First it was Tunisia, then Egypt, and now Bahrain and possibly Yemen. What's most remarkable is that these revolutions were largely non-violent; the cradle of civilization has a long, brutal history of mutilation and bloodshed, so what has happened in the last three weeks has been a remarkable leap in progress not just for Egypt but the Mediterranean and Middle East in general. Hosni Mubarak had to go, no question, but what happens now? Stability is absolutely crucial, but temporary military control is seldom truly temporary. The influence of Islam extremists could be potentially troubling.
I'll concede that passive resistance won't work everywhere. One of my peacenik pals on Facebook commented that a violent overthrow of North Korea, beginning or concluding with the assassination of Kim Jong-Il, would be the only such act of bloodshed that she would ever endorse. Some semblance of reform will come to Iran someday, though it won't happen overnight and will likely need American intervention. On our end, combat in Iraq is more or less over, but Afghanistan still teeter-totters between building a democracy and eating itself whole. For all we know, 2011 in the Middle East could be a repeat of the European uprisings of 1968, and the chaos in Cairo is their Prague Spring. All that matters right now is finding a system that works, represents the people in the fairest way possible, and rejects the trend of extremism for something civil and just.
+ Mom Update: it's been more than six months since my mother's stroke, and she's still doing pretty well. In fact, we found out yesterday that in spite of her treatment last year, her hepatitis has now been completely eradicated. Earlier this week she began babysitting some neighbors' kids for a little side income, so I guess it's just business as usual.
+ Improv Update: for anyone in or around Chicago on February 28th, I'll be having my Level 4B class performance at IO. We'll be performing during the 7pm that night in the Cabaret (downstairs) Theater and admission is free to the general public. Drop me a line if you'd like more details.
+ Pitchers and catchers reported to the Kansas City Royals' training camp today. Oh well, there's always 2012. ;)
Next week: the year in music, 1981.