Monday, March 7, 2011

Charlie Sheen Fired: More Important than Hosni Mubarak Resigning?

No, I’m not kidding. And, what’s more, I’m not going to take a cheap shot at the media/news industry (or bloggers) and say that they cover Sheen’s escapades more thoroughly than they do Mubarak’s.

I’m serious about the question. What impact did each change have on your daily life?

If you watch Two And A Half Men regularly you might be disappointed. If you were planning a near term trip to Egypt then you’ve probably cancelled. So many of us don’t see the butterfly effect from an event that we read about on or offline.

The butterfly effect is that Chaos theory principle which states something along the lines of a butterfly batting its wings causes a hurricane on the other side of the world. In simple terms, small events may have unintended and large consequences that are hard to trace back to their seemingly unrelated cause.

Mubarak’s resignation and the related protests throughout Africa and the Middle Eastern region, and attempting (seemingly) to extend to China, is showing us how control of news, democracy and other communications has been lost. A government can shut down the Internet, phone lines/connections and social networking sites but the damage has already been done. People have seen that other realities exist and they’ve learned how to seize control of their own communications (even risking their lives).

People don’t like to be controlled. Give them the tools and they will break those repressive yokes.

Iran and China are doing quite a job quelling dissent for now (by murdering and terrorizing ruthlessly). Libya is less effective.

Sheen? How does he tie into all of this? Sheen doesn’t like to be controlled either and he has rebelled against his boss (then there is that bad behavior issue). He lives in a democracy so has been able to find his voice and express it. Warner Brothers exercised their legal rights and fired him. Democracies do work better than repressive dictatorships…in my opinion.

In our country Sheen is on the networks ranting. In Egypt they speak out on Facebook. In each case, the people have found a way to be heard. And we don’t yet know the ultimate consequences. I’m staying hopeful.

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