[I did not know about this, so I didn’t prepare anything to post. I found out about it accidentally when I visited the blog of Chatnoir. I am going to cheat a little bit and set the publication date to the 14th of January. Yes, even cheating is permissible when it comes to acting for Algeria – which is the theme of this year’s DZBlogDay.]
There are many ways an Algerian could decide to act for Algeria: burning tyres, blocking roads, brandishing the Algerian flag in musical concerts, following the national football team all over the world to offer emotional support whilst also buying some stuff in order to contribute to the national economy by selling it, once back home, in the black market, chanting “One, Two, Three. Viva l’Algerie” whenever they feel the need to reassert the universally obvious fact that Algeria is the greatest country on Earth, smuggling thousands of liters of oil through the borders with Tunisia and Lybia in order to supprot our brothers in these times of hardship, hence proving the Algerian sense of “redjla” whilst making a few bob and contributing to the national economy, going on very long strikes in order to improve the lives of their fellow citizens by demanding a substantial pay rise from the government, starting a blog to post interminable rants and appraisals about the situation on the ground and concluding that it is irremediable…and the list goes on and on. Algerians are bursting full of ideas about things they could do for their beloved country. There’s no end to things one could do for Algeria really. Like Freddy Mercury said: “The show must go on!“.
I think that the key to acting for Algeria is in believing that it is possible to do something for it. Being convinced of it even. Unfortunately, I think far too many Algerians just know it is impossible. The origin of this ‘knowledge’ is a mystery. It seems that every Algerian is now born with this conviction embedded in their brains. Before they even become self-aware, they are Algeria-aware. Abandon-sinking-ship-mode. I quote Mark Twain: “They didn’t know it was impossible, so they went ahead and did it.” A major brain reformatting is needed I think – on the national scale. So acting for Algeria, ultimately, is to think hard and find a formula which will result in a major cultural overhaul. A self-sustaining one. A formula which’ll wipe out this crippling conviction of the futility of it all from the minds of all Algerians. Acting for Algeria is to pray for a truly visionary leader to emerge in the near future, an exceptionally begnin Algerian person…A lucky fluke in our DNA, a mutant, even an accidental change in our trajectory, a lucky escape..anything damn it! Oops, sorry! I let myself get carried away there, not that there is any urgency or anything (plenty of oil still left thank God!). There might however be some lessons to learn from our distant cousins the “depressed crabs“:
And what better way to end this than: “One, Two, Three. Viva l’Algerie!”
Here is a transcript of the video in English:
In the murky waters of the Gironde estuary, between the tar-ridden rocks and the muddy sand that harbors the best oysters, no one is aware of the tragedy which has befallen our kind. We are the Pachygrapsus marmoratus, commonly known as the “chancroids” or “depressed crabs”. You know, the ugly square ones, the poor blighters kids love pulling the legs of, the ones that make you ill. In short, a species which never asked to be put on Earth.
Our tragic fate is much worse than all that. If nature has allowed us to walk sideways, like velvets, it hasn’t given us the right to turn. That genetic defect condemns us to walk, all our lives, following the same straight line. Our fate is mapped out from birth, depending on where we hatch. Some are lucky. Others are not. Some have an exciting life, others don’t. In spite of all these disparities, we all end up civil servants. Where do we get this handicap from? I don’t even know where to find us on the evolution scale.
One day, a kid pulled off the leg of one of us. The poor devil was turning round and round for months. But bad can do good and as he was turning, the crab started to think and he turned into a philosopher, well, let’s say less stupid than the others. He worked out a lot of things about our situation. Once his legs had grown back, he climbed onto a rock and we listened to him. And he said: “Other crabs know how to turn, but they don’t go anywhere. Our kind walks in a straight line, but at least, we’re going somewhere!”. So what has changed? OK, so we still can’t turn, but now, we’re proud of being Pachygrapsus marmoratus!
But let me tell you what happened to me, a few years later, after a catastrophe that only you humans can cause. I was about to be flattened by a ferry, I was done for. What did I do? I turned of course! And I realised it had nothing to do with our shells; we weren’t turning simply because we were too stupid to do so! But everyone was looking at me strangely. “He must be crazy!”, they said, “He changed direction!”, “Has he no dignity?!!”. Oh yes, in our crab world, we don’t mess around with customs. So I got myself back on track, and followed my fate. But one day, someone might remember that, on this exact spot, a Pachygrapsus marmoratus deliberately changed direction.