Two days ago we remarked upon the decision by Yemen's president to block text messages from non-governmental news agencies. But what Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to suppress on mobile phones is now available for the world to see on YouTube [H/T Anwar]:
For non-Arabic-speakers, the humor of the clip is Saleh's emphatic campaigns promises spliced in amidst popular singers reciting lines that cast doubt on the claims. "Lower the prices!" Saleh repeats in the opening, only to be interrupted by a Lebanese diva asking: "Come again?" Then she asks seductively: "Are you talking to me?"
Later in the clip, after Saleh makes another whopper of a statement, an oud-playing singer opines: "If you had any dignity you wouldn't even speak." Another Yemeni singer says: "You stole the sleep from my eyes!" After Saleh promises to bring nuclear power, a hijab-wearing female singer declares: "Problems are coming our way!"
It's a deft amateur use of popular singers to mock the president, using simple juxtaposition to make a point effectively - and safely. After all, such "rudeness" directed at Saleh by an ordinary private citizen could land them in a lot of hot water.