22 February 2011

Despair, Ye Mighty

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

(Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818. "Ozymandias".)


CyberKitten said...

Weird isn't it - how this has all kicked off.....

The question in everyone's mind must be: Who's next?

smellincoffee said...

The idea of revolution excites me, though for the moment nothing has truly changed: as far as I know, Tunisia's ruler has been replaced by someone else in the governing party, and the military has stepped in in Egypt. It remains to be seen whether democratic reform will truly be instituted. This kind of unrest is healthy, though, for it reminds people they have a choice -- that they CAN rise up against oppressors.

Wikipedia listed Iran as being rocked by 'major protests', and I am surprised that nothing truly major has erupted (to our knowledge). Surely the unrest of last year is still smoldering, waiting to be kindled once more. The Iranians aren't Arabs, though. Perhaps that is a factor, though I am not sure. In similar events -- 1848, for instance, or the Soviet shakeup in 1989 -- the countries had a shared culture.