A must read from one of the nation’s most brilliant thinkers and writers.
I keep finding myself in conversations with people who whip out the word ‘bourgeois’. Some are loud and proud about it. Others mention the word in hushed tones, serving it up like they would a sly wink. Regardless of the approach, I wince.
The ‘poor African’ stereotype is a particularly strong one. Those who do not fit within it become deeply sensitive to it. You do everything you can to defy, avoid, subvert or destroy it. It’s not that non-poor Africans are arrogant or in denial. It’s that there is more than one African. You can’t herd everyone under one label, and where existing labels do not fit, people will find or create new ones.
At times, however, the new labels we find and create push so far in the opposite direction that they lose touch with reality. The label ‘bourgeois’ is – to me – one such step too…
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Since my last post (haven’t bothered to check when) some good and bad things have happened to me. And there they are, in no particular order of importance.
1. I got a new haircut ( Didn’t take pictures of my last haircut) and trimmed my beard
I hate being bored or be left doing the same over and over again. So every so often I like to change things up in my life and includes growing a beard after getting tired of my babby-bottom-smooth look or shaving it all off and going for a quazi Buddhist monk look.
Off topic: Some studies have shown that growing a beard shields your face, at least some part of it, from UV rays (I’m assuming these UV rays are bad for men alone).
And the reason I don’t take many photos of me looking scruffy is because most of the time I know I don’t look good but I do it all the same just for the fun of it. It’s different from what I’m used to and that’s all that matters. But by limiting the amount of photographic evidence of my grooming misfires, I also limit the number of what-the-fuck-where-you-thinking moments when I’m going through my photos as an old man.
2. Got a new crush…Well not exactly a crush but read on
First of I don’t know if calling my feelings for her a crush is appropriate. I’m too old for one , I think. At 28 I know what I want and what I don’t want. Yes, I do 🙂
Crushes are for pre-pubescent and pubescent kids (with their accompanying scent) who don’t know what to call what they’re feeling for this girl or boy in particular. Why her, why does she make my stomach grumble even though I just ate? Why does my heartbeat go funny anytime I see him?
Some people say that at thirty you’re decided on which course to take in life. You become set in your ways, until you make a cozy bed for yourself with the earthworms and bugs in your casket. I feel this at 28 so I know exactly what I’m feeling for her.
I told her that I liked her when I should have told her I am in love. But I think I made the right decision of revealing dial number six on the scale of feelings since I told her this over the phone.
I hate talking about weighty issues that should be talked about in person, on the phone. And my friends it doesn’t get any weightier than this believe me.
But the good thing is the ice is broken. Part of the chill of starting up conversations has dissipated. And this I like a lot so we’ll see how things progress.
3. Tackling my stutter head on
I have spent so much of my life shackled and paralyzed by my stutter. And so for the past couple of weeks I have decided to finally face it head on like a fearless bull fighter or a drunk Liverpudlian facing this same bull.
Stuttering has shaped my life for better or worse.
For better because, it’s shaped and molded me into one hell of a tough bastard. At least inside. Outside I’m still a wimp. But don’t test me 😉
For worse because it’s retarded, or more accurately I’ve allowed it to retard my growth from boyhood to manhood. Proper manhood.
So what I’ve been doing is paying closer attention to my speech and not neglect it like I’ve always done and only kick myself for failing to work on my fluency when I start stuttering badly in some tense situation or other.
PS: I apologize if you were expecting me to have climbed Everest, gotten married, had a son , speed-read my way through 300 books, cycled around Ghana or learned tap dancing or Alkayida or accomplished some other great feat.
I live a boring life.
But it’s mine 😉