Bloodshed in the land of Pharoahs; the Mile High Twirly Dance: pt. 1


An all out, no holds barred civil war has erupted in Egypt leaving the streets of Cairo dripping with blood. This is no History Channel docudrama, this is a live horror show folks. Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi continue to clash with Egyptian armed forces, led by interim President Adly Mansour. Each side wags the finger at their opposition with unsubstantiated claims of wanton violence. Few facts can be verified as the violence  spreads outside Cairo into adjoining cities.

Days before all the recent fighting in Cairo, Denver hosted a two day free concert in Civic Center park. This is the same park that back in 2011 started a local Mile High chapter of the Occupy Wall Street protest, complete with squatters, drug addled mutants and other carnival side show material. I was there covering the protest (see earlier Ass Bleeding Morons blog posts, or read about it in my book) and as I wandered this weekend into a pit of twirly dancing free spirits, I reflected on the difference in the tone the park had taken on. I was on hand for both nights of the concert and helped welcome out of towners in search of the nefarious, now locally legal weed. The sheepish approach tourists displayed was understandable. This country is still nursing the concept of a society where marijuana is no longer the horrid stain our government tried to convince us it was. Proponents of responsible pot smoking are being taken serious now that Washington State and Colorado have laid the harsh penalties of marijuana possession to rest.

Landmarks, such as the Giza Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum have been closed to tourism. The Egyptian Central Bank has instructed branch banks near the violence to close. The chaos and fighting produced a curfew in Cairo and ten surrounding provinces and in spite the formal protests from the United States and European countries, Egyptian troops continue to clash with pro-Morsi supporters. The thing that taunts some Americans and Europeans about this conflict are two dirty little words; ‘Muslim Brotherhood’. With the advent of the Twin Towers crashing to rubble on 9-11 a new era of race/religious bashing formed in our world, especially prominent in America. The closest comparison might be the way racial prejudice toward Japanese people grew in America after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Our country has developed a slow growing bigotry toward Arabs, Arab Americans and anyone who they deem Arab (Sikhs and Hindus continue to be mistaken for Muslims thanks to the uneducated portrayal Hollywood leaves us with). Violence toward supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood a perplexing state of affairs for most Christians (or non-Muslims). We tend to stir all Arab nations into the same pot-extremists and non-extremists alike.

America was held captive by Iran back when the Ayatollah Khomeini escalated the 1979 Iranian revolution that staged a coup against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. Years later we went on the offense and stormed into Iraq to overthrow their President, Saddam Hussein-after supporting Hussein and his troops for years against the war they held with Iran. The U.S. continues to  be tossed into a quandary about what to do with the Arab Nations because few people know what factions will side with one another in that part of the world…about the only thing we can say for certain is, there are an assload of Muslims who would love to wipe the Jews off the face of the Earth.

I felt it my ambassadorial responsibility to quell the fears of these tourists coming here to sneak a high in the open. You could see the initial shock in their face change to shit eating grins as I loaded up my soapstone pipe and took a big hit. At some point I felt like a bag lady in the park feeding pigeons as the crowd of drifting hippies swarmed at me for a free buzz. It was all good though and I had no reservations about helping my fellow concertgoers get high. We danced and at one point worked our way up the concrete steps to the platform where the band laid down some electrifying old school funk. I had forgotten about the large Malamute some effeminate dancing guy with a shaved head brought (the dog was in training to be a utility dog for the handicapped). He placed the dog on the steps earlier and at one point during our dancing frenzy-in a split second-I felt myself toppling backward down the steps. I knew I had just tripped over the dog.


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