you know how i know what's newsworthy these days? i navigate my non-microsoft web browser (y'know, cause i'm edgy) over to cnn.com & i peruse the page to see if they've devoted a special section of their headlines to an event or a news phenomenon or whatnot. for a little while, gabrielle giffords got her own special section. then the egyptian revolution got its own special section. somewhere in between there, the tunisian revolution may have got its own special section but honestly, i wasn't paying attention at the time, so i can't confirm or deny the matter.
RECAP! nowadays, there's a whole special section on the site devoted to the current mideast/north africa hubbub, as a wave of protests & revolution movements have swept across the region. said hubbub really took off on the ides of january with the overthrow of tunisian president ben ali, who took office in friggin 1987. in honor of the occasion, george W hung up a "mission accomplished" banner in jerry jones' private booth at the super bowl & gave an inspired speech about spreading democracy in the middle east...or so i heard. from there, egyptians were all like "seriously? our president has been in office for just under THIRTY years & he REALLY sucks. he does have a sweet nose, but...oh! overthrow!" so yeah, they kicked out mubarak two weeks ago today.
in the meantime, the revolutionary furor has only increased. we're talking protests in bahrain, yemen, algeria, libya & a dozen other countries. even djibouti got in on the action & why not, right? their president's been in office for twelve years now. they've all got a legitimate reason to protest. folks in bahrain have gone from protesting for shia rights to protesting for the end to the monarchy (a system of government that i'd like to note gets replaced VERY early in civilization. i'm looking at you, UK). ali abdullah saleh, the yemeni president, assumed office in south yemen (before the country unified) way back in '78, on the day before the dead kennedys played their first show. that's a LONG time ago. i mean, they haven't even been a real band for almost 25 years now. protests in algeria started up ten days after those in tunisia. citizens there are sick of president abdelaziz bouteflika, who in addition to having a ridiculous name, has basically sucked since taking office in 1999.
then yesterday, libyan president moammar gadhafi, who really has a history of trying to take center stage but failing miserably, broke the whole damn thing wide open by giving a speech where he went on & on about how al qaeda & drugs were to blame for the unrest in his country. mentions of his support of terrorism or his failed nuclear ambitions or his failed attempt to create an african union (with him as the head) or 41+ years of his his failed policies were conveniently missing from his ramblings. it looks like he's lost control of the southern half of his country & if he isn't forced to step down, i will be SHOCKED. anyway, good times. it appears as if revolution isn't just a co-opted beatles song any more.
snack: fearless matcha green tea peppermynt chocolate bar
drink: guayaki yerba mate revel berry
back in the early 1800's, south america had its own sweet wave of revolutions, as they told the spanish & portuguese to suck it & get the funk out. about a week back, with revolution (& a number of beers) on the brain, i picked up a revolutionary south american-inspired snack-drink combo. for my snack, i went with a fearless matcha green tea peppermynt chocolate bar. since there's a bright orange sticker on the back that reads "$6.99," i'm going to assume that i paid that sorta-ludicrous amount for it...oh diminished inhibitions. it's a 70% raw chocolate bar that's made with certified organic brazilian chocolate. they donate 1% of their profits to folks suggested by their customers. to symbolize this, they manufactured a bite into the top of the bar. i guess it's sort of clever, so i went to their site & suggested that they donate my 1% to the school of rock. after all, the school of rock kinda rocks.
i've been impressed with the flavor of every single raw chocolate bar i've tried over the past few years. in this case, combined with the other three ingredients--organic rapadura (unrefined whole cane sugar), organic matcha green tea & organic peppermint--it's a tasty chocolate bar. with each bite, you get a dark, clean chocolate taste followed by a minty aftertaste that's slightly dulled by what i assume is the green tea flavor. as a bonus, with the dark chocolate & peppermint, i'm getting a shitload of antioxidants. can't complain about that. to date, it's definitely my fave raw chocolate bar. they do have four other bars with names like "sweeet & hot," "super seeds!," "eXploding coconuts" & "dark as midnight" though, so we'll see how long that "fave raw chocolate bar" title lasts.
i paired my revolutionary snack with a revolutionary beverage, a can of guayaki yerba mate revel berry. i opted against their "enlighten mint" & "lemon elation" flavors for obvious reasons, basically because "revel berry" is the least-offensively-stupid name of the three. like with my raw chocolate bar, their beverages are organic & made with south american junk--the leaves of the south american rainforest holly tree known as yerba mate. there's a bit of yumberry & hibiscus in it as well because, as president reagan always used to say, "you can never have enough yumberry." he neglected to mention the hibiscus, however. like with fearless chocolate, guayaki tries to be all do-goody, as they're named for a south american tribe (the guayaki/aché) & have a mission to "steward and restore 200,000 acres of south american atlantic rainforest and create over 1000 living wage jobs by 2020 by leveraging our market driven restoration model." how a beverage will do that is beyond me but i wish them luck.
if there's one thing you take away from reading this amazing blog entry, let it be this: always make sure to read labels. turns out what we've got here is an energy drink with a whopping 75mg of caffeine per serving. i drank an entire can, which has two total servings. for someone like myself who never drinks caffeine, this was a bad idea. in fact, the can notes that it's "not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women, or those sensitive to caffeine." i'm not a pregnant child but oops to the other thing.
what ended up happening was that, since it's FIFTY times tastier than a red bull or, for that matter, 99% of the energy drinks out there on the market, i sat around sucking it down like it was a cold glass of sunny d. next thing i knew, it was five in the morning & i was still tossing & turning in bed. i finally fell asleep some time just before the cursed winter sun came up & as i did, i drifted into an energy drink-fueled dream which, for the record, involved some sort of tribal rainforest clubbing ritual...or maybe that was just my brain trying to leap out of my skull from all the caffeine. either way, watch out with this one. don't get fooled into thinking it's just some regular drink. no matter how much the taste of yerba mate & yumberry tries to lure you, don't do it. it's not worth it, man.