Monday, 28 April 2008

Blog, Blogger, Bloggest

Mood: Pissed, but why?
[Toot!] Index: 2.2
Communism Bit: On
Location: Job, of course

I'm not in the mood to work, right now. There's even no sugar, so I can't throw in my second coffee of the day. Among other things amiss. So ... I dip my hand into me head, feel about in the sloshing pool of brains (there are some, even though it's not obvious), blood, goo, stuff, and reach for a nice memory. Here. I have got a nice day out. It's twitching and kicking like a fish drowning in the air. Watch as I cut it open and feed you on it. Given my current state of mind, this post may will get long and rambling. With many links.
I'll talk about the bloggers' happy hour, the etymology of "blogren", Andrew Mwenda, et cetera. If you don't read long posts, don't bother getting started. :o) Go away.

I was at the Uganda Bloggers' Happy Hour. My post is late, so everyone has said it all already. The girls were disturbingly pretty. Many new faces, shining rather brightly. Dee, Carlo, Ivan, Back 2 Basics, Duksey, Antipop, MPhoebe, Kissyfur, Tumwijuke, Lulu, Dante ... basically, girls outnumbered boys.

The title, by the way, is because this post is dedicated to my blogren. You know, when that word was invented, maybe last year or the year before, it was meant to be a portmanteau on "blog" and "brethren": "blogren". Of course, nobody could have known that, indeed, it captured (more or less) the spirit we have. Even when the spirit falters, the pale parts don't show who we are: the good parts that shall remain will show who we really are.

This is not contentious. Until we get to Andrew Mwenda's arrest, and similar things. You see, there are (roughly) one million people at any one time saying wild anti-government things in Uganda. When they are not arrested it's no big deal. When one is arrested, it is a big deal: this one pale point is the definition of what we are. This one time you're late at work is the reason for your pay cut.
Sadly, nobody ever seems to note that the local uproar (in media, especially on radio) is a sign that this is not deemed normal. No, no, no! For them, the face is defined by the lone spot there. Pathetic. Negativist. Pessimistic. Stupid. Idiotic. American.
See here, the BBC article on Mwenda's arrest calls Museveni "authoritarian". Hmm. I dunno about you, but I don't live in an authoritarian country. You know, it's most likely my hate for unimaginative newspaper stereotyping coming into play here. I can't know. My late grandfather worked for Radio Uganda for decades. He was also an actor nonpareil, on top of being a philosopher. One of his Three Laws on Media Truth is: There isn't enough space in any newspaper to fit half of any truth. But this guy is worth a post on his own.

The worse thing is that Mwenda is not the worst that's happened. Ah, but nobody notices when you are not a self-righteous journalist. I like the assumption that Mwenda is right, and the government is wrong. Maybe it's true. But why did you valiant guards of democracy shut up when a Ugandan boy was caught at a UK airport for saying Insha'llah, and labelled "Terrorist"? Where were you? Is a dubious arrest only bad when done by an African country? That boy is doing time in a jail away from home. I'm older than him. (At this point, you'll be forgiven for playing Boney M. In particular, their song El Lute. You have only three minutes.)
Here's the strange thing: Mwenda is driving around Kampala, right now. He could be guilty, for all you know. But Hassan—the boy the Brits gave ten years of jail—is on some island somewhere. Insha'llah, they'll spare him the fate of being a mussulman on The Bay of Pigs.

My old housemother was arrested for nothing, in this Budo inferno thing. You all kept quiet. Mwenda is arrested (let's assume it's also for nothing). You are all talking. Cool. You want justice? Why not try giving it, first? Sheesh!

This leads me to something else. You know, I do read some French blogs from Francophone Africa; The Congo, for example. I landed on that when I was looking for a Tchala Mwana record, and I found a discussion on a Congolese blog about her. In the end, I created a category for these French blogs. I read them, but I refrain from commenting because my command of French is not too good. Anyway, I saw one on Babilown, where he was wondering where the differences are between Robert Mugabe and Paul Biya of Benin. In the end, he says "... for the Whites, a dictatorship doesn't start until their interests are endangered." Yeah, so if arresting a Ugandan on flimsy charges and paranoia doesn't endanger their interests, that's not dictatorship. I wonder what would happen if we caught a Brit or American spy—and most of these are spies—and locked him up. Oh, we are an evil people against freedom.
You'll notice that Idi Amin killed every day of his rule. His rise to power was particularly messy. It's at his messiest peak that he was the beloved of the West. When he faced Mecca and bowed, they wanted a new guy. Then he was a buffoon pretty quickly. The West straddled Africa with dicators we would have thrown away in seconds. In so doing, the real "bad governance" people of Africa are the West. But ask anybody who leads in "bad governance" on any of their pretentious indices.

This is probably why I look at this thing of the West lining up behind Tibet suspiciously. I think it's just knee-jerk. 99% of the people screeching for Tibet are doing it on 99% assumption. Or maybe I'm just more-accepting of "authoritarianism". Like I said here: "If you honestly believe that the only thing that is uniform from society to society, even decade to decade—as shoe, hair and talking styles change—is the way people should be governed, you're the only person I'm sure to be smarter than." I maintain that. And it may be a Freudian way to say I like authoritarianism. Kind of like a governance submissive masochist or something. :o) I face the fact that the parts of the world you call "developed" were running slaves and hung-draw-quartering people when they arose to their perceived prominence. They were exterminating natives and running authoritarian monarchies that were never voted into power. But we, Africa, the rest of the World, are just some toy they can tweak to desired shape. As in, had this been one hundred years ago, we'd be forced to be homophobic absolute monarchies. Gwahahahaha.

The West rushes with stereotypes when it's Africa involved. Let me tell you the other name for that: racism. You'll only pary this if you can explain that double standard. Many people are screeching about Mwenda, now. Let's wait for how many will screech over Hassan Mutegombwa. I'm waiting. Funny, because I came back from my break and blogged about it. And it was the first time it had been on any blog anywhere. A twenty-year-old is going to come out of jail at thirty. For a crime he not only did not commit, but is only flimsily-accused of committing. The Brits grabbed him. Along with his brother. Main point: he greeted in Arabic. Silence.
But if it's some loud journalist who could be guilty? Since he's being grabbed by the Africans, that's definitely wrong. They aren't Brits, you know. Fuck you.

By the way, that French post has some comment of mine. I broke a rule and commented in French! :-o And, before I forget, I'm willing to pay for a Manu Dibango record, whoever has it. And any Tchala Mwana music you may have. Hell, here's the list (I'll pay): Manu Dibango, Tchala Mwana, Oliver Mtukudzi (the old, old one with Under Pressure and the one of Neria), Ringo Madlingozi (the one with Sondela), and Khaled (really, any Raï music, any music from the Maghreb).
At the UBHH, Antipop really showed she was against pop music. I always thought her name was a euphemised "antipope". Oh, well. And Dee was trying to tell me rock music is good.
Look, we all know the last true rocker was Ormus Cama. The rest of them are just footnotes to VTO. I have the Quakershaker album both in vinyl and MP3.

On to other things, then.
In this older post of mine, a militant Capitalist came and made a home. We went on for a while, and you can find some explanations for my words and beliefs in there.
And since this made Global Voices, I can also link it here. A spat I had at GUG's. In particular, my second comment there. There are many things I was replying to that have been deleted. Anyway, if you have the silly patience to sit through my rants, there you are.

Now, my being critical of the critical is in no way new. Here's me, back then, saying stuff about Mugabe and his demonisers. Second-last paragraph. That post also has a comment I'm most-grateful for. It's pertinent at this time in our history. It shows how the Western media—back then—painted freedom fighters as murderous psychos. They are doing the same with whoever is ideologically opposed to them, even today. And y'all just go ahead and believe. The comment summarises this page, which (if you can) you should read. Don't pretend nobody ever said this stuff. It's at this point that I remind you of the even-more-pertinent Where is My Continent post. One more thing, this post says "Democracy is not an American/Western concept. It is a human concept. It existed long before America was formed, long before Europe was populated [...] a concept that is richer on Kampala's streets than in the Pentagon."
I'd go deeper into that, but I've typed enough for a day. For those of you who think you should be more-worried about "democracy" in Africa than about one of those above-the-law rogue states of the West dropping nuclears bombs on your children, sisters, wives and mothers, here's one last narcisistic link: "I won't let me be the tenth person to note that something bad happened in Kampala. I want to be the first to note that something good was born a generation ago." That was in reaction to something similar to Mwenda's thingy.
It's stupid of you to worry about some African government when there's a nuclear bomb in the West with your city's name on it. You've been fooled, foolish one, into having your priorities wrong.

One last thing. So, I'm going for the UBHH, right? And I find this Kampala Road overhead screen bleeding Prison Break over our city. I once said "there are no Ugandan kids who didn't watch the bootlegged Matrix Reloaded two weeks before it was released." I was trying for some hyperbole, but it appears our homeless people actually are fans of that Prison Break guy. Although, of course, Americans still get shocked that we can manage to speak English.

Eh. Enough. :o)


Iwaya said...

Could this be a ...a.... :0) !

Iwaya said...

I'm torn between the logic of your argument that Mwenda's case gets attention bse he has all the right connections and the name and equally worthy wronged journalists and other professionals in similar dilemma are ignored...and wondering if it therefore right bse Mwenda is a big fish, he should be left to rot in jail, we should not protest on his behalf.. oh well.

Iwaya said...

the pix of kampala road...oh home!

DeTamble said...

Argh! The printer isn't printing and I have to go to work now!! GRRRRR! *slams printer* WORK!! WOOOORK! I have to gooooo!! Gah! Fine. I'll just be late to work. And I've heard Ugandans speak English and trust me, that's not English. Not with those accents!

Tandra said...

lol@detamble... stop hating... LOL

So much to comment on... yikes! i get where u coming from, for the most part and i agree...

candybox said...

Did i just see Wentworth Miller....lemme confirm that, i'll be right back.

Princess said...

I do not agree with a hell of a lot that you have to say.But I haven't the energy for a spat with you, so I'll refrain...

*Hmmm, the rants are back!

Peace said...

Reminds me of when Sam posted something on her blog in December. She called it drama. Three weeks after the Ugandan is sentenced for saying ‘Insha’Allah’, a British schoolteacher is arrested in Sudan for insulting Islam's Prophet, after she allowed her pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad and so much noise is made about it.

Mr. Back2Basics said...

I'm with Tandra
Way too much to comment on Rev..
Need more time...
heading out

Kudos to the props at BHH and the entire Blogren!

gayuganda said...

No, no, no.

I will not comment.

Ugh, by .... the skin of my teeth. I will not...

Maybe I should put back Eshuneutics comments. They read better with your rant.

i will not...

sigh, let me run away from here


antipop said...

you did not lie. it is long. now, let me grit my teeth and go read

DeTamble said...

@Antipop: If this is about the accents thing, please, I'm not being serious. I'm just giving Rev shit because he said something about Australian accents a while back. If this is not about the accent, or the Shirley Temple comment @ Carlo's then I have no idea what's wrong. :-(

buttercookie said...

Man, just read that Pro Tibet protesters have been jailed for 15, 20 and some others have gotten life sentences...

Not funny!

Now this Andrew MWenda saga????...


buttercookie said...

Finally blogger posts my comment...

Dennis Matanda said...

Rev, reading this, I think that you sometimes forget that there is more to life than ranting and raving and being ever so balanced and focused on the big picture.

I think that we all live by moments and emotions. Sometimes, when we go 'ga ga' at Andrew Mwenda and forget about Tibetians and Atomic Bombs, its because that is what is in our minds.

And Prison Break is a good show - bootlegged or not. Interestingly, I cannot get a bootlegged copy right here. It sucks that I have to wait for tv to show it each week.

gayuganda said...

Dennis, I laud you.

27th, I am still not commenting...


Duksey said...

Phewx I finally reached the bottom.But hey when I got there I realised that i had forgotten what I wanted to say.SO much for long posts

Baz said...

You know what you need, son? You need a rant consultant— someone to advise you, and guide your rants. I have a few ideas:

How about declaring that Mwenda was arrested legally and that we should let due process take its course before condemning Museveni? That would be more credible and you have a better chance of finding people who would think that sounds intelligent.
(Of course that beggars the question, and only works if Mwenda WAS arrested legally and if all his rights were fully observed.)

Okay how about finding some sort of degrees-of-separation between Mwenda and, I don’t know, PRA, LRA, some government anywhere, and then since you don’t mind making flat-out false statements (which you can always claim were “hyperbole” when caught) you can swear that Mwenda is actually a spy and a traitor and deserves to be locked up.

If this is too much trouble, (it unfortunately involves some reading) you could go the easy route: listen to Ofwono Opondo on Spectrum and parrot whatever he says.

Because otherwise these things of going through 2,000 words that amount to nothing more than “Andrew Mwenda was arrested nywee-nywee-nyweee The West is bad”…

gayuganda said...

Aiiii Baz,

that is uncool.

DeTamble said...

GUG...are you standing up for 27th? I'm...surprised :-)

~ScotchBiscuits~ said...

thanks for the pictures!!! thanks a helluva lot.

gayuganda said...

Hi deT

why are you suprised?

Remember, the cows (AND CAR, Muko) have not yet been delivered.

And he is one of my bros now. So, up in arms to defend the car...,, er, I meant the revolution!

DeTamble said...

50 cows and 2 red Chevrolets? Right?

Haha. Red Car. Red Revolution. Red Blood.

He needed a gay brother. Someone to talk some sense while he goes ranting off :-)

gayuganda said...

Dont say that. He might disown me...

gayuganda said...

hey deT,

you know, we are safe here. He is off commenting on other blogs. Doesnt comment on his.

So, go ahead and abuse him. He will not hear!

DeTamble said...

Woah Bro! You're so right! I can't believe I never thought of that! Eh man you too smart :-)

But I can't think of anything to abuse him about :P

And he won't disown you. If he does, I'll leave to. I would never tolerate someone who didn't like you.

Oh, thought of something. Yo 27th! You look like Shirley Temple! You look like a nine year old girl!!!

gayuganda said...

Shirley Temple?

tame, tame, tame. He will just shrug that off.

Tell you what will get his goat? Tell him that a certain ... guy ....

Fill in the blanks. He will be MAD!!!!!

DeTamble said...

Ohhh I already wrote that :P Didn't you see what I copied into that thing last night :P

The 27th Comrade said...

@Iwaya: For one, I'm not torn between Mwenda's case and anything. I'm not even against Mwenda's case getting coverage, or fairness or whatever. I just hate the way, for example, some people have started a Facebook group (as though these ever achieve anything, in the first place) over this routine bad thing, and never for the things that are infinitely worse (oh, but they don't get you thought of as a grand warrior for the democratic ideal, so they not worth even a blog post).
My anger is probably because I'd not get nearly half as much attention if I was arrested on terrorism charges at a UK airport.

@Princess: The rants are the abnormal case, these days, if you've noticed. They are not back - they are going away. :o)

@Peace: Exactly my point. This is our deplorable version of the Missing White Woman Syndrome, sadly.
You can see from these comments the kind of reaction Mwenda prompted. Now, everyone knew about that Hassan Mutegombwa guy - nobody talked. I'd just get one-word congratulatory comments if I went on for pages about why Mugabe is bad, and why democracy is the only hope, et cetera, et cetera. Or that Mwenda should be left alone. This is the substitute for worse things like ... thinking inside the box and absence of (intellectual) freedom. :o)

@Cheri: Yeah, I've seen that some pro-Tibet protesters were arrested. But it shows something: they were arrested for their havoc, not their ideal. But that's not what the headlines will tell you. :o)
Also, Blogger's a piece of absolute crap with the comments. :o( It locks me out more-often than it lets me in.

@Dennis: I don't stop Mwenda's mother from feeling bad about this. Indeed, I think I'd feel horrible if I even barely knew Mwenda. The problem is here: those crying for Mwenda (the ones on the Net, for example, the ones with no real attachment outside of the desire to feel part of the group that supports the hottest intellectual on Earth) are framing this as an apocalyptic Sign.
Hmm. How about when I get shot? No, I don't matter. <--- That's what my spirit is against.
These people going "hohoho" about Tibet and Mwenda are doing it to get laid. It's cool, so they do it. They don't really care about anyone, or they'd care for everyone (the general case).

@Baz: be my rant consultant. :o) Let's go.
"How about declaring that Mwenda was arrested legally and that we should let due process take its course before condemning Museveni?"
I've said that before, you know. And it is my point here. I'm sure you can locate more than one "could be guilty" in my rant up there. I don't want people to think my rant sounds intelligent, because it isn't. :o) It's not designed to sound intelligent, just like usual Internet content.

"Of course that beggars the question, and only works if Mwenda WAS arrested legally and if all his rights were fully observed."
Who cares? It's not my point here. I chose to assume they were not observed. This is not about that superficial a level of concern. I'm talking about the millions of people for whom we don't ask this question, leave alone starting Facebook groups for.

"[...] and then since you don't mind making flat-out false statements (which you can always claim were `hyperbole' when caught) you can swear that Mwenda is actually a spy and a traitor and deserves to be locked up."
No, keep that to yourself. Me, I chose to say "could be guilty". That implies a probability.
In a case like this, I'm unlikely to use hyperbole (which is a style element - "he was a huge as a baobab"). But let me see ... there is some hyperbole in that post. If you catch it, I'll tell you it is hyperbole. Don't read me literally. It's dangerous. :o) Be ye discerning in all that thou doest, and apply wisdom in all thy ways.

"If this is too much trouble, (it unfortunately involves some reading) [...]"
Hahahahaha. I thought I had hidden my reading phobia well! :o) Give yourself thirteen points.

"[...] listen to Ofwono Opondo on Spectrum and parrot whatever he says."
Hmm. I know he's prabably defending the government, or some such thing. Well, that's not what I want to do.
I prefer your MO: read the BBC, et al, and parrot what they say. It's cooler. It's what's done by people who read. (Maybe you'd not have discovered I hate to read if I had been the one to start the Facebook group.)
I prefer to follow groupthink, because that's cooler. I prefer to say that Mwenda's arrest was wrong - that's way, way cooler. I'd be getting one-word congratulatory comments, rather than whole ... tens of words of comments.

"Because otherwise these things of going through 2,000 words that amount to nothing more than `Andrew Mwenda was arrested nywee-nywee-nyweee The West is bad'..."
Verbosity being the sin, or the conclusion? I warned, dude. This isn't for those who can't sit through "silly rants". I put a dismissal somewhere in the first paragraph ... You should have obeyed. :o)
On the conclusion: well, I know I'd not be sinning (by this your scale) if I had ended by saying Andrew Mwenda's arrest was a rape of our society, blah, blah, blah. You, in this comment, set yourself up to be the kind of person I'm talking against in the post.
Plus, if you had read it (I know you did, you do read), you'd see that my summary is not that the West is bad. That's a fact I touch on in my long (largely narcicistic meandering). Yes, the West is bad. But that's not the conclusion.
This post amounts to (because you missed it): you, and everybody else, has not mentioned the boy the Brits (bad West) arrested. But you're batshit crazy about Mwenda (even though you don't know if he's guilty or not). This post hates you and the likes of you more than it does the West. Sorry you missed that.
Now write something coherent about Hassan Mutegombwa. Let me guide you: say that the law should be let to take its full course. Start now. Go. Go! :o)

@GUG: Gotcha!!! :o)
Actually, DeTamble is right. Need a saner voice within ear shot.
GUG, a certain guy ... ??? I don't believe any of that. :o)

@DeTamble: But ... I do like GUG. It's even cool to have a gay friend. Show him off to girls and dare them to lay him. See them fail to break the ice at all. :o) Even better if it results in those girls appreciating your availability more ...

DeTamble said...

Oh trust me GUG is making you look pretty damn good and available right now :-)

gayuganda said...

I am making the communist look good??????

How weird!!!

How very weird! Very, very weird!

Well, I had not thought of it that way, communist! Will go back and mull over it. A fag hag is the word, isnt it deT?

gayuganda said...


thought of something.

Of these rants, get to one of them first, and tell bloggers to vote whether or not they have read the rant from beginning to end...!

Maybe educative, found myself failing!

DeTamble said...

Sure GUG. I'm scoring socks on the next one and there's nothing you suckers can do about it! Because DeTamble is the psychic assassin! And her feeds are just totally awesome! :P

Fag hag? I'm not familiar with that term...maybe you should do some more educating I think!
You are making him look good because he isn't a prude like some people *glares*

Denda said...

dude, you took that tv on top of a building? but you guy i find your style too complex. i never understand you. that's the problem.

gayuganda said...

Well, well, well;

communist style, that is. TV on top of a building, not hidden away in ones house. So that the people can all watch

[as long as I hold the remote control, that is]

gug (on behalf of 27th, I hope!)

duck, here he come roaring...

The 27th Comrade said...

Wow, GUG. I've never been happier with any comment, even my own. :o)

On top of the building, so that everybody can watch! :o)

bazanye said...

UPDF spokesman Paddy Ankunda speaks on the Mwenda arrest.

So that you can have informed opinions.

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