Friday, October 21, 2016

The Weekly Sneak: What Just Happened?

Somewhere between Trump and Buhari I had a Major Feminist Attack* and decided to write about chauvinism. And then I got completely lost in my own essay. You see, what I wanted to do was comment on the fact that we're still living in an era where men find it normal- beneficial even- to tell women what their place in life is. 

But then I got way too deep into discussing the biological aspect of it and trying to tie together very disparate sciences. And then I got completely lost. By the time I was trying to come to a coherent conclusion the essay was already bizarre, my deadline was long past me and I had no strength left having expended it all on whatever fugue state I was in. 

So. I like the essay but yes, it might be slightly inappropriate in tone and topic for a stuffy middle class rag like the East African. My editor has decided to print it anyways.** Have a good weekend. 
"We've all been raised with the usual barnyard talk about how males have testosterone and big and strong and ooga-booga hormonal drive and that's why they gather in clumps at street corners and catcall and roofie your drink. Truth is that women also have testosterone in rather respectable quantities but they also contend with the behavioral suggestions put forth by their friends progesterone and estrogen. The main difference seems to be a very interesting mismatch between supply and demand for intercourse."

Yes, it all goes downhill from there. I blame David Attenborough's horrid influence on my innocent young mind. 

*Major Feminist Attacks happen when an overwhelming rage is triggered in a feminist by some public incident she has no way of rectifying. They vary in severity but at their worst can result in homicidal behavior. Mine just make me hate every complicit adult for the part they play in making the world a shittier place than it should be. Then I get over it, mop up the blood and move on. 

** I love my editors. However, all things considered, they are supposed to be the voice of reason that holds my cray-cray in check. Sometimes I wonder about them. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Weekly Sneak: An Illosophy of Protest

I am in Grahamstown, South Africa. It is such a unique place. So many characteristics that I find particular to South Africa seem concentrated here. A University town and South African to boot, it is very 'diverse'. The friction of the mixture is like a scent in the air.  A slightly buttoned up malaise mixed with friendliness, as opposed to the brusqueness one might experience in Johannesburg. 

And the students are protesting as part of the fees must fall (trademarked yet?) movement. I was kind of hoping that the entire town would be gripped with tension but nope: it is perfectly calm as things go on as usual. The most drama so far was listening to some protesters chanting a couple of nights ago. Anyways, it felt like a nice opportunity to do some stream of consciousness writing. Blame it on being in a University environment, where the world loosens it's grip a little bit on absolute certainty:
"...I am now watching students chase other students out of classrooms and libraries and dining halls. Staff are hastily closing shops and eateries, the journalists documenting all this are clearly doing so by surfing the crest of the protest wave so they can record the dismay and harried faces of the people being swept out of the way of this movement. Irritation is certainly competing with the envy I feel for these South African youth. The culture of protest is deeply a part of the political dynamic of this country I am visiting and has been used to great effect. There's always a dark side, though isn't there? 
...The saying is that the only constant is change. The question is what amount of agency we have over this change when we try to engage in it. Where do movements move to? I don't know and perhaps it does not matter. Perhaps our duty is simply to move at all. I am back to envying the South African students, and wondering whether I should hope for the same dynamism back in my own polity." 

I think I am still a bit sore about UKUTA... and didn't even know until I started writing. Not because I am a member of the opposition but because I believe that opposition as a principle is the yin to the yang of stability- and where the two grapple we get dynamism. Not answers, not perfection, but movement itself. 

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter