I write this as an African, myself: Unwittingly, I am by default, a guilty party to the snuffing out of my heritage; here, with an attempt to keep a long story short:
Janis asks me to describe the "rottenness" that she has forewarned me about in her own words, below, and she keeps reminding me of the hordes of imperialist parasites that have swarmed over us. It is no different - perhaps it has become most virulent, now - on the continent of Africa: The system is turning human beings into moths - lovers of the shiny life; the system, which is global, has been condoned if not organized by agents of ignorance and mediocrity right here on the African continent, of which there are plenty of silenced examples:
My thoughts started when I had wished Janis a HAPPY NEW YEAR. after she had replied (touched up for clarity):
Thank you. May you and yours find refuge from the storm as the terrible monster, "democracy" - created - lashes out, strangling and suffocating on its own vomit, as it plans on taking everyone down. Prepare yourself (not to openly fight but) to survive, along with your community and family. That is meaningful resistance....
Resistance? Why should we be resisting, instead of smiling away and thinking positive about the sludge we are swimming in*? Long story. Are you swimming or resisting? I am resisting.
Janis forces one to write now, not later. She chose one of my words, 'rottenness' and asked me to explain (she is always asking to explain). When a writer tells someone who calls themselves a writer to describe something that the latter's moaning about, the challenge is a merciful thing, and has to be taken up at once. So this is what I quickly thought up (now editing: 3 Jan 14/ 7 Jan 14):
Our betrayal begins with the story of the East India Company. It mutated into a sort of an amphibious people-gobbling contraption about the size of a small planet which, like a lizard flicking its long tongue out at all the food in its line of fire, navigates the sludge of desperation, depression that is the rest of the world and is, in my case, Africa. The slimy 'monster' cannot think far and is in denial, but destroys with really cool dexterity, excreting little shiny trinkets with the one message inscribed upon them in its wake:
"Wake up, Africa! You are poised to lead the ranks of those who are destined to fill the black hole of the thankless slave market! You are one nation, yet you are content to devolve into little countries - to appease the imagination of a few mediocrities, poised to compete, to fight and to annihilate one another, in order, if unwittingly, to be the first to serve the world more faithfully, more loyally and more foolishly than ever did any other race of self-made peons, including the god-forsaken nations of India and Pakistan!
"Yes, and let your perennially and more increasingly worm-ridden chiefs teach you to keep up the pretences of having shrugged off the despondency of the ages - you poor and miserable laughing sods of earth; and you shall be well taught at the feet of the our servants in those wonderful schools to which your children vie for entry. You shall learn to deftly and knowledgeably contaminate - yes, YOU - you shall. Contaminate your own land by order of none other than the Central Bank! You feel rich and free, obviously, a few of you. (Forget about the poor for they do not count, as is proven by the media who shine like slime, too), even with a few pennies in your ragbags - while the billionaires that milk you KNOW that they are naught but poor beggars themselves.
"We shall come to harvest and make you feel even richer! Read the advertisements for human resources attracted to the swollen, tangled government bloated with apathy and greed and much of 'civil society', as you prostitute your land, your women, your children, your history and identities, and wade through the mud and sludge we leave behind! Here! Take that BMW and Mercedes... that Hummer! Take those paper palaces of yours in Karen and Muthaiga, here! Build your walls high - those angry youth will have to use trucks to pull them down. Empty out your new Christmas stockings and now wear them: Yes, indeed! They look even better worn inside-out as you slip your handsome new effendicured feet - which march soremnry to the national anthems - into your new boots - gum-boots or army boots or whatever. Wear them just the way would that man there... wrapped in cotton colours of the English moors in autumn; yes, that gentle Englishman. See him, up there, watching us patiently from that promontory he named Mount Kenya, all by himself, smiling mildly as if posing for his picture on a banknote? Come with me: Let's be clever and revolt against him. So that we can be just like him. You can't escape, now, sing as much as you like - you shall be just like him. You are just like me. You are nearly there!"Links to look at today:
- We need to have a frank discussion about marriage by Tauriq Moosa (S African writer)
- Narendra Modi for PM? by Arundhati Roy
- Selected article by Arundhati Roy including Toilet in Bomb Shelter and Ghost of Capitalism
- Al-Qaida's Real Origins Exposed by Finian Cunningham (Irish writer based in Kenya)
*Credit to Shailja Patel for describing capitalism "the water we swim in".