Beyond the Blame Egypt crowd and their cheerleaders, beyond the images of dead babies and the money being raised through them, beyond the stupidity of Israel's leaders statements on the winability of this War and those who believe them, the most recent, most annoying and most retarded by-product of the current Hamas-Israel conflict has to be the flurry of people who have donated their facebook status to whichever side of the conflict they thought is more righteous. If you don't know what I am talking about, or if you don't use facebook, well, dear friend, you are one lucky bastard, because you don't have to endure it.
You see, this is what's going on: On the Pro-Ghaza side, there are the "Donate your facebook status to count the dead people in Ghaza" people, which wouldn't be so annoying if it wasn't for how fast it gets updated. I mean, Thank you for letting me know by the minute how many have died so far. I mean, what a way to reduce the casulaties from humans to numbers. Oh, 50 more died today you say? Must be Monday.
And then you have the Pro-Israel side, who are even sillier than their Ghaza counterparts. See, they know that they can;t really play the body count game, because the palestinians would win this handidly, and it would backfire in case anybody who cares enough to keep track on the tally of death on both sides. So what did those geniuses do? They started a "donate your status to count the Qassam rockets fired on Israel" cause, as a way of "putting the war into perspective" by showing the number of "rockets" that get launched on Israel every day. Now if only those people whose public opinion is swayed via facebook statuses could understand the psychological implications of having rockets sent your way that most of the time don't kill anyone, support for Israel in this war would sky-rocket (no pun intended).
You know, the first week I came to the US as a dew-eyed 18 year old egyptian, I saw a flyer for a "Walk for Cancer". I asked my american friend what's that about. He told me that people would solicit donations from other people to sponser them in a "walk marathon" in order to raise funds for Cancer. And when I asked him what was the point of walking then, when you can just raise funds and send them to the bank account of the cause, he told me "It's a way for our people to feel as if they are doing something while really they are doing nothing. We americans like to do that. It makes us feel good about ourselves!"
I suspect something similar is afoot here. A form of masturbatory self-congratulating cyber activism that doesn't really cost you any time or effort. I mean, it doesn't even require you to update your facebook status yourself, because the whole thing is freakin automated anyway. So, what's the point exactly? Can someone let me know? And what's next? A facebook game? Something Like the Vampire vs. Werewolves game, Hamas vs. Israel maybe? Oh, I can see it now: you start as a soldier/suicide bomber, and the point rate will be 1 kill for the palestinian side to 1000 for the Israeli side, and with every stage you go up you either get to throw a shoe at an egyptian embassy (if you are Hamas) or kick a few palestinians into Sinai (if you are Israeli), and whomever wins the game becomes the new elected leader of his people. Now how about that for art imitating Life? Very web 2.0 if you ask me.
As for me, my facebook update will remain the way God intended it to be: a summurization of whatever latest inane thought I've had or stupid thing I've done or planning to do. And I intend to keep it that way until this war is over. Or maybe if you really think that this shit works, I could rent it to whatever side you represent. I have 570 people on my friends list, and I bet at least half of them are stupid enough to be swayed by Za Power of Za facebook status (ironically the exact amount who have donated their statuses. You figure if they believe in its power, they must be susceptible to it. No?), and my status-rent rate will be 50 dollars per head per day. If you interested, have your people call my people. We will be huge dahling. We can turn this whole thing around.