Past Diary EntriesDilara's Diary

When Protesting, Leave Your Belly Dance Hip Scarves At Home

occupy portland, belly dance, calf,, dilara sultan


Today, I pretended I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I closed my eyes, and I said three times, "They are not belly dancers. They are NOT belly dancers. They are not BELLY DANCERS."

I am, of course, referencing to a group of Egyptian-clad protesters, dancing quite un-enthusiastically to Cake's "Comfort Eagle" around a golden calf labeled with a number of the most hated brands du jour.

The video may be a few weeks old, but my hatred never seems to wane. After several replays, I must conclude that these "dancers" are NOT belly dancers.

It may just be wishful thinking.



Can We Please Buy An Original Thought?

When first descriptions described the song as sung by protesters, I assumed (wrongly) that the lyrics was of their own invention. Instead, they've co-opted the artistic work of another, garbed themselves in cliche imagery (with no regard for that culture), used a popular Biblical story to give their movements meaning, and lackluster-ly strutted their stuff to protest a number of the usual suspects when it comes to popular brands "outsiders" love to hate.


Is This A Protest? If So, Against What?

I long for protests to mean something, for the change requested to be structured coherently, and for the implied actions to better society. What exactly are we protesting here? Wal-Mart? Fox News? Shell Oil? Bank of America? Do we simply hate any company larger than 30 people across?

They shout out the lyrics, "Democracy is a joke."

Maybe they just hate humor.


Let's Focus On People

There's a lot in this world that you can worry about. When you close your eyes tonight, you can think of greed, corruption, pollution, poverty and more. You can think about the system or the politics or the business. I'd rather think about people.

Wouldn’t the world be better if we were people-centric? We can't fix the big wide world; even the most stubborn idealist knows we’ll never eliminate the corruption or greed, or even the desire to make life easier (and cheaper) that tends to lead toward disasters like what’s happening in Bangladesh.

We can, however, make smarter decisions, weigh the outcomes of our actions, and be a force of positive change in our communities by treating others the way we would like to be treated.

Crappy dancing around a fake idol is not being a positive change. It's throwing your views in someone’s face, without explanation, and frankly, it's insulting to both my religion and my intelligence. Give me numbers, give me statements, give me an IDEA.


Don't just stand against something, stand for something.


That's a protest I can at least respect, if not agree with.


And next time, leave your hip scarves at home.