OT: Funny (well some are)
Even the most serious of situations - like momentous and violent
political/cultural shifts - can produce some humor. As protests in Egypt
against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign grind on towards their
third week, a little levity has slipped into the public discussion of the
In Egypt, the most recent humorous meme is the creation of a new verb via
the Twittersphere. Internet entrepreneur Samih Toukan recently began
asking his thousands of Twitter followers to use the word "Mubarak" as a
Here's what they came up with:
#Mubaraked : 1) To fail to get the hint, regardless of how obvious it may
be; 2) to farcically outstay one's welcome
#Mubaraked : to Stick something or to glue something. ex "i will punch u
and Mubarak u to the wall"
#Mubaraked: To get stuck to a chair when u stand up
#Mubaraked: 'I invited a friend round for dinner last night, but they
didn't leave till 12 despite my yawns. They really Mubaraked'
#Mubaraked : You are currently addicted and 'Mubaraked' to Twitter
Protesters on the ground have also taken the opportunity to show some
humor. Here is a sampling of some of the signs being held in Tahrir
Square, the epicenter of protests:
"Please leave... my arm hurts."
"Please leave. I got married 20 days ago and I miss my wife."
"Please leave. I want to get a haircut."
"De-Nile Not Only a River in Egypt"
"La Vache Qui Rit (The Laughing Cow) MuuhBarak"
"The only vacuum to worry about is the one inside Mubarak's head"
Protesters have also been responding to outrageous reports on state media
with humor. One such report accused "external agitators" of giving the
protesters daily luxury meals and pay them each $100 per day.
One protester told the Turkish daily Hurriyet in response: "I came to get
the [Kentucky Fried Chicken] or the $100 but I can't find it," said
protester Khaled Badawy, who laughed while putting on a yellow wig. The
sign he carried read, "I'm a spy, holding an agenda and asking for a KFC
American comedians have also found ample material in Egypt's protests,
especially relating to Mubarak's overstayed welcome. Here are some
Bill Maher - "All of the Arab potentates and their fat cat entourages are
on the run. Tunisia's president is leaving, Mubarak is not going to run
for re-election, the guy in Yemen is going to leave. This is great news
-- not necessarily for the Middle East, but for real estate agents in
Conan O'Brien - "Hosni's son Gamal Mubarak says he does not want to
become President, which is just as well. If you've seen one Mubarak
you've seen Gamal." <--- best joke!
"Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would resign, but Egypt would
then descend into chaos. Then he said, 'Now, I have to go look out a
window for the first time in two weeks.'"
Jimmy Fallon - "Egyptian President Mubarak's son Gamal will not run for
President. Why would he? An unpopular President is removed from office
and his inexperienced son is voted in? That could never happen."
Jay Leno - "Now Egyptians are demanding to see President Mubarak's birth
certificate. There's a rumor he was born in New Jersey."
The comedian Andy Borowitz has had a field day over Mubarak's situation
on his Twitter feed. Some samples:
"Mubarak is warning Egypt that if he resigns, there will be chaos "worse
than the halftime show."
"Mubarak's new plan is to stick around long enough until hipsters start
liking him in an ironic way."
"Mubarak remains defiant: "I will step down when Barbara Walters does."
"BREAKING: Mubarak has agreed to depart, but insists on taking JetBlue,
so departure will be delayed."
On the first day God created the sun - so the Devil countered
and created sunburn. On the second day God created sex. In
response the Devil created marriage. On the third day God created
an economist. This was a tough one for the Devil, but in the end
and after a lot of thought he created a second economist!