Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
A blog good enuf to rub on your pals face
The PES has subsided. Hurray to a massive dose of propaganda injected into us by the rusty government controlled media. I am just worried them politicians haven’t got the right amount of dose or even the right composition. Of course that means more complications.
I have boycotted the state Radio and TV! Another report on how some town showed their appreciation for the democratic and fair elections is seriously hazardous to my mental health. The news papers, oh, I am sure they can find better use for the ink and paper, like one of those funny pages in the toike that you rub on your pals face just for gags. Unfortunately, my job partly involves scanning for tenders on the state owned newspapers. I noticed today for the second time in the news papers history, they had a full color page dedicated to May 28th. The first one was the Monday after the elections, which had a color picture of a zombie from Michael Jackson’s thriller video casting its vote (I thought it was a zombie???) Today’s is even better, a rather large dove seems to be content about either crushing or making off with a ballot box. And the head line “May 28 – Historic Crown of Democracy in
Someone please pass me Addis Zemen or The Herald, my PES is acting up again!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Alternative Thursdays - Week 3 (May 19, 2005)
Revolutions per Beats: Part 2
Unlike last show, I had more guts than Attila the Hun when I came up with this weeks play list. The fact nothing but good feedbacks came had a lot to do with it.
Similar to last weeks, the songs are my response to the vibe of the week. The first dialogue was about a TV show I watched as a child, which I probably share with the non-amharic speaking folks and a disclaimer for the wrong message others got out of it.
It was the most popular if not the only children’s show for anyone in my generation. The main host of the show, Aba’ba Tesfaye, was an old but sweet man who always opened the program by pretending he can see our every move through the TV screen. For while I believed him, in a “there is rily a Santa” way. He refers to his fans, the children, as “today’s flowers tomorrow’s fruits”.
The reason I reminisced about aba’ba tesfaye was because of his habitual message about sharing our seat with the ones standing to watch the show and for the unfortunate ones who couldn’t be accommodated to bunch up together rather than standing separately. I felt this message can be a metaphor for the week we are in. I got a couple of calls condemning me for my disrespect for the old man. ofcourse, that's not what i meant.
There was also a dude who called asking for more music and less yakking. All I can say to him is - I am glad you like the music then again if you don’t like the human touch of the show you have the constitutional right to start a music only radio program ofcourse with commercial breaks. After all, Alternative Thursdays is a show with “a lot to say and plenty more to play”
- White stripes - Seven nation army
- Public Enemy - Don’t believe the hype
- Sam Roberts - Hard Road
- The Smiths - Big Mouth Strikes Again
- The Dears - Who are you? defenders of the universe
- My Morning Jacket - Low down
- Lauren Hill - Mr. Intentional
- M.I.A - Pull up the People
- Dezarie - Strengthen your mind
- Radiohead - You and who’s Army?
Friday, May 20, 2005
Post Election Syndrome (PES)
The word of the week is “Teremes” (ambiguity) and the highlight of the week was PM Meles’s press conference the evening of the election banning any kind of public gathering and putting all security forces under his command for one month. I am confused as to what his intentions are.
For something that happens every five years the election was pretty disorganized, some polling stations didn’t open till late therefore had to stay open till the morning of the next day, which was a big inconvenience for voters who already had to endure hours of lineup. oh, there were a few polling stations that run out of ballot cards. That being said, the polls went peacefully, nothing major happened besides a few arrests here there, a case of a few thousand pre-marked ballots (someone was kind enuf to help out with the voting) and missing ballot boxes. The military presence in the city has gone down since the election but I still don’t get the need for jeeps with machine guns and rocket launchers mounted on them.
Official national results won’t be released till
Be it EPRDF wins the election fair and square with the votes they get in rural areas, it makes me wonder how they are going to establish a government with out their “cream of the crop” when there is no potential new comers the public is aware of. Even if these people make it to the federal level because their party won just like the previous election, how are they going to cope with the public rejection? Let’s assume they have sold their shame for a lump of coal and they take their previous posts like nothing happened, would the public sit and look when their vote is put down the drain? gonna stop here, my brain hurts, must be a case of PES.
Alternative Thursdays - Week 2 ( May 12, 2005)
Revolutions per Beats: Part 1
After completing the play list on Wednesday night, I sat back and thought about the consequences of going ahead with it, the last thing the fatheads want is more agitation. There is already a list of banned songs posted in the studio; gladly the list is for Amharic songs. What’s worst than a politician is a pissed off spiteful politician.
I consulted a couple of friends about my plan, including a fellow radio show host, who assured me the sensors are not capable of deciphering such messages.
anyhu, since I am posting this after the show, it automatically implies that I am alive, not being tortured for my deeds, and still your alternative Thursday host. The best part of the evening was the few phone calls I got from people who managed to grasp the idea of the show. FIGHT FOR YOUR MIND!
1. Gil Scott Heron - the revolution will not be televised (But no one said it won’t be on the radio! dedicated to ETV)
2. Bob Marley - Rat Race
3. Bob Dylan - The times they are changing
4. Queen - Under pressure
5. Ben Harper - Fight for your mind
Tilahun Gessese - Tchu’heten Betsemune (if you could hear my sorrow)(I figure this would be the one song that would get me in s#$% so it’s dropped from the play list. at least for now)
10. Steve Wonder - Mistra know it all
11. Antibalas - Big Man
12. Marvin Gaye - You are the man
Thursday, May 19, 2005
the contenders, the showdown and the rally
I should mention before any thing that
Out of the 52 contending political parties running for office this year, only three are significant enuf for a rant. These major ones are composed of national and local ethnic-based parties.
The name in brackets and in italic is the Amharic name used locally
Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) (eh’adeg, weyane): Came to power after in 1990 by defeating the communist regime in a civil war that lasted 17 years. EPRDF takes credit for establishing a “Democratic” Government in
Logo: it's a bee, i will post a pic as soon
Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) (kinijit): Formed less than six months ago by what use to be independent political parties representing the different ethnic groups. The glue that’s holding together this blend of parties is the common goal of defeating the ruling party in the coming democratic election and establishing a multiethnic central government capable of uniting the country.
United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) (Hibret): similar aim and composition as kinijit.
Both Kinijit and Hibret came under the spotlight recently after the parties that comprise them announced of their coalition. Before that, the individual parties have done their homework of raising political awareness with in the ethnic groups they represent, while some central figures of the parties took care of high profile tasks in the media and abroad. Their coalition I believe came in the light of the political debates that were given high media coverage as part of the RPs way of saying the election is democratic. I also believe that the RP did not anticipate their move as witnessed from the televised debates where I could day the RP officials were ‘GRILLED’.
The essence of the debates basically revolved around accusations and further accusations. The RP accuses the OP of being anti-peace & democracy and akin to “Interhamwe”. For those who need an introduction, Interhamwe is the militia that led the Rwandan Hutus in the 1994 genocide that claimed the lives of over a million Tutsis in 100 days. How you might ask? That ‘how’ is a riddle to me and to the Ethiopian public as well except for the one statement we keep hearing from the RP: “if the OP gets elected, it will lead to ethnic cleansing of the unheard of proportions”. I believe this is a serious accusation without any ground; a last minute fear campaign to divert votes to their side since they didn’t do very well on the rest of the debates not to mention their 14 year reputation. In addition, the RP holds a position where they claim they have led this country for the past fourteen years whereas the OP has ‘0’ years of experience governing a country therefore they are the most qualified.
The OP on the other hand accuses the RP of not being fair while proclaiming to the world this is an election of a kind where everything is perfect. What’s really happening in the inside is just another authoritarian with a coat of democracy. And leading the country doing “government” stuff (roads, schools, hospitals, etc…) shouldn’t be a credit; anyone can handle that. Where is the real change? As for the lack of governing experience, did any of us get tested on multiplication and division when we first went to register for pre-school? We were all judged on our overall activity and ability to grasp on to new ideas. OPs also attack the homogeneity of the current government, and plan to have an immediate “national forgiveness campaign” for the political parties as well as the people. This will help them establish a government based on individual capability rather than party affiliation.
Overall the debates lacked a solid platform on all sides. The platforms should encompass strategies to tackle the current issues of the country: population, HIV, the environment and general awareness. For now the poverty issue is common for both sides; the RP says they have done all the necessary preparations to bring not only
Some of the great things saw include, people dressed in the EPRDF shirt they got the day before with “te’nant le’kanatera today le’helina” (yesterday for a t-shirt today for the mind) printed on it; bread in a shape of a hand holding a victory sign and edited picture of Jesus showing the ever popular victory sign. Other very clever forms of protests were used by the supporters some of which I have taken pictures of.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I am long, I am no good, and I am boring. Who am I?
For the first and last time yours truly is going to rant briefly about the current politics in
Despite the fact
The 20th century has been somewhat different. This time it’s was not just about trade contacts you see. Especially after the end of WW1, the world operated in terms of gangs (who call them selves allies) instead of nations. And the fate of
Now jump to the cold war, with the help of the CIA (the western gang) in 1974 the king got ousted, the monarchy fell and
Fast forward to the fall of the
Now for the third time since the fall of communism, on
This time the involvement from the opposition parties (OP) is rather strong, which makes the current elections a lil’bit democratic that the previous two. But you still see that ‘power or death’ attitude in the officials of the ruling parties, which means more pushing and shoving for the public, unfair treatment of the OP members and the inevitable rigging of the election it self.
However, world politics have shifted in two major ways. One is people in the ‘post communist-mediocre democratic’ countries are starting to realize the full extent of a democratic nation. Second, there is another gang in town, the Asian Gang led by the Chinese.
The outcome of recent elections in the former
The Asian involvement in
- The government (i.e. the RP) supported
’s anti-secession law directly contradicting their own Article 39. Mind you the China did NOT support that act. US
congress acknowledged the human rights abuse in US and insisted on an immediate change. Ethiopia
- The Ethiopian government kicked out US election observers.
- Finally, the members of the OP are composed of an Elite Diaspora group who lived/live in the
with close ties with the US . US
When the smoke finally clears, we will get to see who’s behind the curtain. For now the peoples question is for Straight, untainted democracy in order to complete the experiment. or is it? Other obvious questions are; who is going to win? is it going to be a fair and square election? are we going to see another Colour Revolution? is the RP going to tolerate peaceful demonstrations? All are questions only a period of one week can answer.
If you have read this far you know the answer to my question. I AM POLITICS. As for that rule of not being political, I guess I’m going to have to break it and keep you posted on the happenings.
About Thursday’s show; the play list is almost complete and it’s going to be uplifting, revolutionary beats.
Friday, May 06, 2005
extra extra the mighty tsegasaurus roams the airwaves!
As some of you know, I have been trying to make it on the airwaves on the one and only FM station in Addis. After four months of “Dej tinat” as wE call it in Ethiopia, I had my moment of glory last night from 8:00PM -9:00pm, which is going to be my regular time slot every Thursday.
For now, the show is called, ‘Alternative Thursdays’. In fact, I was asked for an explanation on why ‘Alternative’. Very simple reason for that, I play some thing out of the regular top 40. Besides, the term Alt- has been the hippest thing in the music industry for a while (Alt-rock, Alt-hiphop, Alt-country, Alt-tribalchanting)
“Hang the blessed DJ, because the music they constantly play, it says nothing to me about my life”
Play list for the first show:
Sigur ros – Agetes Byryun (a good beginning)
Neil Young – Tonight is the night (fo’ shizzle ma whizzle)
Asnaqeth Werku – Mengedenaw Lebe (one of my favorite Ethiopian singer-songwriter, the song has a message to dare your self and do things out of the ordinary)
Smiths – Panic (HANG the DJ)
LifeSavas – Hellohihey (ego ego ego)
Michael Franti – Everyone Deserves Music (even our enemies, the DJs that should be hanged)
Horace Andy – Do you love my music (do ya punk? do ya?)
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (dylio’s recommendation)
Once i get the promised broadband connection Ethiopian telecommunication has been promising us for the past little while, I will post the entire show on mp3 format.