Will at KABOBfest already covered this one well, but I apparently cannot leave well enough alone.
Yesterday, Yazan pointed out to me that there’s a Facebook group that opposes a mysteriously Kaaba-like building in New York. Now that I’ve read it all over, I realize that the group is slightly outdated, but that leaves me no less peeved. Here’s their headline, with approximate translation:
يريد الامريكان الاوغاد بناء مكان للسكر والعربدة على شكل كعبتنا الشريفة يتمهزؤن على ديننا وعلى كعبتنا لعنهم اللة جميعا فلنجمع مليار صوت لنقول لهم لا يا ايها الاوغاد لا تهينو ديننا وكعبتنا لعنكم الله…………………………..
Dirty Americans want to build a place like the holy Kaaba for drinking and stripping. They make fun of our religion and our Kaaba. God damn them all. Let’s let our voices tell them no.
Now, a quick glance at the photo shows that the building in question does (or did) look mysteriously similar to the holy Kaaba. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that these lemmings have been horribly misinformed…
The place for drinking and stripping? It’s the Fifth Avenue Apple Store! The only bar inside is the Genius Bar, and if there’s any stripping, it’s of computer parts. Oh yeah, and post-construction, it looks nothing like the Kaaba:
Like Will, I note the fact that this is cyberactivism, but agree with his statement:
By contesting symbols, they are playing for peanuts. Even victory is minor because it discredits the people who should be mobilizing for more important issues. Sure they can get Burger King to change the packaging, but what does that impress upon real politics?
Now if they were developing organizational capacity, by turning people’s sense of offense and frustration, into an institutional mechanism for playing real politics, that would be something else.
Apple Store photo credit: Gothamist