Thoughts On The Troubles In Libya And Everywhere Else

I haven’t talked about what’s going on in Egypt and Libya and Bahrain And Tunisia and everywhere else over there that I may have forgotten about. It’s not that I don’t think it’s important. I guess it’s just that I felt I didn’t have anything else to add except holy crap look at the carnage and chaos. Go people for standing up for their rights, but holy crap. Plus, like I felt when the oil spill happened, it felt so overwhelming and there was nothing I thought I could do or say to make a difference.

But now I have a few things to say. I heard something the other day that gave me the uncontrollable urge to go read as much news as possible.

I was out with the French group, and I commented that I wished the lady was out with us who teaches ESL because I wondered if she had any students in her class who had family in Libya, or hell, anywhere over in that part of the world, and I wondered how they were doing. At this point, another member said “What? Something’s happening in Libya?”

Jaw, meet floor.

I readily admit I don’t know everything that’s happening in Libya, but I sure as shit know that *something* is happening there. How could you not? I maybe could understand “Something’s happening in Bahrain?” because the media sorta just forgot about them. But Libya?

But I learned something else really sad and unfortunate. When Prime Minister Harper froze Libyan assets held in Canada, that inadvertently froze scholarships being paid out to students studying over here. Can you imagine? You’re half a world away from your family, wondering if they’re dead or alive, and the money that you rely on to pay tuition and living expenses is yoinked right out of your hands because of what Moammar Gadhafi is doing.

And hey newspapers, figure out how the hell to spell that dude’s name, ok? I don’t care that it’s weird. I want to spell it correctly, and I shouldn’t have to play best 2 out of 3 goddamn it.

But on the bright side, it looks like our government is working to fix that scholarship problem, although they’re not explaining how, nor had they contacted the Canadian Bureau of International Education to enlighten them on this little update when that article was written. Hopefully that’s just a result of bad timing, and everybody will be on the same page soon.

Another trend that’s really bugging me is all the stories about gas prices going up, and words like “the Libyan crisis is to blame” being used. I know they have to report on it because it’s news, but it upsets me. I think most of us can pay a few more cents at the pumps. What these people are trying to achieve is liberation from a dictator. It seems a little selfish to whine and moan about expensive oil when we see the price the Libyan people are paying, and have paid for years.

The other thing that’s bugging me is people’s tendancy to compare their various causes to the Libyan crisis. I’m sorry, but that’s just petty. Anything I could fight for on the accessibility front is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to what they are fighting for. If I tried to accuse some government entity of being similar to Moammar Gadhafi or Hosni Mubarak, I would hope I would look like a fool in most people’s eyes.

But that’s exactly what I saw on Twitter. We’ve talked about Stop the Meter before. And I have nothing against that cause. I hope they win their fight. But a couple of weeks ago, they retweeted the following.

seeing the uprisings all over the world, maybe Bell will be the next dictator to fall. #ubb

Did I miss something? Is Bell killing us? Does Bell have armies in the streets who are attacking protesters who show up at these meetings about usage-based billing? Do people not talk to the media because they fear what Bell would do to their families? No! To compare usage-based billing to what is going on in many countries is disgraceful, and trivializes what they’re going through.

Thankfully it wasn’t Open Media who actually said that. But they retweeted it and agreed with it. That means they thought it was a good sentiment. That made me so angry that I almost regretted sending them money, and couldn’t take their tweets seriously for days. Steve and I yelled at them on Twitter, but they never responded. The dude who sent the original tweet at least had enough balls to respond to me, although he didn’t acknowledge Steve. I wonder if that was because he was deluged with “What the hell are you doing, you prick!” tweets. I can at least hope that was the reason.

They’re not the only group who has done that. I remember when someone compared not being able to use captchas to Rosa Parks being kicked off a bus. That ruffled a lot of feathers, and rightly so for the same reason. Be careful with your comparisons, people. I understand the desire to use something that has captured a lot of attention to support your point, but it doesn’t work if it does more damage than the support you were looking for.

And how the hell do I come out of something so heavy? Maybe I’ll rely on Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. According to him, among other things,what’s going on in the Middle East will be happening in our own backyard. It’s going to happen, and when it does, he was praying that Obama would allow protesters to march and wouldn’t turn on them.

Um, erm, I know things are bad, but I don’t think they’re quite that bad here. Something tells me that prediction he heard back in 1985 in that flying saucer was a little off.

Man that post took me forever. I hope it makes some sort of sense. I hope all this death and chaos ultimately leads to positive change. I guess that’s all I can hope for.

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