A lighter note.

The great and wonderful Pia Savage has posted her second Psychology Today piece. In it, she describes her first panic attack, which took place during notebook inspection day in the second grade.

As someone to whom notes were superfluous and taking them was like trying to throw with my off hand, I personally appreciate her sharing her own experience.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that if anyone reading this doesn't already know what's going on in Egypt right now, they can damn well find out on their own and I don't need to speak on it with an unearned air of authority.

I will say this. During the day while I was taking a break from rather dusty housework, I was glued to twitter. among the tweets about the clashes between protesters and brownshirts, something hilarious happened.

The National Organization for Marriage linked this cartoon from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal  on their blog.

Naturally, they didn't get the joke. For thinking people, culture shock is a source of humor and/or discomfort. For Defenders of Marriage, it's evidence that something is well and truly wrong with the Universe.

SMBC is authored by Zach Weiner, who in addition to having a surname uncannily appropriate for the brand of humor that he has elevated near to the level of High Art, is about the last person who is going to let you get away with subverting his work to fit your message of hate. The thing about hotlinks is that you only control the name of the file that they display. Usually, that's enough.  However...

For me it was a welcome break from hearing about how Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Richard Engel, Nicholas Kristoff, and all of the other reporters out there whose names I can't immediately bring to mind but who are no less worthy of mention are in real danger. Some have said that the attention they've gotten is a distraction, but I disagree.

I warrant that there's a danger of people from the West focusing their sympathies on the people who look like them who came late to the nightmare rather than the people who have lived their whole lives under the conditions that created this crisis, but that's not the only force at work These are the people we invite into our homes every day to get a better understanding of how the world is working. In the United States, their efforts are routine; expected. In Cairo, during this time of crisis, it gives some cause to threaten their lives. If we think only of the faces we know, then we indeed have missed the point.

I am infinitely grateful both for the reporters who shine a light on the darkest moments of human history, and the smart, funny people who make those dark moments easier to bear. Double points for each if they can manage to stand up for the powerless while doing so.


  1. 1) Thank you, thank you, thank you
    2) Zach Weiner's cartoon was both hilarious and discomforting as I don't ever want to turn into that person. One reason I have young friends
    3) Anderson--I like him. Love his mommy who made the first designer jeans I could wear and look good in, and survived many traumas to come out a good person. As Anderson survived his brother's death, and really tries
    4) This doesn't mean I don't relate to the people of Egypt. Actually they do like a lot like some of my relatives, and I was thinking of going there in September--all that history
    I think this is an amazing revolution. One that true good might come out of. Maybe. It's scary as there are so many unknowns and this is truly the first twitter revolution
    5) I loved this post. especially the beginning. Not true. I admire people who think and reason out their arguments and you do.

  2. Pia's piece was fabulous, and the cartoon awesome, though I'm not surprised that the organization failed to get it.

    I have not watched much news on Cairo, I've gotten the majority of my coverage online or in the car radio, so though I know a couple of journalists were roughed up I missed the meat of it, but yes I'm glad they are there and reporting.

    Selfish me was thinking just last week that it would be some time before I'd me able to see the Pyramids now.

  3. I'd go there tomorrow if I had a ticket. I don't know that I'd even wind up going to the Pyramids though. Possibly. The protests are starting to settle down to a more sustainable pace, so who knows?