Three Big Pigs – A Middle East Revolution Animation

Egor Zhgun presents a cartoon news report on the revolutions rocking the Middle East. Some of these revolutions, though coming from noble intentions, are failing miserably. Egypt has rid itself of a dictator only to be taken over by a barbaric military that conducts organized rape and torture of men and women who seek to engage in any further protests. Egypt is now a military dictatorship. It is sheer stupidity to believe otherwise.  I won’t go visit the pyramids any time soon because I don’t want to be raped by Egyptian soldiers.

Thugs Rape American Journalist in Effort to Intimidate Egypt’s Protesters

Update for February 20, 2011: Several days ago, after hearing this news, I posted the following article which is my opinion in a moment of anger. I went too far and made some ridiculous generalizations about the situation in Egypt where a profound and positive change is underway. I should not have characterized a great and noble revolution the way I did based on the alleged actions of a small group. Several commenters from Egypt have been very angry with me. Though I still await the further facts and details of this episode, I do apologize for my generalization and hasty remarks about a ‘pig revolution.’ They are foolish and do not convey my support for the revolution from its first day. I have also changed the title of this post to try to more accurately reflect what probably happened in Tahrir Square during the celebrations of Mubarak’s departure. I will compose a new article that will make my true feelings clear. My opinions here are not to be taken as news. They are simply the overheated and sometimes too angry reactions of an artist. Here are my original and far too general words:

A mob of approximately two hundred Egyptian men gang-raped CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan during celebrations of the Hosni Mubarak resignation in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

This is how Egyptian men celebrate the overthrow of a dictator.

I am not obligated to consistency of opinion on this web site.  If something makes me angry I say I’m angry.  If I see pigs celebrating a false victory, I say so.  Egypt, you have apparently gone to the pigs.  Two hundred men raping a woman during celebrations in a city square speaks volumes for your civilization or lack thereof.  You are not part of an evolved world.  You are outside of the conversation between nations.  You rape.

Sure, every country has problems with rape.  But my point is that if you see this kind of brutal gang attack during a celebration of joy and victory, you’ve got a statistical certainty that you’re dealing with a brutish general population of men for whom rape is common and widespread.  You can’t walk into Times Square in New York and find 200 people willing to commit rape during a New Year’s celebration.

One dictator has been overthrown.  What comes next will very likely be worse.  A population that can place 200 rapists inside the same square to commit the same crime during a time of joy has sunk to its knees and has no business with the world of civilized nations.  How many other women were raped in the square that we don’t know about?  This problem of rape and oppression of women is rampant throughout the Middle East.  It has deep roots in the region. It seems to be the normal state of existence which is encouraged by every government, whether run by a dictator or not.  We will not see any true revolution in the Middle East until every oppressed woman turns to her rapist and stabs him in the throat.  Perhaps women of the Middle East should organize such an event through Facebook.  All women who have suffered rape arise at 4:00 am on the same day and eliminate their sleeping attackers.  Governments would surely fall almost overnight because there would be no ministers or ‘royal princes’ left to reign.

We see this revolution unfold and we see people shouting for more freedom.  But we do not see a single soul shout for women.  Instead we see Egyptian men raping them.  I will not join my fellow Americans in naively celebrating a pig revolution.

This does not mean that I do not support the revolution. I do support it. It simply means that I will not celebrate while ignoring the very serious problem of how women are treated in the Middle East. The situation is appalling and will cause revolutions to fail. You cannot have freedom and democracy where women are considered to be something less than men.

Egypt Celebrates First Victory in Revolution

Egypt has begun to put out its garbage. It’s an amazing achievement for Egyptians that I have witnessed via the news video and photos coming from Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Congratulations to all the Egyptians who wanted to be free. They forced a raping, murdering, totalitarian criminal to resign his dictatorial position. The dictator Mubarak was and is an ongoing embarrassment and deep shame to the entire Middle East and to the United States that insisted on giving him respect and credibility even while he committed murder and oppressed a great civilization. Egyptians have made an incredible start to ridding themselves of the human garbage that was and is Mubarak. It remains to be seen if Egypt can become truly free and wrest control of the nation from its military.

Hopefully, the revolution in Egypt will spread to topple the rest of the governments in the Middle East which are nearly unanimous in their willingness to allow brutal thugs and criminal royal families to rule in bitter oppression. These savage despots straight out of the Dark Ages are specialists in murder, rape and complete suppression of all ideas and expression. They also have the absolute respect and support of governments like those in the U.S.

Beyond the Middle East and its ‘royal families,’ it would be astonishing and constructive to see the people of China put their own garbage out by removing their totalitarian government. Revolution is in the twenty-first century air. No one is immune.

Not Every Time – DSLR Film from Yemen

This is a preview for a television show from Yemen. It’s all shot on a Canon 7D digital SLR camera by Aimen Kasem who functioned as the show’s cinematographer.  The show is directed by Sameer Al-Afeef. People are making very beautiful things with these DSLR cameras. I’ve been using one recently for my own films and appreciate the flexibility and quality that they offer. The post production work can be very challenging but the end results are often gorgeous. I like the looks of this dramatic show from Yemen. The preview stands on its own as a short film. With such high-quality equipment and editing tools available for a modest investment, it is becoming increasingly possible to see how people in different cultures approach and think about color. The fine manipulation of color in digital film is now available to any filmmaker and has become just as much a personal expression as it has long been for the painter.

See Aimen Kasem’s work on Vimeo.

Arabian Nights Film About Scheherazade

Look what I found! A YouTube user named Naim2212Z made this film about Scheherazade from the 1001 Arabian Nights. I believe he made it at the New York Film Academy’s location in Abu Dhabi. It’s good. The filmmaker takes his HD camera, some colorful costumes and settings and makes something that really does capture the spirit of the Arabian Nights stories. I like all the candles on the mantle and the big rug. I also like the choice to make a silent film with a voice-over telling the story. It reminds me of a very sharp colorful silent film. Very nice work telling the tale.

Arabian Nights Documentary

Here’s a Discovery Channel documentary about the Arabian Nights stories.  I’m always looking for a nice illustrated version of the stories and film adaptations that capture the wild fun of the insane storytelling and loopy moralizing.  When you read them you get a sense of the sheer joy of telling a story like you get it from nowhere else.  These stories are full of color and description that defies all reason.  They make you want to dive into the sea of adventure stories and live in Technicolor.  What I like about this documentary is that it works enactments of some of the tales into the discussion of their history and influence on world literature and Middle Eastern culture.

Candlelight has a nice pile of Arabian Nights stuff here, including some audio stories.

This is part 1 of 8:

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8