Is it possible for several conflicting truths to exist at once? Can a measure be taken in the name of the people but be fundamentally undemocratic? Can citizens be so fed up with Tunisia’s political elites and the country’s deteriorating state as to want an action as extreme as this one but also to be wary of a return to a dictatorship?
On the margins of capitalism or in the furnace of communism, Turkic peoples have borne the brunt of modernity’s failures and experienced few of its successes. Ancient history, invented or otherwise, offers a refuge.
Satire won’t change anyone’s mind, but it might get someone sitting on the fence to consider another perspective. Satire won’t topple thrones, but it will unsettle their occupants. It won’t change rules on freedom of speech (except maybe in the wrong direction), but it will remind people what freedom of speech looks like.
I think of the Lebanese lords, whose own generals now call “cruel, dishonorable, and shameless”; whose own advisers describe as “too stupid to understand or too selfish to care, or both”; and whose own intelligence hands believe are crooks who will only liberate Lebanon, and even then not certainly, when they die.
Kamel had raised the American flag on his rooftop in the hope that the French would not aim their guns in his direction. But the French attacks were more wanton and severe. A shell raged toward his house, piercing one of its walls.