The Happiest Africans in the World

Comments

1
I'm stuck on "the happiest Africans in the world". He thinks Rhodesia is like Disneyland, maybe?
2
My family had a swimming pool.

It was 2 1/2 feet high and about 10 feet wide.

That was the largest one we ever had and it took up a lot of our back yard.

Every summer we would lay out the flimsy aluminum ring and lay in the blue plastic liner...us kids jumping in to push out the wrinkles.

The we'd fill it up with water from the garden hose.

After summer we'd take it down and smell the stinky moldy grass underneath.

That was my pool...and it was the same pool as most of the kids on my block except for the twins who lived across the street. They had a 5 foot high pool with a reinforced wall. But then they moved to Long Island and I couldn't use their pool any more.
3
I bet you pissed in the pool.
4
I think it's a great photo. I love the mid-dive. Is that you?
5
The most miserable Africans in the world now...I guess fleeing to South Africa is now considered an improvement from Rhodesians.
6
Actually, that pool probably had the only clean drinking water south of the Sahara. Amazing how people still haven't learned not to shit in the same water they drink.
7
It's a nice photo, Charles.
8
When I was a kid our "pool" was a plastic thing that we had to inflate. It was probably a foot or so tall and about three or four feet in diameter, and sat in the lawn outside our mobile home. We filled it up with water from the hose and it was icy as fuck when you first got in, but on a hot summer day in the wastelands of Eastern Washington it was lots of fun, and the water would warm up after a day or so. After a few days it got full of dead bugs and my dad would dump it out, and we'd start all over again with the freaking cold water. My sister and friends and I would squeal and laugh our asses off as we got into the cold water for the first time, and then spend all day running in and out of the "pool" while we played in the hot sun. Those were fun times.
9
Great pic, Charles! You know, man, you've just whetted our appetite for the rest of the story. America is READY for the Mudede family's "Sugar Beach" tale (if that's an appropriate way to express it)! Bring it! Best wishes from northwest Pennsylvania.
10
That photo is beautiful. it's hard to believe it's a photo and not an painting. The dark shrubbery and bodies and the curvature of the pool are fantastic.

Is it really a photo?
11
@4, it me diving.
12
Get a livejournal, moron. No one cares about your emo bullshit, Charles.
13
the dark people of the world will make the white people extinct.
14
In my family, we used to dig a 2 foot deep hole in the back yard dirt, about 3 feet across. Then we'd put a plastic lawn trash bag in as a liner. Then we'd take turns sitting in it with our butts hanging down in the water and our arms and legs hanging over the sides. We'd get more dirty than clean, and we'd have to run through the garden sprinkler. Then we'd each get one Dixie cup of grape Kool-Aid and if we tried to get more, our older sisters would whack our heads with wooden healed sandal.
15
i think the photo is great too; reminds me of the debutante ball segment near the end of 'the virgin suicides.'

the dive, however, lacks proper extension.
16
Not a perfect dive maybe, but it's a terrific photo, I think.

I think it would make a great album cover for something, and the proportions are even about right for one of those Mego CD covers.
17
Very lovely, Mr. Mudede.
18
The GDP per capita of Zimbabwe topped out at about $1,000 in 1982 (it's now about $400). That scene would count as an upper-middle-class idyl in the U.S., which has a GDP per capita of about $40,000. So for that idylic scene to come to pass in Zimbabwe, not only was it necessary for Ian Smith's corrupt white government to fall, but it was also necessary for a small, corrupt black elite to appropriate for themselves the resources of millions of their desperately poor compatriots. Nice pool, Charles.
19
David Wright is very concerned about inequality. Today.
20
Did you find Obama's birth certificate in your backyard?
21
CP @ 19: I'm sure you'll be relieved to learn that I am quite consistent. I don't give a damn about inequality that arises from mutually agreeable private trades. But when someone in government, which gets its money via involuntary appropriation, gets fantasticly richer than the governed society, that's a sure sign that something is wrong.
22
SHUUUUUTTTTT UUUUUPPPPP MUDEDE
23
@21, I'd be interested to hear your views on what kind of appropriation, involuntary or otherwise, that you think resulted in Ian Motherfucking Smith running the private farm known as Rhodesia during his stay there. But the degree of white culpability in the many and various horrors of Africa is not a myth, nor is it ancient history.

There are no "mutually agreeable private trades".
24
Fnarf, are you drunk?
25
Africa doesn't need another picture of people diving into a pool, so fuck you all.
26
Okay, this makes so much sense now. Of course that's why he's a socialist: he grew up in upper-middle-class privilege. No different than those trustafarians with whom I attended to college.
27
@ 26,

Better a socialist than a Republican.
28
I'm with 27. What would you, @26, want someone to do in the case you describe? Become a Republican dickhead? Go back in a time machine and be born again in a poorer family?
29
@25, not now. I was when I wrote @24, it's true, but I stand behind it. @21 seems to be saying that the horrors of today's Zimbabwe are Charles's fault, or Charles's father's fault, which is ridiculous, as is his apparent belief in the myth of "mutually agreeable private trades" as a way to understand Africa, or anything else, really. The brutalities of Mugabe and company were taught to him by a thousand years of Arab-African and white-African relations before him.
30
@ 27, 28 Marx wrote about a few of the owning class breaking away from the status quo and supporting the cause of the workers. What I was getting at was that I'm not surprised Charles is in this group, not from an actual poor or working-class background. How about hearing from some non-privileged socialists?

For what it's worth I'm in favor of Scandinavian-style social democracy - plenty off opportunity to make money but not at great expense to others.
31
Fnarf, got it. Thanks for the clarification! I was thoroughly flummoxed by your initial post.
32
@12 I thought I was an a-hole..you win.
33
"The brutalities of Mugabe and company were taught to him by a thousand years of Arab-African and white-African relations before him."

I agree Fnarf, one thing you can never think is that black men are responsible for their own behaviour.
34
Oh, and I forgot to ask, was that the day you hit your head, Charles?

Just kidding... your posts about your life back when are good stuff. Some of your other stuff, I read just to try to figure out what on earth you're saying. Some of its my inability to follow it, some of it's not, it's a curiousity to me.
35
The horrors of today's Zimbabwe are the fault of Mugabe and his current cronies. The horrors of 1980s Zimbabwe, which were less horrible, but still those of a corrupt government run by and for a corrupt elite, are the fault of Mugabe and his then-cronies, which included Charles' father. I don't know which policies and practices his father initiated or participated in, but he obviously benefited from his close association with Mugabe. Whoever "taught" these people bad government doesn't decrease their own responsibility.

Charles need not be a Republican, but given that he calls himself a socialist, you would think he would at least recognize this period for the travesty it was, rather than see it through nostalgic glasses as some sort of African flowering.

Whether mutually agreeable private trades are possible is relevant only to the charge of my inconsistancy, not to Mudede culpability, so I'm not going to argue it further. But I do pity Fnarf and others who can't so much as buy a coffee without feeling that they (or is the the cafe owners?) are being exploited.
36
As a Rhodesian now living in Seattle, I've actually got many similar pictures, granted you might view them very differently. Would be interested to know your thoughts on those living in Zimbabwe today and how happy they are (with apologies if I've missed any back-story from your other writing).
37
At 35, my father was an economist in the Ministry of Industry Technology. He got the job because he held an advanced degree in economics from American University. True, he did write speeches for Mugabe, but when Zimbabwe became a One Party state, he knew the future was over and moved to Botswana. My father was an economist for the Botswana Government during the 90s.
38
@36, I'm no romantic. I will tell it like it is. The situation today for the majority of Africans in Zimbabwe is much worse then it was during the time of Ian Smith. Anyone who says otherwise is either insane or telling a joke. I feel it is the greatest shame on Mugabe that such is the case, that this is a hard fact. All of those lives wasted, all of those great ideas betrayed.

But I also blame Ian Smith for not finding a solution soon enough. He was terribly unrealistic. Zimbabwe-Rhodesia came too late.