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.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Carmen Miranda vs. Arizona

Indiana Pacers' swingman Stephen Jackson will probably end up with some kind of community service following an ugly incident at a night club recently. A good service to the community would be shooting former Florida congressman Mark Foley--and anyone who molested him, if Foley's claims are true--but of course, Jackson would probably miss. What's all the fuss over Jackson's actions anyway? So he went 0 for 5. What else is new?

John Lennon's birthday has passed and thankfully I was nowhere near a radio the whole day. Nothing like hearing "Imagine" 500 times! The radio executive version of that classic seems to be: "Imagine that John Lennon... wrote only just one song" Amazing that a songwriter as prolific and diverse as Lennon seems to have been reduced by radio to a ballad singer, just one more thing for him to be bitter about if he were still alive.

I try to write about positive developments in Africa, as the continent seems to receive very little attention except when it comes to devastation and horror. But this slice of horror is difficult to look past without comment. It seems Wolde-Michael Meshesha, an investigating judge in Ethiopia, has determined police shot or strangled 193 people during a protest against election fraud last year; this figure represents about three times the number initially reported by the government. If the government is willing to admit the police murder defenseless people, why would it be coy about how many? No doubt foreign investors champing at the bit to do business in Ethiopia were appeased by the government's report last year.

Government: Two hundred people killed? Whaddya mean two hundred? The cops only killed about sixty five.
Foreign Investor (to his venture capitalist friend): See? It's no big deal. Only sixty five people were killed.
Venture Capitalist: How many is sixty five?

What's with Ethiopia, anyway? Like Bangladesh, the nation seems cursed with a combination of ill luck, gross mismanagement and freqeuent interenational indifference. There were the Concert for Bangladesh, We Are the World and Live Aid, but what happens on a day to day basis to lift places like this out of squalor? It's a shame, really. Ethiopia is one of the world's oldest, most beautiful and most storied countries, and yet remains mired in a cycle of misery.

There's always a group of parents outraged about something--rap songs, video games, cheerleading, Harry Potter books and role playing games--but yet to incur the wrath of the busybody-officious-tell-others-how-to-live-pretend-to-be-a-good-parent-when-I'm-really-just-a-meddler crowd is Zydeco music. Just say the name out loud, parents. Doesn't it sound like something evil lurks within such a moniker? Zydeco! Clifton Chenier. Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band. Get with it, concerned parents. The real demon of our society is being allowed to flourish unobserved.

I'm just trying to help.


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