Satire & the Syrian Revolution

As it so happens, there are other things one can do with a camera phone during a revolution besides filming gun battles.

I recently arrived late to a very good party, the party of Jiim Siin’s brilliant and wickedly satirical monologues about the Syrian uprising. Recorded on an iPhone by an anonymous Syrian fellow living in the diaspora, the series entitled وقائع طنجرة الضغط (“Chronicles of the Pressure Cooker”) is a collection of short audio clips of sketches, political allegories, and satirical musings on the revolution. You can listen to the entire series on his blog.

Among my favorites:

What I love about these clips is the language: a rich, pungent, evocative vernacular… basically colloquial poetry. Yes, I know I’m getting carried away, but I can’t really think of a more creative response to the situation than this.

I got in touch with Jiim Siin via Twitter. He tells me he was inspired by Arabic radio programs and by Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “for the absurdity…” His weekly missives bring to mind Jacques Barzun’s famous definition of decadence: “When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent. The term is not a slur; it is a technical label. A decadent culture offers opportunities chiefly to the satirist…

In Jiim Siin, the Syrian revolution has a very talented one indeed.

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827 thoughts on “Satire & the Syrian Revolution

  1. Nice one “Joo-nation”. That is a antisemitic slur I haven’t heard before. Someone is getting really frustrated that the Jews self identify as a nation.

    Posted by AIG | April 29, 2012, 4:32 pm
  2. AIG.

    1) Are you saying that AP is using anti-semitic slurs. Tsk Tsk Tsk. Refer to link above.

    2) Also, please ask Y to explain to you the meaning of the “”. That’s Apostrophe. Apparently it gives context to the intended use. But Y can explain it to you- “real” Jew to “real” Jew.

    Just because you are frustrated that you lost an argument, that is no reason to come here and scrape the bottom of the barrel with empty charges of anti-semitism. That is a sign of unseemly desperation on your part.

    I expect more from you.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 29, 2012, 5:15 pm
  3. Hey AP….

    AIG just called you an anti-semite…. or at least charged you with coming to this forum and uttering “Anti-Semitic” slurs.

    I wouldn’t take it if I were you.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 29, 2012, 5:22 pm
  4. QN:

    I should say that there is nothing more fresh than the original post. An homage to Jiim Siin, and his artform. We’ve managed to distract this topic enough, and unfortunately what remains is this “mess”.

    But given that I have had a hand in ruining the “thread” (a big hand no less), and given that the damage has already been done… would you kindly consider renaming the original post?

    Perhaps we can call it…

    Jibril’s Jee-Had against the Joos… otherwise known as the Anti-Semitic JJJ movement.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 29, 2012, 5:25 pm
  5. 3issa, You need to get used to the freedom of criticism, guaranteed more under true democratic secular laws. Unlike under the Shari3a Law

    This “will of the people” (more like Sheeple) you talk about, is a manifestation and a result of tyranny and inequality under the “laws” of the Mubaraks, Saddams, Assads, Qadhafis and all the Royal douchebags of the Arabs. It’s the symptoms of illness, just as bad!

    I respect the “will of the people” but i am not a fan of it. It is still a nightmare to me, Shari3a Law or a, any other religious Law does not belong in constitutions or civil courts, it is not good for Human rights, Democracy, Equality or Justice, religious law is a medieval curse, the Arab world needs to rid itself of it to advance among nations or they can experiment with it more and wallow in their SHIT for another 150 years.

    Posted by Vulcan | April 29, 2012, 5:34 pm
  6. lollll Gabriel ! AP is allowed to talk about a “Joo-nation” the same way Vulcan has the free pass to remind the “Arabs” how “Super Retarded” they are!

    I’m waiting for that giant space ship to come and take me out of this glorious mess.

    night-night shabab!

    Posted by 3issa | April 29, 2012, 5:35 pm
  7. #805 Vulcan.

    That’s alright, there is no point in discussing how bad the Shari3a is or not. It’s just that the “sheeple” are currently favoring a political trend in many Arab countries. And your point of view is welcomed. As long as you are expressing criticism, respectfully and with a constructive approach.

    But of course, you seem unable to speak wisely, you love to use strong word, to show how strong your opinions are. By talking like this, your opinion will simply be ignored by the “super attarded” “medieval-nightmare-cursed Law lovers”.

    Having said this, amongst this flow of anathema, your a expressing the idea that the current Islamist tide is maybe just a by product of the decades of suppression and terror. Yep maybe,,, But now those Islamist are here, and only God knows if they will stay. Unlike what our dear zionists in this forum say, after the Arab uprisings, there is no possibility for the “one vote / one time only”. Now those Islamists will be given a chance, its up to them to show that their rule will not be mere cosmetic, but rather bold transformations. If not, they will simply be refused another chance in power,,,through the ballot box, or through the street.

    You see, contrary to you, I don’t believe they will “wallow in their SH!T”.

    How measured and still you are…impressive Vulcan.

    Posted by 3issa | April 29, 2012, 5:55 pm
  8. Gabriel,

    Yeah right, you are allowed to slur Jews because of words AP used.
    You are one gigantic fraud. You claim to be a liberal but in fact you harbor clear prejudice against Jews and any idea of Jewish nation or Jewish self determination. You want to argue that the Israeli government makes Jews. Or that genes make Jews and you of course deny that only a person can really know if he is a Jew because you have decided that what is correct for Jews is to have a “practical” method that can identify them. You contradicted yourself countless times in the posts above because you cannot grasp the idea that being a Jew is a state of mind and only the person himself can know for sure if he is a Jew. And of course, the sign of a great debater, you decide you have won the argument, because you say so!

    What you have done is show that you are willing to hold any crazy position just to deny the fact that Jews are a nation or can self identify as one. That is one of the fundamental problems of why there is no peace in the middle east. I accept Lebanon and Lebanese (or any other country or nation) in any way they want to identify themselves or organize themselves. You cannot bring yourself to grant such a basic right to Jews. And then you say you are also not anti-Jewish. Go figure.

    Posted by AIG | April 29, 2012, 6:44 pm
  9. Knowing how Arabs are so efficient, changing failed regimes and ideologies.

    Am holding my breath until the next Arab Spring.

    Posted by Vulcan | April 29, 2012, 6:45 pm
  10. Gabriel,

    Just FYI, when a black person uses the term “nigger”, his black friends laugh and don’t take the comment seriously.

    Similarly, when a Jewish person uses an anti-jewish epithet, like “joo-nation”, it is not considered anti-jewish.

    Point being, WHO makes the statement and under what circumstances is what makes a statement “racist” or “anti-semitic”.

    This should be a very common knowledge for a mature adult, and because you’re making such a “big deal” out of this, I can only conclude you aren’t very mature and/or you have some sort of anti-social disorder. Just my opinion.

    BTW –

    Can anyone here tell me why Vulcan seems to be the only arab here who isn’t afraid to criticize the awful state the arabs are in instead of focusing on usual Israeli punching bag?

    Is it genetics or faith?;)

    Posted by Akbar Palace | April 29, 2012, 6:52 pm
  11. 3issa, you are probably young, but i maybe wrong, if i am not, you are forgiven for your optimism.

    Posted by Vulcan | April 29, 2012, 6:56 pm
  12. AP- i am not the only one, I certainly hope i am not. i suspect many here hold similar view but maybe less passionate about stating the evident, to self immolate is painful.

    it is faith, i am a practicing Jewish, Christian, Muslim Buddhist

    Posted by Vulcan | April 29, 2012, 7:07 pm
  13. My oh my, AP used the N word.

    Not only is he an anti Semite, he’s also a racist bigot.


    It’s really a shame, you’ve really lost it.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 29, 2012, 7:22 pm
  14. to self immolate is painful


    Yes, I’ve been noticing this, right here on QN’s website.

    I participate on some other websites like this, and the discussion is solely connected to the situation is Syria. I was participating on these websites, mainly by questioning some of the participants over their perceived involvement of Israel and/or the jewish community in current Syrian affairs. Outside of this, I just like to read the discussions on what Syrians need to do to over-throw the regime. It’s a tough nut to crack; as you know already.

    it is faith, i am a practicing Jewish, Christian, Muslim Buddhist

    So was your mother Jewish or did you convert? Some participants may want to know!

    Posted by Akbar Palace | April 29, 2012, 7:31 pm
  15. lol at your generosity toward the enquiring minds.

    I converted, the requirement was a pleasant 28 year stay in Bal Harbour

    Posted by Vulcan | April 29, 2012, 7:59 pm
  16. Gabriel,

    “It’s really a shame, you’ve really lost it.”

    Is that the best you can do? Why am I not surprised? After all, the way you “win” arguments is by declaring yourself the winner. But there is really no place for you to hide. Your ideology has been laid bare in all its vileness. Now you will try to backtrack from it by putting quotation marks around terms and inventing your own private terminology, your usual mode of operation.

    Posted by AIG | April 29, 2012, 8:01 pm
  17. AIG,

    A word of advice, since I’m not actually reading your posts.

    I think a big chunk of people here have a respect for you that they don’t have for others. In many respects, you have earned it. Without mentioning names, I am sure you are quite privy of who is not really taken very seriously either way.

    When I say that I expect more from you, it is not to attack you, I actually have a good amount of respect for you and your views. Do take it is as a complement.

    Please bear this in mind when you respond.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 30, 2012, 12:45 am
  18. @ #810

    Nice try at decreeing total hegemony over the word joo, A Palace, but it’s already too late. Joo is assimilating:

    [4. Joo
    Also used as “you”, commonly mispronounced by Cubans.
    “What joo talkin’ ’bout, mang?”]

    Que “mang”?

    PS. Our election is too boring to talk about at this point.

    Posted by lally | April 30, 2012, 12:55 am
  19. Being young is not the matter..the matter is one of simple consistency. You cannot on onehand complain about how backward the “arabs” are and on the other hand expect them to put up another Spring for you to enjoy on TV.

    Posted by 3issa | April 30, 2012, 1:53 am
  20. “What joo talkin’ ’bout, mang?”


    Since you are intent with playing childish games with racial epithets, let me just say that I don’t “decree” or claim any “hegemony” to any work or phrase that is part of the english language. Neither any word or phrase that is considered colloquial or “slang”.

    Your link above shows the participants here exactly the nature of the epithet you are using (thanks).

    Likewise, I hope you won’t complain if I use terms like “Ayrab”, especially coming from the keyboard of a Jewish-American such as myself.

    Let’s see what QN has to say about this subject.

    Our election is too boring to talk about at this point.


    Who are the Ayrabs voting for now that Ron Paul doesn’t have a chance?

    Posted by Akbar Palace | April 30, 2012, 7:04 am
  21. “A word of advice, since I’m not actually reading your posts.”

    This just confirms my suspicions that you argue without bothering to read or understand the other person’s point of view. That is very “humble” of you. You argue just for the sake of arguing. And it makes your claims that you have “won the argument” even funnier.

    Posted by AIG | April 30, 2012, 8:45 am
  22. AIG,

    For the love of whoever, don’t you see how frivolous this discussion has become? I read Post #821 and most of your other stuff. For the ones I didn’t read, don’t blame me for drifting away.

    For the sake of the other readers, I will apologize for hurting your feelings. I didn’t “win” the argument- this that or the other one.

    My advice still stands. Do yourself a favor and conduct a small exercise. Read through the last 20-50-100 QN posts. Pick out a few of the Pro-Israeli voices on this forum. See which ones engage in actual discussions with others- serious people that is, and discussions, in the true sense of the word. Not back-and-forth zingers.

    One name will stand out. I shall not name it. That name is the person that most people take seriously and have a respect for. There is a reason for that.

    Always remember that. That’s the best advice anyone can give you.


    Posted by Gabriel | April 30, 2012, 9:46 am
  23. “For the ones I didn’t read, don’t blame me for drifting away.”

    Right, I should blame the “Zionist Entity” for your short attention span and your inability to address the issues. This discussion has been very helpful in showing your narrow mindedness and your inability to live with the idea of a Jewish nation. It has gone a long way in showing people how intolerant your “liberal” position is.

    Posted by AIG | April 30, 2012, 10:36 am
  24. It has gone a long way in showing people how intolerant your “liberal” position is

    Which people? Can you name them?

    Posted by Gabriel | April 30, 2012, 10:38 am
  25. “Which people? Can you name them?”

    An excellent demonstration of your argumentative and intolerant attitude. “People” clearly denotes readers of this blog, yet you ask this stupid question. Keep digging the hole.

    Posted by AIG | April 30, 2012, 10:49 am
  26. Lally, 3issa, QN, Vulcan, Ghassan, Danny, etc, etc, etc…

    Has this thread been a demonstration of my “intolerant” “liberal” position?

    I’ll mark a Yes from yourself and AP.

    Posted by Gabriel | April 30, 2012, 10:57 am
  27. Enough please! I’m shutting this thread down.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | April 30, 2012, 10:59 am

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