geography and civic classes and have a teach-to-a-state-graduation-requiremeted test mentality. There is often NO time to discuss current events and  earth-shattering world events. Many ask– whereIS Cairo on the map? Heaven forbid if one is not precisely at US I Standard 12.8. 4. 1.  Never deviate from what is to be taught at a specific time, on a specific day.  

As Egypt moves forward, my hope is for a more stable African and Middle East.

One can boil spaghetti on a stove and turn the gas off when the spaghetti is cooked. One may drain the water, and a meal is served.  If you leave a pot on a hot stove, cooking past its allotted cooking time, the pot hisses and begins to boil over. The metal pot cover rattles and shakes. It is a distressing sound. The hissing of water when it hits a gas flame grows louder. No one likes burned food. No one likes their kitchen reduced to ash.

A favorite spiritual/protest song of mine is Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.  I like this spititual/protest song made popular by Joan Baez because it places power in the hands of people. Fear and imitation cross our path–and yet we often walk into, and through, the pathway of danger.

Blessed are the righteous. Praise goes out to those who stood up to injustice in Egypt. Reverend King stood up against injustice in  Birmingham and Selma. He would be proud of the events in Egypt. Mohandas Gandhi with his Salt March to the sea would be beaming if he  knew what the people of Egypt did to change the political, social, and economic direction of their nation.

A message to to present-day dictators of the world. You cannot push people around. Like that pot of spaghetti  boiling on the stove, the lid must  and will come off.

To bullies of the world. You may shove—yet now the world no longer tolerates your foolish belligerence and pushing. Bullies beware. There is a movement at hand to stop your mindless hate and intimidation.  

Now that the Egyptian people will hopefully experience a free press and freedom from tyranny, aint’ nobody gonna turn them ’round.

Do you think King Jong Il or Raul Castro are quaking in their spit polished, imported European leather boots—-shined by a servant tonight?

Brendan Ben Feeney

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