The Great YouTube Escapade
Welcome back to me. Yay.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about a most pressing matter. As anyone with access to the internet in Pakistan must be aware today was a monumental day in Pakistan’s brief yet thoroughly exciting cyber history. Interior Minister Rehman Malik finally came through on a month old promise and managed to reverse the ban on YouTube. Much rejoicing was had.
In the time since the video clip sharing website was returned to the rose tinted, soft-lit reality of legality, Facebook updates across the nation have notified a previously bereft of entertainment nation of the return of the prodigal website. Like I said, much rejoicing.
However, since this is Pakistan and Stealing Christmas And Similar Joyous Events is a national pastime, the various Grinches that form our journalistic corps decided to come out to play. Now, none of us wanted them to play. In fact, some of them I very much wish would never play anything ever again and would retire to a permanent state of aitekaaf (a win-win situation if there ever was any; they top up their Sawaab accounts and I don’t have to deal with their poisonous existence. Ever.)
Anyhow, Ansar Abbasi (that vile, repulsive little man) is the greatest genius of our times. The man figured out that if you search for something on the internet, you run the risk of actually finding it! SHOCK HORROR!! CALL THE MURDER POLICE!!! Upon discovering that searching for something does in fact yield search results, Ansar Abbasi notified Geo News (a vile, repulsive little channel) that objectionable materials are still available on YouTube. We yawned in shock!
Ansar Abbasi is a man of many talents and of outsize reputation. It had barely been a moment since he proclaimed the awfulness of YouTube, that our Prime Minister sprung into action. A little primer on the PM himself – this is the man that was entrusted with the Premiership under the assumption that he was directly in the crosshairs of the Supreme Court at the height of the Swiss Letter Affair (a ridiculously overwrought affair that I hope most of you aren’t aware of [for your own sanity]). He had performed so abysmally as the Minister of Water and Power and as a representative of his constituency that it was widely believed that he’d lose re-election come May 2013.
NOW. Keeping in mind the fact that this Prime Minister has little to no popular support, let’s observe the days events. Once Ansar Abbasi had notified the world that the video did in fact still exist somewhere in the interwebs, the Prime Minister clearly thought that our nation of six year olds should not be allowed to make any decisions for itself. He ordered the re-banning of YouTube. And so it was.
A confluence of idiocy of the sort that we see on a regular basis in Pakistan has ruled again. Courts that have somehow come to believe that they represent the will of the people, create orders that limit our agency in one wave of their robe. Journalists who have inflated their sense of self to the point where they no longer recognize themselves, inform us of how we ought to behave in our private lives. A civilian government that proclaims itself to be secular bends to the will of every right wing demand at the expense of those that are ideologically aligned with them.
Unfortunately, none of this is new to us. Even worse, this is far from the last time something like this will happen to us.
ADDENDUM: Geo News is proudly proclaiming its role in getting YouTube banned again. As is fully evident to anyone with a semblance of intelligence, this is NOT something to be proud of. In fact, it’s something that an outlet dedicated to bringing us INFORMATION should be deeply ashamed of. I wish nothing but ill to the power brokers at the Jang Group for their short sighted self aggrandizement. Please feel free to complain to the following people that man Geo’s complaints cell: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. <33