Monday, August 29, 2011

13 Years Ago BBC Correspondent Anna Borzello Wondered if Museveni was a Messiah or Megalomaniac..


The Internet, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter & e-mail, what do you reveal & don’t


I have been a blogger for close to five years. Always on blogger, though I had my flirtation with wordpress (briefly, in protest that Blogger insists on outing you if you wish to have multiple accounts and always want to maintain a secret identity, keep something of yourself back).

Blogging and blogger is one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I will always be thankful to ‘godfathers’ Ivan and Baz of Kyali for initiating me into this world. In my world of necessities, things I can’t live without (if I have a choice), blogging ranks up there with human lives and books and reading and film for me. I know, I know, but we are Madandcrazy here.

Besides if it were not for blogging, there a whole lot of people here I would not know. Pulled into their orbits because they first started commenting here, began a commenting conversation that blossomed into Facebook friendships and the bold ones broken through, insisted in hands on marble topped table conversations in coffee shops on Parliamentary Avenue, some even coming to the offices I have worked in over the last 3 years. So blogging is important to me, it is an entry route to so many things-even becoming friends with a neighbour who was a long-time reader, had never figured it the M&C blogger was the hubby to one of her best friends, well!

But my relationships are never without tension, a hint of the unspoken with depths dreaded a crisis will force examination. My relationship with blogging, the whole internet experience has always been sort of like that. Much as it gives me and much as I give back, there are trust issues. A suspicion that this is a card game or snakes & ladders, and if your attention strays a bit, your opponent will not be forgiving. The whole internet/blogging/facebook/twitter experience is life blood but you’ve got to be careful with it.

Maybe I’m a true child of the internet age. I’ve never completely trusted the fools’ gold promises of Mr. Zuckerberg or Mr. Evan Williams, appreciating that though Facebook or Blogger or Twitter were snapping brain cell ideas, ideas have to fund the rent and that is where our residence on their platforms becomes opportunity before charity. Our lives a drama to fuel interest and more voyeurs.

Perhaps that is why, while admiring the candidness of so many bloggers, facebookers, tweeps I’ve always wondered if they appreciated fully how blogger, facebook and twitter are like the Eagles ‘Hotel California’-once you check in, you can never really check out again. How many are aware that for example the USA Library of Congress has a programme to store all tweets for eternity? That with Facebook, once you get tired of the novelty and decide to deactivate your account, your account does not ‘die’ but goes into a ‘coma’ holding cell, waiting for you all the while, when you miss your facebook life on a nothing-to-do Sunday afternoon (with no wedding reception to attend, or family gathering to work out your awkwardness, trying to remember all the names of all the babies everyone seems to be with).

The persona-impression you choose to make on these platforms, on the internet (thought out or not) becomes a part of you, like the details on those Primary Seven ‘JABB’ forms may one day herald your being kicked out of a Parliamentary seat because on the eve of ‘entering’ University, knowing now what you want, you decided to alter some details. It reaches out, further than you first suspect, to inform people who have read you, followed you, or liked your photos-and now wish to know you as a friend, a lover, or even a work colleague in the trenches.

I used to think that to go online, to sign up for anything, even an e-mail account, is to lose control of your life. I have lived some more since that first 1997 yahoo email address to know that we never have 100% control over our lives, in Uganda especially-sometimes not even a referendum vote on them. But we are not totally without any control.

Sometimes the issue is, are you aware you can have some control? I wish, when I was signing up for my online life, someone had handed me a memo: Things you should know before you open that email account, or facebook or blogger! Not the legalese barely understandable for the hyper unable to read one line without clicking into another window we find before we sign up. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Hymn For The Republic, Uganda, I Still Think About You


First post since Arthur (A.P.K)

This is for you-because you are going to be better than me, on voyages I’ll never embark upon, I’m giving you all my courage and then some, & because...I’m Lost In The World…where…

"You're my Devil, You're my Angel
You're my Heaven, You're my Hell
You're my Now, Your my Forever
You're my Freedom, You're my Jail
You're my Lies, You're my Truth
You're my War, You're my Truce
You're my Questions, You're my Proof.."

Let me tell you about her. Because I loved her from the first. Even when I did not think I would ever get her. The boy in class who would not say anything, eyes on the girl, even the Maths teacher who thought she was dumb could not help have an eye on-chiding the popular boys, “You think she will care for you, when you are a failure?” spurring them on.

It was from way back, like then. The only chance to register in her consciousness on the field of play, Physical Education lessons perhaps, or behind the Primary Seven block afternoon one hundred metres races the girls would demurely sit on the mound to watch, pretending not to notice, all the time intent. Perhaps then. Or making sure, after classes, we would get a taxi that was half empty, so we could all huddle next to her-when we called and shouted, after stopping the taxi to home, though her home was nearer and mine so much further, the taxi would stop somewhere and I would have to walk the rest of the way-oblivious, going over everything I might have heard her say.

That was the intensity. Wanting her before I knew what I would do with her when I had her. Oh, so much later, full of the knowledge of all the things I would do with her and to her, all learned in the arms and embraces I should not have lain in but I did, coming as no innocent to her. But she would not know that of me. There would be no one to tell her and I had learned to be more memorable by being less adorable, a word I had come to hate, when her best friend explained to me, “She thinks of you like a brother to her...” Not what I had wanted, set out to be, learning Maths and Pythagoras so she would not have to; the soprano voice I smoked Sportsman cigarettes to get some base in, so I could stand at the back of the line, where in the school auditorium, she might most clearly see me in the choir.

I did all that and did not stop. I laughed when all the other boys laughed at the asthmatic boy who could not play rugby in boarding school cried alone, crying that with the death of Paulo Kafeero, we had lost not just a drunken musician but another national repository. Jeering with the taunting sneers, how could he so be into kadongo kamu music, though I said nothing when you confessed in one phone call, you liked country music and when Monitor FM had just come on air, it was your favourite radio on the Sundays when it would sometimes play hour long specials of country music. Before we knew what MP3s, before CDs were so cheap a packet of condoms would cost more.

I loved her. Even when I knew the men who had slept with her before me. Perhaps loved her all the more for the men she choose to sleep with. Though as I understood her better, women more, I learned the choice was sometimes not hers entirely. Sometimes it was out of fear, out of need, out of desperation. It did not matter to me. though I have never to this day been able to pass the flats and apartment in which she lost that virginity I discovered she prizes so much without a hear twitch I know one day will be the stroke and heart attack that will kill me. Still I wanted her. Wanted her more. If only in getting her, not want her anymore.  

This was when I hated her. When she had most unmanned me. And I accepted. Submitted. Became least myself to be more what I thought she wanted. Even when I was told she could not be worth it, she was just like any other woman, that I would be disappointed when the facebook albums fantasy of you met the reality. When I had her and would discover that she does not know who President Obama is, worse-does not care to know, that after a month or two, her farting in bed would not be amusing but annoying.

Still I wanted her. Even when I had almost convinced myself I did not.

Then I got her.

They were right about many things but they were wrong about one.

She is still the one I want.

I love her. Is there more to say? 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the Way Back



"Then I came back from where I’d been.
My room, it looked the same –
But there was nothing left between
The Nameless and the Name.

All busy in the sunlight
The flecks did float and dance,
And I was tumbled up with them
In formless circumstance.

I’ll try to say a little more:
Love went on and on..."

Love Itself-Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Penny Red: Panic on the streets of London.

Penny Red: Panic on the streets of London.: "I’m huddled in the front room with some shell-shocked friends, watching my city burn. The BBC is interchanging footage of blazing cars and..."

Thursday, August 04, 2011

For Kez' & all Children Who Make it all Worthwhile!

My beautiful niece Kez' made 2 on July 24-I was speechlessly grinning the whole time-2 already?! I'm biased, but I could swear she's the cutest little girl I ever saw!

"Uncle, cake?!"

Or was she saying she is 2?