Go Ahead… Radicalize Me!
The predictability of the EPRDF is almost astounding, but I must say that I was surprised by their stunt of the past two days. Their handling of the university students proves that their wiring is short-circuiting at an even more rapid rate than I imagined. People drunk with power always make that one fatal mistake that not only expedites their downfall but annihilates their legacy.
The only government in recent history that has managed to squelch an extemporaneous student uprising is the Chinese government when it started gunning down students in
Most of the people in the EPRDF were students in the 70s and they, of all people, should know the very organic nature of a student uprising—let’s see… you’ve got yourself hormones which are going haywire, plus a sense of invincibility, plus a sense of immortality… add to that a sense of righteousness and you got yourself some kind of combustion a’brewin’: there’s either going to be a massive orgy or a massive political outcry… one of those is going to happen (the lucky people in Woodstock had both.) So instead of letting students blow off some steam and being seen as a benevolent master, the EPRDF saw it fit to storm universities in
The very people who were students in the same university in the 70s, who, by the way, got a lot of leeway from His Imperial Highness to express whatever half-wit Marxist gobbledygook they speed read the Cliff Notes to, should know that students can’t be easily made to shut up when they are frustrated. Don’t they remember the fire in their belly as they screeched “Land to the Tiller!” outside the palace gates? Could anything have made them passive observers during those times? And yet they expect the students of today to be sedated. Oh, puleese! (By the way, whatever happened to “Land to the Tiller”? How is it that the government is the sole owner of land in
So, thirty years later, the same people who held daily protests against the monarchy and told their fellow students to rise up and be heard are now giving orders to mow down students who want to be heard. The same people who said Mengistu was a ruthless dictator are now saying that they are “enforcers of law and order” when they beat up unarmed students. The EPRDF has become a bad parody of itself. I guess it is true that we all eventually become the very thing we hate the most.
I guess no part of my eloquent discourse on how PM Meles and EPRDF have an opportunity to be the de Klerk of
I was particularly dismayed that they did not heed my advice to lull Baghdad Bereket, EPRDF’s hapless Misinformation Minister, into the basement, push him in and slam the door behind them because he was at it again today with his tedious ramblings. As predicted, Baghdad Bereket blamed the Opposition for “inciting” the students. Oh, as if! The EPRDF’s long laid and painfully transparent plan to flex its military might by using any incident as a pretext for “protecting the public” is so deplorably lame and unforgivably inept that I ain’t advising them with nothin’ no more! How long before leaders of the Opposition are thrown in jail…? 3…2…1…
PM Meles and the EPRDF sealed their fate yesterday by making an amateur’s mistake of trying to smother a student movement. Who advises these people? Is it me or had they previously managed a much more sophisticated ship? Did they forget that no one likes seeing a government plough a teenager with a rifle? And those of us on planet Earth also don’t like seeing the excruciating anguish on mothers’ face staring back at us. It makes us think that you are creepy.
And thankfully, the AP has also come to its senses because you will notice that the Meles government has been terminally downgraded from “considered to be one of the most progressive in
That was quick, wasn’t it? One day you’re sailing along as the most progressive thing since tofu Tibs, and the next thing you know you are running a “sometimes authoritarian” regime. Round up a few more kids and let a few more pictures of tormented mothers pop up on the internetz and by the end of the week you’ll be “Meles’ hard-line Marxist dictatorship." That’s a few steps away from “freedom and God-hater.” God speed. (People are already referring to the prime minister as “Meles Zarkaawi”.)
It’s a new era for Ethiopian politics… especially the past two days. The most amazing thing that I have noticed since Monday is the brisk radicalization of two previously sedated groups: ET yuppies in the Diaspora and our laid-back “
Let me explain.
My parents returned to
Considering that my father has been faithfully apolitical since they hauled off HIM Haile Sellasie in a Volkswagen, the news stunned me. I frantically asked my mother how she could let him go to Kotebe unescorted by anything more, um, substantial than the zemenawi ye azawintoch kibeb, to which she replied, “It’s your father’s duty.” What?! I reminded my mother of our heated discussion before the elections because she intimated that she was going to vote for the EPRDF because… well, she was never one to rock the boat. My mother, in the only way my mother can, said quietly, “Inezih… kibr mywedilachew sewotch tadiya…”
And thus my parents started back what they never finished in the 70s: protecting the defenseless. When I spoke to my father tonight he told me of stories of people talking some soldiers into letting the kids go… of clergymen yanking out kids from government trucks. The EPRDF has no idea what it triggered in people.
And then there is us—yesteryear’s lethargic yuppie Ethiopian Diasporans who had vowed not to touch Ethiopian politics with a ten-foot pole. When you manage to radicalize over-achievers like us, you are in for at least some nuisance because we are a royal pain in the ass. We have the time, money and know-how to be thorns in your side. And you know what we hate more than gussied up Marxists? Gussied up Marxists who beat up kids and make mothers cry. It takes a lot to rile us up, but in that rare case that we think something totally sucks, well gee-golly, we are going to do something about it.
PM Meles might think that there will be a “no color revolution”, but he may not want to dismiss the internet and corporate savvy hedonists like us who have a pronounced chikonet afflicting us. Like I said, the EPRDF has no idea what it has triggered in people.
So there you have it—the Great ET Yuppie Awakening… the Fuschia/Ecru/ Magneta Revolution. Or, better yet, the Byte (Me) Revolution.
I have been playing the Teddy Afro CD so much that my son can now hum some of the verses of Yasteseriyal. My son’s favorite part is when Teddy says “Ityopiyayae.” Whenever that verse comes up my son sings… “Ityopiya…
And when someone attacks Ityopiyaye, our fangs come out.
(for more pictures from the past three days click here)