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.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

He'll Need It (Get It?)

Of course I am concerned about the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, the Times Square Bomber, and the Economy That Is Sort Of Recovering But Not Very Fast and there is no doubt I am (marginally) interested in US Primary results, the general election in the United Kingdom, and the financial crisis in Greece, but the really important news today originated in Nigeria.

That's because, following the unfortunate death of Umaru Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria is Goodluck Jonathon. It's not a joke or a hoax or a typo, it's his real name. Actually, he's been acting President for months, ever since Yar'Adua's debilitating illness forced him to seek treatment outside the country, but now it's official.

If you were not already aware of this news, what you're almost certainly doing now is Googling the name "Goodluck Jonathon" to discover if your leg is being pulled, your chain yanked, your beard tweaked. Knock yourself out.

Convinced yet? Well, all reet. It can't be real, but it is. We are treated to seemingly unreal reality often enough, but typically in unpleasant guises. The September 11 attacks didn't seem real at first, nor did video footage of the Tiananmen Square Protests, nor, I suspect, did the televised murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Okay, so this isn't exactly the Fall of the Berlin Wall in terms of Pleasant Surprises That Seem Fake But Aren't, but we have to take what we can get.

The bad news is, Goodluck Jonathon probably can't live up to his own name. Who could? And Nigeria remains a troubled, violent, and corrupt country. It is also West Africa's greatest economic power. President Jonathon has vowed to fight corruption and promises election reform. If he delivers, he can become more than a historical punchline. But even if that is his legacy, it could be worse. He has almost indisputably the best name of any global leader in history, and that includes Dag Hammarskjold and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

So let me be neither the first nor the last to say to Nigeria's new leader... well, no. But the sentiment is there, my man.


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