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, November 13, 2006

Chad and Jeremy

Small wonder St. Louis, Missouri rated number one in the country for violent crime; the mayor is named Francis Slay. Slay! Seems like this ought to have been a tipoff for St. Louis voters. Who was Slay's opponent in the last election? Sally Beaten-Todeath?

Wither Chad. That's the country I feel most sorry for right about now. Bad enough to be named for half of a tedious British Invasion duo (I notice "Jeremy" doesn't have his own country, which must rankle him), bad enough to have the world's most rapidly shrinking lake due to drought and irrigation needs, bad enough to be destitute, rarely mentioned, arid and have a capital city no one outside Chad can pronounce--how do you say "N'Djamena", anyway?--but now Chad has a refugee problem compliments of Sudan's troubled Darfur region. Darfur represents one of the planet's most pressing crises and the global response to it has been a quick and emphatic, "What's Darfur?" When is this going to be addressed and who will be brave enough to confront it? And what action would be most responsible? This is the problem with international politics: no simple answers and inaction can be as lethal and dire as action.

One problem with Sudan is the chief instigators of the conflict don't sound very menacing. They're a loose collection of warriors and mercenaries, probably operating under tacit approval of the Sudanese government, known as the janjaweed. This moniker seems better suited for an unattractive but harmless variety of crabgrass, as in "I can't seem to get this janjaweed off my lawn", or a dancehall reggae number, as in "Janjaweed, Janjaweed, is what you need, all night long", or, in a similar vein to the last suggestion, an especially mesmerizing type of marijuana, as in "Hey, man, you wanna buy some janjaweed?" Something to which the name doesn't seem at all applicable is a band of murderous semi-soldiers who engage in a practice eerily akin to genocide. Would you run if someone said, "Look out! Here comes the janjaweed." More than likely, you'd probably snicker. My, the world is a depressingly comic place. Or is it comically depressing?

Funny how many Republicans who suffered a beatdown in midterm elections were pointing the finger at President Bush for their defeat, claiming the party could have retained control of at least one chamber of Congress if Bush had given Donald Rumsfeld his walking papers sooner. It's true the Bush administration is inexorably tied to the GOP's latest setback, but lest we forget Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert and Jack Abramoff; there were plenty of missteps even without the President. But it is refreshing to see that Democrats aren't the only ones eager to blame George Bush for everything.


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