Egypt’s New Year Icons


I love this video. Eat your heart out Bob Geldof, because this is what a real collection of superstars looks like. It is an appropriate celebration of the country’s popular culture in the past three years, starring a number of relative unknowns who became overnight youtube hits. Their faces are now iconic memes, and their spontaneous proclamations were transformed into ubiquitous catchphrases that summarized all that is important and relevant to the daily life of Mo Egyptian.

Locutions in the video above have become so pervasive that only a few days ago, a colleague sarcastically referred to our boss as a “hundred percent guy”. Yesterday a joke was circulating the internet that Clooney was leaving his wife because while visiting her Middle Eastern family “every time he clang, the door knocked”.

If you don’t get the references, I suggest you set yourself on an immediate course of education, for in this age of digital media and user-generated content, only through the knowledge and appreciation of what goes viral can one come to fully grasp and control the “tuning knobs” of society.

Identifying these men is a test of acumen, of street-smarts and savviness. It is a true measure of being “intouch”, of fitting in, belonging, or digging. To know is to have a claim for class-cutting awareness, and tacit rapport with “real” people. Why this brand of shibbloeth is suddenly the attribute of “real” people is not often discussed. Those who claim that this type of knowledge is a test of belonging, do not tend to spend much time problematizing why these characters exist, and why they were driven involuntarily to minor fame. These characters never sought the level of fame now associated with their “work”, and yet they are not famous by accident. Class embedded forces are at play here, and it is a cruel world that allows these people to be the butt of the joke of the very social class that claims to stand for, and “understand”, them.

I digress. I only posted the video for a laugh.


Happy New Year.


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