Friday, June 02, 2006

A Note to You Blogo-Shiftas

It’s been going on two weeks since the Ethiopian government blocked opposition websites. That makes Ethiopia the first African country to dabble in this kind of blatant cyber roguery. But petty vindictiveness runs deep in EPRDF waters; the government banned Teddy Afro’s wildly popular and reconciliatory song, Yasterseriyal a while back., where most of us write prose celebrating the EPRDF’s phantasmagoric, hate-hate relationship with everything decent and democratic, is totally blocked in Ethiopia, although people have been able to maneuver around the block. A-list Ethiopian Blogspot bloggers, Coffeechilisun, Egoportal and Semminawerq have figured out a way to keep posting, thank God, or else we would have been stuck with the teeth-gritting-ly mediocre media bit player, the Ethiopian News Agency, to tell us how a bunch of unnamed, peripatetic American tourists are sagely opining on Ethiopian current events.

Mesqel Square confirms the blockage in his latest post, and that the ETC has been mum about it. (Only an Ethiopian government apparatus can say nothing about such a serious subject and get away with it.)

On the other hand, however, the Minister of Misinformation, Ato Berhan Hailu, scion of world class sneerer Bereket Simon, was more than happy to paste together a few incoherent thoughts for the VOA. …………………Oh no.

"I do not know which Web sites are blocked, but the government has no intention to do that," Berhan says. "We know that there are illegal and unethical media here in Ethiopia, but the government has no intention to do such a reaction."

Sounds about right.

And the answer to your question is, yes, EPRDF apparatchiks are required to hermetically seal their cognitive thought processes from what the rest of us call reality.

We figure Ato Berhan probably doesn’t have a prepared statement about this issue, so, here… here is a little something he can mumble when someone else asks him about why the government is blocking websites. And Ato Berhan, you’re welcome!

Thank you for letting me speak on this issue. I received a letter from a … Reporters Without Borders about this, and as I mentioned to Mr. Borders, the Ethiopian government has no intention of blockaging these so-called blogs, although we all know they are illegal and anti-peace, designed to usurp the Ethiopian constitution. These… bloggeristas think the Web of Wide World is a free domain from thenceswhich they can say anything. The government of Ethiopia, despite the lack of ethics of these bloggo-nazis, has no intention of blocking them. Instead, we would like to charge them under rule of law, and let the legal process take course. These blog-Qaedas, these chatters hide behind the space in cyber and spread their vitriol. While blocking them is an option this government has, it has no intention of such a reaction. It is important to note that the ill-behaved blogo-nostras don’t have the decency to shut up while we hunt them down… if, that is, we were interested in shutting them down.

Anyway, the bottom line is, I don’t know what sites are blocked because we in the government don’t read scribblings from the blogofascists Therefore, if we don’t read the, then, how can we block them? These are trumped up charges by the vocal Ethiopian electronic mailistas in the diaspora.

Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority has offered a couple of troubleshooting points, and we urge citizens to follow the following procedures before complaining to a Mr. A. International:

a) duct tape your computer with plastic sheathing for a period of 1-100 days

b) open the back and pull on some wires- does not matter which

c) download the program “blogshevists.exe” from the ETC website

d) boot down your computer

Again, thank you for the opportunity to clear this up.


Action Item: Tell the story. Take five minutes to tell the world.

Matt Craven is COO of Blogmedia: email- matt [at] blogmedia [dot] biz.

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Red Herring

Farhad Manjoo is tech staff writer for Salon. Email: farhad [at] salon [dot] [com]

Bidisha Banerjee ( and Melonyce McAfee ( cover the blogosphere for Slate.


Anonymous mamite said...



2:00 PM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous jiraf said...


You should copyright "blog-Qaedas."
Off to get plastic sheathing.

3:01 PM, June 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



Can you turn on RSS on your blog?


3:11 PM, June 02, 2006  
Blogger tsegasaurus said...

Posting is still not a problem. this whole thing is pretty sketchy. next thing you know, my favorite colour will be bruise purple and the diaspora will be sending mercenaries to rescue us from dedesa 3

4:55 AM, June 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can someone tell us what rss is all about? i just read that on

you guys!

10:22 AM, June 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see your views of the newly formed AFD.
For someone as opinionated as you (and right on the mark most of the time), you have to join the fray and enlighten your faithful readers.

9:01 AM, June 04, 2006  
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