Why US Succeeded But Egypt Didn’t

“BREAKING NEWS” was the first thing I saw today when I opened up the political news. “Military Coup Has Toppled President Morsi.” I wasn’t surprised.

It should have been obvious from the start that Egypt’s democracy wasn’t working. Many people were already very unhappy with Morsi and his previous power grab. They did not like how he strengthened the Muslim Brotherhood Party’s hold on the government. Polls showed that many were increasingly unhappy with how Morsi was handling the government. And now, the inevitable: Morsi is toppled.

The fact that this occurred near July 4th almost seems to be planned by a higher being, given that the same day Egypt’s democracy didn’t work was also the day when US democracy did work. And it gives rise to a very important question: Why did the US succeed in being democratic whereas other nations, specifically Egypt, did not?

the leader who united the USA

Well, first off, lets look at the leaders. President Morsi. Although he was democratically elected, he did so by winning only a little bit above 50% of the vote. Obviously meaning that only half of the country supported him. Also meaning that the other half did not. Also meaning his support wasn’t very strong. This is perhaps the biggest reason why he was toppled. Now look at the other leader- George Washington. He got elected without an election. He did not get 50% of the vote, 70% of the vote, or 90% of the vote,  he got 100% of the vote. He was unanimously elected, simply put. Obviously this shows the overwhelming support Washington had, compared to Morsi’s support.

It is this element of support that is essential to the founding of a democracy. The democracy’s weakest times are usually in the beginning, in the founding of it, because it is the time in which people tend to disagree the most on how to start a democracy. One could say that the number one factor preventing democracies is the lack of unity. In Egypt, we obviously see that. In America, it was also the case, too, when the 13 colonies were constantly in disagreement over what should be included in the Constitution and what not. Thus the reason why there is the word “United” in the “United States of America”- the Founding Fathers were emphasizing on the need to unite.

What better way to unite a people together than to have an American hero- George Washington- to serve as the gluing factor between all the disagreeing people? In this case, we see the need for a united leadership as important as ever- if it was not for Washington, the United States of America would soon become un-united because of many other issues, such as slavery, and thus there wouldn’t have been the USA we know today. Whereas Washington helped promote unity, Morsi promoted division- simply because only half of the nation wanted him and because of his controversial politics.

The other thing- religion. Just the fact that there is the word “Muslim” on the name “Muslim Brotherhood Party” ruined it all. Yes, the Muslims like it. But that just alienates the non-Muslims, creating not unity but rather division. Even worse- the party made it forbidden to defame the Shariah, or a Muslim prophet. Although it may have the best of intentions, it almost seems as if the government is favoring the Muslim religion over others. Overall, not only is the name brand bad, but the actions made it worse. Now take a look at America: there was no religion involved. In fact, the Founding Fathers wanted religion to keep out of the way. They were smart enough to know that religion divided many people and caused bloodshed. Since they wanted a united nation, they made the important amendment of seperation between church and state.

The theme here is unity. The reason why the United States succeeded in forming a democracy was because it was united. In fact, after they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers wanted to stall its publicity until June, because they were afraid America wasn’t united enough. Whereas in Egypt, they jumped right into democracy when they weren’t ready yet because the Egyptian people were still divided.

Hopefully, Egypt can learn from the US. As we celebrate Independence Day today in the US, let us all pray that Egypt can celebrate their independence day soon.

Advertisements

To Love At All Part 2

Hello readers. As you might have already noticed, I didn’t post anything up yesterday, even though I said I would. My apologies. But I do have a good excuse- I was busy entertaining my valentine. 🙂 Jk. First of all, I would never get a valentine. I’m not good enough to get any girl. Second, I don’t want a girl.  Perhaps the cartoon I showed in my last post is perhaps the very reason why I don’t want a girl.

Let us take a look at what kind of love this cartoon is talking about. Usually, we think of giving love as a good thing that should be encouraged in society. Yet, in this quote, it seems as if it was trying to convince us to do the opposite. And it is. It is not telling us to never love at all, though; I’m pretty sure C.S. Lewis would still encourage us to love our family and friends. Rather, he is telling us to never give away love- the boy-girl type of love.

I’m beginning to wonder whether Lewis got this from his experiences or not. But I’m pretty sure many people around the world feel the same way. Many times, one is immature, and does not know when the love he/she sees is true love. He thinks it’s love, but in reality, it is not. This is representative of the beginning of the cartoon. After one goes through many many relationships, one begins to be more mature in knowing when the love he sees is true love or not. However, by that time, his/her heart has gone through so much damage and so much pain, due to the many break-ups endured. This here is representative of the broken heart balloon of the girl in the cartoon.

This quote essentially, at least to me, is telling the reader to not make the same mistake again. I think that Mr. Lewis is advising us to not give in to love too easily, but rather store this boy-girl love up. In the cartoon, this is symbolized by the chest, in which one locks it up safely. Only does when one truly find his/her true love can she open up the chest and love too.

Again, all of this to me can be related on a personal level. Many times since I was a little kid, I had many crushes. But after a long time I realized that I did not truly love them. I realized that even if that girl and I were to get into a relationship, she would still go flocking to other boys, and it would damage my heart. Thus, I have decided to lock my chest safely. However, unlike the girl in the cartoon, I plan to lock it forever. I do not intend to marry, for to me, I know it will just cause more pain and suffering.

An Animated Pixar on Love

Coming this Thursday is Valentine’s Day, a time for love and romance. But for my blog, it is perhaps a time to dwell on the philosophy of love. So starting from today will be a series of posts on the philosophy of love. We will be looking at love from many different perspectives, from ancient Greeks to the mastermind Shakespeare.

For just today however, I would perhaps like to look from the perspective of a film creator. Check out this animated Pixar short called “Paperman.”

Pretty good film to watch on Valentine’s Day, isn’t it? This is perhaps the best short film I have ever seen. Not only that, this film is the exact representation of a typical person’s ideal form of love.

First, let us analyze this film. Obviously, this film is showing us the events that leads to a formation of a love relationship. But what exactly brings these two to encounter each other? Two things, from looking at the very beginning- the wind caused by the train and of course the paper. I would like to say it is these two things that are the most dominant themes in this film.

We can start off with the train. In the beginning at one scene, we see the girl suddenly leaving the boy and boarding the train and then looking out to the boy from the train window. It is as if because of this train, the boy and girl are split apart and that all chances for a relationship are doomed. Yet, at the end of the film, it is this very same train that brings both characters back together and at the very same setting. Perhaps this train symbolizes the fact that unlike time, which is one-way, love can always be made again. The fact that you broke up with a guy does not mean that you are not able to love that guy anymore; in other words, there is always a second chance for love.

So if it is not the train who seeming splits the boy and girl up in the beginning, then what is the thing that is doing this? Perhaps the answer is the fact that the boy and girl are on different courses. So in order for a relationship to get going, the boy and the girl must get onto the same course. This is where the papers come into play.

The papers could symbolize the boy’s job. Usually one’s life consists mostly of his or her job, so in a sense the papers also represent the boy’s life. Notice how the papers are all blank and and full of boring words; this can be translated into the fact that the boy’s life is nothing interesting. Until he met the girl. When the girl leaved her lip imprint on the paper, what essentially happened was the girl leaving her imprint on his life. He could have just thrown the paper away and not care about the imprint, but rather he kept it, dreamed about it, and even saved the paper when it was about to fly out the window. Even though he was physically separated from the girl, he was emotionally attached to her.

In one scene, while staring at the imprint, the boss comes and drops a stack of paper onto his desk. The boy looks up unhappily. Here, the boy is being pushed up against the realities of life. Yet, the boy does not submit to this reality. Rather, he sees the girl in the opposite building, and folds all those papers into airplanes and tries to fly it to her window to catch her attention. Remember that these papers symbolize his life. By folding up all the papers he was supposed to work on, he in a sense is sacrificing not only his job but (through symbolization) sacrificing his whole life just to catch that girl’s attention. Eventually, he even defies his own boss and one can no doubt infer that he will be fired. This demonstrates the philosophical view that love is blind, in which one will sacrifice anything just for love.

I also like how when the boy tries to throw the airplanes at her. It sort of reminded me about Cupid’s arrows, but in this case the boy’s arrows are lame and futile; he is not able to attract the girl’s attention. Yet, in the end, the boy does get the girl’s love. How? Well, the boy didn’t do anything at all. Rather, it was the wind that did it. To me, there are two lessons here. One- the more you try to get love, the more you won’t get it. Rather, just let love naturally come to you. Two- the common view of love in which it involves destiny. In other words, the wind symbolizes destiny. If the wind had not blown the way it did, then perhaps the boy would have never met the girl again. (By the way, even the music gives a sense of destiny, too.)

I would also like to analyze the situation in which the airplanes magically came to life. Where did the airplanes start doing that? In a hidden dark alley; similarly, perhaps love starts within the greatest depths and unnoticed corners of our hearts. The paper airplanes aka Cupid’s arrows symbolizes the boy’s love. So when the airplanes became alive, the director is trying to show us that our love will become more manifest all the way to the point that our loves “become alive” and that everybody can see it. Just as how the planes nagged the boy, similarly our own love will start nagging us into seeking out the girl more.

I will conclude here. But basically, the philosophy of love shown here is that love can cause us to do outrageous things, that love is not one-way, that love is based on destiny, that love will become more manifest and will nag and annoy us, and that love can forever change one’s life.

A Civil Rights Story

Hello everybody. Today America celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, I have one objection to make: I don’t like the name. It’s not I don’t like the holiday, but that I think it misrepresents the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement for racial equality was not just only about Martin Luther King. Maybe it is true that he made perhaps the biggest sacrifice, but there were other African Americans and minorities as well that also sacrificed their well-being for the greater good. If I could, I would change this holiday into being called “Civil Rights Day.”

Basically, there are much more stories out there besides MLK’s. One story I found in the Los Angeles Times. It was an obituary on an African-American who has died just last Thursday, by the name of James A. Hood. Everybody has heard of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but yet this man is equally important to the Civil Rights Movement and should be honored on equal measures too.

If you don’t recall this in your history class, James Hood was one of two black students who were blocked from entering the University of Alabama by infamous Governor Wallace. President Kennedy had to send armed troops to let them enter in, and it quickly became an important civil rights topic.

Read the LA Times obituary on James Hood here: James A Hood Obituary. (click link)

I don’t know why, but I feel touched by this story. Despite Governor Wallace being a racist and despite James being prevented from enrolling by him, they later had a long-lasting friendship. This is perhaps representative of the American Dream- where two people, once split by their skin color and by their attitudes, eventually become friends and can mingle with one another. As in the quotes of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.” What a beautiful picture. Anyway, happy…

P.S. Note that the “governor” MLK was referring too was actually Governor Wallace himself.

What New Year’s Really Means

Hello readers. Just to note that I made a change to my blog address. It is now tituswuphiloblog.wordpress.com.

Anyway, how was everybody’s New Year’s Day? Mine was pretty normal. Just sat at home watching the Rose Parade live on TV. However, let me pose a question: what is the significance of New Year’s Day? It is definitely not just to mark that it is the beginning of a new year; we can just check the calendar for that. Rather, it is perhaps to mark the beginning of a new “life.”

Literally new life means resurrection. In religions like Christianity and Hinduism, resurrection was a time to get rid of our old mistakes and try to begin a new life without any. Thus the reason for the existence of New Year’s resolutions. Something we thought was bad in the previous year we try to fix in the new year.

This sort of reminds me of the Journey of the Hero, a series of events typical of many novels, stories, and epics. In this journey, the hero returns, with his newly acquired skills, from his adventure to his old world in order to fix those old world’s problems. However, the new years is quite different. We don’t acquire new skills to fix our problems; rather, we realize our imperfectness and the problems we have and we attempt to fix it. It’s like doing a math problem for 2012, at the end of 2012 you realize your math mistake, and then you fix it at 2013.

However, we don’t always fix our mistakes, probably because of our laziness or we don’t even think it is a mistake. In a sense, New Years resolutions are useless. A 2007 poll shows that around 12% of people actually achieve their resolutions. So, again, what is the purpose of all this New Year’s thing?

I think the main answer is that it makes us aware of our life and our imperfectness. We look back into the past, focus on now, and anticipate a better future. However, we realize that as each year passes, the less time we have to improve ourselves, and therefore we must start getting our act together.

Again, all of this is similar to religion. Just like the New Year’s aims at improvement, so do religions all over the world. Christians aim to be better God-lovers, Buddhists aim to achieve enlightenment, etc. Perhaps maybe the New Years is practically like any regular day, besides all the fancy fireworks.

Because everyday we strive to improve ourselves, whether religious or not. Perhaps four words sum up what New Year’s is all about: HOPE FOR BETTER CHANGE.

Anyway, we still love the fireworks!

My First 2013 Post!

Hello everybody! It’s the first day of year 2013! Today is a time not only to look toward our future but also reflect back on 2012. Below is an interactive Youtube timeline on the bests of 2012.

That’s all for today. I have decided to postpone on the short story I mentioned yesterday to perhaps maybe later.

Christmas Music

Hello guys. I know Christmas is over, but I can’t help posting up some Christmas music.

This one is by Josh Groban (refer to my past posts) for the movie The Polar Express. 

That was not actually sung by Josh Groban, but it was meant to be anyways. But notice that the music was pretty smooth; classical in that the pitch went up slowly, reached a climax, and came down; and a little operatic. Perhaps a song similar in style is a contemporary Christian song called: 

Usually, when we think of Christmas music, we usually think of holy, religious singing. But in Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” it actually turns out to be the opposite. In fact, the song is a little bit hip-hop and makes you want to dance a little bit. This song is everything but religious, but very much Christmas: 

Of course, Christmas carols are also an essential part of Christmas. My favorite one is one about Jesus, called “What Child Is This.” Here, it is being sung by Allison Crowe, whose voice makes this song even more unique and good-listening.  Somehow, don’t you think Allison’s voice or accent is sort of a little bit like part African American? Just wondering.

Well, just enjoy these songs and have a Happy Post-Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

It’s December 25, and that means Christmas is here! I hope all of you are in the cheers today!

Well, for today, we will first start off with the discussion questions for “The Christmas Memory” from yesterday’s post. You can download the story from there.

1) Obviously, the fruitcake symbolizes friendship. Notice that Buddy and his cousin don’t give off fruitcakes to that much people, only to certain people now and then who really impress them. For them,  true friendship is something not easily found, but rather something that is rare and needs to be treasured. Another evidence includes the cousin always sending Buddy “the best of the patch.” This signifies that the relationship between Buddy and his cousin are the strongest friendships they ever had.

2) The narrator probably is called Buddy by his cousin because maybe the cousin is trying to relive her friendship from long ago. Again, to them friendships are rare, but they are also in a sense fragile, so the cousin is trying to hold on to this friendship that she had long ago. Perhaps another better reason is that  even though friendships are fragile, they can never be broken. Once you make someone your friend, that friend will always be inside your heart. In this case, the real Buddy died long ago, but in the cousin’s mind, this friendship with the real Buddy is still living and will always last forever.

3) Buddy and his cousin are scrambling for money so they can make their fruitcakes. Remember that fruitcakes symbolize friendship. What the author is trying to say here is that making a relationship is not an easy thing to do. Rather, it requires tons of hard work and commitment in order to start building a friendship.

4) Mr. Haha was thought to be mean, but he turns out to be nice. My interpretation of this is that no matter how bad a person is, he is in a fact a good person inside his heart. Or more accurately, everybody has the potential to be good. Also notice Mr. Haha is a foreigner from India, thus the reason Buddy keeps on thinking he’s scary. Perhaps another lesson here is that even though differences set us apart, we can all learn to get along together.

5) Buddy being separated from his cousin emphasizes the fragility of friendships. They are fragile due to many outside situations, and in this case, Buddy is being sent off to military school. Notice where he is being sent off: military school. When we think of the military, we usually think of harshness, cruelness, and war. Perhaps all of this symbolizes that these military-like elements are what break relationships apart. Maybe the military symbolizes the world itself, in which this world is harsh and cruel. And it is because of all those worldly situations that separate people.

The age differences perhaps show that no matter how different people are, they can still be friends. Yet, in the story, it is this age difference that causes the cousin’s death and physically breaks the friendship. However, I think the author wrote this event to show us that friendships will last even after death, as evident by Buddy still thinking about his cousin. (Hmm. sorry. This recent pargrph probably doesn’t make sense.)

6) Questions 6 and 7 tie into each other. Truman Capote writes this story maybe because he had a similar experience. But all in all, it is to show the reader that the holiday of Christmas is a time to recognize these friendships that we have, these friendships that are so hard to find, so hard to build up, yet easily so fragile.

A Christmas Memory

Hello everybody! It’s Christmas Eve! Are you guys going to wait for Santa, or anything? 🙂

Speaking of Christmas, download this short story called A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. I guarantee you that it is one of the most touching stories that you will ever read. I nearly cried at the end.

After you read the story, answer some of these discussion questions:

1) What does the gift of fruitcake symbolize, and what things can you infer from this fact?

2) Why does the narrator’s cousin call the narrator Buddy, after her long-ago friend?

3) In one part of the story, it talks about Buddy and his cousin trying to make as much money as possible. What is the significance of this?

4) Mr. Haha turns out to be nice. What is your interpretation of this?

5) Buddy is later sent off to military school and is separated from his cousin. His cousin then later dies. Also notice the age difference. What does all of this say to you?

6) Why do you think the author Truman Capote decided to write this?

7) What is the major overlying theme in the short story?

For tomorrow, I will discuss these question and do some more things. Sleep tight for Santa!