The creative arts: love 'em. Nothing better than taking the Missus downtown for some theater on a hot Friday evening. There you can enjoy pieces like Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator â€“ written and performed by dissident Syrians mocking Basar Assad. Wait, WTF?
OK, change of plans.
Here's a tip for you would-be tyrants. Keep your artists on a short leash, and tie the other end of the leash to a Rottweiler who's feeling grumpy. Otherwise they'll find thousands of ways to mock, satire, and belittle your Dictatory-self. From Jadaliyya:
Ill-fated attempts by the international community to chart a way out of the current impasse and a rising death toll have led to growing despair, pushing the essentially civil uprising over the brink and into the abyss of armed conflict. This conflict has overshadowed how the revolutionary spirit has nurtured the satire and wit for which the country is famous, and imbued daily life with an unprecedented outburst of creative expression.
For decades, Syrians would do no more than whisper. â€œEven walls have ears,â€ was a popular saying. Political jokes were kept within trusted circles and people were forced to bow to the iconography of their leader, a cult celebrated in schools, public spaces, cultural productions and the media. As the uprising evolved, the state media, sticking with the delusional narrative that all protesters are armed terrorists, has lost its grip on most of the public. A powerful counter-culture unlocked minds, drawing on popular tradition and skilfully exploiting the tools of modern communications technology.
A very good article - well written and informative. Well worth the click. Now, me and the Missus are off to bash some heads.