Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Feel Like Bazungubucks Tonight.

I went out tonight to a nice gathering of friends to watch some recorded music performances. What fun it is to enjoy music in the company of others! So It's late and I only a few things to say.

First of all Potash writes me to say that the Kwani? blog is up and running. The outage was short-lived. There a lot of good writing about the situation on blogs and Kwani? is a good place to start. Bloggers provides much needed nuance, especially for Western observers. Kenyan Pundit has two dozen diaries written by Kenyans in Kenya an abroad. It is possible to underestimate how fragile the situation is, but so encouraging to see so much engagement.

I had one too many drinks tonight, probably, so my brain isn't firing on all cylinders to come up with something snappy. So I turned to the Slogan Generator for the title of the post and Says-It for the cassette image. It's fun to think labels, but as I say I'm lazy tonight and could have used some sort of generator for the fields to make the cassette image too.

It was a little startling to get a note from Potash and a comment from Daisy, as it's comforting to think nobody reads the blog. But what's the point really if nobody reads it? So I'm very appreciative of readers.

One reason for slacking off posting is that I've been posting at a social network called Ned which I'm very fond of. It's nice to be part of a conversation. I'm comfortable there because, so far, nobody's complained too much that I never seem to get to the point. Good writing, like anything else, requires practice. Sadly, it requires considerably more; and whatever that is, I'm not sure I'll ever acquire it.

Michele Martin writes a very valuable blog, The Bamboo Project. Initially it was intended as a resource for non-profits and government organizations, but her posts are of interest to a wide audience. From a post, Blogging When You Hate to Read or Write I got turned on to a cool new Internet tool called vozMe which will convert text into an Mp3 file so you can listen to text. I was curious to find out what "I" sound like. I copied my last post into the file and listened to the computer generated voice read my post. I could stand to learn to use punctuation better and spell check. Nevertheless the post seemed to make more sense than I thought it did.

Another reason I got off blogging, was having set up links to this blog at places like Afrigator, I began to worry that this blog was just adding noise to the African blogosphere. Now, this post is noisy, no doubt; I am a bit noisy. But the Kenyan election debacle, made me realize that African blogs are very important to me. Early in January I was very keen to find out that people who I know through the Internet were okay.

Reading about the situation in Kenya through American eyes has made me examine more closely American foreign policy in the region. My influence on government policy approaches zero, but is not quite; I can make a little difference. All along the idea for Bazungu Bucks has been to encourage others, particularly other Americans to give a care for African people. The surprise has been that by writing a blog some Africans have given a care for me.

I'm awfully easy, as a line from a John Prine song goes, "You like me, I guess I'm going to have to like you back." The lively communication across borders can help people to care more broadly. That's why I feel like Bazungubucks tonight.

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