the city always wins

the city always wins.png

by Omar Robert Hamilton

novel trailer:

 

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on hold at library

notes/quotes:

dedicated to Alaa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaa_Abd_El-Fattah

Alaa Abd El-Fattah (Arabic: علاء أحمد سيف عبد الفتاح‎‎, IPA: [ʕæˈlæːʔ ˈæħmæd ˈseːf ʕæbdelfatˈtæːħ]; born 18 November 1981), also presented in English as Alaa Abdel Fattah, is an Egyptian blogger, software developer and a political activist. He has been active in developing Arabic-language versions of important software and platforms. He was imprisoned in Egypt for allegedly organising a political protest without requesting authorization, though he was released on bail on 23 March 2014. He was rearrested and ordered released on bail again on 15 September 2014, subsequently sentenced to a month of jail in absentia, and finally received a five years sentence in February 2015, which he is now serving.

7

there would be no unseeing..t

8

my son.. he.. he said he came alive in tahrir

19

you are not alone. tahrir is everywhere, the bonds forged, the lessons learned an unstoppable floodplain of possibility

20

the revolution is unstoppable.. they can’t keep us with us, an army of samsungs, twitters, htcs, emails, facebook events, private groups, iphones, phone calls, text messages all adjusting one another’s movements millions of times each second.. an army of infinite mobility – impossible to outmaneuver. all they know to do is pull the plug, cut the line. and the world saw what happened when they tried that. they have no moves left. we have an irreversible tactical advantage. divide and rule is no more for we can no longer be divided.

how can they control us when, at last, we can all see one another, talk to one another, plan together..?

22

cairo: the future city, the new metropolis of plants cascading from solar-paneled roofs to tree-lined avenues w whitewashed facades and careful restorations and integrated innovations ll singing together in a chorus of new and old. civil initiatives will soon find easy housing in the abandoned architectural prizes of downtown, the river will be flooded w public transport, the shaded spaces underneath the bridges an d

31

‘and now people ask us why we keep protesting. people whoa re happy and eating and getting married and acting like people didn’t die for them or that people are out protesting and being beaten for them.

i say one thing to those people: don’t ask us why.. t

my son died for them and now i’ll die for them and everyone in tahrir will die for them – so don’t say it’s time for calm, don’t say we shouldn’t protest, don’t tell us to stay home, don’t ask us why. who are we dying for? for ourselves? here we were alive and happy and everything. we’re dying to stop the killing and the corruption. we’re dying for respect. we’re dying for bread, freedom, and social justice. and we’re dying for you. just don’t ask us why. please. you can stay home. tomorrow they’ll do to you what they’ve done to us. and more.

because enough people let them.

stay home, eat, relax, have a nice life, and see what happens to you tomorrow’

37

she does not think in reasons. it should just be there.

83

we are crisis.. we thrive on crisis.. our fucking job is to create crisis. without the crisis there’s only the regime or the system or whatever the fuck you wanna call it.. w/o the crisis everything just says the same

85

we want another way and yet another way is unknown

a nother way

the young to all the dying and the old go to the polls to vote for other old fucks to tell the young what to do..

it’s all a theater and voting legitimizes it..t

voting ness

86

but if you don’t ever engage in elections, how do you come to power?

i don’t want to come to power.. do you? do you want to be a politician? we’re the opposition, we’re the disruption we’re what’s going to keep power in line

i like it better just – i don’t want to come to power.. as in – no one with power..

i don’t want power. i want to trust the street. something new is coming that we can’t see yet. and we have to keep the crisis alive long enough for it to happen

147

right now, his hand is enough

149

doctor_02022012.mp4. with each report he feels her spilling out of his arms.

220

‘hey killed a thousand people in a day’.. ‘a thousand terrorists, maybe’… ‘ a thousand terrorists..?’

230

there is a black hole in the center of our lives. a silence, and unsaid lurking, a word, a place, dark matter slowly pulling all else into its nothingness. a thousand deaths live on tv. and none of them us. and who are we, i not the ones fighting, not the ones dying? should we have been ready to die for our enemies? did we do this?

233

‘we need to think of something new..’ ..’no we need to keep doing what we do’ .. ‘but we can’t just keep saying the same thing’.. ‘if that’s what there is – then that’s what we do’..’and then what..?we can’t just keep saying everything is shit. we need a new answer.

the whole world needs a new answer’..t

‘well, is that what you’re working on?’..’you want me to come up with a new ideology?’..’i want you to do something. you have a brain. that’s your thing. so use it.’

let’s try this.. a new thing/ideology/a-nother-way-to-live/whatever.. short

236

egypt has become an island floating away from reality. a madhouse, and we’re all locked in together.

238

we all live minutes apart from one another. mosquitoes flit effortlessly between our private worlds but we sit alone in our crumbling apartments and plug instead into our cyberpsyche of chats and kisses and matching opinions and block and like and report buttons, retreating from the world that is cold and hard and dark into our digital city of filtered control and clarity..

what does this really mean.. what’s going on here. especially here. with all that’s happening around them..

243

she can’t carry the names of all the dead anymore. there is not stopping them. they will kill them all. we have to find a new way. every protest, every human chain, everytime we set foot outside they shoot to kill. she can’t send anymore young people to their deaths

let’s go deeper.. we can’t not

244

how cowed i tought, these old bourgeois are. but he couldn’t stop listening to us. after a minute he got up the courage.’it’s just0 i wanted to say.. i’m sorry but i heard a little of your convo. and.. we’re all behind you, you kids, so, please, don’t stop what you’re doing’.. i keep thinking of that man, that reflex of shallow pride burning in my throat..

i don’t read twitter anymore. egypt. terrorism. security. stability. there are only four words left.

245

what do you do when nobody looks anymore.. what’s the point in taking photos or making podcasts when everybody already knows what you’re saying.. they don’t just know it – they like it

mariam thinks we shouldn’t stop. she thinks what matters is consistency, just saying we’re still here

no, you need to be shocking. each time ahs to be more shocking that the last. which is impossible.

we fall into a silence

were we not supposed to be the new new york? it was supposed to be unstoppable we were the future. but the same guys always win. new york. you think all that beautiful progress of yours, all that music of your father’s didn’t come with a price. the same price as always. war. always war. there can be no peace without war.  the modern world was birthed by the machine gun. don’t forget it, it wasn’t music, wasn’t our father’s jazz, wasn’t ulysses who did shit. it was the maxim gun. modernism was born in the trenches, it’s the same playbook every time. war and peace. war and reconstruction contracts. destroy the south and charge for the reconstruction. say you liberated a people and build new york from the spoils. … so don’t whine about progress.. don’t talk about change unless you want to pay the price.

251

we have no idea where this is going, why are we going to start calling for elections right away? this is the chance to do something different..

indeed

252

we need demands that the people can understand. we can’t stand up and say we offer you the exciting unknown of anarchism

perhaps our souls could understand that better

i don’t want to be out in public, to be among people slamming down checkers and laughing at bad jokes thru swallowed cigarette smoke. i don’t want to be alone, i don’t want to be with people.

resonate

272

what do you do when time stops meaning anything other than a countdown to your last breath? it’s like watching yourself drown. knowing the end, knowing what’s coming and that there’s nothing you can do about it. nothing changes. everything is drowning. ..the only question left is: when do you give up? when is it easier to drown..

281

you know it’s over when everyone is either dead or in jail. and if you’re neither of those things you were just never a player

282

is it better to have been abandoned, or to have always been alone and not known it

283

and i feel my skin reach for somewhere to hide

roll credits. you’re flying. you’re leaving. you’re running away. maybe freedom . . . maybe freedom is nothing more than the taste of guilt

284

there’s nothing left for you but to be gone

the triumph of it all is the vanquishing of imagination. there can be nothing new…

285

a system is in place of such dominion there can be no imagining another.. look around you . there is no other world. there can be no other way. surrender. there is only the now. whisper it to your children at night. it would be better for them to accept it

dang

i sit invisible on the subway.. i can’t stop myself from hearing the convos around me… (ie’s of small talk).. sometimes i think i will throw up from all the words. every idiot syllable spasms thru my stomach and the only way to be clean of this language will be to vomit all over the ground between us..

281

i keep thinking of the hospital waiting room how may hours did we sit next to each other outside in that corridor of disease so alone in each other’s company? how many hours did i pass wanting to reach those few inches to my left and take your hand in mine? i kept my hand close to yours, close enough for you to feel it.., i was sure, waiting for second after infinite second to see if you would lift your finger to make that first curl around mine. could you feel the questions and doubts pulsing from my brain to my fingers and leaping and falling into the synaptic gulf between us? would you have pushed me away if i’d reached out? gently squeezed my hand and dropped it? is that when we broke ourselves? it seems crazy, now, not to have reached over. it seems os crazy that now, in this instant, i would do anything to be back there and live it again and take the plunge and open that new road, begin that new universe that surely would have been born with the touch of those tow fingers. it could have all been so different.

we could have all been so much less lonely.  

we could have, could have, could have

287

how can we ever be any different? you have a peaceful revolution to topple a dictator but to have  a peaceful transition you need elections and the only people with the resources and networks to win the elections are ex-dictators and dictators-in-waiting. we’re trapped in an escher painting.. and now where do we go? where are we supposed to go in this world where the only things that move freely are the floating refuse of fictional credit, where do we go when every inch of earth is already owned and valued and soon to be bought by monsanto, when every cent spent holds another human in bondage before being smelted down to a bullet casing?  what can we do with info or facts when the only currency that counts is guns and lies

let’s go here – ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

294

is it strange to want to be a blue horse? to long to be a blue horse? to be loved with simplicity by other blue horses? to be frozen in your moment of definition, to never outgrow it, never fail it.

bravery to change

i find a bench to sit on in silence. is it better to find meaning in endless struggle or struggle endlessly with meaning?

was this then our full potential: what our new world of digital possibility amounted to? nothing more than birds rising from the trees at dawn, a mass movement of synchronized unpredictability, a moment of stunning collective action followed by survival instinct.

no.. there’s a nother way

we were a flock of quelea birds, beautiful to behold from afar, *impossible to organize from within, all moving forward in a pattern **determined by a force we cannot comprehend, by principles forged over millennia of evolution and generations of psychology, each choice in concert with the tiny adjustments of thousands of other birds, each ***decision steered by the unsteerable flock, each pulling all others toward a fate unforged.

*not impossible.. we just haven’t ever tried that.. yet..

**science of people.. is killing us..

***voluntary compliance making us non indigenous

298

what if, today, it’s gone.. what if it breaks or is lost or deleted and the last time was the last time i will ever see him and i didn’t know it and i didn’t watch it as carefully as i should have, didn’t commit as much to memory as i will need to see me thru the rest of these years of missing him..

what if today is the day i find i have nothing left..t

for (blank)’s sake

300

we haven’ talked for a while, but it’s okay, it’s how it used to feel with mariam, like you don’t need to fill the silence with pointless noise..

man.. good on you omar

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