The beginning of something in Egypt

Who would have thought?

I, for one, never would’ve believe it. A few weeks ago, the population of a Arabic country did what no one thought was possible: mass protests led to the president of Tunisia being ousted of his own country. Today, Jan. 25, 2011, thousands of Egyptians, energized by this Tunisian effect, came out in droves to protest in the streets against decades of totalitarian regime at the hands of President Hosny Mubarak. Live updates can be found here.

Egyptians take to the street to protest the totalitarian government.

Protests are nothing new in the streets of Egypt. One could even say that they are a daily occurance. However, the major difference between all other protests and today’s manifestation is the sheer number of people who poured into the streets. We’re talking hundreds of thousands here, in cities across the country such as in Alexandria, Tanta, Ismailya and, of course, Cairo. Protests in Egypt are usually monitored very closely by police, and protestors are quite often thrown in jail. Thus, manifestations tend to attract handfuls of people and fizzle out rather rapidly.

Today’s protests have been going on for hours, and show no signs of letting up anytime soon. This is the beginning of something in Egypt – finally, people are standing up and saying “enough is enough.” Up until very recently, I never believed that what happened in Tunisia could have the same impact in Egypt. Now I know I was wrong. I strongly believe that the current government has taken notice, and proof of that is that communic

ations have been cut off late this afternoon: Egyptians had no access to Twitter, cell phones were down, and other types of communications have been touch-and-go at best. This means the government has taken notice that the world is watching. The Egyptian government is now scared, which is a breakthrough in my books.

As a Canadian of Egyptian origin, I must say that I am extremely proud of my Egyptian brothers and sisters. Egyptians have had to suffer through horrific things over the past decades, including government corruption, rising food prices, vast unemployment and sectarian violence. The latter has been heating up over the past few weeks and came to a head on Jan. 1 when an explosion killed 23 and injured 70 others at a Coptic church Alexandria.

Enough IS enough. Egyptians deserve to live in true democracy, and let’s all hope that today’s protests will help Egypt become a better and more peaceful country for all.

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From my Twitter feed…

Benoît Dutrizac, a “respected” radio and TV show host and columnist here in Montreal, has decided to throw a mini hissy fit on Twitter. Seeing as how I am one of his followers, I couldn’t resist but to bait him:

Benoît Dutrizac
Dutrizac Benoît Dutrizac
Thank you for your inquiry unfortunately there are no french speaking execs that are available to give the interview
Benoît Dutrizac
Dutrizac Benoît Dutrizac
Personne dans le conseil d’étudians de Concordia NE PARLE FRANÇAIS!!! On finance cette université 222M$!

Not only did he misspell “étudiants” (it takes a t, dumbdumb), but he’s OUTRAGED that after submitting an interview request, he could not find a single member of the Concordia Student Union to speak to him, in French. Not only that, but he can’t believe that taxpayers finance this English-speaking financial institution. The horror! A French-speaking province financing an English-speaking institution! Let’s burn ‘em all to the stake!

I gotta say, as a second-generation immigrant who was educated in both French and English, I love seeing white, privileged middle-aged men ranting and raving about how French is the only way to go. Yet, when it comes to Dutrizac, one shouldn’t be surprised: this is the man who, on air, said that “street gangs” are actually “n***er gangs” and, in an interview with Dr. Amir Khadir, currently leader of left-wing political party Québec Solidaire, said that Islam is a “stupid religion”. These hate-mongering statements only got him a slap on the wrist from the CRTC. God forbid that a bunch of white, privileged middle-aged men at the CRTC punish one of their own!

Regardless, in today’s Twitter feed, Dutrizac seems to have forgotten one simple thing: Bill 101 does NOT apply to CEGEPs and universities. These institutions of higher-learning are actually some of the very few places that this ridiculous Bill cannot get its tentacles on. I totally would’ve understood Dutrizac if he had attempted to call an elementary or high school, and could not talk to someone in French; I actually firmly believe that all Québec children should learn how to speak French fluently. However, a university, which welcomes students not only from Québec, but from the rest of Canada and across the world, has no obligation to provide someone who can speak French, regardless of whether it is located within a French-speaking society.

That’s why I replied to Mr. Dutrizac, saying:

25 minutes ago:

@Dutrizac Euhm… à ce que je sache, Concordia est une université anglophone ? Pourquoi est-ce si surprenant ?

I don’t know whether he’ll take the bait. One thing I DO know, however: on this point, he’s got no leg to stand on. The law is the law, buddy, and it does not apply to this case.

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Starbucks unveils “new” logo: yay or nay?

On January 5, Starbucks, the ubiquitous coffee shop we all love to hate, unveiled a “new” logo, which, to the naked eye, isn’t new at all.

Starbucks, in its quest to prove its omnipotence in today’s society, has removed the outer ring containing the mentions “Starbucks” AND “coffee” from its logo, effectively leaving us with the weird mermaid/siren/freaky seamonster pictogram. Because apparently, mermaids, who seduce sailors into wrecking their ships, are synonymous with coffee. Obviously.

In a press release, Starbucks explained the change: “The result is an evolved logo that celebrates the Siren in a much bolder way – it’s more expressive and energetic and still uses the same vibrant green circle that is so well recognized by our customers around the world.”

Personally, I vote NAY on the new logo. This change isn’t as drastic as the Gap’s decision to radically change its logo (before deciding just days later to scrap the new logo following a social media outcry), and it certainly won’t lead to a massive public outcry to revert to the original logo. Personally, I view it as Starbucks exhibiting slight narcissism, whereas the company is telling itself that the actual name and nature of the company no longer.  matters, and that weird mermaid lady is an appropriate mascot for a coffee shop. I also believe that Starbucks is fully aware  that its clientele has become sufficiently hooked to its over-priced caffeine products; therefore, the company could change its logo to pretty much whatever it wants without its clients caring very much.

I’ve never understood why companies decide to change their logo, especially a company that has become a household name such as Starbucks. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m not in marketing. Regardless, some companies have made a change to a new logo that became a hit, while others have been more hit-or-miss (see the above-mentioned Gap debacle).

Can anyone out there educate me as to why some major companies decide to refresh their image? Especially when their logo is already easily recognizable?

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Hello world!

And welcome to my blog. I’m The Failed Journalist, and please, try not to read too much into the name (I just thought it was witty). Yes, I’ve studied in journalism, but no, I am not currently working in this field. However, I continue to work in an industry that allows me to write, translate and edit on a daily basis, so I might view myself as a successful failure, if you will.

In this blog I will be taking on issues relating to current affairs, politics, social media, and everything in between. I’ve started this blog in an attempt to keep my writing up to snuff, so I hope you’ll join me in this fun ride.

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