I was listening to one of my favourite Zimbabwean musicians, Thomas Mapfumo, who sings revolutionary ‘Chimurenga’ (guerilla) music.
I fought him when I was young. Wanted to kill him and all his gook buddies…
And signed up with Special Forces just as soon as they would have me to do just that.
Until I found the gook in myself one day
and let I have a little chat with me…
So, one of Thomas’ songs, sung in Shona so I don’t get the words, but the tone and the meter is like a kind of ‘whiteman prayer’, like 3 hours into the Ride of the Valkyries, I recall it from my reactionary childhood, the kind of song that is intoned heroically from the ramparts of your citadel.
perhaps he was takin’ de piss..
And I wondered if Thomas was expressing what Martin Luther King called, ‘the nigger in the black man’s wood pile’, the introjected rascism of the overlord, ingrained with time and defeat’s oppression.
Maybe him just got an inner Episcopalian, like you got an inner gook…
And the meter of Thomas’ song reminded me of a poem I wrote as an entirely indoctrinated boarder at The Last Colonial Fascist Academy for Boys, complete with grenade screens, blast walls, evacuation practice and teachers armed like Rambo.
So this poem got into the school magazine. It was less the rhetoric than the mounting trills of sentiment, an adolescent Blake encountering Brunhilde in a sunlit mountain glade, a khaki ‘tomorrow belongs to me’.
And yet for all that I could never remember the names or the needs of my own neighbours.
One was an old man of nearly one hundred, bent double he was, an original member of the heroic Pioneer Column that forged its way across the Limpopo,
and into the great nation of Matabeleland back in 1885 or thereabouts.
You’d think a budding young fascist poet would want to know the man or at least remember his name..
or ask if he needed anything… .
but the shining hero isn’t always particularly interested in other people, barring the opportunity for a photo shoot. After all, those that are worshipped are also depersonalised. So whilst I would bask in the glow of his reflected glory, the exploits of which were already part legend, it wouldn’t occur to me that I might assist him with the gate or help him carry his shopping.
And this is why the hero myth is sometimes not what it says on the tin and doesn’t feed the soul for long because it has sacrificed the Principle of Relatedness for the bling of unblemished armour.
Transformation can not ensue. The projected dark brother, and the split this causes in Consciousness, prevents anything fruitful happening between the hero and his virginal prize, even if he does vanquish the terrible dragon.
Which is why even the redemptive image of the harrowing of hell was not sufficient to obviate the need for centuries of papal armies..
part with your toenails for God, missus?
The problem with the One System system is that it is bound to give rise to single perspectives, or if you prefer,
one track minds
and one track feelings, or if you prefer,
And well it might, considering that having a single system is like having only one string to your instrument..
and what if some bastard cuts it…
which, poetically enough, is exactly what happened to the first great hero of the single system, Gilgamesh, who was left at the end of the day without his elixir of immortality or the Great Dragon Prize.
It also happened, oh best beloved, to his mighty city Uruk, poetically fed by a single river which one day decided to run a different course…
like you do..
leaving the great city, a great mound, in a great desert of great…silence.
symbolic confirmation of why paranoia is sometimes a good idea.
you can’t just chop down the Great Mother’s sacred grove and float it down the Euphrates without the divine feminine visiting some riteous affliction on you…
only She might take a while to get around to you…
enough time for you to struggle with making the connection….
Something Unknown is doing I don’t know what….
a mounting refrain of Life unlived….
When alla those unplucked strings start playin’ and dancin’ by theselves.