Thursday, September 29, 2005

VIVA! platetectonics

“SURPRISE!” that’s how my halfassed rants are looking like this days. the worst part of it is that the longer the time since my last blog the less motivated I get to post. Quality becomes an issue too. As Neil would say “the more you think, the more you stink”. Somehow I am taking this blogging thing way to seriously. plus, it’s not possible to be a diligent ‘full time geodologist/halfassed carpenter/grease monkey/blogger’. there is one missing in there - ‘a kickass radio DJ’. Unfortunately that title didn’t last to see the 15th show. I am no more the host of alternative Thursdays, in fact Thursdays are not so alternative anymore. in a way, it’s helped in keeping me unscratched, my folks celebrated the occasion.

aight. more politics less other-topics. Even if it’s not worthy of CNN’s situation room yet, there has been quite the situations roundhere. for one; ever played rock paper scissors (AboSem if you grew up in Ethiopia) with whiny kids that keeps crying it was practice run every time they lose? That is how it feels to be in Ethiopia right now. while still proclaiming that the may 2005 elections is the most democratic election ever ever ever , the EPRDF government have also been trying to convince us the elections was a practice run, adding that the humiliation has been a lesson for them. so far they have hastily embarked on giving tax breaks, a new education policy, land reform…anything to prove they are worthy of another five years. to make things even comical, right around the time the 99% of the way dead Robert Mugabe declared this was his last term for him as president of Zimbabwe, ours here claimed ditto. During an interview, PM Meles declared that five more years is all he wants to reach an orgasm. This is exactly what’s wrong with African leaders; they think it’s up to them to say enuf, no matter how screwy they are. I say power to the people but that doesn’t come easy in Africa.

Remember ‘unsettle calmness’? it’s been lingering around ever since and now it’s hit the roof again. The EPRDF has been playing all sorts of dirty tricks to silence the oppositions. the one that’s going to be a nominee for the “the tricky-dick award for the dirtiest trick of 2005’ will be ‘creating a second political party using the same name, seal, and sellout-x-members of an existing, prominent political party and giving them airtime on the state media to announce their legitimacy’. the party in highlight is the Oromo National Congress (ONC), one of the parties that make up UEDF headed by Dr. Merara Gudina, a man I fell in like with during the televised debates. The leading sell-out is called Weizero? Almaz Seifu, a lady I knew from my childhood going to the football stadium, who screamed like a maniac when ever St. George Beer (now called plain St. George) is loosing. I was hugely surprised to find her in the political circle. She was good at it too until a very strange abduction story surfaced about her. No one knows what exactly happened but she was removed from UEDF executive committee for behavioral misconduct and now she has gone behind their back.

In the mean while, the all oppositions, besides EPRDF-ONC, have put their foot down. they are boycotting the parliament and they demand satisfaction. in fact, last Saturday, the four parties that make up the CUD merged to one, a fatal blow to EPRDF. they were so mad, they gave it front page news on the EPRDF herald.

On the subject of fatal blows, a few real ones landed on plenty of federal police officers and addis-ababians on Tuesday. Wednesday was a holiday, Meskle, the finding of the true cross. As part of a tradition, people have bonfires on the eve to symbolize how the true cross’ resting place was discovered. The biggest bonfire ceremony is held at Meskel Square (not the blog!), which use to be known as ‘Revolution Square’ during the comieedays. After Megistu denied any kind of fire for 17 years except the fire arms that parade on revolution day, it’s original purpose and name was restored in 1992 after EPRDF took power. customarily, the bonfire ceremony is attended by very important people and this year, EPRDF officials including the mayor, president girma - worlds #1 no use president, and the orthodox pope attended the event - so did a couple of hundred thousand agitated addis-ababians. Even my high school home-economics teacher was never boooed like that. not only they got booed, they got chased off the ceremony with a stone shower of biblical proportions. Meskel miracle, the federals didn’t retaliate with bullet showers, they used rocks and batons instead.

Boycotting got followed by CUD & UEDF jointly calling a global peaceful protest for October 2nd. This is something that the EPRDF did everything in their “power” from happening. Since then, the government has been uttering threats somewhere in the lines of repeating the July 15th massacre if the most democratic election ever ever ever is protested. From what’s seen at the Meskel mini-riot, the public has become more hardened since July 15th, a lot more force might be required to yield. I have very little doubt they won’t use that force either for they have already sharpened their knives for the scapegoat they prepared long ago. Very though choices to be made in the coming few days, it could be the one chance for everyone to sand next to their choice but at what cost? I won’t be getting in to the story about breaking some eggs to make an omelet. Unless everyone is rily careful about how they handle the situation, we might end up killing the chicken her self.

On another news (didn’t I say there’s been lots happening), after six years of dormancy, the border war with Eritrea looks like it’s about to boil over. Both sides have been building up their army around the border and calling for someone to stop them before one ruins the other. GREAT. For the Ethiopian government to go in to war with Eritrea right now would be like attending an orgy while sick with diarrhea. The clowns ruling those countries do not know who to fight anymore, each other or their own citizens.

On the brighter side of life, plate tectonics might put an end to all this non-sense once and for all by breaking part of east africa from the rest of the continent. Several earthquakes in the past two weeks have sunk a mountain and triggered lava flow in the afar region, the lowest point in the Great African rift valley. my time frame for the brake-off is a exagrated, unless EPRDF is in power for the next geological epoch, still fighting with their Eritreaian counterpart.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

newyear resolution #1 - no more white wine with coke

First, melkam B-lated addis amet lehulachihu

The picture is of a fire work display sponsored by Sheraton Addis in celebration of the newyear. Such displays accompany the feasts Sheraton Addis throws every Ethiopian and ferengi newyear. For those who can afford to fork a thousand birr, the feast includes a meal, open bar and all night dancing with a live band, which usually includes local artists and a well known western sensation. So far, saun paul, joe, shaggy and cool and the gang (I know! they are still a gang but I don’t know about the ‘cool’ part) have taken the Sheraton stage at one time or the other.

What makes this year’s newyear bash different is the controversy behind it. To begin with, Sheraton Addis is owned by Sheki Muhamed Alamoudi, a Saudi /Ethiopian billionaire and avid supporter of the EPRDF. I would like to make my self clear here, in a democratic world everyone has a right to support whom ever they want, then again it’s becoming clear as day and night that the last thing our nation is democratic. The question becomes, why would a person in Al-amoudi’s stature support a regime? I can’t say it hasn’t cost him either, the once “respected” billionaire is now just another ‘aDir bAi’ in the public mind not to mention products associated with his companies including Pepsi Cola are boycotted by most. I happen to witness a bar brawl between a waiter and an angry patron who ordered a soft drink and got a Pepsi.

The other controversy maker is the musical line up. of course, what would a controversial newyear year bash be without teddyafro, the musical highlight of 1997 and already on EPRDF’s ‘to ruin’ list. For those in power, some of tedy’s songs are known to cause nightmares involving forgiveness and unity in Ethiopia. Others on the list include, Ali Bira, who until now is known to be not so fond of the EPRDF hence lives in the US. Hamelmal Abate, also lives in the US and word has it she is a common crowd pleaser at OLF, anti-EPRDF gurrila group, fundraising concerts. Final to spice up the deal, Wycliffe came solo to represent MTV.

Teddy was the biggest lure in the box; because of him tickets were selling like it’s the last concert on the planet. Unfortunately, that didn’t last for long. a day before the concert the rumor in town was that teddy won’t be performing on new year eve. the rumor became headline the next day. Angry ticket holders stormed Sheraton Addis demanding a refund and an explanation. Nothing official came from the Sheraton besides what’s already known, teddy’s absence, but word has it that tedy was ordered not to play some of the material from his new album, especially Ja Yasteseryal for it might offend some of the crowd (I guess we know which ones) so he him self withdrew refusing to work under restrictions. Bravo teddy. I wish the rest had done the same, he’s a fellow artist after all.

This is not the first time our leaders put the artistic mind in shackles, we owe the demise of the once thriving Ethiopian music scene to the Mengistu regime. at least he was an all out dictator.

On related news, a play written by Getnet Enyew called ‘wey addis ababa’ has also been banned from the national theater.

As for my new year eve, had a jolly good night playing teddy and all the good stuff on a concrete slab of an unfinished building over looking the whole addis.

yeh.Ever had white wine with coke..?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hurricane Melew

Unless I am writing this from the next world this should be a good sign that I am alive. My where abouts shouldn’t be a concern to any of you well wishers out there. I was in better place, just came back from an extended work related roadtrip to the a very nice part of ethiopia, Arba Minch. Everything was grand beside the lack of a portal for my two cents on the happenings of the last two weeks, which can be considered as the Ethiopian Hurricane season, politically of course.

For those of you who follow the current Ethiopian politics this is gonna be old news. the last time I blogged just before I left, the NEBE had declared EPRDF a winner, the prime Minster was announced winner of the first Yara foundation prize and the hype was going down.

While I was away, the European union election observer team, headed by Ana Gomes, now nicked by Ethiopians ‘Anna Gobeze’ (Gobeze = the brave), released their report on what they thought of the elections. Ok. I know the NEBE has other agendas besides running national elections but the EU? Might I wonder what took them so freaking long to release their report? it’s all good tho, the report is just what was needed, it’s like a down pour in the middle off a drought, it definitely came to the delight of many, some thing that would make you say “Anjete Kibe Te’ta” (it drenched my gut with butter) after reading it. According to the EU, the 2005 Ethiopian Elections is a text book example of undemocratic elections

Not all Ethiopian’s guts are drenched with butter, for some, it’s like swallowing a lump of hot amber. I wish I was right there when Bereket ‘bagdad bob’ Simon read the report, if he can. Apparently, a series of editorials came out on the Ethiopian Herald (EPRDF Herald i call it) questioning the credibility of Ana Gomes…. sorry..Ana Gobeze and finally came to an idiotic conclusion that Mrs. Gobeze gets 20% of the money raised in the EU for CUD. I am no fraud guru but I know a few things one of them is that CUD is not Fertilizer Company, and second only PM Meles is known to accept such offerings.

Talk about PM Meles, they say I have been irreverent towards him. in the words of snoop doggy dog…”Whhhy not?”, when you’ve got a prime minister that just keeps on screwing, it’s my national duty to be disrespectful. his latest in his line of ‘ignorant deed at the wrong time’ is thirteen thousand something word letter he published on the EPRDF Herald in three parts each with a different ridanculous title that all together translate to ‘why I am and always will be a power mongering lunatic and my one nut is slightly larger than the other ’. Give us some freaking slack here Mr. PM but you firkin choose these observers your self, the once you deemed unreliable you kicked out of the country and the local ones you revoked their rights. Now we are being told what these people are saying is nothing but a heap of lies. Perhaps officers of the Chinese Communist Party should have done the observing. oh the humanity, you people should have seen the slogans they had on TV in between each news segment and between commercial breaks, it took a lot of effort on not to kick in the screen, classic Dergue. One of them read (of course in Amharic but literally translates to) “what the foreign election observers and journalists are saying is not going to make any difference”. I have a couple of questions for PM Meles .one, does your slogan include Jimmy? two, when you composed that self deprecating epic, were you on your usual belEche? cause man, that’s shit you wrote is too intense for belEche, when did you switch to GelEmso? (

Before the ink dried on the herald, our valiant PM made his way Norway to be proclaimed a modern day Viking and officially get the 200,000$ he plundered together with the fertilizer giant Yara international. At the ceremony, Melew the great offered his bounty be used to help poor school girls in Ethiopia. I bettcha you he was counting on ‘yilunTa’ (a mental condition in Habesha people that makes you do things that you don’t want for the sake of ‘what would others say’) to kick in when he said that - “no no…ere..aydregem..”. but not me, as the saying goes ‘bElt lej eyeBela yaleksal’ (a smart kid cries for more while eating what he’s given), so PM Meles, I suggest you submit the money ASAP, in cash, to someone we can trust (to be chosen) before you embark on yet another painful piece on why your daughter qualifies as a poor student.

Have loads to catch up on.

On the subject of hurricanes and inept leaders, I wish strength for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. As for Curious George, I remember the morning after the election being told that bush won and me going “ worries…either he will get assassinated or impeached”. Now I know for what reason.