7 Nov 2011

How 'The Simpsons' inspired the 'Arab Spring'

Following Julian Assange's claim last week that Wikileaks 'inspired people in the Arab world to think that they could stand up to their dictators', Amnesty International's annual report now also 'hails WikiLeaks and Guardian as Arab spring 'catalysts''. According to, er, The Guardian:

Amnesty International 'singles out WikiLeaks and the newspapers that pored over its previously confidential government files, among them the Guardian, as a catalyst in a series of uprisings against repressive regimes, notably the overthrow of Tunisia's long-serving president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.'

Amnesty's secretary general, Salil Shetty, gave the example of Tunisia, 'where WikiLeaks revelations about Ben Ali's corrupt regime combined with rapidly-spreading news of the self-immolation of a disillusioned young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, to spark major protests.'

On behalf of Arab people everywhere, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those esteemed Western institutions: The Guardian, Amnesty International and, above all, Wikileaks for their role in enlightening and inspiring us and acting as catalysts for our uprisings. We couldn't have possibly done it without you. And don't worry, taking credit for the Arab uprisings won't be perceived as embarrassingly self-congratulatory. On the contrary.

But I talked to the other Arabs, over a few cups of sweet tea under the palm trees, and we feel that you're ignoring the role that 'The Simpsons' has also played in fermenting revolution in Arab lands.That Lisa Simpson, she's a true inspiration. And Bart with his trickery, what a boy. And those subversive messages about 'the system', clever. It took us a while to figure them out, but once we did... I don't need to tell you the rest of the story, after all, you wrote it. So, next time, please don't forget The Simpsons.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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