A  Political  Discourse                                                                         

Xiao-he did n’t want to continue the story of the blind boy, despite my insistence. It was, as if, he had made a pact with the boy soldiers never “to tell”.

 Wanting to know more about Xiao-he’s take concerning Africa’s plight, I insisted on continuing the political discussion.

“But you can’t just lump the politicians and the intellectuals together.”

“Why can’t I do so?” He retorted.

“At least you do know the plight of these intellectuals. Their voices are not often being heard. Moreover, some even become targets of these very politicians.”

“Yes, I know. But there are also some of these intellectuals who run after every caller and bend in the direction of every political wind.”

Xiao-he, I don’t understand what you mean by some intellectuals running after every caller and bending in the direction of every political wind.”

 A moment of silence then descended upon us. I knew Xiao-he was no longer interested in this discussion. He wanted a change of topic, I guessed. I felt the same too. After quietly taking a few sips of brandy, he became garrulous once again. I often disliked his idea of always carrying along an alcoholic drink where ever he went. He drank in every occasion—in both his sad moments and happy moments.  

“But I can’t also absolve some of the journalists from blame.” He said with a twisted face and widely opened eyes.

To Xiao-he, the nature of the relationship between the journalists, the politicians, and the intellectuals in Africa could be likened to what happens to three porcupines when they’re cold in winter—they get as close as possible to one another to keep warm—but not too close so that they don’t  hurt one another. His reason was that, even though some of them did concentrate on Africa’s capacity for greatness, a good majority of them rather concentrated on blaming outsiders—especially Western ones—and colonialism—for Africa’s problems. He thought that often lead to they shooting themselves in the foot?”

I countered by making him realize the fact that most of these are actually a stranded intelligentsia. They’ve been trapped in backwaters. They often find themselves reduced to poverty and rustic irrelevance. If they refuse to sing the song of those in power, they aren’t going to survive.”

To be continued…