Why We Kill Our Gods, Or Whatever

I have had a long running spiritual conversation with myself, for over a decade. A massive debate, to be honest.

Some time ago, I decided that gods cannot possibly exist, and even if they did, they couldn’t afford to reveal themselves.

Have you passed a beggar on the street, or at the traffic lights, and done nothing? Doing nothing is a choice swollen with omnipotence. It is, in fact, godly.

And this, you should realise, is the reason why your gods do nothing. Proof of their omniscience.

After all, to act is to announce awful limitations, for it reveals that chance acted first, that accidents are just that — events beyond the will of the gods — and all they can do in answer is to attempt to remedy the consequences, to alter natural ends.

To act, then, is an admission of fallibility. And nobody, not even a god, likes to admit that things are out of their control!

But maybe, just maybe, atheism is also a form of mental self-care. Killing off our gods for the sake of our own sanity, if you will.

By thirty, we have made some of our biggest mistakes. Whether we’re on the road to redemption is something else altogether, but surely we make our biggest mistakes in our twenties.

That’s why atheism becomes easier when you’re over thirty. By then all our biggest sins are committed and behind us.
 
The concern becomes redemption where possible, or retribution where warranted. Either it is time we make up for our sins, or are punished for them.
 
In seeking to either assuage our guilt, or ignore it altogether, It becomes necessary to question the actual existence of God himself.
 
To avoid debilitating fear and paralysis, to prevent ourselves becoming so immersed in worrying about what’s to come (that being the righteous vengeance of a vengeful god), sometimes we have to kill said god entirely.
 
By wiping him, her or it out of our consciousness, and thus concern, we are able to continue living our dreary little lives as best as we can, with no worries.
 
See, sometimes the actual loss of our faith is the only way we can survive the day to day.
 
Because if god does exist, and we have to pay for our sins and reap what we have sowed, then we will have no peace, either in this life or the next.
 
So maybe it’s better to believe that there is no god because if he does exist, and he’s out there waiting?
 
We’re all fucked.
 

Déjà vu in Southern Africa

If you follow the story of Zimbabwe on social media and in the Western-sponsored regime-change media, you will have been subjected to a barrage of negative stuff over the past few days.

Empty store shelves! Fuel queues! Bulk buying! Crisis! Crisis! Crisis!

Of course, that my people have been sleeping outside banks for a year, and there’s no fucking money to be had anyway, is momentarily forgotten. Anyway.

The prevailing “panic” has it that Zimbabwe is headed for 2008, or it’s not and this is the problem of social media, or profiteers, or The West, depending on who you’re listening to.

And in the midst of all this, there are some who default to the annoying rhetoric of “Zimbabweans are docile cowards who deserve their leadership and will have to suffer more before they do something vague and mumble mumble find solutions something something solve their problem mumble.”

In the middle of a crisis, any crisis, you’ll always find assholes who will blame the victims of that crisis, not the actual perpetrators.

People are scared, and rightly so – “2008” is not some abstract bogeyman of a year that we use to scare our little kids and political opponents and soron. It was a real thing and a real time.

The fear of 2008 is a palpable thing, an actual visceral fear, a horror, but I guess you wouldn’t understand it if you didn’t experience it. If you were cushioned from the worst of it, or were thankfully absent, I’m not sure how much empathy you can feel for people who crumble at the thought of returning to that dark time.

People died of hunger. People struggled to find food. Those are the lived experiences of our people who went through that period.

Hell, I suffered through that shit.

If a person chooses to spend all their money in a supermarket today that’s their money.

If someone decides they’d rather keep cooking oil or sugar, rather than “bond notes” (whatever the hell they are) in their house, I can’t fault them for that.

Insulting and criticising them makes you an asshole, and as King of the Assholes, I know what I’m talking about.

Those people don’t eat sadza at your house.

Behave.

Other things

What else is inspiring a sense of deja vu? They’ve arrested the flag pastor again. Evan Mawarire was arrested outside his church yesterday, a day before his trial commences today, for … speaking into his telephone on Facebook. Or something.

While the government of Zimbabwe is engaging in their usual repressive bullshit, and can always be counted on to take the worst possible course in any situation, let’s hope the guy is safe.

We know how ZANU-PF does.

In related hilarity, I took a short sarcastic dig at all the people who were moaning about being abandoned by their man in their time of need. I was wondering just where they all were, now that he was back again, being arrested again, and whether they’d Fill Up The Courts again.

The spectacular failure in comprehension displayed by some of my fellow Zimbabweans, in response, is interesting to behold. I guess being a TouchNot reduces your ability to see past The Anointed One’s name, and everything else is ignored.

So much for the most educated nation in Africa. Stupidity offends me.

And soron

Oh yeah. Almost forgot. That June hiatus was actually to focus on a temporary migration to faraway lands to do bookish things and soron. So I’ve left for a bit, but I haven’t Left left. I’ll be back soon.

Speaking of books, you can now get my book in these stores – Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo. and many other places in Brasil, Portugal and so forth.

Going on a Social Media Hiatus in June

I do this thing sometimes, where I disconnect from all my personal social media accounts for a month.

It’s usually when I’m under a lot of work pressure, or I need to focus all my energy and concentrate on one particular thing.

Strangely, I managed to pick October as the month when I take time off, and I’m sure this year will be the same, seeing as I have fucking exams in November.

But I’m doing the same in June – I do have a lot of work, study, and Real Life Shit to take care off. And I’ll try to come back with a bang, or at least energised. A couple of years ago, I returned with NBO Magazine, and last year I returned in a different country.

My work on CONSUMERIZIM (@consumerizim) and NBO (@nbopress) will continue, and of course I’m available on my email.

Play nice, children, and don’t forget to buy the damn book.

Attacked By HIFA Car Guards

Last night was a pretty ordinary night for HIFA. While we understand the operational challenges they’re experiencing, waiting 40 minutes for the opening show to begin wasn’t fun.

The show itself was worth it, and knowing how finances are, my wife and I even appreciated the tiny fireworks display.

Unlike *each* previous Harare International Festival of the Arts, we couldn’t hang around the Green too long, so around ten we bought our takeaway curries and bade farewell to our mates.

That’s when the nightmare began.

We walked all the way to the Global Quarter only to be told it was closed, including the exit gate, because there wasn’t enough security to guard the Craft Market wares.

Fine. Walk back around the toilets and use that gate? That’s alright. We understand.

Now, we always park in the same place. Park Lane, NSSA side, right by the park gate, which also leads to HIFA’s Global Quarter gate.

The place we parked outside HIFA, in the area we always park every HIFA

When we’d arrived earlier around half past six, we were pleased to see the car guards wearing red HIFA jumpers. Security, we thought. Awesome. They were friendly, too.

As we were walking out, I carrying the two takeaway containers, She carrying the car keys, we saw three of these security guys sitting just outside the park gate, on the curb.

As we walked across the road to the car, one of them yelled out asking for a tip. I told him I’d run out of cash inside the festival; he yelled out for just coins, and I said I had none.

By this time we were almost by the car, and this guy got up and aggressively chased me down. They may have given us jobs but you want us to turn into street kid mode, he screamed at me.

He came to my car door yelling, and as I got into the passenger seat, he slammed the car door after me, barely missing my left foot.

At this point, my wife was at the driver’s side with her purse out, telling him that wasn’t necessary because she was about to give him money (her last US$2 note, turns out) but now she won’t.

So he walked around the car and charged at her, swearing about her purse and she quickly jumped into the driver’s seat and locked the door.

By this time the other two had also crossed the road to our car, I assumed to restrain their colleague.

Wrong.

They also started yelling and swearing. By this time my wife had started the car, and Guy One was now banging on the drivers side window, swearing at us and shouting.

As she switched on the lights, he then attempted to open her door, which she’d thankfuly locked, and I told her to drive off. We lifted off in a rush, turned left into Selous, and left up Second Street.

Now, I have never been harassed by car guards on that street before (every previous HIFA, that’s where we’ve parked).

I’ve even let my wife walk out that gate and drive off alone, because we’ve always felt safe and secure at HIFA.

Not anymore.

We’ll now be parking elsewhere, and I’d advise anyone else going to HIFA 2017 to use well lit parking and avoid that Park Lane gate.

It was dark and there were three of them against myself and my very petite wife, so anything could have happened.

To the HIFA management and event security staff, I hope you do something about this. It’s unacceptable. We have supported this festival for years and have never encountered such problems.

Maybe posting a real security man by that NSSA Park Lane gate to keep an eye on the street kids you hired and decked out in your branded jumpers? I don’t know. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

If we didn’t already have a full envelope of tickets for the rest of the festival, I’m not sure I’d return. But I will.

Let me bet on the response: “We urge patrons to use parking indicated on the map of the festival venue indicated in our programme.”

I wouldn’t rule out intoxication, but that would just be another reason to be pissed.

Unacceptable.

Update – I tweeted this when we got home last night. It confirms the time, so I’ve amended the story above from “around eleven” to “around ten”.

Update 2 – I communicated with Tafadzwa Simba of HIFA, and eventually got this response on the action taken.

I checked yesterday and the matter had been looked at and the police were informed. Two individuals were dismissed. The whole system has since been made aware of this and is on the look-out for any errant behaviour.

Robert Mugabe 1980 Speeches

4 March, 1980

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© Adam Welz


17th April 1980 

Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe Independence Speech – 17 April, 1980

The final countdown before the launching of the new State of Zimbabwe has now begun. Only a few hours from now, Zimbabwe will have become a free, independent and sovereign state, free to choose its own flight path and chart its own course to its chosen destiny. Its people have made a democratic choice of those who as their legitimate Government, they wish to govern them and take policy decisions as to their future.

This, indeed, is the meaning of the mandate my party secured through a free and fair election, conducted in the full glare of the world’s spotlight. While my Government welcomes the mandate it has been freely given and is determined to honour it to the letter, it also accepts that the fulfillment of the tasks imposed by the mandate are only possible with the confidence, goodwill and co-operation of all of you, reinforced by the forthcoming support and encouragement of all our friends, allies, and well wishers in the international community.

The march to our national independence has been a long, arduous and hazardous one. On this march, countless lives have been lost and many sacrifices made. Death and suffering have been the prize we have been called upon to pay for the final priceless reward of freedom and national independence. May I thank all of you who have had to suffer and sacrifice for the reward we are now getting.

Tomorrow we shall be celebrating the historic event, which our people have striven for nearly a century to achieve. Our people, young and old, men and women, black and white, living and dead, are, on this occasion, being brought together in a new form of national unity that makes them all Zimbabweans. Independence will bestow on us a new personality, a new sovereignty, a new future and perspective, and indeed a new history and a new past. Tomorrow we are being born again; born again not as individuals but collectively as a people, nay, as a viable nation of Zimbabweans.

Tomorrow is thus our birthday, the birth of a great Zimbabwe, and the birth of its nation. Tomorrow we shall cease to be men and women of the past and become men and women of the future. It’s tomorrow then, not yesterday, which bears our destiny. As we become a new people we are called to be constructive, progressive and forever forward looking, for we cannot afford to be men of yesterday, backward-looking, retrogressive and destructive. Our new nation requires of every one of us to be a new man, with a new mind, a new heart and a new spirit. Our new mind must have a new vision and our new hearts a new love that spurns hate, and a new spirit that must unite and not divide.

This to me is the human essence that must form the core of our political change and national independence. Henceforth, you and I must strive to adapt ourselves, intellectually and spiritually to the reality of our political change and relate to each other as brothers bound one to another by a bond of national comradeship. If yesterday I fought as an enemy, today you have become a friend and ally with the same national interest, loyalty, rights and duties as myself. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you. Is it not folly, therefore, that in these circumstances anybody should seek to revive the wounds and grievances of the past? The wrongs of the past must now stand forgiven and forgotten. If ever we look to the past, let us do so for the lesson the past has taught us, namely that oppression and racism are inequities that must never again find scope in our political and social system. It could never be a correct justification that because whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today because they have power.

An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or by black against white. Our majority rule could easily turn into inhuman rule if we oppressed, persecuted or harassed those who do not look or think like the majority of us. Democracy is never mob-rule. It is and should remain disciplined rule requiring compliance with the law and social rules. Our independence must thus not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups with the right to harass and intimidate others into acting against their will. It is not the right to negate the freedom of others to think and act, as they desire.

I, therefore, wish to appeal to all of you to respect each other and act in promotion of national unity rather than negation of that unity. On Independence Day, our integrated security forces will, in spite of their having only recently fought each other, be marching in step together to herald the new era of national unity and togetherness.

Let this be an example of us all to follow. Indeed, let this enjoin the whole of our nation to march in perfect unison from year to year and decade to decade towards its destiny. We have abundant mineral, agricultural and human resources to exploit and develop for which we need perfect peace. Given such peace, our endeavours to transform our society and raise our standard of living are bound to succeed. The mineral resources lying beneath the surface of our country have hardly been scratched, nor have our agricultural and industrial resources yet fully harnessed. Now that we have peace, we must go fully out to exploit them. We already have a sophisticated infrastructure. Our expertise is bound to increase as more and more educational and technical institutions are established to transform our skilled manpower. The whole world is looking on us this day.

Indeed, many countries in the international community are amazed at how we have so quickly and unexpectedly moved from war to peace. We have certainly won the goodwill of many countries and can confidently expect to benefit from the economic and technical aid they are able and willing to provide for us. May I assure you that my Government is determined to bring about meaningful change to the lives of the majority of the people in the country. But I must ask you to be patient and allow my Government time to organize programmes that will effectively yield that change. There are people without land who need land, people without jobs who need jobs, children without schools who need schools and patients without hospitals who need them. We are also fully aware of the need for increased wages in all sectors of employment. My Government will certainly do its best to meet the existing needs in these areas. But you have to assist us by being patient and peaceful.

I now finally wish to appeal to you, wherever you are, to participate fully today and Saturday in the Independence celebrations that have been organized throughout the country. There are, of course, those of you who have the duty to maintain essential services. These services must indeed be maintained so that the celebrations are facilitated. Maintaining such essential services during the celebrations is a significant contribution of their success. I wish to thank Her Majesty the Queen for having sent His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales to represent her and officiate at our Independence ceremony, where he will perform the symbolic act of severing our colonial ties with Britain.

As you are aware, this historic ceremony will be witnessed by Heads of State and Government and representatives of nearly 100 countries plus representatives of several international, political and voluntary organizations. The ceremony will be also be reported and relayed to millions of people in the world by the mass media. May I enjoin you all to regard this solemn occasion with honour and dignity, and participate in the celebrations that follow it with jubilation. Let us rejoice over our independence and recognize in it the need to dedicate ourselves to national unity, peace and progress. I now wish to pay tribute to Lord Soames, our Governor, for the most important role he has played in successfully guiding this country to elections and independence. He was from the very onset given a difficult and most unenviable task. And yet he performed it with remarkable ability and overwhelming dignity.

I must admit that I was one of those who originally never trusted him, and yet I have now ended up not only implicitly trusting but fondly loving him as well. He is indeed a great man through whom it has been possible within a short period I have been Prime Minister, to organize substantial financial and technical aid from Britain and other countries. I am personally indebted to him for the advice he has constantly given me on the art of managing the affairs of Government.

I shall certainly be missing a good friend and counselor, and so will our independent Zimbabwe and all its people. I also wish to thank all our distinguished quests for the honour they have given us by coming to attend our Independence celebrations on behalf of their countries or organizations. Their presence in our country signifies a bond of solidarity and friendship between their countries or organizations and our country. Without the support they have given us towards our liberation, this day would never have come about.

Thanks, therefore, for all the material, political, diplomatic and moral support they have given us. Sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, I urge you to participate fully and jubilantly in our Independence celebrations and to ensure that all our visitors are well entertained and treated with utmost hospitality. I shall be one in spirit and love, in loyalty and commitment with you all. Forward with the Year of the People’s Power! Long live our Freedom! Long live our Sovereignty! Long live our Independence!

h/t Pan African Quotes

Behind Enemy Lines is free today

Okay, so if you’ve been under a rock, you’ve missed that I published a book on Amazon

Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories is a free giveaway today on Amazon’s Kindle store. That means the electronic is yours for zero dollars, if you want it!

TITLE: Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories
AUTHOR: Joe Ruzvidzo
PUBLICATION DATE:  February 12, 2017
SOLD BY: Amazon Digital Services LLC
RETAIL PRICE: $4.99 ebook, $8.99 paperback
ISBN-10: 1520591853 | ISBN-13: 978-1520591858
ASIN: B06W2K3Q57
PAGE COUNT: 136 pages (paperback) | PRINT LENGTH: 96 pages (ebook)
GENRES: Fiction, Short story collection

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Behind Enemy Lines is a collection of stories about ordinary people and anti-heroes dragged into a search for meaning in their lives – whether it is a simple search for identity and love, or a bigger struggle for Africa’s political freedom.

The canvas of their actions, motivations and circumstances is a Zimbabwe of the past, present and future. Humorous, acerbic, funny and tragic, the stories cover the whole gamut of emotions.

A soldier navigates his way across hostile territory to a distant safe house; a freedom fighter searches the debris of a ruined city for evidence of a horrific crime; an ordinary boy is caught up in a bank robbery; and an activist journeys home for her ex-boyfriend’s funeral.

Ruzvidzo interweaves the past, present and future with a confidence often missing in a debutante, offering a uniquely compelling angle to the Zimbabwean experience.

Well, for one day only, it’s FREE. Yes, free. Well, the electronic version, that is.

So if you want a free Kindle book, go here and get it.

Or, you know … buy the paperback.

I Published a Book of Some Sort

I have published a book! My tiny collection of short stories up on Amazon. Go and buy it, if you feel so inclined.

Behind Enemy Lines is a collection of stories about ordinary people and anti-heroes dragged into a search for meaning in their lives – whether it is a simple search for identity and love or a bigger struggle for political freedom. The canvas of their actions, motivations and circumstances is a Zimbabwe of the past, present and future.

 

Humorous, acerbic, funny and tragic, the stories cover the whole gamut of emotions. Joe Ruzvidzo has arrived on the scene with a deceptively simple and lucid storytelling style that pleases and surprises.

 

A soldier navigates his way across hostile territory to a distant safe house; a freedom fighter searches the debris of a ruined city for evidence of a horrific crime; an ordinary boy is caught up in a bank robbery; and an activist journeys home for her ex-boyfriend’s funeral. Ruzvidzo interweaves the past, present and future with a confidence often missing in a debutante, offering a uniquely compelling angle to the Zimbabwean experience.”

The paperback is here: Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories – paperback

The eBook is here: Behind Enemy Lines and Other Stories – eBook

ZANU-PF Hikes Mobile Data Prices

I am tired. I wrote about this over on CONSUMERIZIM:

In one move, Telecoms Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has managed to strike a body blow not just against social media dissent, but also against Zimbabwe’s widespread family units and relationships.

The loss of OTT services such as WhatsApp and Viber may have a direct effect on diaspora remittances, which the same government has been touting as a vital part of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery under the so-called ZIMASSET.

Zimbabweans will surely never get any rest under these people.

 

Blogger Sneaks Back Into Zimbabwe

Keyboard warrior Joseph Ruzvidzo aka Joe Black yesterday sneaked back into the country, after weeks of speculation that he had jumped ship in anticipation of the much-praised bond notes.

By Our Correspondent

Black, an alleged blogger and high-ranking member of some shadowy harshtag groups plaguing the social media, had been critical of the highly-anticipated export incentive, going so far as to call it “fake money”.

Rumours in the nightclubs and bars of Harare claimed Black left the country in the company of his wife to consult with his English backers and lobby for increased funding for the Western-backed regime change agenda.

He was however first spotted at OR Tambo International Airport in the company of media mogul and known counter-revolutionary Trevor Ncube, before being seen rushing through the arrivals area at Harare International where he was whisked off in an unmarked grey sedan.

While Black was not immediately available for comment, a source close to the matter confirmed that indeed Black was now back inside the country.

“Indeed, he is now back inside the country,” revealed the source.

He added: “While nobody knows why his wife did not come back with him, we believe he even abandoned his plotting in the West upon realising the brilliant tactical success that is the release of the bond notes. Maybe she is undergoing training in the use of arms to topple the legitimately elected government.”

Black reportedly spent a month scouring the English countryside seeking funding for the illegal regime change agenda with little success.

He was also secretly filmed paying homage to the British Queen by singing the national anthem alongside 82,000 other loyal subjects, in a secretive ritual called Test Rugby.

Critics say the highly disturbing video proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the British government is sponsoring ordinary Zimbabweans to denigrate the revolutionary party using the social media.