January 7, 2009

Meanwhile, America is stuck with David Broder

International Bureau Chief Slutwench sends this New Year's column from our official new favorite pundit, Binyavanga Wainaina of the Johannesburg, South Africa Mail & Guardian.

If you have canine instincts, now is the time to piss on the four corners of your life so you can lift your nose and smell this month for the rest of your life.

Now that's a tough lede to live up to, but Wainaina (isn't she one of the Judds?) only picks up steam from there, with nary a let me explain to be seen (though, for once, it may well be called for).

I babysat my nephew when he was a toddler. It was quite a mission. He loved window ledges and highways during traffic jams. He would start off in the morning, moving slowly. By evening, his body was on fire.

If you did not keep him on a strict diet and timetable, he would wind himself up and by nightfall he would be spinning and gurgling helplessly, his mind shut down, his body unable to stop itself...

But you can swoop down online, to a suburb of Bangalore, and measure in carats the love of a man for his wife; you can measure in international kilograms and sense the exact sum of desire that doctor in Sao Paolo has for that Hummer. You can watch him on Google Earth on a Sunday, screaming out of his driveway and tearing up a hillside, spinning his alloy wheels round and round, as he sips his four shots of black, syrupy Starstrucks™.

Somebody somewhere is blowing a whistle. We can’t hear it.

Our pecs, our abs, our surging buttock muscles are busy pumping and every three minutes is equal to 99 US cents of thumping throbbing surround-sound inside our tiny pretty earphones....

Soon we are hovering above the voting booth. You lean forward, hands on knees, breathing hard, on November 4. When you lie on the grass, your $3 000 carbon-fibre bicycle thrown carelessly to the side, watching the crowds in every city in America crying or cheering on your iPod, the sun in your eyes. You lean to the side for some shadow.

It will take 10 minutes to feel truly tired and free. You nap under the naked and dangerous sun, the election forgotten, the results not yet out. Your dog runs free in the park.

You walk home slowly, your bicycle a crutch, your iPod shut off, your ears confused by the muffled sounds of suffering life around you.

You are sick to your stomach at what you see. There is rubble and garbage everywhere. And a thug is lurking in the bushes. Bikes are hot property all of a sudden. Hip-hop jars the ears.

All the people in your street are sitting on their stoeps reading books, plaiting hair, sniffing and kissing each one another.

But it's alright, Ma, I'm only getting paid by the word.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


You had me at "surging buttock muscles."

That's funny, I could've sworn I commented earlier today. Huh. Well, it was awfully insightful.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2