Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

La La La La La

August 14, 2006 as I write. I began a similar entry on the first of August, but encountered delays. This notation appears merely to inform readers of the date above that I cannot, in fact, see the future.

It's been weeks since I've written anything. The reasons for this are duller than even blog enthusiasts are accustomed to enduring, but to commemorate my return, I've decided to deny any problems exist in the world. There is no Hezbollah (this might, in fact, be true because no one can seem to agree on how the organization spells its name, a strong indicator of fictitious entities). There was no vast terrorist conspiracy uncovered on August 10, 2006. And let's hope there aren't legions of talking heads still asking the rhetorical and unanswerable question: how safe are we? We aren't completely safe, we've never been completely safe at any point in human history and most of the time we don't know we're not safe until we're dead, dying or injured. Can you dig it?

But this is good news. Chew on it for a while just so you can forget the World War III forecasts and other indicators of doom that the rest of the media enjoys imposing on you.

At the end of last month, the citizens of Congo went to the polls for the first time since 1960. Known as the Belgian Congo for much of the Twentieth Century, President Joseph D. Mobutu changed the name to Zaire and changed his own name to Mobutu Sese Seko. Shortly after his death in 1997, it was rechristened Congo. A nation of vast natural resources, but also turmoil and poverty for as long as most of us can remember, Congo is by no means a stable and placid locale today, but the July 30 election went reasonably well and perhaps a legitimate, popularly elected government can help quell what might best be described as "mini-wars" taking place in various parts of this enormous country. Among the 32 candidates for President, the frontrunners are incumbent Joseph Kabange Kabila, who took office following the assasination of his father, Laurent, and millionaire Jean Pierre Bemba. Harvard-educated Oscar Kashala is something of a dark horse candidate, and the man with far and away the best name is 60 year old economist Pierre Pay Pay. Results should be determined by the end of August.

Elsewhere in Africa, Ghana and the United States signed the Millenium Challenge Compact late last month, providing nearly 550 million US dollars in aid. By no means a wealthy nation, Ghana has nevertheless managed to avoid the bloodshed and bitter conflict many of its neighbors have recently experienced. The agreement aims to promote economic growth and it is hoped Ghana's most destitute citizens will benefit from plans to focus on rural agriculture, community development initiatives and transportation improvements. For now, it's mostly talk, but at least it's good talk.

You want more? According to the Indianapolis Star--my hometown paper and one that loses no opportunity to report and sensationalize bad news--race relations in the city of Indianapolis are improving. Not in a dramatic, earthshaking sort of way, but slowly and deliberately, which is perhaps the only way such things can occur. Indianapolis does not have a history of high-profile, dramatic racial antagonism, more of a slow, dull backwardness and heavy doses of denial. For example, the city lucked out on April 4, 1968, the night Martin Luther King was assasinated. Robert Kennedy, who in two months would be murdered himself, happened to be in town to deliver a speech. When news of Dr. King's assasination arrived, Kennedy made an impassioned plea for restraint and reflection that was largely heeded. This certainly can't be considered the sole reason there were no large-scale riots in Indianapolis the night of Dr. King's murder--as there were in most major US cities--but it's one of them. Of course, some seized this story as evidence black citizens in Indianapolis were perfectly content with the current state of affairs and not disillusioned and angry like they were in much of the rest of the country. Very funny.

Still, according to polls recently conducted in the city, it appears black and white citizens share a good deal in common and get along with one another reasonably well. I regret referring anyone to the Indianapolis Star to read the particulars, but I'm not going to parrot their statistics, either.

It's Funny Because It's True

1. I have a witness for this one. While passing the Indiana School for the Blind, I read a message on their sign outside the gates: Welcome Back Students, it said. Seriously.

2. Observed outside a garden supply shop: Japanese Beatles Are Here. Beatles? You mean, John-san, Paul-san, George-san and Ringo-san. Those in the business of plants and gardening ought to at least know the difference between beetles and Beatles. Strawberry fields forever...

3. At one of my previous jobs, employees grew weary of Canadian Geese and their generally noisome behavior. They swam in the retention pond and nested among the shrubs and bushes near the building. To combat this nuisance, someone somewhere (management, I presume) got the bright idea of building fences. Fences. Vast lengths of bright orange, plastic fencing were erected around the perimeter of the building and the retention pond. Sadly, this plan was ineffective. Geese, as it turns out, not only have wings that enable them to fly right over fences, but they are also notoriously scornful of property rights. They not only dismissed the hint they weren't wanted there by the presence of the fences, but would not even have obeyed "No Trespassing" signs had they been posted.

See, there is good news. In Africa, at home, and perhaps best of all, you, dear reader, are not nearly as stupid as most people. Take solace in that. And I'll just keep sitting here with my hands over my ears, denying the existence of Hezbollah.


Anonymous Cinnamon said...

lol love the Beatles pun crack me up

14 August, 2006 23:32  
Blogger sarah said...

love the quip about ther blind school! Sureley not! LOL!

20 August, 2006 09:29  

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