Allow me to release some of my WAITING thoughts. I am St. Anancy, the Caribbean trickster/subvert. I weave a Caliban-esque web and spin wayward discourses. As a child of alter-native talk, I am your post-colonial orphan, a border crosser – third-space nomad – dweller at the crossroads – a citizen of multiple limbo somersaults – and a negotiator of the state of in-between-ness. Ambivalence is my other name. I love to obscure as much as I reveal. So listen well as I spin my take on waiting. I am waiting for nothing, anything, something, everything – all at the same time
Most of the advent language and imagery terrify me. I cringe at the overuse and abuse of light and darkness. I am Anancy the dark one and my people are the heathens, from that place of total darkness in need of Shining Bright Light. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light! Those who live in darkness and embody darkness need light! The fact is: our shade has always been a problem – with people of a lighter-hue clearly being privileged over those of a heavier one. My terror is compounded by the ritual humiliation me and my tribes have to face day in and day out: subtly and overtly reinforced by the very use of that kind of language and its internalisation in the psyche of the lighter-hue tribes. At such reading my receptors do a blip and long pause – kind associated with what is done when indecent/swearing language is used on BBC!
BESIDES: the imagery of the season from readings, liturgies and lyrics of those “holy than other hymns” that dropped out of the mouth of God ring in fortress-like notions of empire: Lord of Might; Thrones shall rest; King of Kings – Make Way, Make Way; He who Shall by Right all the Nations Possess; Everlasting Seat; The Race that long in darkness pined have seen a Glorious Light; His power increasing shall Spread; Him shall all the Tribes of Earth Obey; The Lord Makes Bare his Arms Through all the Earth Abroad. Such was the wine of intoxication that some nations drunk and [modern day ones drink] and then reasoned their God-given right to shackle and lockdown the rest as uncivilized non-human beings. Scripture, theology, liturgy, lyrics, empire and kingdom conspired aboard the holy boat of Christianity. Today priests of the empire drop freedom leaflets and hand-outs for the natives, then bomb the living daylights out of them. Has the heart of God become sluggish? Stir up the power of your Love, O God and Come. Come, Lover of the wretched of the dead corners of the earth!
Believe it or not I am eager for Jesus to return. I have a few troubling questions waiting for an answer. They are lying like splinters at the tip of my tongue ready to be rolled off. For example How come a people of faith who adore and lavish the “child” of Christmas: with canticles of love, joy and hope of “Unto us a Child is born”; Peace Bearer, O Holy Child; He smiles within his cradle – A babe with face so bright; Infant holy, Infant lowly…. have down the ages, exploited and excluded children from most of the life of their community – relegating them to the margins? We are so exploitative that we need “Child Protection” policies to protect our children from our selves. Why have we missed your insight? Should children become like adults to enter your garden? Or should adults become like children (grow up) to stand a leaf of hope for a place in your garden? Is your garden /world one where children are the measure rather than measuring up to adults?
And when all those nice people who got taken by “your light” came to my part of the world, for our land, under the guise of bringing that light to us [even though we already had a lot of lights over there] – some actually realised that we heathens were/are “religious” people. Some even got interested and taken by our religiosity – but that superior mind-set prevailed in a kind of paternalism that saw us as under-developed children: childish, emotional and effeminate and they and their ways as the superior intellectual, cultured, macho and reasoned adults. Holy Child, Infant Lowly – what a joke!
Who are you Jesus? Your impressive genealogy counters the ridiculous notion of a “purist” identity: Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and God knows where! Are you a hybrid Jesus? Is that why you were very comfortable in traversing and transgressing the worlds of nationality, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, culture and class? Is that why the purists nailed you to the tree? Did they get it wrong: In YOU there is male and female, slave and free, Gentile and Jew, black and white, north and south, east and west – all at the same time! WOW!
You see, Jesus, I wonder whether this ideology of purism is linked to another –ism: the notion of mono-theism: one God, one Race; one Nation; one People; one Sex; one Sexual Orientation, one Colour. I am amazed how the trappings of MONO-theism pervade the minds of people across all walks of life. There is great fear of the notion of diversity and hybridity: the heterogeneous “Other” is a terrifying prospect. Not surprising that in the discursive act of “othering” us – we are lumped into neat homogenous categories: an epistemological device for guaranteeing the hegemony of the dominant group that does the naming!
I am Anancy, the web weaver, a hybrid cosmopolitan. I love creative disorder. Like those learned visitors who sought to worship the Child – I may be off course by quite a few miles. But I am WAIT-ing for: no-thing, any-thing, some-thing, every-thing – all at the same time. There is certainly a THING here. And I can feel/hear the faint beat of music far off: music in the wilderness – murmurings of the stars. magic in the air; an ugly, withered, charcoal-burnt stump – a shameful vulnerable thing of wicked judgement is waiting to take the shape of our hope!
jagessar © November 2014
bush, vine or green grass
in this mixing-up
purity has lost
its crafty intentions
from human clutch clinics
© jagessar (words and image)
While the race to see which nation can drop more bombs to “degrade” and eradicate the elusive and brutal ISIL gang continue to dazzle us across our media screens and the deadly Ebola virus seems to only now make news and touch our consciousness when there are western victims involved, here in the UK the Tory Party at its recently concluded Convention in Birmingham has launched their agenda to win our hearts and votes with their strapline of “securing a better future”. One can be excused for being cynical about any suggestion from governments about securing anything given, our track record for creating more insecurity, fear and for selfish motivations. The ordinary punters on the streets in Britain forced-fed with a staple diet of fear be it about Europe, muslims, terrorists, migrants, deadly diseases from geographical corners of the dead continue to grumble but largely looking on zombie-like having so internalised the “keep calm mantra” and “don’t panic” mantra.
So what about the Tory’s promise of securing a better future? Well readers can make up their own minds but in a nutshell (with a warning that you should read the speeches and presentations yourself), here are just a few of the promises:
- that rulings by the European Court of Human Rights would be ignored with the pledge to scrap the Human Rights Act – to be replaced by a new British bill of rights (re-crafted in the image of the Tories).
- that there would restrictions on the freedom of movement within the EU at any renegotiation plans before a suggested referendum in 2017.
- dealing with “fiscal drag” by announcing the threshold at which the 40% tax rate is paid would be raised, bringing fairness to tax (yes, this is no joke!)
- that there will be more cuts (a further 3% amounting to £7bn) most likely to affect the public sector (one wonders whether the notion of fairness would be deployed here!)
- that of more anti-terror laws – for instance to ban non-violent extremists from television and protests which raises a bundle of questions on the freedom of speech and democracy
Are you starting to feel more secure, if you are British and living in the UK?
Welcome to our new world of fear, fences and fibs. In the meantime, you may or may not have noticed that the soundtrack (not the political sound-bites!!) accompanying the Tory Party’s autumn conference was from a band called the killers. This, of course, is intended to make us all feel secure, especially the chorus “I’ve got soul” probably intended to whip up our enthusiasm.
The reality is that it takes a lot of searching among the rubble and rubbish to find any soul. And speaking of rubble, rubbish and soul, I was delighted to read George Monbiot’s observation on how “the humanitarian argument” advanced in our recent parliamentary debate raises serious questions as to the limit of where next governmenst would consider dropping their deadly and expensive bombs. As he noted: “the humanitarian argument…if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East and west Asia. By this means you could end all human suffering, liberating the people of these regions from the vale of tears in which they live”. Evil will be wiped out “by the destroying angels of the west”.
It is strange what our ‘air-shows by ‘boys with destructive toys’ are doing, not the least to galvanise and bring together rival and disparate groups of ‘marauding terror agents’ (also boys with toys). What are we actually perpetuating in the name of peace? When will the next ‘so called moderate group’ which we arm turn the weapons we have provided them upon us? What lessons have we learned? It seems that we have either lost the ability to learn and/or are unteachable. Whatever has become of our moral conscience in this never ending theatre of errors and tragedy?
Jagessar October 3rd, 2014