Ngidlaliswe amatope mina? Mr Nelson Chamisa


Reading Edward Gibbon

Where is God bakithi?

Edward Gibbon is no writer for easy readers. Yet he is so important to Britain’s governing myth. No wonder why every British-born Prime Minister has to have read him. I can’t vouch for Premier Sunaki, even though I aspire to scale similar heights on behalf of people of colour.

Let’s face it, the British Number 10 Drowning Street has long been ripe for shaking. Subalterns can now enter and occupy it. Thanks Rishi, however short your term may turn out to be. It gives all of us hope. Imagine just one week of a Zimbo as some chance British Premier?

Imagine, too, what he deigns do, given our grief-filled history? Not at all far-fetched; isn’t we have given them a Mayor already? Big rivers come from small streams. Let me persevere in reading the opaque Edward Gibbon, an open sesame to Albion’s helm.

 Gratian’s time

A portion of Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire talks about the death of Gratian, the youthful, wayward Emperor of Rome whose mien presaged some key signpost en route Rome’s irrevocably decline. The decay of large Empires in wrought in personalities.

Look at Biden’s America as it fumbles! I am not enamoured of Gratian’s exploits in Office. I leave that to imbongisi (praise poets) of imperial history, even as they masquerade as honest historians of ancient times. My joy is in the very literary way Gibbon characterises this historical personage.

And his frenetic epoch which closed with his violent end. The rhetorical flourish with which Gibbon encompasses it.

In charge of a temperamental Empire

A sovereign who outlived his reputation, Gratian wore some semblance of high intellect and profound gravity, both soon to be severely tested by the onerous experience of presiding over a far-flung, loosely stitched together Empire blest with frequent rebellions.

This was the Roman Empire, successor to the Hellenic era. Soon, size and temperament of that vast Empire conspired to rupture the scintilla or thin veil of precocity Gratian pretended to wield, and by which his subjects and his army held him in early, premature awe. Things started falling apart.

Semblance of reason

In Gibbon’s inimitable words: “His [Gratian] apparent virtues, instead of being the hardy productions of experience and adversity, were the premature and artificial fruits of a royal education. The anxious tenderness of his father was continually employed to bestow on him those advantages which he might perhaps esteem the more highly as he himself had been deprived of them, and the most skilful masters of every science and every art had laboured to form the mind and body of the young prince.

The knowledge which they painfully communicated was displayed with ostentation and celebrated with lavish praise. His soft and tractable disposition received the fair impression of their judicious precepts, and the absence of passion might easily be mistaken for the strength of reason.”

 The veil ruptures

Once enthroned, Gratian surrounded himself with his preceptors, teachers or instructors in daily parlance. These human props gave his throne some patina of depth, reason and wisdom which, by age he could not have had. With time, greater confidence and felling fumes of power got the better of him, causing him to dissemble those aids and aides by which he had governed, indeed by which he had given his throne pretensions of firmness, propriety and judgment.

Back to natural genius

Says Gibbons: “But the influence of his elaborate instruction did not penetrate beyond the surface, and the skilful preceptors, who so accurately guided the steps of their royal pupil, could not infuse into his feeble and indolent character the vigorous and independent principle of action which renders the laborious pursuit of glory essentially necessary to the happiness and almost to the existence of the hero. As soon as time and accident had removed those faithful counsellors from the throne, the emperor of the West insensibly descended to the level of his natural genius, abandoned the reins of government to the ambitious hands which were stretched forwards to grasp them, and amused his leisure with the most frivolous gratifications.”

 The King who shed blood

He gratified himself through the sport of hunting, soundly “neglecting the duties and even dignity of his rank to consume whole days in the vain display of his dexterity and boldness in the chase.” Gibbons’ narrative then descends to his savage wry humour, incongruously comparing Gratian to Emperors Nero and Commodus, two kings renowned for effective cruelty as had never been witnessed in western history.

Gibbon lays into Gratian, while seeming to defend him from unfair analogies which he himself draws: “but the chaste and temperate Gratian was a stranger to [Nero and Commodus]’s monstrous vices, and his hands were stained only with the blood of animals” which he hunted, chased and slaughtered for a consuming sport!

Gibbon is a master of bathos: in an age of chivalry, a king was as decent as the human blood he bespattered in many wars. Not Gratian; he shed blood of hares, foxes and kudus!

 Looking erudite

Gentle reader, you do not have to tussle with Gibbons’ stupendous volumes, in order to cultivate an urbane character of erudition in front of your adoring audiences. You can just master and repeat the above quotes I cull from him, to extract awe amongst your listeners.

You don’t even have to credit me with the donkey-reading; rarely are light conversations ornamented by footnotes, citations and references!

Where is God?

I started this piece with some impiety, in the process risking the dubious fame of a perjured Catholic. Still I ask: Where is God? Unless He has decided to abandon Divinity in order to become a mere creature of His own creation, why would he render himself liable to Adam’s lesser, proximate crime: that of committing AWOL?

In such dire times! Where is He, the Omnipresent? Does he not see – the Omniscient One? Does he not see the horror swallowing the Middle East? And worse, the tightly wrought media lies packaged and patented to sell the same horror to the unsuspecting viewers before so many idiot boxes in our homes?

Television: that iniquitous contraption before which we daily kowtow, itself a contrivance of some evil genius again enabled through another show of reckless Divine indulgence! Did not God allow, enable, sinful Man to invent it? Thereby commanding Man: go ye and multiply lies to justify evil wars?

It gets me to wonder how John Milton now feels and thinks about his God. For in the Seventeenth Century, he proudly proclaimed in his Paradise Lost series that his prime desire was, “to justify God’s ways to men”? How does he now justify these God’s ways to Man?

The day of infamy

Only last week, stretching into this inglorious week, the world press and broadcast waves piped into our homes the well-cultivated yarn that Hamas fighters had gained entry into some Israeli Hospital Delivery Ward, all of it full of cribs carrying hapless infant Israelis.

That these bloodthirsty Hamas fighters had slaughtered all those hapless infants – one by one – in infanticidal orgies that stank to high Jewish Heavens.

Not only that. That after this heinous act of dreadful infamy, the fighters piled the severed little torsos and limbs of these slain infants into some pyre for roasting! Gentle reader, I am not out to assault your tender sensibilities; only to stoke your sense of appalled indignation in the way the so-called Civilised Christendom mobilises imagined gore, simply to move the world towards its unholy wars through plain, manufactured and packaged lies. Where is God, the Omnipresent, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent?

Victims of the victim

Historians have taught me that all wars crave for religions. The god of war resides in temples, synagogues, pagodas or mosques. I grant all that. Except no historian told me all wars need lies to look and read righteous, and public approbation.

Let’s face it, ugly things have happened on both sides of the fighting isle in that chosen Land of our “absentee” God. Really ugly things: against Jews; against Palestinian Arabs. Except all this has been brewing, much as the American-led Western press want us to think this was some spontaneous combustion triggered by a mindless race called Palestinians, against Jews, God’s chosen people.

Arabs are made to look like children of some lesser, indifferent God. As late Edward Said wrote: it is a tough proposition and Fate to be a victim of the victim. That is the curse of Palestinians.

Timeless Zionist acquittal

The pogrom which Jews suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany, made them an eternally righteous, universally wronged, tragic race. Even as they themselves victimise, occupy, displace, attack, maim, kill, massacre, roast and destroy other peoples, other nations and other civilisations in this time and this age.

It is as if their persecution by Nazis – themselves Europeans – excused them from, expiated of any and all crimes they have committed in the past, and might commit in future. Got them a badge of timeless acquittal in the court of any pogroms. I heard America’s Blinked invoking and bastardising the United Nations notion of “responsibility to protect” in defence of Zionist atrocities against the Palestinians.

Not against Hamas; against Palestinian people less fortunate enough to have been born and bred in Gaza, which Zionist Israel thinks is all Hamas.

Long, more sinned against.

On balance, Palestinians, however bloody their recent invasion of Israel might have been – and it was – are a people long and more sinned against than sinning. Since the founding of the Zionist State on Palestinian Land, thanks to Britain. And Holy God does and must know that, which is why one cannot fathom this Divine inattention and inattentiveness as the bloodbath daily continues and escalates.

I mean, does Israel feel victorious by turning fighter jets, drones and hard armour indiscriminately against a whole people, mostly unarmed, largely not guilty except by geographic and cultural association? How after such a brutal argument pressed through genocidal destruction, does Israel mobilise us to condemn what Hamas did to her revelling children caught so unsuspectingly in the desert – all unarmed and slaughtered in cold blood?

More Especially after Israel itself has made occupation, encroachment and displacements from Palestinian lands a popular Jewish national pastime. Nationalising an injustice against the “lesser” Other? And summoning American fire-power to raze Gaza and its Palestinian “vermin” to the ground?

Before we ask where the UN and humanity are, we should boldly ask: Where is God? After all, these are chosen siblings from His loins, we are told by scriptures.

Chamisa’s post-truth band of supporters

I hate to say, I told you! Yet I did, well before our Harmonised Elections. Maybe I said it amidst the cacophony of campaigning, thus getting drowned in the process. The mayhem in the structureless, constitution- and hierarchy-free Triple C is nothing new or untoward.

Certainly nothing sudden or unexpected. Not even tragic or undesirable if you ask me. What is tragic and even potentially dangerous is the bigotry and fundamentalism which seize pro-Chamisa sections of our Political Society. There is a certain level of denialism and bended truth in them which one finds unsettling.

Until now, I had no use or referent, for what nowadays is called post-truth. Now I do.

Victims of Cha-ri-sma

There is this obduracy, this tenacious and fastidious clinging to fanaticism in Triple C supporters which one finds quite alarming. I battle it every day in these wireless streets which Musk has let loose upon the world, setting off all humanity on journey to nowhere.

I hope I don’t sound like some Luddite innately opposed to the forward-marching, techni-savvy mankind. Whether it is by scriptures or sheer Chamisa charisma – Chasma – Nelson’s brand of demagogic politics is giving this Nation some political personality type which sees, hears, speaks, no shortcomings in our politicians.

We have hit that no-return threshold where we say, my politician right of wrong! This is a perfect beginning for a conversation between the deaf and the mute.

Dogma of Pentecostal Infallibility

Did it really require divination to know that a man who steals the crown, bludgeons peers, brazenly tear compacts, snorts at all counsel, would wind up a political monstrosity? A man so overweeningly egocentric while invoking scriptures to lend holiness to all those appalling deformities?

Yet a mere young man, barely schooled and hardly a third as experienced, taught or as wise, as all the successive Popes of the old Roman Empire! Even with all those attributes, all those pontiffs in on Roman throne still became real monsters. In the end, they cost Rome a diadem, territory, influence and, ultimately power!

To abet their human foibles, they barricaded themselves with the Dogma of Papal Infallibility, by which they lamely oppressed. The result was Reformation and Protestantism by which Rome shrunk to a virtual Empire of few square miles on Italian land that it is today. Is Chamisa’s GodIsInIt not the same Dogma of Papal Infallibility in some small Pentecostal Latter-a-day Saint?

Punishing heretics by fire

After a long spell of wielding ill-gotten power, Chamisa now faces seething political conventicles from which rival politics are now forming. And as is typical of all those upon whose person and in whose head the dogma of infallibility holds sway, all those conventicles are driven by heresies, with all those participating in them mere heretics.

And heresies and heretics are punished by fire at stakes, as happened during 14th Century Inquisitions. The next headline in the coming weeks is summary dismissal of Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube, alongside their political sidekicks. Kick me if that won’t come to pass. Sooner!

Sins of being better peers

It didn’t need a genius to know that in his short, brutal reign – and he aptly calls himself Nero! – Chamisa literally walked past carrion of victims whose dual sins where: One, to have been politically born his contemporary; Two, was to have better intellect than his at a time this was made sacrilege.

So he went on a contrapuntal drive: to flatten peers, while turning toddlers into grown up men and women. And of course to burn all rules, compacts, structures and hierarchy so he could once more navigate and shape a featureless demesne! Thereafter Triple C ran on the Emperor’s whim and caprice, and was governed by his unilateral clemency.

What “mess”; what “amatope”?

I am angry with such like Welshman Ncube, Tendai Biti and Mhofu Hwende. By virtue of being young Chamisa’s preceptors, they were near and aware enough to know him, warts and all! They knew his mediocrities, inborn and from poor cultivation.

Yet like Chamisa’s young, impressionable fanatics, grown-up men watched, groaned, endured, while hoping and waiting for a miraculous born-again.  And with every day of neglectful inaction, Chamisa’s excesses, compounded by acute mediocrities and insecurities, grew bolder, bigger and blunter.

Today Biti belatedly talks of “a mess”; Welshman Ncube talks of “amatope”! Hau bakithi! Both now belong to some Brenthurst-financed Marova Committee, which gives them an illusion of a life after Chamisa’s pogrom. Good luck to both. Except I find it rather strange that even after all these years, both men are yet to see the wisdom of re-invent opposition politics away from foreign tutelage! Maybe I am only a donkey!

You Might Also Like