A record number of Americans tuned in Sunday night for a footbal game, while across the world in the Egypt, citizens fought for their freedoms. Consider that for a moment. The Neilson Co. estimates 111 million viewers watched Super Bowl XLV. I wonder how many protesters in Cairo took time out from trying to topple Mubarak’s regime to watch the game? Don’t you hate it when totalitarian despots get in the way of sporting events?
Let’s be honest – Sunday’s game was a time for the American people to relax with friends and family, watch a few hours of TV and eat a bunch of food. However, a good deal of our brother and sisters in this global village don’t get that, didn’t see that real reason behind that 111 million viewership, and only see a willful ignorance backed by capitalist greed. They see grown men getting ridiculously overpaid to play games in a single country (unlike the actual world sport of soccer) and commercials touting luxury cars. This is the skewed image of America much of the world has, because no where else could that number of people kick back to watch a football game.
However, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus on what we should be doing.
Some have called the situation in Egypt the first “Internet Revolution.” Protesters are keeping in touch on Twitter, connecting with their families on Facebook, and showing the world what’s really happening on YouTube. An Egyptian executive for Google, Wael Ghonim, had been detained for over a week for the part he played in organizing the protesters. These are all people who are – literally – putting their lives on the line for a better tomorrow, a better future for their children. They are not trained soldiers; they are electrcians who have helped others find lines to access the internet, plumbers who have repaired the bathrooms near Tahrir Square, and doctors tending to those wounded by Mubarak’s paid supporters.
So here’s what we should be doing.
We can watch our football games. We can watch our dim-witted reality TV and our Hollywood blockbusters. We can bitch about the price of oil, even though we really don’t get any from Egypt and the protesters are Pro-American, so the Suez Canal isn’t an issue. We can yap about political parties and religious differences and economic struggles and whatever else pops up into our brains. But let’s try to remember how a bunch of our country’s ancestors gathered around in silly wigs to fight oppression so that we have the ability to whine and be lazy today…
… and give the protesters in Egypt our support, and keep them in our thoughts. If only during the commercials.