Covid-19 is a Land-Mark of Systematic Political Persiflage, Academic Snobbery and Self-Congratulatory Journalism


Somalilandsun :Since the fall of communism through the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the World went to sleep, a sleep that has betrayed humanity to systematic defenselessness and multiple vulnerabilities. We, the living citizens of today’s world, are very vulnerable, we are only living at the erratic mercy of nature; human disposition to dominate the forlorn and the technical dynamics of the harmed nature of the ecology tuned towards destruction of man-hurricanes, floods, footloose locusts, the miserable shrinking sea shores, wild cooling and warming of the globe and the imp in the three world class destructive virus in their regular station are my unblemished witnesses. This is not a premise in the class of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock kind of predictions. But to be earnest, they are a blend of many pitfalls into one very inevitable disillusionment in regard to our present day conditions in the world societies more infested with Mr. Hyde, and least evident in the collective citizenship of Dr. Jekyll, obvious precedents in our active history that led us to the un-prepared encounter with Ebola, HIV and Covid-19. So unfortunate, the key ingredients of this universalized sleepy un-preparedness for the specter from nether-abyss of science are; political persiflage in vapid nature of parliamentarism in politics around the world, snobbery in the stand-offish nature of academia in Africa, and the giant tang of self-congratulatory journalism on the tongues of those of us that consume mass-communication services with sensory capacity to differentiate relevant journalism from the modern day media vulgarity known as selfish agenda setting but lately baptized with a saintly name as fake-news. And hence our exegesis ensues;

Political persiflage; the only goodness in what the world is experiencing today is the value in the words of Leon Trotsky; ‘there is always some goodness in whatsoever the bout of evil.’ A philosophy rooted in history of logic, like the one in the past two decades in which politics refused to be responsible, practitioners of politics propagated anti-human culture by glorifying owning but not knowing, democracy became a spectacle on the hob-goblin’s silver platter of commerce. This was nothing strange, but expected social out-put from vapid nature of mental equipment among parliamentary politicians that facilitate mutton-headed anent persiflage regurgitated by the caves of parliamentary politics swamping the society with falsified postures as masters of everything but deliberately blind to the imperative truth that a parliament is a den of oppressors elected by the oppressed to perpetrate oppression. A distasteful culture that have put the brawn on the pedestal and the brain at the gallery of self-consolation in form of shameless impoverishment of knowledge-workers as at the same time it ennobles impotent panjandrums and barren premiers without imagining the poverty of social logic in giving seventy two million shillings of Kenya as retirement benefits to the politically correct in times of under-capitalized research in race for covid-19 vaccine. Not only that, but also poverty of keeping social distance, observing quarantine, discipline and respect for the curfew hours among the political class lest they forfeit mileage and fame, perceived electoral capital for the next general elections. It is a pale in the bane of our time; we have to change it, unless we change it, unless we reverse the trend of fame to have a scientist to be more famous than a politician the world will never host mankind for long.

Academic snobbery; I heard of an intellectual tempest at the university of Oxford long time ago, during the time of Adam Smith. I have been thinking that intellect and research at Ox-bridge became extinct like a dinosaur; it was until the media gave it a recent spotlight when it was in reactionary stampede like experiment for covid-19 vaccine. It was not ok, universities lost flame to the partisan politicians and anti-riot police. A fact you can check up with your knowledge of the recent scientific break-through at your nearby university. Mediocrity in which Africa will score most, not for any other reason, but for putting money on political campaigns, for ordering the anti-riot police to hit hard that pogonophiliac professor of outdated virology demonstrating on streets of Nairobi for salaries in arrears and as well as for putting in a powerful positions within the university research structures those that are only loyal, sycophantic and politically connected without giving a damn to their level of academic, intellectual or research competence. I decry special brand of loyalty in university politics known as academic sycophancy, please help me mourn the death of research culture and violent death of intellectual culture in our universities. How shall we fight our future science based wars with such like public traditions that are indignant in overt treatment of our supposed front lane warriors in the future wars of the world ; universities and researchers in science? Ergo, fault me not in my toploftily aversion that we need to caution ourselves with folk wisdom that China and America will not fight for us in the future wars, they will fight us, and they will beat us hands up, back to our usual station of being the traditional wretched of the earth, I mean those of us that worship politicians that are friendly to our stomachs and betrayers to the rule of inclusive policy in this apparent time of tyranny of science.

Self-congratulatory journalism; I am aware of some good journalism and literature that are out to be proactive in serving the society with genuine information. The online Monthly Review is one of such mass media outlets. I salute it for the in time article on Virus and Anthropocenes or human beings as weapons of war, it carried out publication of this article in one of its 2018 editions. Under a similar notch, my regard goes to professor Ernest Emenyonu for the work in the 38th edition of Africa Literature Today (ALT, 38) bound to be published in late 2020, this Anthology called for submission of well researched stories that are focused on the theme of ‘virus, diseases and climate change’. Writers that were able submitted. It is so encouraging that these two publications are very current in intellectual content and very relevant to the current needs of mankind, but he shortfall is, both the Monthly Review and African Literature Today (ALT, 38) are humble publications, appearing once in a month and in a year respectively. They don’t enjoy any serious funding for research; they are only operating as small editing and publishing organizations without support from any established University institutions. They are not heavily capitalized like the high-powered daily circulating News Papers in Kenya that have now chosen to get married to the reporting of populist politics. It is so frustrating. And so far, there is nothing in human history which is as socially frustrating as when the mass media of any given country becomes collectively a handmaid to political snobbery which in turn is a handmaid to bourgeoisie opportunism in the local parliamentary politics that is turn a hand-maid to globalized patrimonial capitalism. At this level, the mass media institutions become like the phantasmagoria of a snake that swallowed its own tail; all was in futile, as futile as those highly capitalized media houses sacrificing the culture of objective journalism fit to educate and salvage the contemporary African society from wiles of globalectics. It is questionable kind of civilization to many of us born to oppose injustice, but those who chose not to see tears of the powerless are all well, home and dry, doing well on sweet feelings of un-disturbed sense of property. Or tell me about any good investigative or pre-emptive feature story about science news that you recently read in the daily circulating newspaper in your African country. If at all you read one, then it was copied and pasted from the Deutsch Welle online, I know what you read, you know what you read, I don’t have to mention. The mass media of today is in one way or another helping Africa to sleep on the mattress known as ‘African politics is only in need of good voters, the good voters that don’t need food, anti-virus vaccines, and strategic preparedness for climate swings’. A mattress on which Covid-19 got us, it is only a landmark of the universal slumber, let’s take our share with caution. Vivam.

By-Alexander Opicho

(From Lodwar, Kenya)