Day 69.5

November 21st, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

As you were probably thinking, it was high time that we broke free from the straitjacket of incrementing the blog entry numbers one at a time (next whole number, which is in itself pretty conservative). We are probably still too timid to break with other conventions, e.g. making the numbers always increasing, always positive, etc etc. For the moment, let’s just contemplate a new picture.

kobkeYou probably know (but I didn’t) that it’s Christen Købke’s bewitching 1837 ‘The Northern Drawbridge to the Citadel in Copenhagen’. Let me pause to moralize on how I discovered it; it’s one of the few pleasures I still have left.

I was in the National Gallery today, seduced by pretty posters (perhaps that’s the wrong word) featuring Schiele’s tortured self-portrait into shelling out for a rather disorganized exhibition of Viennese portraits ca. 1900. Coming out dissatisfied, I wandered up to the free part of the NG. Why I wondered, be anywhere else? Why waste your diminishing pension on over-hyped exhibitions when you can be lost among the Manets, Cezannes, Pissarros and what not (not to mention Caravaggio, who featured in these pages a long time ago), and pay nothing? And among all these, to discover Købke (to come to him, finally), whom no one had told me about.

Let’s put the music spot ahead of its usual place this week, just as part of a programme of disturbing expectations. It’s the world-renowned – if perhaps not yet hugely popular (2,995 hits) – Latvian Radio Choir singing ‘Mythes étoilés‘. Watch out for fireworks as 1:42!

Refugee update

Human Rights Watch has been reporting on the situation of Palestinians who, escaping from Syria, end up in Egypt. As you can imagine, it’s not good; the report is at http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/11/10/egypt-syria-refugees-detained-coerced-return. ’More than 1,200 of the detained refugees, including about 200 Palestinians, have been coerced to depart, including dozens who have returned to Syria. As of November 4, approximately 300 people remained arbitrarily detained at overcrowded police stations, 211 of them Palestinians.

2013_Egypt_Abu QirA group of men from Syria held at Abu Qir police station in Alexandria in September

A Palestinian father who had set sail with his 3-year-old son, a brother, and 4-year-old niece, told Human Rights Watch that, “We faced a tough choice: go on the boat and risk our lives for dignity or return to Syria to die.”

According to the Egyptian government, 300,000 Syrians are in Egypt, of whom UNHCR has registered over 125,000 as refugees. There are an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 additional Palestinians from Syria currently in Egypt, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Since July 8, when the government imposed restrictions on their entry to Egypt, Syrians have had to acquire visas and security clearance in advance to enter. They have typically received a one-month visa, which many have overstayed, refugees and lawyers told Human Rights Watch.

Egyptian authorities initially sought to prosecute those detained from the ships on charges of illegal migration, but, in the cases of at least 615 refugees represented by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and in all two dozen cases documented by Human Rights Watch, prosecutors dropped charges and ordered them released. National Security — formerly State Security Investigations, a bureau within the Interior Ministry — has ignored release orders, though. It has instead ordered police to detain the refugees without any legal basis and to tell them that they will not be released unless they leave the country at their own expense. Under pressure, detained refugees have been departing Egypt on almost daily basis in recent weeks.’ And, as you have probably heard, they have been – like other refugees – boarding boats, being picked up and detained by the Egyptian authorities.

Today’s philosopher is Hypatia of Alexandria (otherwise known as a mathematician), probably a Platonist, rationalist and non-Christian; who was a notorious victim of Christian fundamentalism:

hypatia

Some Egyptian lady, probably not Hypatia
‘Some of [the Christian populace], therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them. This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church.’
Says Socrates Scholasticus, usually reliable I think.
I was about to make a facile comment about Alexandria, women philosophers, and plus ça change. But when has it been a good time or place to be a philosopher, one might ask? (And do we care? Is the condition of philosophers an indication of the health of society? Discuss.) Look at Socrates, Giordano Bruno, and numerous eighteenth-century philosophes who were thrown into the Bastille. One wonders about famous good times for philosophy - the Left Bank in 1945, or Stanford in the 2000′s. Were conditions better?
Here, for any of you who escaped the temptation to play with matches on Guy Fawkes’ Day, is the terrible warning of Paulinchen aka Harriet from Struwwelpeter. I have neither the technology nor the patience nor the time to reproduce all the pictures, but the one below gives the general idea:
Harriet
Paulinchen war allein zu Haus,
Die Eltern waren beide aus.
Als sie nun durch das Zimmer sprang
Mit leichtem Mut und Sing und Sang,
Da sah sie plötzlich vor sich stehn
Ein Feuerzeug, nett anzusehn.
“Ei,” sprach sie, “ei, wie schön und fein !
Das muß ein trefflich Spielzeug sein.
Ich zünde mir ein Hölzlein an,
wie’s oft die Mutter hat getan.”Und Minz und Maunz , die Katzen,
Erheben ihre Tatzen.
Sie drohen mit den Pfoten :
“Der Vater hat’s verboten !”
Miau ! Mio ! Miau ! Mio !
Laß stehn ! Sonst brennst Du lichterloh !”Paulinchen hört die Katzen nicht!
Das Hölzchen brennt gar hell und licht,
Das flackert lustig, knistert laut,
Grad wie ihr’s auf dem Bilde schaut.
Paulinchen aber freut sich sehr
Und sprang im Zimmer hin und her.Doch Minz und Maunz, die Katzen,
Erheben ihre Tatzen.
Sie drohen mit den Pfoten:
“Die Mutter hat’s verboten !
Miau ! Mio ! Miau ! Mio !
Wirf’s weg ! Sonst brennst Du lichterloh!”Doch weh ! Die Flamme faßt das Kleid,
Die Schürze brennt; es leuchtet weit.
Es brennt die Hand, es brennt das Haar,
Es brennt das ganze Kind sogar.Und Minz und Maunz, die schreien
Gar jämmerlich zu zweien :
“Herbei ! Herbei ! Wer hilft geschwind ?
Im Feuer steht das ganze Kind !
Miau ! Mio ! Miau ! Mio !
Zu Hilf’ ! Das Kind brennt lichterloh !”Verbrannt ist alles ganz und gar,
Das arme Kind mit Haut und Haar;
Ein Häuflein Asche blieb allein,
Und beide Schuh, so hübsch und fein.Und Minz und Maunz, die kleinen,
Die sitzen da und weinen:
“Miau! Mio! Miau! Mio!
Wo sind die armen Eltern? Wo?
Und ihre Tränen fließen
Wie’s Bächlein auf den Wiesen.
It almost makes me cry to tell
What foolish Harriet befell.
Mamma and Nurse went out one day
And left her alone at play;
Now, on the table close at hand,
A box of matches chanc’d to stand;
And kind Mamma and Nurse had told her
That, if she touch’d them, they should scold her.
But Harriet said: “O, what a pity!
For, when they burn, it is so pretty;
They crackle so, and spit, and flame;
Mamma, too, often does the same.The pussy-cats heard this,
And they began to hiss,
And stretch their claws
And raise their paws;
“Me-ow,” they said “me-ow, me-o,
You’ll burn to death, if you do so.”But Harriet would not take advice,
She lit a match, it was so nice!
It crackled so, it burn’d so clear, -
Exactly like the picture here.
She jump’d for joy and ran about
And was too pleas’d to put it out.The pussy-cats saw this
And said: “Oh, naughty, naughty Miss!”
And stretch’d their claws and raised their paws:
“‘Tis very, very wrong, you know,
Me-ow, me-o, me-ow, me-o,
You will be burnt, if you do so.”And see! Oh! what a dreadful thing!
The fire has caught her apron-string;
Her apron burns, her arms, her hair;
She burns all over, everywhere.Then how they pussy-cats did mew,
What else, poor pussies, could they do?
They scream’d for help, ’twas all in vain!
So then, they said: “We’ll scream again;
Make haste, make haste, me-ow, me-o,
She’ll burn to death, we told her so.”So she was burnt, with all her clothes,
And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground.And when the good cats sat beside
The smoking ashes, how they cried!
“Me-ow, me-oo, me-ow, me-oo,
What will Mamma and Nursy do?”
Their tears ran down their cheeks so fast;
They made a little pond at last.

DAY 69 – Satan

November 14th, 2013 § Comments Off § permalink

Many articles and draft chapters of mine lie abandoned having 
[At this point, I not only lost the wifi at the Wellcome Library, where I was composing this text, but some 200 carefully crafted words went into some black hole of the internet, lost and gone for ever. Shame on you, Wellcome! Give me back my words! What follows is a feeble attempt to reconstruct them.]
run into insuperable problems, crashed on the rocks of the indigestible word ‘neoliberalism’. We all know what it is, the cost in terms of closed hospitals, broken lives, the sacked workers, the cut benefits, the starvation, the misery, the insolence of office, the law’s delays… Sorry the mind wandered off as so often. But the fact remains that the word doesn’t have the buzz which makes it easy to (e.g.) get thousands of SWP members shouting ‘Neoliberalism OUT, OUT, OUT!’; or, in my own composition for the crowd at the Emirates:
‘We hate Hayek and Friedman; We hate the IMF too; We hate neoliberalism; but Arsenal, we love you.’ (Tune of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.)
No, it doesn’t seem to create a counter-hegemonic thrust. So after much reading Gramsci and a few Mars Bars, I’ve come up with the idea that we should borrow from our Iranian brothers and sisters and replace it with the term ‘Satan’.
Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils circa 1826 by William Blake 1757-1827
Satan smiting Job with boils
It’s short, it’s easily shouted; and if you’re in a crowd in Trafalgar Square, the chances are that most of them are against Satan. (Those that are for him are probably doing bad stuff in some back alley.)
[Another side issue: What's all this talk about an 'ageing population'? I'm ageing, and I don't know anyone in the population who isn't. I did a random survey, and the 3% who claimed not to be ageing were clearly in denial. There were many who saw ageing as an advantage (they'd be able to buy cigarettes or get a Freedom Pass). Stop talking about it as a problem, and, if I may coin a phrase, grow up.]
My redrafted book now starts:
‘Satan’s first victory was the CIA inspired coup against Allende in Chile in 1973; but the major success for Satan arrived with the installation of the so-called ‘Washington Consensus’ in the 1980s under the leadersip of Reagan and Thatcher. The Satanic IMF forced the governments of Africa and Latin America to dismantle their welfare provisions and sell off national assets to overseas investors; the result was naturally the wholescale indebtedness of Africa, with accompanying crises of famine and disease.’
Put this way, it all looks completely logical, and Satan, like Terror, is a worthwhile enemy. This blog now calls on its faithful audience to declare war on Satan, and to have nothing more to do with him.
There were complaints that a previous recipe (what can that have been?) was too boring. To compensate, here, pirated from the Metro, is a potato and harissa cake supplemented with cayenne pepper and Scotch Bonnet peppers. It’s clearly powerful stuff  - you could add some tabasco if there was still a faint flavour of Maris Piper. To look at Metro readers on the Tube, as I do frequently, they look a pretty quiet bunch; but judging from this recipe, I’d steer clear of one of their dinner parties. If it started with such a potato pie, it might end in crack and strip poker.
Cook this tonight: Potato and harissa cake
Make this delicious potato and harissa cake (Picture: Oli Jones)

The humble potato with hot harissa will satisfy any spice lover.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-4)
5 Maris Piper potatoes, halved
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
90g spinach
½tsp sugar
1tbsp harissa paste
1-2tsp cayenne pepper
2 scotch bonnet peppers, sliced
10ml olive oil
½tsp salt
Black pepper

METHOD
Step 1:
 Parboil the potatoes for 10min so they are semi-cooked. Drain and cool. Grate the potatoes into a mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper and stir.

Step 2: Sauté the onion in a frying pan with olive oil. After 4min, stir in the garlic and Scotch Bonnets. Fry until the onions caramelise, then mix in the spinach and sprinkle in the sugar. When the spinach wilts, add seasoning to taste. Cool a little then mix into the bowl of grated potato, stirring well.

Step 3: Pour some olive oil in a frying pan on a low to medium heat. Add half the potato mix and flatten with a spatula. Spread the harissa paste over evenly and sprinkle the cayenne pepper across the surface. [Hey, hadn't you added the cayenne pepper in Step 1? Is this more?] Pop the rest of the mix on top and flatten, then cook for 10min.

Step 4: Flip it over by placing a large plate on top of the pan, then fry until the potato is cooked, about 10min. Top with some butter to serve if you wish.

Step 5: Light the blue touch paper and stand well back.

 

It’s going to make my fingers ache typing it, and it belongs in an earlier episode of this history (am I becoming obsessed?), but I can’t resist Jo Shapcott’s poem ‘Scorpion‘ which I came across today:

I kill it because we cannot stay in the same room.  I kill it because we cannot stay in the same room with me sleeping. I kill it because I might look away and not see it there on the wall when I look back. I kill it because I might spend all night hunting it. I kill it because I am afraid to go near enough with glass and paper to carry it outside. I kill it because I have been told to. I kill it by slapping my shoe against the wall because I have been told to do it that way. I kill it standing as far away as possible and stretching my hand holding the shoe towards it. I kill it because it has been making me shake out the bedclothes, look inside my shoes, scan the walls at night. I kill it with two fast blows in case one isn’t enough. I kill it because I can. I kill it because it cannot stop me. I kill it because I know it is there. I kill it so that its remains are on the heel of my shoe. I kill it so that its outline with curved sting remains on my wall. I kill it to feel sure I will live. I kill it to feel alive. I kill it because I am weaker than it is. I kill it because I do not understand it. I kill it without looking at it. I kill it because I am not good enough to let it live. I kill it out of the corner of my eye, remembering it is black, vertical, stock still on the white wall. I kill it because it will not speak to me.

Gentle readers, you who have been complaining that I present poetry and music sans commentaires, without any critical analysis, I feel that the above piece, with its naked emotion, does something to justify my position. Plus there are any number of bloggers out there with Ph. D.s in critical theory who are better placed to write a couple of pages on Visions of Johanna (say). Let them.

So, to move from scorpions to lice: here’s Bert Brecht singing his ‘Lied von der Unzulänglichkeit des menschlichen Strebens.’

 

 

DAY 68 – Diwali

November 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Ages ago I made one of those stupid promises to honour religious festivals as they came along, in an ecumenical spirit. This has been pretty uneven; I think that while recognizing Nawruz and Easter early on, I missed Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Aid al-Adha in the last few weeks alone; and now Halloween, All Saints’ Day and the Day of the Dead seem to have passed by (don’t they all crowd in around now?). So it gives me special pleasure to note that I haven’t completely missed Diwali, which started yesterday. diwaliWho could be against the triumph of light over darkness, or of good over evil, or the killing of the demon Narakasura by Krishna? Or, for that matter, eating sweets? I had no idea, till I read the various sources, how many things there were to celebrate in how many ways.

Meditating, during some riveting reflections on gender and spirituality, on the Biblical warrant for Christian – or indeed Judaic or Islamic – homophobia, there doesn’t seem to be that much beyond a couple of chapters in Leviticus. (‘Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.’) But Leviticus, which demands death for adultery and won’t allow you to eat prawns, is nobody’s favourite book.

Much more interesting, as Proust realized, is the question of what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was visited by two angels, and, if you believe the story, the men of Sodom asked Lot to bring the angels out so that they could have sex.

Lot riposted that this would be an abuse of the laws of hospitality – he didn’t say anything about the question of same-sex relations. Unlike many commentators, he probably recognized that angels don’t have gender as such, even if having sex with an angel breaks some other rule. (But it might be fun?) Instead, he proposed that the men of Sodom should have their own way with his daughters, who were virgins. At this point, as so often in the Bible, one begins to wonder about ethics and what Lot’s virgin daughters thought about his proposal. (Assuming there were more than two Sodomites, it rather looks as if Lot was proposing not s much marriage as gang rape. And people still call it the Good Book.)

As Christopher Marlowe pointed out – at least according to the spy Richard Baines – Jesus had different tendencies: ‘That St John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned alwaies in his bosome, that he vsed him as the sinners of Sodoma.’ So it’s unclear why born-again Christians should be homophobic at all.

Leaving this subject to the specialists (I refer you to the Queer Theology  website), I’ve been asked to explain about the time by one or two friends. Not as in the question ‘Have you got the time, mate?’, nor as in the works of Kant, Bergson and Heidegger; but rather in the mundane sense – which only occurred to me when I was about thirty – of why sunrise and sunset (as posted in the newspapers) aren’t an equal distance from 12 o’clock. For example, today in Budapest (random example), sunrise is at 6.35 a.m., sunset is at 4.19 p.m. Halfway between the two is a time called ‘solar noon’, which is apparently – work it out – 11.27 a.m.

Many years after I’d first been puzzled by this fact, I tracked down an encyclopedia of astronomy which gave the beginnings of an explanation. It’s called the ‘equation of time’, and if the word equation gives you stress, I’m sorry. The point is, that the sun doesn’t move at an even speed. (Okay, the sun doesn’t move at all, but you see what I mean.) So the interval between high noon and the next high noon is sometimes more than 24 hours and sometimes less; coincidentally, around now is about a maximum for the clock and the sundial to disagree. If you can find a sundial to tell you anything in this weather.

What do you mean ’24 hours?’ How are you measuring time, if not by the sun?’

I’m glad you asked that. I suppose you might be referring to a clock (pendulum? quartz?). They all have their defects. And once you get into the theory of general relativity, you’ll find that you can’t be sure about your measurement of time at all. Still, I leave you to work it out – isn’t physics wonderful? – that we agree on what it would be for the length of a day to be constant, and that it isn’t. Why should it be? The earth, as it moves round the sun (that’s what we say these days), is on a slanting axis; it wobbles; the sun isn’t at the centre. To suppose that all this would result in days which all have the same length would be too much. So the astronomers fix one ‘noon’ in the year, call it 1200 hours, and average out so that we end up with 365 days of the same length.

Except for the slowing down of the Earth, and so on. Oh Christ. How did I get into this? And ‘leap seconds’, which are decreed from time to time retrospectively when it’s found that we’ve lost some time somewhere. Heidegger had no idea. Go to Wikipedia, entry ‘Zulu time’ (I kid you not).

GreenwichWoolwich

 

 

 

 

 

Greenwich                                                                                         Woolwich

Has it ever occurred to you that Greenwich, where the time is, or used to be, determined, is a stone’s throw away from Woolwich, the traditional British home of WMD? Love has pitched his mansion in the place of excrement.

Today’s poem is by Vicky Holder; a search of the internet shows no other poems by her, but this one is very popular if you want to recite something at a memorial ceremony for your pet gerbil (this happened the other day, and Maya found the poem), or rabbit or snake or scorpion. It will reduce the most stony hearted pet-owner, or pet-owner’s grandfather, to tears. Keep writing, Vicky! Get back to the iPad – you’ve obviously hit a vein.

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

Back to Diwali for our music slot – a seasonal number by Lata Mangeshkar ji which the Youtube uploader describes as a ‘beautiful devotional song about Sita requesting Ram to accompany him during exile’. Fireworks away!

DAY 67 – Scorpio

November 1st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Indeed, readers, this time a week ago I was in Accra’s University Hospital A&E (not currently threatened by government cuts to the best of my knowledge), recovering from a scorpion bite. (I was bitten in the toe while waiting in the lunch queue. ‘Have your lunch anyway’, said some; ‘Go straight to hospital’, countered others. The pain, I must admit, was such that I passed up the fish, jollof rice, garri and plantains and tottered into a waiting cab.)

scorpionBy a strange coincidence this (to the credulous readers of papers such as the Evening Standard) was just about the moment when the sun moved out of the sign of Libra, and into the vicious and unbalanced Scorpio. I’ve pointed out a while back what’s wrong with this sort of low-grade astrology – (i) only the sun sign is counted and worse (ii) even that’s wrong, since owing to the precession of the equinoxes the sun isn’t in Scorpio anyway but (I think) in Libra, or even in Virgo. I appeal to readers to clear the details up.

Anyway, the hospital, to which I’d been transported by the efficient and caring Institute of African Studies, shot me full of painkillers, and by the evening I was dancing hilifes. The emperor scorpion (which it probably was) is not reckoned particularly venomous, and many of those internet weirdos seem to keep them as pets.

Nonetheless, in my perhaps biased opinion this attack was a neoliberal plot, occurring as it did hours after I had given a brief invited address in memory of my father; the occasion being the fiftieth anniversary of the IAS, which he

IASThe Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies

helped to found. I append my text, and you may see why it seemed worth putting a 75-year old ex-academic out of action. [I'm sorry if this post is a bit over the usual wordcount as a result. Moreover, the style is more formal than my standard vernacular, being designed for all these dignitaries and what not.]

GHANA TALK

 [Your Excellency Mr. President, Your Excellency the Vice-Chancellor, Director of the Institute of African Studies…, fellow rank and file toilers in the fields of African studies:][1]

First, greetings to this conference on behalf of Thomas Hodgkin and his family, 600and my gratitude to you for your invitation. It gives me great pleasure to be here, all the more since this is my first visit to Ghana. When, fifty years ago, my father Thomas was involved in the setting up of the University, and more particularly of your Institute, I had hoped to visit; but the 1966 coup put a stop to that, and to  Thomas’ presence in Ghana. I have long wished that I could make my own African journey.

Here I’d like to insert a self-indulgent memory. In 1956, when I was a schoolboy of 17, my father – for reason best known to himself – took me to accompany him to the Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris. I was amazed. I can recall Jacques Rabemananjara, Aimé Césaire, Richard Wright… and Frantz Fanon was there, making contact with Thomas on behalf of the Algerian FLN. What extraordinary beginnings those were – and what a flowering of all things African we have seen since then, as this conference witnesses. It led, as we know, both to a renaissance in African culture, to the movement to overthrow eurocentrism in history and the social sciences (and hence to your Institute); but also, of course, to a further development in continental solidarity against colonialism. For the figures  have mentioned, like many African writers of today, were political activists. Study, creativity and politics went hand in hand.

cesaire

From Michael Wolfers’ biography of Thomas we see clearly that he and Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah collaborated in bringing the Institute of African Studies into being, seeing it as vital to the new University; its aim being that of ‘studying the history, culture and institutions, languages and arts of Ghana and of Africa in new African centred ways’. This was an early attack on what we now call eurocentrism. My father would, I know, be overjoyed to see the Institute not only surviving but flourishing in such diversity – with a range that extends to philosophy, to music, dance and visual arts – and to gender studies, not yet in their cradle in 1963.

As a close friend of Nkrumah, who in his last writings warned against the scourge of neocolonialism, I am sure that Thomas would, on the other hand, support you in your struggles against the wreckage that its modern counterpart, neoliberalism, is imposing over all of Africa – indeed worldwide – in the form of a ‘hostile global order’. I found this appropriate term in the declaration of the 2002 CODESRIA Accra conference on ‘Africa’s Development Challenges’. This statement, born in Accra, is an impressive testimony to the work of African scholars who wish to reassert people’s power in the global economy.

Near the end of Thomas’ time at your university, Comandante Che Guevara

chepaid it a visit of solidarity; at that time a continental guerrilla movement against imperialism was on the agenda. Today perhaps our hopes are focused on a less military mass movement within civil society, and the work such as your institute promotes can show the way forward. I wish you strength and hope in the continuing fight for international justice, for an end to racism, to class and gender exploitation.

 


[1] I found as I was waiting to give the address that you had to start with this sort of preamble, so adapted it slightly with the pseudo-Maoist extension to the toilers.

Well, as I’ve already said, this post is overextended, and if I’ve moaned too much about my pain, which is infinitesimal in relation to the pain of the world, then tough. However, as a result, I think I’ll skip the poetry slot; I have used a poem by Kofi Awoonor in an earlier post; and Ngugi wa-Thiong’o, at the closing banquet, read a poem for Awoonor which I can’t access. So, just to conclude with some non-academic music, here‘s a gospel track from Mercy Ohemaa.