Monday, November 10, 2008
There have been a fair few changes to the world since I last posted. Peace tables (laid out in all their Amin-ostentation) in The Congo, workable closing times in Westchester, Parramatta, Kawaguchi. Roads and highways deserted but for the few shift workers and idle dreamers the world can still afford. Australian cricket ordinary. Our enemies machine-gunned to death. May we never have to stoop so low again or cross paths so tired and out of breath.
And then, of course, there is Obama. Who inherits all this. Who stands there like a Christmas tree, all crow-faced-coddled-foundling, (my own constituency), smiling the world into tomorrow. The gift of a truly great orator, I suppose. To alert you to the steaming pile of shit you're standing in, and to its ripe (but not always cogent), potential. And still be holding the adapter, grinning, waiting for the angel to light up while you all argue over the last dram.
His work begins, as mine has, by opening a decent Atlas (believe me!) and flipping through the pages. As I followed this time-honoured protocol, I couldn't help noticing how many great cities of the world had their railway hubs sign-posted THUS, and how many of their cultural hubs signposted thus, or in even smaller font. No wonder Sarah Palin didn't know Africa was a continent and not a country. She couldn't read the font.
I spent six months of my priviliged childhood in a very white and priviliged Africa. That is not my point. Africa is not my point. Africa is a continent with too much of the wrong attention paid to it. Like the library of a dying town. Only journeymen have taken Africa's wars beyond. Otherwise war has been an import.
Tomorrow marks the 90th anniversary of the moment the guns were supposed to fall silent all across the planet. So it begins, so it ends; a very Hegelian little war.13 million dead. Someone declares dark, the other light, and so you count down the hand. Tomorrow is Africa's birthday. No more please.
Posted by Justin Lowe at 11:39 pm