Friday, January 20, 2006

Conversation Posted by Picasa


I learned from my friend Duane last night that Wilson Pickett died. Today as I was putting on my shoes getting ready to go out I played a couple of songs by the Wicked Wilson Pickett. I told Duane my first concert ever was seeing Wilson Pickett, so we talked about memory; my faulty one that is. I remembered that the promotion for the concert was a "Skinny Legs" concert and he pointed out that was Joe Tex. Yes I do believe that Joe Tex performed, and Wilson Pickett too. After playing a couple of songs I played Touch A Hand Make A Friend by The Staples Family. I was feeling in a nostalgic mood.

This week I added the Stumble Upon toolbar to my browser. It's a search tool that finds content rich Web pages according to personal interests and includes some social networking. One of the write-ups about it asks: "Ever get tired of looking at the same old Web sites?" I thought to myself, "Of course not!" My problem is getting tired of looking at too many new Web sites. Here's an example of how it happens: I was looking for the lyrics to Touch A Hand Make A Friend so entered that as a search. Among the Web sites that came up was Masturbation for Peace. As it happens the site is "content rich." In the FAQ section is this:
Do you really think that if people masturbate while thinking about peace it will affect anything?

Hard to know, but of one thing we are sure. People are going to masturbate anyway, so while doing it, they might as well give a thought to peace. A lot of people seem to have forgotten that peaceful solutions are even an option, we hope to remind them.
The question is asked: "Are you serious?" with an affirmative answer. An answer I'll take at face value, but I was curious about whether the Web site generates revenues, or is simply a gift to all mankind? In the Cool Links is a link to a site with over 1000 euphemisms for male masturbation. I'll never again think the same way about vote Republican! So far as I can see blogging hasn't yet been added to the list. My attempts at blogging makes me think it's a good candidate for addition.

When putting Staples Family into the search box this article showed up, Food Shortages Put Many Kenyans in Peril. That's something I've been meaning to blog about. It's not just Kenya affected by drought, but the whole Horn of Africa. The political situation compounds the human misery. Ethiopia and Eritrea are poised for war. And Somalia is facing a dire food crisis.

The reporting on Africa in the USA is spotty so it's very difficult to find any context for understanding. For example, this piece regarding the US UN ambassodor, John Bolton's plan unveiled January 9th. It's too short to make hide nor hair of it. This piece from Reuters' indispensible AlertNet from January 19th is short, but gives a picture of the political problem. The source of that piece was the United Nations Integrated Regional Informations Networks IRIN which is an excellent source for news of the world. The news about Africa, and this truly important story of a severe drought that imperils millions in many countries of Africa, takes effort to ferret out.

Blogs are a good way to become informed. Especially blogs that aggregate feeds from other blogs, ADMAS and BlogAfrica, in particular.

Bazungu Bucks, on the other hand: Just what are you doing reading it? I don't even have a clue what I'm trying to get at in these posts. Yet, I very much want to post because the conversation seems vital to me.

The photograph of all those books comes from the John William Montessori School in Kumsai, Ghana. I stumbled upon that site while searching for photographs of books. The news is very important, but following the news can be disheartening. I need examples of people creating something good. So I found the pages about this school and the founder of the school, Nana-Fosu Randall encouraging and informative.

Dave Pollard recently asked a simple question Who Needs Your Gift Now? Quick and snarky, I'd deny I have any gifts at all, and wonder who needs 'em? But a friend whose son is now serving a second tour in Iraq copied something of Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inaugural Speech in a family blog they're maintaining during this difficult time.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us

We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous ?
Actually, who are you not to be ?

Your playing small doesn't serve the world...
We were born to manifest the glory that is within us
It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

NELSON MANDELA, Inaugural Speech 1994
Conversations on the Internet don't really make it easy for me and my habit of trying to get away with doing as little as I can. In another place I mentioned the idea for Cracker Jack books. To my astonishment, someone I admire very much said he liked the idea. Oh Joy! And then on the same day, I got a private message from the self-same person gently reminding me of an application he wrote to manage Bazungu Bucks accounts and my blogroll. "Ahem!" Well, I've got work to do and I'm happy that the conversations initiated by this blog remind me of it.

No comments: