Friday, February 10, 2006

In His Words- Fanon

I was attempting a well thought out post- for once- when power went out. I am hanging on now with ten minutes on the UPS, so I am going back to basics. Telling an off the cuff me story.Yet one more of my random thoughts. I am just moving my hands over this keyboard. Fingering it and getting the thrill of words forming on the rapidly fading screen. I am no technophiliac. It is not the beauty of word processors that is getting me all wet. It is the words. I love words. The are beautiful. They allow me pretend to be smart.When I have nothing to say I can always trust a big word to make me sound knowledgable. Let us see how this post pans out.....uhm..

Have I said I am a pseudo- intellectual. Well, I say it again. I quote books, writers, and sages I have never read. I never read
Fanon, for instance, though I wish I could. Don't tell that to others though, it will ruin my authority as a bar room conversationalist. Imagine, me walking into a bar and these yuppie guys are debating race relations or something; and potash goes:

"I have no wish to be the victim of the Fraud of a black world.My life should not be devoted to drawing up the balance sheet of Negro values.There is no white world, there is no white ethic, any more than there is a white intelligence.There are in every part of the world men who search.I am not a prisoner of history. I should not seek there for the meaning of my destiny.I should constantly remind myself that the real leap consists in introduction invention into existence.In the world through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself."
(Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks, 1952)

That will intrigue them. The yuppies will lose themselves in mental acrobatics trying to decipher the meaning of the quote. They will keep the drinks coming as they seek my insight. Insight that I absolutely don't have because I just picked the quote from some website, and have no way of putting it in context as I have never seen the preceeding text. But I have to afford my next beer, now don't I?

And affording it doesn't necessarily mean buying it myself. It is a sorry life that I live. And it ain't easy, every day trying to put beer on the table. Feeding off these streets that never pay no more. Sometimes I yearn for the good old Nyayo days. When they looted state coffers and pumped the money into the streets. I mean the president bought my moms banana's at Kinungi. Two bananas for a freshly printed five hundred bill. The bill was so fresh the President hadn't even signed it. But he was a sport, he took out another big fiver and bought a black Bic from Kamanu who just happened to be selling Bics that day. (Well the chief had asked all the hoodlums to try and look respectable on that day) The president, without missing a stride signed the bills with the black Bic.

How is that for road side Legal Tender. Beats an official State House press release on billions recovered. Billions that you only know about because they told you they exist. But if they are siting at Central Bank- if they actually are- how do they increase the sufurias of ugali at Mutua' s Kiosk?

Now the power is fading out, the UPS is screaming...what am I even gonna call this post? What was it about anyway?


Kaunda said...

If "intellectual" means given to exercising and developing your intellect, you certainly qualify. The location where you ply your intellect needn't detract form the seriousness of your pursuit.

>I should constantly remind myself that the real leap consists in introduction invention into existence.

Perhaps the online world seems even worse a place than a bar for your intellectual exercise. Then again, what's wrong with either place?

From some of your other posts I know you're very interested in practical inventions, e.g. finding a way to make public toilets pay.

The quote you selected about "the leap" seems really appropriate to what your doing. The intellectual and practical aren't really so far apart and the key employment is bridging them--"introduction invention into existence."

chepkemboi said...

I love this post.

LOL @ the yuppies mentalacrobaticking !!

I've never read Fanon either, but the way he's being bandied around by kina Keguro and WM, I might have to.

mshairi said...

That is an interesting post, Potash. I think it is important to read Fanon but you dont have to read him to feel it/him is my opinion.

p.s my only complaint is the blue typeface on black. Makes it difficult to read for these tired (old) eyes:)

Keguro said...

Oh, dear, no Fanon? He's like Enid Blyton. A must read every year.

(He had some interesting things to say about Kenyatta and class and corruption. Plus, he's simply a breathtaking writer. Seriously.)

I'm such a propandist for him, I'll subsidize a copy of Black Skin/White Masks (nione kando, as they say.)

POTASH said...

Well, thanks to all for passing by. It feels good to finally have an audience.

@John, as always thanks for the support.

@ Chep. Fanon I suppose is a must read. If you read across disciplines you tend to encounter him a lot though, even though he was a psychiatrist, I would broadly classify his writing under Pan Africanism and Revolutionary literature. Strong emphasis on Black Liberation.

@ Mshairi. I am still getting the hang of blogger. As you can see, I haven't even done much with the side bar. I am making this a better reading experience in due time. Meantime, get a neat pair of glasses and watch this space.

@Keguro. Lol ati fanon is like Enid Blyton. Well, I have to admit I learnt basic English from Reading her back in primary school. Oh and didn't we all go through a Phase when we wanted to be one of the Famous Five. (That was before the boys became Hardy boys, and the girls turned into Nancy Drews, with a monkey face.)

I am saddened though that they didn't teach us much of our own writers. It is no wonder Taban says ours is a literary desert. Blame the teachers for not teaching us to think like the Africans that we are.

But there is hope still. Everytime I read your blog I know there is hope. That there is still some of us able to express themselves in the Idiom of our people.

POTASH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Acolyte said...

Well thought out and written.I have never considered my self an intellectual at all just a member of the proletariat, I am often accused of over simplifying mind blowing concepts by some of my proffesors but thats just me, a simple man holding his own among intellectual giants....

POTASH said...

Lol @ acolyte. You are a member of the Proletariat? I hope you do not assume that class cannot achieve intellectualism. I mean, look at me...i try..i try, really I do.

Msanii_XL said...

I just started reading Fannon (black skins, white masks...Fascinating, I Keep running to the dictionary time and again(Keguro help!..)...I suspect I will read it more than twice to "completely" grasp what he was trying to say...

theemmas said...

fanon quite intriguing. Words. Each time a piece of work is read, a writer grows. Words never die. Like the blog